Traveling by coach, you'll follow the road that heads north over the island, stopping at the Sta Iria viewpoint for a vista over the north coast. You'll visit the local tea plantation and factory, and sample some of the better-known Azorean blends. Then, continue to the Pico do Ferro viewpoint with a magnificent outlook over the Furnas Valley. You'll head up to the lake in time to see your lunch being taken out of an earthen oven in the ground, where it has been cooked using natural geo-thermal power. Return to the village to dine on your special lunch at the Terra Nostra Hotel. After lunch, there's time to visit the Terra Nostra Botanic Gardens—among the most beautiful gardens in the Azores. This park features a natural hot-water swimming pool. You'll have time for a quick swim if you wish. Visit some hot springs in the village to learn about the different mineral water sources; then return to Ponta Delgada via the south coast, stopping at Vila Franca, which was the island's first capital.Notes:Wear your swimsuit under your clothing; bring a towel, sunscreen and a hat. Light-colored swimwear may be discolored by the spring water.
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Furnas Valley and hot springs were very interesting. The unique "volcanic" lunch was a wonderful opportunity to sample local food and hospitality. The Terra Nostra Botanical gardens were quite lovely as was the drive along the coast. The natural hot water swimming pool at the park appeared to be a winner with fellow travelers while we preferred the stroll through the lovely gardens.