Lake Furnas (Lagoa Das Furnas) fills a natural volcano crater and is one of the most beautiful spots to visit in the village of Furnas.
Furnas is a town of 1,500 on São Miguel island, the largest island in the Azores.
The entire area is made up of multiple geothermal springs, it’s a real feast for the senses with its boiling water, sweltering steam, and mud spouting out of the holes in the ground just about everywhere you look.
How to Get to Furnas Lake?
We stayed in Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel Island. Check out the exact hotel we stayed in here. The drive from Ponta Delgada to the Furnas village is about 43 minutes.
I highly recommend renting a car in the Azores. It gives you the freedom to come and go as you please. It also gives you the freedom to stop and take pictures along the way. The Azores are one of the most picturesque islands I have ever visited and being stuck in a tour bus is not my style.
The roads are easy to navigate. Just make sure you download your google maps first incase you run into spotty service.
Where to Stay in Furnas
If you plan on staying a night in Furnas these are the best hotels in the area.
- Casa da Igreja Velha – This location is perfect as well! Just a 3 minute drive to Lake Furnas and a 3 minute walk from Terra Nostra Park. Book here.
- *Best Overall: Terra Nostra Gardens Hotel – Considering that the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel is one of the highest rated in all of the Azores, (don’t believe me, check it’s rating on booking.com). Considering it rates well into the 9’s out of 10, you would expect it to be extremely expensive, but surprisingly it isn’t. It typically ranges between $100 and $200 per night, but does sell out so book quickly. We would have loved to have stayed there, but it was sold out when we were there.
- Furnas Boutique Hotel – Thermal & Spa
- Furnas Lake Forest Living – Located just outside Furnas and right by Furnas Lake. Lots of hiking trails nearby.
Below are more of the most popular hotels in the Furnas area:
Top 5 things to do around Furnas Lake (Lagoa Das Furnas)
There’s so much to do at and around Furnas Lake. I recommend making your trip to Furnas a full day trip.
When we went I completely underestimated Furnas, not realizing how much was there was to see in the area and ended up having to drive up here twice.
Below are just a few of our favorite things to do in the area.
1. See Lagoa Das Furnas from the Miradouro do Salto do Cavalo Viewpoint
Want to see the best views of Furnas? You have to check out the Miradouro do Salto do Cavalo viewpoint. It allows you to see both the north and south side of the island as well as an amazing view of Furnas Lake.
Parking is right next to the viewpoint so there’s no need to walk far. It is also not as busy as some of the other viewpoints on the island of Sao Miguel.
Tip – Beware of the weather. The fog can roll in at any moment so try and catch it on a clear day.
Book your tour: Full-Day Furnas Azores 4×4 Tour from Ponta Delgada
2. Check out Furnas Lake from the Pico do Ferro Viewpoint
It is an easy and scenic drive up to this viewpoint. The views of the Furnas village and Furnas Lake are incredible from the top!
If you can catch it on a clear day (the Azores weather can be very unpredictable and extremely hazy, cloudy)
Book your tour: From Ponta Delgada: Furnas Valley and Furnas Lake Tour
3. Visit the Garden of Lagoa das Furnas
Walk around the lake and enjoy the beautiful views of the gardens. Entrance fees are 8 euros to go into the garden and church.
4. Watch the Caldeira Das Furnas steam
Visiting the Caldeira Das Furnas was one of my favorite stops around Lake Furnas.
We actually arrived here just before dark and I was devastated because I saw no one was there and figured it was closed. Even though no one was around we were still able to walk right in (no gate or anything) and we had the entire place to ourselves. It was pretty amazing.
5. Make Cozido das Furnas
Did you know that in The Azores, you can cook your food inside a volcano?
While in The Azores make sure to try a signature Azorean dish cooked The chefs bury the stew 6 feet in the ground for 6 hours and wait for Mother Nature to do her job. It cooks at 200F.
I didn’t have any myself because of my dietary restrictions, but the smell and novelty tempted me.
If you’ve tried some cozida stew, let us know what you think of it in the comments below!