Western greens

After oversleeping, we awoke with a start when we realized we were about to miss breakfast. After a wonderfully typical European breakfast, we headed out for the western part of the island, and the Sete Cidades area. Once out of the city, the island landscape opened up to reveal lush greens, and plenty of cows.

Sete Cidades, is the crater of a former volcano (think Crate Lake in Oregon), and one of the major attractions on the island. At the bottom are two lakes with the most beautiful waters. There are many vantage points all around the ring, but the most famous is Miradouro da Boca do Inferno.

There is also the abandoned Monte Palace Hotel, on one edge of the crater. Once a luxury hotel in the 70s and 80s, it had trouble staying open, and has fallen into disrepair. Its an eery monolith tucked into the trees above Sete Cidades.

After taking in the views, we headed down into the crater to the charming little town of Sete Cidades, where we enjoyed a lovely lunch at Quinta Da Queiro, a quaint guest and tea house.

As the sun moved ever quicker towards the horizon, we made our way to Ponta da Ferraria in our quest to try the most unique hot springs we’ve ever heard of. It lies right on the ocean’s edge and the hot water mixes directly with the sea water to create something amazing. Unfortunately, we arrived at high tide and it would have been beyond dangerous to attempt a soak. We hope to return at low tide at some point this week to give it another go.

We did manage to capture a double rainbow and a wonderful sunset while there.

Back in Ponta Delgada, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner of grilled Octopus at Big 21, and then strolled the harbor, with drinks at the hotel to cap a wonderful day.