8 Best Hot Springs in Sao Miguel Azores and Refreshing Natural Pools

Visiting the hot springs in Sao Miguel Azores is a must-do activity if you’re traveling to this dreamy archipelago. During my 15-day trip to the Azores islands, I rented a car in Ponta Delgada and visited many of them. And in this post, I will tell you all about it.

I have 8 mind-blowing hot springs to recommend to you, each with its own unique charm. You can visit pretty much all of these hot springs from Ponta Delgada or during your Azores Itinerary.

Depending on where you are, make sure you include one of these amazing hot springs experiences in your list of things to do.

Sao Miguel Furnas Hotsprings
Furnas Hotsprings

Best Hot Springs in Sao Miguel Azores

1. Ponta da Ferraria

  • Working Hours: 24/7
  • Entrance fee: Free

Hidden on Sao Miguel’s west coast, around 25 km from the bustling city of Ponta Delgada, is the little-known gem Ponta da Ferraria. Nestled by the sea, here you’ll find a thermal spring that meets with the ocean to form a naturally heated swimming pool. It’s a surreal hot swim in the briny deep!

The drive to the thermal spring isn’t hard either. A decent parking spot is a stone’s throw away at Termas da Ferraria resort. Once parked, you’re only a leisurely 5-minute walk from the spring. Just keep in mind that, if you want to use the other resort facilities, there’s a fee for it.

Don’t sweat about restrooms or changing areas, there’s one on the way to the hot spring from the parking lot. But, it’s light on lockers so leave precious items tucked away.

Make sure you bring comfy shoes, a fluffy towel, and a swimsuit.

These hot springs not only offer the soaking experience but you will be able to enjoy amazing views of the rugged coast of Sao Miguel.

TOP TIP – Watch for the tides before going. In low tides, you will experience the hottest water, with high tides the cold water from the sea will mix up with the hot springs making its water more lukewarm than hot.

You can include it in your itinerary when you visit the cute town of Sete Cidades if you have time or leave it for another day.

Also if you visit in the afternoon, I would then visit the town of Monsteiros with its natural pools and amazing sunsets. Right there you can have a delicious dinner while enjoying the sun setting on the horizon.

Ponta da Ferraria Hotsprings Sao Miguel Azores
Ponta da Ferraria Hotsprings Sao Miguel Azores

2. Terra Nostra Park

  • Opening Hours: 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Entrance fee: €10 (about 11 USD) per adult

Furnas Azores hot springs are pretty famous, and Terra Nostra Park has one of the best among them. In fact, it’s one of the biggest draws of the park.

The park is located less than an hour’s drive from Ponta Delgada. Once you’re in, the sight of an enormous mineral-rich, orange-hued geothermal pool takes center stage.

It’s not just another one of Furnas’s thermal pools, mind you. More of a giant pond of brown hot water, it sits majestically encircled by the lush garden greenery of the botanical garden also encircled in the park.

Just a heads up, you’ll want a good scrub in the shower afterward to remove any lingering water remnants. Because of the high level of the minerals included in the water, it’s brown and it can easily stain the towels and your clothes if not removed well.

Also, don’t forget to venture through the park’s botanical garden for an added treat.

The park belongs to the Luxury hotel Terra Nostra whose guests have access to the pool at any time of the day and night. So if you are ready to splurge I would recommend spending a couple of nights in the Terra Nostra Hotel. Their restaurant is also top-notch!

I have to be honest I went to visit this thermal pool on a really hot day so I wasn’t really drawn to try the hot springs which were also very busy. I would suggest you visit during a rainy day or when it’s cooler.

3. Pocas da Dona Beija

  • Opening Hours:  8:30 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Entrance fee: €6 (less than 7 USD) per person

Next stop on our Sao Miguel thermal pools journey – Pocas da Dona Beija. Tucked in Furnas, this tropical oasis is home to 5 thermal pools, a sprinkle of showers, and easy access to relaxation.

Cool pools mingle with hot, giving you that sweet liberty to switch between temperatures.

