The Captivating Lakes on Sao Miguel Island in the Azores
The island of Sao Miguel, although volcanic in origin, has many craters that have formed into lagoons and freshwater lakes that adorn this magical island in the Atlantic. The many lakes on the island of Sao Miguel all have a unique charm and vary in landscape and flora. They all have played an essential role in the island’s leisure sector, with many tourists coming to hike the surrounding trails or enjoying a picnic by the peaceful lakes.
Furnas Lake is known as Lagoa das Furnas, a crater lake located in Furnas’ volcanic town in the Povoacao district. Here, a trail leads to the lake and is an excellent and peaceful area to enjoy and relax. This was a favorite amongst European royals for centuries due to the region’s thermal springs’ wellness attributes. There are fascinating 20th-century cottages along the lake’s banks and the famous Chapel de Victorias; a neo-Gothic style church that was built overlooking the lake by the large landowner Jose do Canto. There is parking available, washrooms, a snack shop, and a picnic area, making it a perfect spot to come and admire this crater formed lake.
Santiago Lake, known as Lagoa da Santiago, is located in Sete Cidades, 15 minutes from Ponta Delgada. Here is a beautiful deep green lake surrounded by thousands of trees in the island’s Deevesa mountain range. Here there is a path that leads to the crater, and you get to explore the beautiful forested areas surrounding this majestic lake. This is a great day trip for those who like the outdoors and want to experience the unique lake and the surrounding lakes that Sete Cidades offers. The lake is 700 meters long by 475 wide with a depth of 24 meters.
Lagoa da Rasa is a small crater lake on Sete Cidades, about 870 meters above sea level. The lake is surrounded by the typical Macaronesia forests that encompass most of the lakes on the island. This is one of the seven lakes in the area and is very photogenic with a small sand beach on the lake’s bay, making it a nice place to relax. There are no washrooms on site, restaurants, etc. They are all located a short drive away in Sete Cidades.
Congro Lake, known as Lagoa do Congro, is located in Villa Franca, the island’s former capital city. Here is a beautiful lake surrounded by numerous trees and plants, both endemic and native to the Azores. This densely forested lake is a great spot to go and feel like you’re in the middle of a jungle and hear the many sounds of Atlantic island nature. A favorite amongst birds for its numerous high trees and safe nesting areas. It was the private lake of the wealthy landowner Jose do Canto who had many of the rare trees located here planted and a country house located just on the banks of the lake. The lake has a perimeter of 1.25km. Over the last century, numerous fish have been introduced to the lake with perch and rainbow trout today. This is one of the most beautiful spots on all of the Azores islands. It falls between Ribeira Grande and Villa Franca county. In 1982 the area was classified as a “Reserva Natural da Lagoa do Fogo,” becoming a Natural park and nature reserve under Azores law. Located 1800 feet above sea level, you have breathtaking views from the lookout points above this crystal blue lake. The lake takes a little bit of a journey to get to but is well worth it for their breathtaking views. The lake is 3 kilometers by 2.5 kilometers (1.9 mi × 1.6 mi) and is 30 meters (98 ft) deep, making in the largest body of water on the island.
The “Lagoa das Sete Cidades” knows as the Lake of Seven cities, which is the town’s name that it is located it. Here you can find one of the seven wonders of Portugal. This famous island destination is one that dates back to the original settlement of the island. The legends and mystery surrounding these adjoining blue and green lakes play an essential role in Azorean folklore and fairy tales. This is the largest freshwater reservoir in the Azores with a length of 4.2km width of 2km and a maximum depth of around 35 meters. The lakes are divided by a small bridge with large channels that allows the water to run freely. Here you can explore the lookout point “The Kings View,” which was named after the King and Queen of Portugal’s visit to the island in 1901. The Lake and surrounding forested area is classified as a “Protected Landscape” by the Azores government and is a great destination to go hiking or for a walking tour. This area is popular amongst migratory birds crossing the Atlantic for its unique flora and safe landscape. In the lakes, fish has been added throughout the 20th century, such as trout, perch, pike, carp, and redhead. The area surrounding the blue portion of the Lake is where there are homes and restaurants with a beautiful sand beach that allows access to the Lake.
That is just a few of the beautiful lakes to be found here on the island with our next post concluding our collection of lakes on Sao Miguel as we explore the remaining beautiful lakes on this eco-friendly green island.