Hot Springs in Sao Miguel: All The Essentials
Last updated: 22 July 2020 | Guides, Portugal
If you are wondering where your next spa retreat should be, then you should definitely consider the hot springs on Sao Miguel island! The island is rich in thermal waters all around and will surprise you with their healing benefits. In addition to that, they are rarely crowded, which makes them perfect for a relaxing vacation on Sao Miguel island.
However, before going to any of the hot springs in São Miguel, it is good to know, which one is the best for you! What to bring, when to go and learn some more tips and tricks! Thus, I have structured this article in the following way, so you can easily navigate through it (simply click on the desired theme):
The Hot Springs of Sao Miguel Map
Things To Know Before You Go
There are a couple of very important things to know before going to the hot springs in Sao Miguel:
✖ If you have low blood pressure or are pregnant, it is best to consult with your doctor beforehand!
✖ Wear old or dark swimwear, as it may get stained by the water that is rich in iron! Also, make sure to hand-wash it before letting it dry out!
✖ Remove any kind of jewelry, as it may tarnish and there is high chance of losing it.
✖ Bring flip flops and a towel with yourself!
✖ The thermal pools can be quite slippery, so be careful when you approach them!
✖ Any soaps/wash gels and chemicals are forbidden to be used! Do not use them in the thermal pools!
✖ Do not drink the water or taste it!
✖ It is best to swim or relax in the hot springs when it is colder outside! It will feel better on your body and will refresh you for sure 😊
Best Time to Visit the Hot Springs
If you are planning a trip to the Azores hot springs, then you should also consider the weather forecast. What will surprise you is the fact that it is recommended to go to the hot springs when the weather is bad. Actually, that is quite obvious, since the thermal water in most of the pools is around 40 degrees Celsius! Therefore, if it is a hot sunny day and you go to the hot springs in Sao Miguel, you won’t be so pleased.
Having the aforementioned in mind, I would suggest that it is best to go on a hot spa retreat either in the early spring or autumn months! If you go in winter time it is even better. Oh, and don’t worry, it won’t be snowing!
The Hot Springs of Sao Miguel
Sao Miguel is prominent for its beautiful nature and incredible hospitality. On top of that, it has lots of hot springs known for their healing benefits.
The thermal pools in Sao Miguel can mainly help with any skin irritation and are also known to heal any pains you might have. They also have lots of minerals in them that are good for the body and will make you feel refreshed and relaxed at the same time.
Now, your only task is to decide which hot spring in Sao Miguel to visit. And why not visit them all?!
Parque Terra Nostra in Furnas
Terra Nostra Garden is probably the most famous spa complex with thermal pools in Furnas, Sao Miguel. It consists of a huge pool and 2 smaller pools surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. All of the thermal pools have water temperatures from 35 to 39 degrees Celsius, which is quite normal here.
The water of the thermal pools of Terra Nostra looks quite “Eww!”, but in fact it can be very beneficial for you! It has crazy amounts of iron and other minerals in it that will help your body heal and rest.
It is good to know that these are the only natural thermal pools in Furnas where swimming is allowed! Yes, this is allowed as they are quite huge and this can be done freely without interupting other people’s peace.
In addition to all that, the complex offers a huge botanical garden with all kinds of tropical flora. Depending on the season, you will see different flowers blooming and they also provide nice mini maps to help you navigate! I urge you to visit the Terra Nostra Garden, as it is the most beautiful botanical garden in the Azores!
One of the best ways to experience the Terra Nostra Garden in Furnas is by going on a full-day tour in the Furnas Valley! Experience the cuisine, the culture and soothe in the magical thermal pools of this foggy city 😇
EarthOSea Travel Tips:
🎟️ Price: 8 EUR
⌚️ Opening Hours: It works every day from 10:00 to 18:00.
🧐 Tip: There is a parking area with very few places to park. You can park next to the football stadium up the street where you will find plenty of spaces!
Poça da Dona Beija in Furnas
Yearning for a magical place of leisure and relaxation? Then, head straight to one of the best hot springs in Sao Miguel – Poça da Dona Beija in Furnas!
Poça da Dona Beija’s thermal pools in Furnas are probably the most visited spa complex in the Azores. It consists of 5 five open-air thermal pools, each of them varying in temperature (25 to 39 degrees Celsius). The pools also vary in dept, as some of them are just 30 cm deep, but can get to a maximum of 130 cm.
It is good to note that the geothermally heated water coming from a nearby cave,Lomba das Barracas, is mixed with water from a stream. This is done, as a way, so that the pools have a bearable and pleasant temperature, which can be enjoyed by the people.
In the complex you will find changing rooms, lockers, a shop and designated parking area to use.
If you would like to visit the hot springs in the evening, this is possible and is even accompanied by a traditional Azorean dinner.