On-site, they’ve got towels and lockers for rent and a plastic basket is provided for personal items.

Also, there’s a nice gift shop offering if you want to purchase some cute souvenirs before leaving.

I went to these pools in the evening after a delicious meal in the Terra Nostra restaurant and I loved the atmosphere. Outside it was chilly so the natural heat in the pool was just perfect.

It was kind of busy but bearable. Also in this case I would suggest going in the evening or in a cool day for the best experience.

Poças de dona Beija  at night
Poças de dona Beija at night – on the way to the actual pools
Poças de dona Beija at night
Poças de dona Beija at night

4. Caldeira das Furnas

  • Opening Hours: 24/7
  • Entrance fee: Free

If you’re yearning for a hot springs experience minus the typical crowd, Caldeiras das Furnas is the spot. Nestled in a park-like setting, these calderas are a collection of petite, steamy pools.

Although taking a dip isn’t on the menu, as you would get roasted, 😂 it’s an interesting phenomenon to watch. It’s located just outside the town center and they have an adiacent parking lot.

Caldeira da Furnas
Caldeira da Furnas

5. Fumarolas Lagoa das Furnas

  • Opening Hours: 24/7
  • Entrance fee: €3 (about 3.3 USD) per person

Located on the north side of Furnas Lake, Caldeira da Lagoa das Furnas offers a variety of trails, hot springs, and much more.

Also here, bathing in the hot springs is not an option, but a day of hiking and exploring the region’s charms is still worth it.

You can conveniently drive over to the place, parking is available here for €0.50 per hour. Don’t miss out on the Cozida stew, slow-cooked in volcanic heat by local restaurants. And if you’re there at noon, you get to witness the pots being taken out from the ground.

I manage to get there in the afternoon and I ventured out by myself on a beautiful hike to the Cascada Do Grenà. The trail is very well marked and made of easy wooden steps but very steep!

Caldeira da Furnas
Caldeira da Furnas

6. Furnas Boutique Hotel Octant Furnas

Since Furnas thermal pools are a big attraction in the region, many hotels also provide access to them.

Among the top ones, the 4-star luxury hotel Octant Furnas is where you will find a relaxation haven decked out with an array of thermal swimming pools.

But the relaxation doesn’t stop at the outdoor pools. They’ve upped the ante with a luxurious Thermal & Spa Centre. It has 10 treatment rooms, each ready to transport you to bliss, with options ranging from flatbeds and saunas to hydro and Shirodhara massages.

In short, Octant Furnas isn’t just a place to stay, it’s a warm invitation to unwind, recharge, and soak in the goodness and relaxation of thermal baths in Sao Miguel.

Octant Furnas Internal Pool Spa – Photo © Expedia

7. Poça da Tia Silvina (Furnas)

  • Opening Hours: 24/7
  • Entrance fee: free

While I was exploring the charming town of Furnas (more about it soon) I found this cute place located right between the Cascata e Aquário das Furnas and the above-mentioned hotel by the river.

Along the walkway, you will find some steps that lead you to a platform by the river where a small pool receives natural hot water from the grounds. It’s big enough to dip your feet but it’s a great feeling.

My tip is to sit on the border of the pool between the hot water and the cool water of the river. You will turn back and forth switching between the hot and the freezing water, it’s such a great feeling.

Initially deep your feet slowly as your body gets used to the hot temperature. After a few times you do it it will feel just warm. I loved it and you may find other people local and tourists to chat for a bit and make new friends.

Poca da Tia Silvina
Poca da Tia Silvina – natural and free hot springs in the Azores
Pozas da Doña Silvina
Me dipping my feet in the Poça da Tia Silvina

8. Caldeira Velha

  • Opening Hours: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM (November through March),  9:00 AM – 8:00 PM (April), 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM (May through September), 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM (October).
  • Entrance fee: €5 (5.5 USD) per person for the thermal pools only, €8 (about 9 USD) per person for a full ticket with thermal pools and Environmental Interpretation Center access.

