Beaches, bathing and balneology

Swimming in the Ocean


You can find at our place a book called “Orla costera de Sao Miguel, roteiro de descoberta” that describes 35 places where to swim all around the island. Most of them are also site of interest for the costal marine flora and fauna.

There are some extensive and very beautiful beaches, Praia dos Moinhos in Porto Formoso and Praia de Santa Barbara in the North, Praia de Agua de Alto in the south, all equipped with facilities. Most of the swimming areas remain protected and magical places, natural swimming pools or beaches down the coast line. Our favorites are Praia da Viola in the North and Praia da Amora in the South.

Near Faial da Terra there’s Lombo Gordo, impermanent beach, because its sand gets washed out by the storms, a magical place down the eastern coast line.

We can also recommend some places fitted for swimming when the sea is rough, sea water pools on the rocky shores; is the case for the bathing area in Lagoa, Ribeira Grande and Nordeste. Not to forget the natural reservation of Vila Franca islet, here you can discover a bay formed in the middle of a volcanic crater in the middle of the ocean, you can reach this place after a cruise on a small boat with regular daily schedule leaving from the port of Vila Franca.



Sao Miguel is the most interesting island and an exceptional place for its richness in hydrothermal sources. And if you are like us crazy about bathing and swimming this place could just be perfect for you. Here are some recommendations and places that we visit often:

  • Praia do Fogo in Ribeira Quente;
  • Poça da Beija in Furnas is found at 18km from Faial da Terra, recently renovated pools with hot water (aprox. 40°C). Entrance fee 2€.
  • Parc Terra Nostra in Furnas hosts a big pool in the middle of a magnificent botanical garden. Entrance fee 5€.
  • Caldeira Velha on the road to Lagoa do Fogo direction Ribeira Grande, in the middle of a luxuriant forest of tree ferns you can find a waterfall and a pool with free entrance.
  • On the west coast there’s Feraria nearby Ginetes, a natural swimming pool where we can enjoy a mixture of hot water (at 60°C) with sea water at low tide.