I wasn’t sure we’d ever find a thermal bath we loved more than the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. They are different enough that it’s hard to compare, but Ponta da Ferraria on Sao Miguel (Azores) gives it a run for its money.
Ponta da Ferraria is located on the western end of the island of Sao Miguel (the largest and most populated island in the Azores group). A hot spring feeds right into the ocean for a magnificent combination of salty, warm water.
Unlike some other thermal swimming opportunities, it’s important to visit the natural pool at the right time of day. The tide and amount of water in the pool could mean that it’s way too hot or kind of cold. It’s free and amazing, so it can also get crowded.
We timed it pretty well and arrived before a big rush. The drive down to the point is steep and narrow with sharp turns. I had to close my eyes. But, we arrived early enough to get a parking spot. On the walk to the pools are some bathrooms and changing rooms. Once you arrive at the pool, though, everyone just leaves their things on the rocks.
I could have spent all day here if the tide had allowed. Few things have been more relaxing than lounging on the ropes strung across the pool and swaying to the gentle swell of the waves coming in. The temperature was drastically different in different areas. Finding the sweet spot was heaven.
Since the pools are free, there’s little reason to pass up this refreshing and energizing experience. We visited Ponta da Ferraria on our first full day on Sao Miguel. It definitely helped set the tone for a wonderful trip.