A 25-minute drive from Ponta Delgada sits Caldeira Velha, a nature preserve nestled by the Fogo volcano. It boasts 3 warm man-made pools, 1 natural waterfall pool, and an array of lush vegetation. Visiting here is a really wonderful journey that I recommend because of the unique experiences the site offers.

You park, walk a scenic dirt path, and reach the thermal pools! Change up, freshen up, then trail-blaze towards the hot springs. If you venture further, you’ll find a fourth spring – a natural pool serenaded by a warm waterfall.

Tip: Beat the crowds by arriving here early. Space can be tight during peak hours. And remember, bring a bathing suit that you don’t mind getting a little dirty.

To be honest I didn’t do this trip but I have marked this tour which combines the hike and the pool. If you travel alone like I do, it’s always best to have a guide when you do a hike or at least go in a group. This tour looks perfect and I have marked it I am going to join next time I will go back.

Caldera Velha
Photo courtesy of TravelwithKalea

9. Termas das Caldeira

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Entrance fee: €3 (about 3.3 USD) per person

Termas das Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande are three small thermal pools. One is open to the public, the rest are reserved for spa-goers.

Nestled in the backyard of a 19th-century building, this is one of the smallest hot springs in Azores’ Sao Miguel island – and it offers a break from the tourist buzz!

Just a little distance from Salto do Cabrito waterfall hike and about 5 km from Ribeira Grande center, you’ll find this hot spring with a wall adorned with blooming flowers in the spring and summer.

These petals fall into the water and paint it with a rainbow hue, turning the thermal bath into a fairy-tale experience.

Lagoa Natural Pools

Sao Miguel Natural Pools

A vibrant hub on sunny days, this place is crowded most of the time with locals and tourists alike soaking up the sun in a sheltered harbor cove. And it’s a delight for kids too.

Often dubbed as the beach within Ponta Delgada, it’s loved all year round for its location in the city center.

🔵 Piscinas do Pesqueiro

No sand beneath your feet here, but it’s the perfect spot for an invigorating swim to kickstart or wind down the day.

The ocean pools and freshwater showers are freebies! And if you want hot showers or changing rooms, that’ll be a few coins.

It’s located in between the marinas in Ponta Delgada and yet the water is crystal clear, very inviting, if not for the cold temperatures.

Piscinas de Pesqueiro – Ponta Delgada

🔵 Poços de S. Vicente Ferreira

Located on the north coast of the island the Poços de S. Vicente Ferreira is a very popular swimming spot among locals and tourists alike, because of its tranquil waters protected by a barrier of rocks. It’s indeed like swimming in a pool, just with salted water.

Venture into this small wonder, a remnant of volcanic creativity, divided from the ocean by a mere frame of rocks.

A coastal road serves as your easy path to this lovely spot, complete with picnic tables. And there is a nice restaurant nearby too.

Poços de S. Vicente Ferreira Sao Miguel Azores men walking into the water
Poços de S. Vicente Ferreira Sao Miguel Azores
Poços de S. Vicente Ferreira Sao Miguel Azores
Poços de S. Vicente Ferreira Sao Miguel Azores

🔵 Caloura Natural Pool

Just a short 20-minute drive from Ponta Delgada, Caloura flaunts a captivating natural pool by the Atlantic. A hidden gem near a fishing port, it offers a main swimming area and a shallow pool perfect for little adventurers.

Along with being an easy drive from Ponta Delgada, nearby parking, cafes, and restaurants add to the convenience.

What’s more captivating are the breathtaking ocean views while you’re taking a dip. Dive in and lose yourself in the mesmerizing blue!

Check out this video below about these amazing natural pools from an aerial view

Caloura 🏝️ Água de Pau - São Miguel Island - Azores - 4K UltraHD

🔵 Piscinas Naturais de Santo António

Perched on Sao Miguel Island’s northern coast, the Santo António Natural Pool or Poços de Santo António is a fan favorite. The pool brims with crystal-clear water, and the rocky bottom’s in full view.

Open 24/7 and unregulated, it’s best when the tide’s higher and there’s more water to play in.

