Nature Reserve’s on Sao Miguel Island in the Azores
Nature Reserve & Recreation Park of Viveiro do Nordeste
This is a great garden lovers reserve with proximity to Nordeste’s historical center with pleasant picnic areas and traditional wood ovens, making this park an attractive choice for many visitors. Right at the entrance of the Nature Reserve & Recreation Park, you will find an extensive nursery and plots divided by Azaleas, which bloom in spring. This is the largest nursery for the production of endemic plants in the Azores. This infrastructure’s conditions also allow visitors to follow the growth of several rare and endemic forest species. The purpose of the nursery here in Nordeste is to promote the recovery of the Azores’ natural habitats, which since 1995, has planted thousands of endemic plants back into the region.
Nature Reserve & Recreation Park of Água Retorta
The Nature Reserve & Recreation Park of Água Retorta covers 13 ha and is accessible by the regional road connecting Nordeste to Povoação. Besides the regular infrastructures, it displays a remarkably rich botanical heritage composed of several species endemic to the Azores and superb samples of exotic hardwood and softwood trees. Visitors can enjoy the only natural camping site on the island of São Miguel. This pilot project, created according to the concept of environmental sustainability, allows camping in total communion with nature.
Forest Reserve of Recreio da Fajã do Rodrigo
Covering approximately 1.40 ha, the Nature Reserve & Recreation Park of Fajã do Rodrigo is located in Pico da Vara/Ribeira do Guilherme. This is located on the North part of the island in Nordeste. This zone has been recognized as an Area of Special Protection and plays an essential role in the restoration of the island’s natural fauna. The original plots of the old forest nursery where the Reserve is located are still as they used to be, the only difference being that now they grow endemic flora. Here you can see many of the endemic and native plants to the region with small plantations of Azorean Blueberry (Vaccinium cilyndraceum), Tree Heath (Erica azorica), Picconia azorica, Portugal Laurel (Prunus azorica), Azorean Buckthorn (Frangula azorica), Holly (Ilex azorica), and Juniper (Juniperus brevifolia) are part of the diversity and vitality of the surrounding scenery. This is a great place to come and explore the natural flora and fauna of the island.
Nature Reserve and Recreation Park of Viveiros das Furnas
This forested nature reserve is filled with rare and exotic plants and trees and is a great place to come and relax in nature. The manicured plots grow oak trees, chestnut trees, the most massive production is Japanese Red Cedar in the Azores and many other unique species. Furnas’s area has always been a significant region in the Azores, with many European nobles coming to this unique volcanic region for its supposed health properties. The site is filled with active geysers, hot springs, and mineral pools that blend into elaborate gardens making this one of the most desired places to visit in the region. This is a great Nature Reserve to explore while admiring plants and flowers you may have only ever seen in magazines. To encourage recreational fishing and rehabilitate the fresh-water streams of São Miguel, namely in the surroundings of Lagoa do Fogo, the Aquaculture Station of Furnas developed a rainbow trout farm, where distinct stages of growth can be observed in various tanks.