near Furnas, Açores (Portugal)
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NB: the description to be found on the web site is for walking clockwise, while the GPS trail and the pdf file of the leaflet are for walking counter-clockwise, as was also done by us.
The trail is easy, mostly on roads or dirt roads, and, apart from a few ups and downs at beginning and end, completely flat around the lake (for some reason our GPS jumped up 50 m at km 4.5 and kept a too high altitude for the rest of the walk, max. elevation is 340 m).
Our trail time includes a 1h break at the CMIF, actual walking time was 3.5 h.
Trailhead PRC06 SMI
Igreja de Sant' Ana (Igreja Velha)
Poça da Dona Beija Spa
You need to divert from the main road to the right to reach the entrance to this thermal water spa with park.
The approach to Lagoa das Furnas leads down through the valley of Ribeira Amarela
Lagoa das Furnas
When reaching Lagoa das Furnas you are greeted by this panel of Azulejos
Literally one of the "hot spots" for tourists on São Miguel. If the PRC6 SMI walk along the lake is not long enough for you, you can divert here to PRC22 SMI, climb up to Pico do Ferro and join PRC6 again later on (about 5 km extra plus some climbing).
Parque das Merendas Lagoa das Furnas
Good spot for a picnic near the lake (if there are free tables )
Crossroads with PRC22
Lake view km 3.6
Centro de Monitorização e Investigação das Furnas
CMIF - Centro de Monitorização e Investigação das Furnas. Also space for studies and information on the local type of bats (Morcego dos Açores)
Apparently Europe's largest araucaria (50 m height, 1.93 m diameter)
Casa dos Barcos
House on the lake shore, turismo de habitação.
Ermida de Nossa Senhora das Vitórias
This looks like a fish otter ("lontra") to me...
Lake view km 7.5
Viewpoint km 8.9
Miradouro Lombo dos Milhos
Viewpoint over the village of Furnas and the mountains forming its crater rim in the north
Entrance Terra Nostra Park
Here you can visit the beautiful Terra Nostra park (entrance is paid). Maybe do this when you also have time to use its thermal hot water pool.