On the way there, you’ll roll through the quaint town of Santo António, parking near the church and cemetery above the pool area, where you can also find some benches and pic nic areas in a beautiful garden overlooking the spectacular rugged coastline.

🔵 Piscinas Naturais das Calhetas da Maia

This spot boasts an expansive, easy-to-reach rocky beach. The Calhetas Natural Pools, set in an open sea region, are highlighted by striking rock formations, including reefs visible at low tide.

Tucked away in a peaceful village, these pools form a delightful recreational space with an eating area. Keep your eyes peeled! It’s a fantastic place to spot fish and other marine life.

Piscinas Naturais das Calhetas da Maia drone view.
Piscinas Naturais das Calhetas da Maia – Drone view

🔵 Complexo Municipal de Piscinas Lagoa

Lagoa was the first town where I stayed when I arrived in Sao Miguel for the first time. I went out of my rental and explored around when I bumped into this spectacular area with turquoise water on a very rough day.

However, in those man-made natural pools, people were easily swimming in the protected calm water. The only thing that stunned me was the cold temperature, that apparently didn’t stop the brave swimmers.

Around the pools, you can find plenty of space for sunbathing, relaxing, and reading a book. The perfect place to chill after a day exploring around. Around this pool, you can find exquisite local restaurants.

I would suggest avoiding Boca Aberta restaurant, or at least that was my first and worst dining experience in the Azores, besides being very expensive.

Complexo Municipal de Piscinas - Lagoa -
Complexo Municipal de Piscinas – Lagoa –
Complexo Municipal de Piscinas - Lagoa - Jumping platform
Complexo Municipal de Piscinas – Lagoa – Jumping platform

Top Sao Miguel and hot springs tours

São Miguel East Full Day Tour with Furnas Including Lunch

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 635 Reviews

This tour takes you on a scenic journey to the east side of Sao Miguel Island from Ponta Delgada. You’ll travel in a cozy small group, uncover volcanic landscapes, and revel in geothermal wonders.

Furnas Lake is on the cards, and if you’re up for it, a dip in the nearby thermal pools too (at extra cost).

The Ribeira dos Caldeirões waterfall and the stunning northeast coast offer an eyeful. And the “Cozido das Caldeiras” lunch, slow-cooked in geothermal grounds, is a must-try local dish that comes included with the tour.

What travelers think:

Great tour, worth it to see the many viewpoints as they’re quite spread out. Tour guide was well informed and had enough time and each stop off point.

Charlotte, July 2023

Azores: Shore Excursion Furnas – Crater volcano and hot springs

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 16 Reviews

A no-fuss shore excursion from Ponta Delgada to Furnas, an ancient wonderland of volcanic activity. Limited to a small group of just six people, you’ll soak up local knowledge from your guide and enjoy personalized attention.

Your itinerary can even include stops at a botanical garden and thermal springs. Top it off with convenient port transfers included.

This tour is perfect to discover the geological magic of Furnas – even if you’re visiting the Azores for just a short trip!

What people say:

Our guide was absolutely wonderful! We were taken to magnificent scenic locations and she was expressly educated in all that we experienced. From tea production to ecology and botany. Would highly recommend this tour. Viator never disappoints.

Imeldak June 2022
Furnas Hotsprings
Furnas Caldeiras

Excursion to Termas de São Miguel

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 11 Reviews

This Excursion to Termas de São Miguel treats you to a bathing experience at two renowned hot springs of Sao Miguel Azores  – Parque Terra Nostra and Caldeira Velha.

Admire Lagoa do Fogo, enjoy the waves of Areal de Santa Bárbara, and sample Porto Formoso tea.

Lunch features the Cozido, a dish cooked underground at high temperatures from volcanic heat. Oh, and one thing to keep in mind, entry fees to both the Caldeira Velha and Terra Nostra Park are extra (not included in the tour cost).

What people say:

Artur is an excellent guide! I island is beautiful! It was great to learn the history and see many wonderful spots. The Hydrangeas were gorgeous and plentiful


Sao Miguel hot springs map

Sao Miguel Azores Map
Photo © Google Maps – Click on the image to open the map

If you want to learn more about how to get to the Azores I’ve got you covered!

