Ponta Da Ferraria is a hot spring and a lookout point on Sao Miguel’s west shore. At this unique natural attraction, you will have an opportunity to swim in warm, volcanic waters, while you enjoy a brilliant view of the sea and cliffs. Picturesque, relaxing and perfect for kids, this activity is a must on your list of things to do in Sao Miguel. However, here are a few important travel tips as you plan your trip to Ponta Da Ferraria. I visited Ponta Da Ferraria on my trip to Sao Miguel Azores, generously sponsored by Vero True Social.
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Visit Ponta Da Ferraria in Low Tide
Time your visit to Ponta Da Ferraria just right and you’ll enjoy warm waters in a secluded spot with brilliant views. However, show up at the wrong time, and you’ll be fighting throngs of tourists first for parking and then for a spot in lukewarm water. Usually, the best time to visit the natural water pools is during low tide.
This helpful website provides Sao Miguel tide schedules. As you might imagine, many other travelers are aware of the “low tide rule.” As a result, Ponta Da Ferraria gets filled during the first tide of the day. However, things are very different at night. In the evening, when most tourists are getting ready for bed, the tides are low and so are the crowds. I actually came out here twice. First in broad daylight to take pictures. And second, at night, to relax in the calm waters. My favorite travel tip – visit here during the second low tide of the day.
Wear a Dark Bathing Suit and Bring A Dark Towel
The mineral-rich water of the warm pools will leave a stain on light clothes. Therefore, be sure to bring a dark bathing suit and a dark towel. Likewise, if you plan on getting your hair wet, do not wear light clothes to visit this natural hot spring.
Prepare for a Hike
Your visit to the natural pools starts at the parking lot situated at the top of the cliffs. On my first visit, I got here before first low tide, around 9 am. Since it was early, I had no trouble with parking. At the top of the cliff, you will find a paved road that traverses to the bottom. This road, however, is closed to non-emergency traffic.
Here, you begin the trek on foot (for about 20 minutes) and eventually you’ll find yourself at the bottom of the cliff. This is where you will see a pretty trail to take you the rest of the way. Walk along this trail for about 10 minutes and you will find yourself at the natural pools
As you might imagine, doing the return walk uphill on the pavement is not fun. Consequently, I advise wearing good footwear. Hiking sandals are ideal here.
Ponta Da Ferraria’s Vistas
In addition to the natural pools, in Ponta Da Ferraria you’ll find stunning vistas. Even if you are not interested in making the trek to the pools, the vistas alone are worth the trip. Life in Sao Miguel is slow and even at this major attraction, you’ll notice livestock grazing. This idyllic setting makes for great pictures.
The Story of Rua Ilha Sabrina
Sao Miguel is a volcanic island and on occasion experiences some seismic activity. Many years ago, a small earthquake struck here. At the time, a wealthy British man was visiting the island on his yacht. He parked overnight just off the coast. To his great surprise, he woke up in the morning to find himself parked next to a small, brand new island. Awestruck, he did the natural thing (for some people anyway). He planted a British Flag on the island and declared the island his property. He then took a few pictures and left. The yachtsman called the island Sabrina, same name as his yacht.
The next year, the British man went back to Portugal to check in on his island. As the great navigator and explorer that he was, he, unfortunately, did not remember the island’s location. For weeks, he fruitlessly searched around Sao Miguel for a little piece of England. Periodically, he asked the locals for directions. The local people, well aware of his earlier “feat” usually responded with: ” Yes I know exactly where it is.” They send him in circles around the small island in the Azores.
Eventually, the yachtsmen grew frustrated, gave up, and left. And the island? Gone, just as quickly as it had appeared, the way of Atlantis. But the local people placed this sign at the bottom of the road in Ponta Da Ferraria. Was this really the location of Ilha Sabrina? I don’t know. Perhaps we should ask someone for directions 😉
I hope you have enjoyed this overview of Ponta Da Ferraria and travel tips. For lots more ideas on things to do in Sao Miguel check out the complete guide. Please don’t forget to leave a comment and I’ll see you on the road!
Viktoria aka Traveltipster