Departing from Ponta Delgada, drive to the north side of the island to reach the city of Ribeira Grande where you’ll have the opportunity to observe the Baroque architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries. Continue driving along the north coast stopping at the belvedere of Sta Iria, at a tea factory to taste the tea and at Pico do Ferro viewpoint. From here you can observe the largest and oldest volcanic crater at the bottom of which lays Furnas Lake and where the spa of Furnas Valley is located. Once in Furnas village, visit the hot springs, an area with diverse forms of volcanic activity, fumaroles spouting boiling water and medicinal mud, one of the most spectacular being Caldeira de Pero Botelho. Furnas Valley is crossed by two fast-flowing streams, one with cold water and the other with warm water colored by an iron suspension, being one of Europe’s richest hydrological regions, with 22 thermal springs.
This village is an important thermal center where the water of its mineral springs and the sulphuric mud of its volcanic solfataras are used to treat respiratory affections, reumathism, heart ailments, gastritis, depression and other ailments. After visiting the village, drive to the quiet and romantic Furnas Lake with the Gothic profile of Chapel Nossa Senhora das Vitorias reflected on its clear waters. On its shores the volcanic solfataras and the ‘natural kitchens’ where the Cozido das Caldeiras is cooked, buried in the soil for a few hours with the proper condiments in hermetically closed pots. Once in the restaurant, your lunch consisting of this typical dish will be served. Return to Ponta Delgada along the southern coast passing by Vila Franca do Campo, the former capital of the island and the home of the artesian potteries.
Need to Know:
Note: Tour involves approximately .62 mile (1,000 meters) of walking on uneven ground, gravel and cobblestone. Ribeira Grande, tea factory, hot springs area and restrooms are not wheelchair accessible.
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Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
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