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Dark green Lagoa de Santiago (Santiago Lake) is situated near Lagoa de Sete Cidades, in a place of great natural beauty. It is in the volcanic crater, surrounded by green mountain slopes. A variety of native and exotic species can be found here, as well a few species of fishes.
There is a superb panorama of the lake from Miradouro Lagoa de Canário. On the way back to Ponta Delgada we also made a short stop at Miradouro Lagoa de Santiago though the view from here is not that spectacular.
Updated Aug 4, 2009
Picturesque town of Ribeira Grande is located on a volcanic plateau above the sea. It received its name from the stream flowing from Lagoa do Fogo that crosses the town on its way to the Atlantic Ocean. Though rather small, Ribeira Grande has rich architecture and offers a visitor some very interesting places to explore.
We started the tour in the charming historic centre which. Its narrow streets are lined with some nice examples of the 17th and 18th centuries architecture. During my visit they were nicely decorated as June is the month of local festivities. Paços do Concelho (City Hall) has unmistakable design from the 18th century, and is one of the prettiest anywhere. Some of your time deserves the municipal garden, Jardim do Paraíso. And there is an interesting bridge with eight arches from the 18th century, Ponte dos Oito Arcos.
Worth a visit is the main church, Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Estrela, where you find a glass showcase with very small figurines made by a nun in the 19th century from bread dough and arabic gum, representing the Old and New Testaments. Igreja do Espírito Santo, in the main square, has one of the most attractive Baroque façades in the Azores. A little further is the excellent Museu Municipal with a vast collection of local ethnography.
more pics in the Ribeira Grande travelogues
Updated Aug 17, 2009
I arrived in Ponta Delgada around noon so it was still enough time to visit Sete Cidades (Seven Cities), one of the most scenic highlights of the Azores. Passing several small lakes en route, Lagoa Empadada and Lagoa do Carvao, we made a stop at Lagoa do Canário. From Miradouro Lagoa do Canário are breathtaking views of the mountains, valleys and lakes. A little further along we stopped at
Vista do Rei, one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the island, from where you see the village and the lakes.
In the centre of the volcanic crater are the twin lakes, Lagoa Verde (Green Lake) and Lagoa Azul (Blue Lake), surrounded by steep slopes covered with trees. According to a legend, the different colours of the lakes were created when a princess and her lover, a young shepherd, had to take farewell from each other. Their tears became the two lakes, with the water coloured like their eyes.
By Lagoa Azul is a picturesque green area with magnificent trees and benches to relax, in the company of ducks. Inside the crater lies Sete Cidades village, a quiet little village where you find some nice traditional old houses and a 19th century neo-Gothic church, and can see women dressed in black walking in the street.
more pics in the travelogue
Updated Aug 4, 2009
On the way from Ponta Delgada to Sete Cidades, after we have passed a lovely old stone aqueduct, there was a sign to Lagoa do Canário. A narrow road lined with azaleas leads down to a car park. There are picnic tables and barbecues, so in summer people come to have a picnic. From here it's just a short walk to the lagoon. Lagoa do Canário is surrounded by green ferns and cryptomeria trees making it a very peaceful and quiet ambience. The water was very shallow at the time of my visit and I noticed several birds on the shore.
There is about 15-minute walk from the car park to Miradouro Lagoa do Canário, one of the best viewpoints in all the Azores. The view of the Lagoa de Sete Cidades and the village is truly stunning. Another rough path leads to a deep and narrow little valley with steep sides and a stream. The area is filled with tree ferns, azaleas and several endemic plants.
Updated Aug 4, 2009
Pineapple grown on São Miguel originally came from Cantral and South America and it was introduced to the island around the mid 19th century as a decorative plant. So if you like pineapple you should not miss the famous Arruda Pineapple Plantation. It's a fascinating plantation with various greenhouses showing the small pineapples at different stages of growth and the methods used to make them so sweet. The complete growing period from planting to picking takes 18-24 months. Although in the Azores pineapples are available all year round, the sweetest are from May through August.