The healing properties of the Azores hot springs

Historically, thermal waters have been associated with the notion of a “fountain of youth” and have been utilized for various beauty and rejuvenation treatments.

This raises the question of whether the thermal waters in the Azores possess similar revitalizing properties.

Local inhabitants staunchly believe in the healing power of these waters, which further piques interest.

Concerning skin treatments, it is a well-established fact that hot spring baths can enhance skin health. Hot springs have cleansing and hydrating properties, and they can aid in the cicatrization process.

Moreover, these waters are reputed to alleviate stress, alleviate headaches and muscular discomfort, and improve sleep quality. Immersing oneself in one of the Azores’ thermal pools is expected to result in an overall sense of well-being.

Notably, the waters from the public fountains scattered throughout Furnas village are believed to possess medicinal attributes. Ancient locals commonly assert that each fountain’s water has distinct healing properties, targeting specific ailments such as hangovers, stomach aches, and gastritis.

Personally, I didn’t have any particular issue to heal but it felt damn good! 🙂

Terra nostra garden
Terra nostra hotspring garden

Important Tips before visiting the Sao Miguel hot springs

.🌡️ Watch the water temperature: The hot springs in the Azores can get very hot, depending on the time of year and current weather. Always check the water temperature before getting in

🩱 Watch what you wear: Some hot springs, like the one at Terra Nostra Park, may discolor or damage swimwear, thanks to their mineral content. Don’t wear your favorite bathing suit, just in case.

💰 Mind your valuables: Many hot spring locations do not have locker facilities, so it’s best to leave valuable items at your accommodation or in a safe place.

👉 Follow local guidelines: Pay attention to the signs and local rules at each location, like not diving or jumping into the pools, or adhering to limited hours of access.

☔️ Keep the mercurial weather of the Azores in mind: Weather in the Azores can change quickly, so pack accordingly and be prepared for occasional rain showers or fog.

🚗 Rent a car: Public transportation is pretty limited outside of Ponta Delgada, so it’s better to rent a car in Ponta Delgada and explore all the spectacular sites including the hot springs and natural pools in places like Furnas and Ponta da Ferraria.

🌿 Respect the environment: The Azores is a stunning destination with a delicate ecosystem. Please do your part in preserving its natural beauty.

🚿 Shower before going in: Showering before getting into the pools both thermal and not, is a sign of respect towards mother nature and the other people who are sharing the same waters. You will want your pool companions to be clean, so do it first!

Terra nostra garden
Terra Nostra Garden

Best time to visit Sao Miguel Azores hot springs

If you’re thinking about timing your visit to the hot springs of Sao Miguel, here’s the scoop. You can actually visit the hot springs year-round, but each season brings its own charm.

Winter (December through February) provides an enchanting contrast between the steamy hot springs and cooler air. It’s also less crowded, but remember the weather can be unpredictable.

Spring (March through May) is gorgeous, with greenery in full bloom and fewer tourists before the summer rush hits. It’s a delightful balance of pleasant weather and tranquility.

Summer (June through August) is the warmest but also the busiest. If you don’t mind company and want to enjoy long, sunny days, it’s your season.

Fall (September through November) is similar to spring because of its mild weather and decreasing tourist activity. The summer crowds are gone and the changing leaves paint a stunning backdrop to the already beautiful springs.

Simply put, there’s no bad time to visit Sao Miguel Azores hot springs. It’s all about what suits your vibe. I enjoy the hot springs more when it’s cold outside.

If you want to learn about the best time to visit the Azores, I’ve got you covered as well 🙂

Hike to Grana Waterfall
Hike to Grana Waterfall near the Fumarolas Lagoa das Furnas

Where to stay in Sao Miguel Azores

🏨 Budget – Casa Da Ilha (Ponta Delgada)

Beautiful modern hotel with simple and spacious rooms furnished with stylish but minimal decor.

This hotel is located between Ponta Delgada and Sao Roque perfect for visiting both towns on foot. Guests appreciate the kindness of the staff and the cleanliness of the room.

