Furnas: A Complete Guide, Sao Miguel, Azores

Situated in the pretty village of Furnas, Sao Miguel, the Caldeiras Vulcanicas are fun, if a bit smelly, stop on your tour of the Azores. In this article lets take a look at touring the Calderas Vulcanicas, other nearby attractions, and travel tips.

Large volcanic holes spread over the ground.  Some emanate smoke.  The wholes are surrounded by small rocks and some have signs that are illegible.  In the background, hills and trees.  Bright sky overhead.

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What are Caldeiras Vulcanicas?

Caldeiras Vulcanicas are called “Caldera” in English. A caldera is a really big hole in the ground caused by a volcanic eruption.

Calderas are created in several steps. First, magma erupts from deep in the ground. Next, the rocks that used to rest on the magma, suddenly collapse deep into the ground. The rocks are like a roof with no structural support. Once the layer of magma is gone, the entire house collapses. And thus, a caldera is created.

Caldeiras Vulcanicas, Sao Miguel, Azores.
Smoke eminates from a caldera.  Yellow colored water erupts from the hole and smoke billows.  An illegible sign shows the name.  The Caldera is surrounded by rock.
A colorful caldera in Caldeiras Vulcanicas, Furnas, Sao Miguel, Azores

Calderas can be enormous or tiny. I visited a big one – the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania. Another famous caldera is located in the Yellowstone National Park. You can even find calderas on the Moon, on Venus and Mars. And of course, you’ll find several small calderas in Furnas, Sao Miguel.

If a caldera is relatively fresh, you’ll see smoke originate from it. This smoke is similar to what comes out of a volcano – a mix of water, sulfur gases and carbon dioxide. The smoke comes from elements deep within the earth and it smells terrible. Our ancestors used to believe this is what hell smelled like – and I see their point.

Caldeiras Vulcanicas, Caldera in Furnas, Sao Miguel, Azores, Caldera in Furnas, Sao Miguel, Azores
Several calderas billow out smoke as a small stream of water runs through the image.  In the background small homes and trees.
Several calderas as seen from a distance in Furnas, Sao Miguel.

How to Get to Caldeiras Vulcanicas in Sao Miguel

The Calderas are located within close proximity to Poca da Dona Beija and only a short drive from Lagoa Do Congro. To get here, you have a few options. First is to drive. Second is to take a public bus from Ponta Delgada. Finally, you can join a tour that originates in Ponta Delgada and stops in several location attractions including the calderas.

I suggest you get here either the car or the public bus. If driving, you can combine the calderas with a stop in Poca Da Dona Beija and the Lagoa Do Congro. If you come by public transport, the Poca Da Dona Bieja pools are only a short walk away.

You’ll find plenty of parking in Furnas – which makes it a great attraction to visit during the busy times like the middle of the day and weekends.

Caldeiras Vulcanicas, Caldera in Furnas, Sao Miguel, Azores
A village road with a grassy hill on one side, and colorful flowers and attractive homes on the other side.
A typical road in Furnas, Sao Miguel

Visiting The Caldeiras Vulanicas in Furnas

The Caldeiras are spread over a relatively small area in Furnas. After you park your car, follow the many signs for the calderas to get to the right place. Eventually, you’ll come upon the calderas – smallish pools emanating terrible smelling smoke and very hot water. It only takes a few minutes to walk through the site.

Caldeiras Vulcanicas, Caldera in Furnas, Sao Miguel, Azores
A medium sized pool of water with smoke eminating form the surface.  Stairs lead to the pool, and in the background a small home hidden between trees
Smoke bills from one of the larger calderas in Sao Miguel

Other Things To Do in Furnas

Furnas is a charming village set up with a tourist in mind. Calderas are one of the foremost attractions of Sao Miguel, so almost everyone who visits the island comes here eventually. For this reason, the village is full of tourist-oriented shops and restaurants. In addition to Poca Da Dona Beija, here you’ll find a lovely and well-maintained garden situated on a volcanic stream.

Also check out: The complete guide to Poca Da Dona Beija

Caldeiras Vulcanicas, Caldera in Furnas, Sao Miguel, Azores
A large reflective pool of water in a garden, surrounded by orderly trees and flowers.  In the background part of a large Mediterranean building.
Located on the opposite side of the calderas, this uncrowded park offers lovely views and a great place to stroll.

Throughout the village, you will find several drinking fountains. Here, you can try out the volcanic waters. Rich with minerals, some people believe the water has healing properties.

An old drinking fountain with complex decorations.  
Caldeiras Vulcanicas, Caldera in Furnas, Sao Miguel, Azores
A drinking fountain in Furnas.

A few more images from Caldeiras Vulcanicas and Furnas

Water from the calderas rages and mixes with smoke, as seen through the trees.  Caldeiras Vulcanicas, Caldera in Furnas, Sao Miguel, Azores
Calderias Vulcanicas from above.
Furnas, Sao Miguel Azores
Furnas, Sao Miguel Azores
Furnas, Sao Miguel Azores
Furnas, Sao Miguel Azores

I hope you have enjoyed this post! If you are looking for even more things to do in Sao Miguel, don’t forget to check out the complete article. As always, thank you for reading! I’ll see you on the road

Viktoria aka


Exploring Furnas the Volcanic springs village in Sao Miguel, Azores.  Everything you need to know to visit Furnas, including best time to come and things to do nearby. Hepful Sao Miguel, Portugal travel tips.  #portugal #saomiguel #azores #caldera
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