Lagoa das Furnas

Lagoa das Furnas

The third of the large volcanic lakes, Lagoa das Furnas, may not look as spectacular at first glance as Lagoa das Setes Cidadesor Lagoa do Fogo, but a trip to the Furnas thermal area, near which it is located, should not be missed on your itinerary.

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An interesting feature of Lagoa das Furnas is the dark green colour of the water, which is unique among the lakes of São Miguel.

Hiking around the lake and the sulphur springs

The main advantage of Lake Furnas is the beautiful and comfortable walking trail that goes around the entire lake. Enjoy beautiful walks through the woods and grassy meadows, stopping along the way at one of the main local attractions - the magnificent 19th century Chapel of Our Lady of Victory.

Then, on the northern edge of the lake, the volcanic vents of Fumarolas Lagoa das Furnas are the biggest attraction. These are sulphurous benches from which steam is constantly rising, and you can walk through the whole area on wooden walkways.

The entrance to the paths costs 6 eur.

The Fumarolas are also a popular starting point for a trip around the lake, as they can be reached by car.

The entire circuit around the lake is 6.5 km long and takes less than an hour and a half to walk. Although you'll be walking along the road for about a third of the way, there's no need to worry about an ugly road. The beaten path runs on grass behind wooden railings, there are always hydrangeas in bloom along the road and traffic is minimal.

To the viewpoint of Pico de Ferro

Another popular trail leads from the sulphur springs to the 573-metre-high hill of Pico de Ferro, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the lake and the surrounding hilly, lush green landscape.

The trail follows a well-maintained path and you will discover all the different types of the Azorean landscape. Dense green forests, deep ravines, waterfalls and wide vistas across green meadows. The trail does not require any special skills, but expect some steep sections.

In total, the trail is about 3.5 km round trip combined, and if you don't want to pay extra to enter Grena Park, you'll have to take the same route back.

The longer circular route takes you into a beautiful landscape of waterfalls, ancient houses and rugged countryside and is about 7 km long. It passes through the newly tolled Grena Park, where there is an entrance fee 10 eur.

Accommodation at the lake

If you desire idyllic lakeside accommodation right on the shores of the lake, there are several options at Lagoa das Furnas, we would recommend these:

  • Furnas Lake Forest Living - a luxury hotel with a swimming pool and full facilities ideal for travellers looking for comfort without compromise
  • Casa dos Barcos Furnas - holiday apartments in a stylish colonial villa, this is one of the cheapest, with a night in the whole apartment for up to 6 people 110 eur

How to get to the lake?

Lagoa das Furnas is a great lake to reach by car, with the main ring road around the island running directly along its eastern side. You can park for free at the larger car parks to the north by the fumaroles and to the south by the Chapel of Our Lady of Victory.

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The distance from Ponta Delgada is 42 km.

From Ponta Delgada to Furnas and with stops at both ends of the lake (south and north), bus line 318 runs about 4 times a day. The timetables on the official website were last updated in 2013, so you will need to check on the spot.

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