There is also a shop selling pineapples, pineapple liqueur and pineapple jam. You can sample the liqueur, an island speciality, which is very sweet and tasty.
It is open Jun-Sep 9am-8pm, Oct-May 9am-6pm; admission is free.
Updated Aug 6, 2009
Address: Rua Dr Augusto Arruda, Fajã de Baixo
Phone: +351 296 384 438
On the northern part of the island, you can visit the Gorreana Plant where they produce the only tea produced in Europe. There are guided visits to the plant, but I just wandered around a bit. You can taste the green tea produced there - it's so good! - and, if you want, you can buy some packets of tea, there.
I tell you: I found the same packets cheaper in local markets, so, it's up to you ;)
Written Jan 9, 2005
Address: Gorreana: Road between Furnas and Ribeira Grande
One of the most important spots in Sao Miguel island is the "Sete Cidades" lakes. The legendary lost city of Atlantis is linked to the Sete Cidades vulcano by ancient tales. Probably when you face that magnificent landscape you can feel some "magic" through your mind and think about being over the lost Atlantis.
Ok... back to earth again ;) ... Getting ther is easy because this is a known touristic spot, but my advice is to enter the volcano crater by the "Varzea" village side and go through a narrow irregular road that surrounds the volcano crater until you reach the "Vista de Rei" ("King's Sight") near the huge abandoned hotel.
Written Jan 9, 2005
Located inside a volcanic crater in the district of Povoação, Furnas is one of the largest parishes in the island and in the Azores, an area of volcanic activity and natural beauty. It comprises of a lake, a valley and a village, and there is an impressive array of geysers, fumaroles and hot springs. It is a true paradise for any nature lover where yoy find many interesting places to explore.
Furnas village is an idyllic setting with lovely houses, thermal baths (which have a reputation for their therapeutic qualities) and geysers. It has also a splendid botanical garden Parque Terra Nostra, one of the most beautiful parks in São Miguel. Yet, Furnas won its fame primarily from its 22 sources of mineral water. A short drive from the village is a peaceful lake Lagoa das Furnas. It lies among green slopes with hot springs and bubbling mud pools by the lake. This place serves as a 'natural kitchen' where the famous cozido is cooked.
more pics in the Furnas Travelogues
Updated Aug 17, 2009
As you drive along the main road to Nordeste you can not miss the charming Parque Natural da Ribeira das Caldeirões with the lovely Achada waterfall. If you cross a granite bridge and continue further up, you come to a beautiful area with lush vegetation, very green. The park consists of several species of endemic plants, including heather and holly and huge tree ferns reminding of palm trees.
There is a river, fresh water streams cross the park and ponds with water flowers. Once the area was famous for watermills but severe floods in 1986 destroyed most of them. Three have been acquired by the municipality to help restore the natural park area of Ribeira dos Caldeirões and to preserve the area's heritage and connect with a past traditional way of life. One mill has been restored as a working museum.
There is parking place, picnic area, café and a nice craft shop. Allow yourself at least a couple of hours as the park is a very enjoyable place to stroll around.
more pics in the Nordeste travelogues
Updated Aug 28, 2009
São Miguel has a number of smaller lakes, no less beautiful than the big ones mentioned in the travel brochures, and worth visiting as well. Lagoa do Congro is one of them. Located in the middle of the island, a few kilometres north-east from Vila Franca do Campo, this lake of dark green waters is surrounded by a dense grove of trees. It is a mysterious place.
You'll need a car to get there. A narrow road leads to a point where you leave the car. Here starts walking trail through the forest to the lake and it takes about 20 minutes.
I saw some nice pictures of the lake's panorama, so we tried to find a viewpoint to get a better picture of the lake. We drove all around but unfortunately could not find it. Well, I'm still asking myself where were those pictures taken from.
Updated Aug 19, 2009
2 Reviews and 68 Opinions I stayed at the Caloura for 8 nights in June 2007. The staff are professional and friendly, the...