EarthOSea Travel Tips:
🎟️ Price: 6 EUR
⌚️ Opening Hours: It works every day from 7:00 to 23:00.
🧐 Tip: Keep in mind that the lockers and hot showers can be used at an extra price.
Parque Natural da Caldeira Velha
If you want an out of this world experience you should definitely go to Caldeira Velha. It is located just a couple of minutes driving from Salto do Cabrito and Lagoa do Fogo and is the perfect place to relax after a long hike!
It is good to mention that Caldeira Velha is a biosphere reserve in the Azores and a natural park. Thus, you should respect the flora and fauna here and keep it clean! This rule applies to every place on this planet and beyond!
Caldeira Velha has a couple of pools in the park where you can take a dip in! The water in them is usually around 20 degrees Celsius, but can also get hotter (up to 30 degrees Celsius or more). It is always good to first try it with your feet and see how it feels on your skin!
The most remarkable of all the thermal pools in Caldeira Velha is the one with the waterfall. It can easily be found at the end of the park surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. Honestly, this is the most beautiful hot spring I have ever seen!
EarthOSea Travel Tips:
🎟️ Price: 8 EUR
⌚️ Opening Hours: The working hours from November to March is every day from 9:00 to 17:30. Then, from April to October it is every day from 9:00 to 20:00.
⏳ Time to Stay: You are allowed to stay in Caldeira Velha for a maximum of 2 hours. However, if you wish to stay more, you are welcome to do so, after purchasing another ticket.
Termas das Caldeiras
The Termas das Caldeiras are lesser known and crowded thermal pools in Sao Miguel. They are located near Ribeira Grande and are the starting point for the hiking trail to Salto do Cabrito. This makes them a perfect place to relax after visiting the Salto do Cabrito waterfall.
The spa complex has only 3 pools, 1 of which is an outdoor pool. In fact, the pool is very small, but having in mind that there are barely any visitors, it is perfect! At some point you might have it only to yourself.
EarthOSea Travel Tips:
🎟️ Price: 3 EUR for the outdoor pool
⌚️ Opening Hours: It works every day from 10:00 to 22:00.
Hot Springs in Ferraria
Ah, Ferraria! Yes, this is probably one of the most scenic places in Sao Miguel. This unique place is surrounded by huge lava rocks and cliffs that are warmed up by a geothermal natural spring! The water temperature at the hot springs of Ferraria is usually between 20-30 degrees. This makes it the coolest hot spring in Sao Miguel!
Visiting the hot springs of Ferraria can be quite tricky. It is best to check the tide times at Ferraia, so that you can make the most of your natural spa!Also, make sure to bring with yourself flip flops and a towel.
EarthOSea Travel Tips:
🎟️ Price: FREE
⌚️ Opening Hours: 24/7
🧐 Tip: During the peak of low tides the water can get very hot. Thus, it is recommended to go sometime between the low and the high tide for an ultimate spa experience!
Sao Miguel Natural Pools
If, for some reason, you get tired of bathing in the hot springs of Sao Miguel, you are more than welcome to try its natural pools! Surrounded by lava cliffs, filled with oceanic water and rich in marine life, these natural pools will entertain you greatly!
Some of the natural pools in Sao Miguel I would suggest to visit are:
🤿 Natural pool of Caloura: A great place to go swimming and sunbathing at the same time.
🤿 Piscinas do Pesqueiro: This natural pool is located in Ponta Delgada and can be easily reached by foot.
🤿 Poços de S. Vicente Ferreira: Incredible place to swim and dive, especially when the weather is good.
🤿 Santo Antonio Natural pool: Family-friendly spot for swimming and sunbathing and very well-secured.
🤿 Natural pools of Maia: Great spot to observe the marine life 🐠 and to swim! It also offers mesmerizing sunsets!
🤿 Natural pool of Porto dos Batéis: Very nice place to swim or go fishing 🎣
Where to stay in Sao Miguel?
There are lots of places to stay in Sao Miguel, but not many have thermal pools just a few steps away. Since Furnas is the city with the most hot springs, most of the wellness & spa hotels are located there:
Terra Nostra Garden Hotel: Probably the most notorious spa hotel in the Azores, Terra Nostra Garden has it all! A huge thermal pool in front of the hotel surrounded by a botanical garden! Sounds heavenly, right?
Furnas Boutique Hotel: Fancy staying at a boutique hotel in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with your own indoor thermal pools? Then, you should definitely consider the Furnas Boutique Hotel!
Furnas Lake Forest Living Suites: If you are like me and would like to be away from all the hassle in the hotels, then check out Furnas’ Suites. Cozied up just in front of Furnas lake and surrounded by the lush Azorean vegetation, they offer the most serene feeling to its visitors! If I could I would stay there all my life!
Planning to do more while in Sao Miguel? Check these helping guides:
Have you visited any of the hot springs in Sao Miguel?
Which one did you enjoy most?