Check out rates and availability on Booking.com

🏨 Midrange – Quinta da Abelheira (Ponta Delgada)

Next, we have the gorgeous Quinta da Abelheira in Ponta Delgada. Picture this: A former summer house, a big swimming pool, and a huge green lawn. Rooms are cozy, some with rustic vibes, all equipped with free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and a pillow menu. Some rooms even boast balconies.

Bigger groups can opt for family rooms with two bedrooms. Parking and breakfast are complimentary for the guests. The terrace view? A jaw-dropping panorama of mountains and ocean. The location is also perfect to explore Ponta Delgada as well as the hot springs of the island.

Check out rates and availability on Booking.com

Terra Nostra Garden Hotel
Terra Nostra Garden Hotel

🏨 Luxury – Terra Nostra Garden Hotel (Furnas)

Embracing nature at its best, Terra Nostra Garden Hotel sits in a tree-filled valley right next to Terra Nostra Park. Art Deco style meets nature here, with rooms decked out in earthy tones and wooden furniture.

Modern amenities like free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars are standard, with some rooms boasting garden-view balconies. Other facilities of the hotel include a breakfast buffet, parking, and park entrance at no extra cost.

Here you can enjoy the thermal outdoor pool, indoor heated pool, gym, and spa, or delight your palate in the refined on-site restaurant and bar. It’s definitely the best choice for a luxury hotel when exploring the hot springs of Furnas.

Check out rates and availability on Booking.com

Check out more hotels and home rentals in this useful map

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Azores Island has hot springs?

The star of the show when it comes to hot springs in the Azores is definitely Sao Miguel Island. This island paradise is known for its volcanic wonders, including the famous hot springs of Furnas and Ponta da Ferraria.

These are great spots to take thermal baths in Sao Miguel and relax while enjoying the lush volcanic scenery.

But there are many more, I have listed them in this post and you can also check out the hot springs in Sao Miguel Azores map above to find the ones convenient for you.

But also in Graciosa, you will find the Hotsprings of Carapacho

Mosterios Natural Pools Azores
Mosterios Natural Pools – Sao Miguel – Azores

How much does it cost to go to the Furnas hot springs?

The entrance fee for Furnas hot springs varies depending on which spring you choose.

At the time of writing this, the cost to enter Pocas da Dona Beija is around €6 (below 7 USD) per person, while Terra Nostra Park charges about €10 (about 11 USD) per person.

All in all, it’s not a big price to pay for such a unique experience!

What is the temperature of the hot springs in Sao Miguel?

The temperature of the hot springs on Sao Miguel can range between a toasty 35°C (95°F) and a steamy 40°C (104°F). Just remember, these springs are naturally heated by volcanic activity, so temperatures can fluctuate. Always check the temperature before you take the plunge.

Remember for the hot springs in Ponta da Ferraria you will need to watch for the tides.

Furnas town view from the Lookout point Salto do Cabalo
View of the town of Furnas from the lookout point Salto do Cabalo

Can you swim in Lagoa das Furnas?

Swimming in Lagoa das Furnas isn’t recommended. But don’t let this stop you from enjoying its natural beauty! You can take a leisurely walk around the lake, savor the stunning views, or try the famous Cozido, a local stew slow-cooked by volcanic heat.

Final Thoughts: Hot Springs in Sao Miguel Azores

And there you have it – your complete guide to the captivating hot springs and natural pools of Sao Miguel, Azores. Whether you’re a thermal springs veteran or a newbie taking the plunge for the first time, these aquatic gems offer an experience that’s out of this world.

So, prep your gear, pack that essential swimsuit, and brace yourself for an unparalleled soak adventure. Believe me, after just one dip into these therapeutic waters, you’ll find yourself already dreaming up your next visit. Soak it up and enjoy! (I can’t wait to go back next year 🙂

Before you go…

Check out my other posts about the Azores

How to use the Azores ferries to move around
Whale watching in the Azores
Renting a Car in the Azores: the complete guide