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Lagoa do Fogo

Hiking to Lagoa do Fogo.

I just went hiking to a volcanic crater, on an island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. You should do that too.

The Azores consists of Volcanoes that erupted in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, a long time ago. On the largest island, Sao Miguel, you have several volcanoes. And some of them are very suitable for hiking. The Fogo Volcano is one of them. And the hike to the crater lake of the volcano is a very scenic and also very doable day hike. That is if you are reasonably fit, as Lagoa do Fogo is roughly 600 meters above sea level

Lagoa do Fogo

The scenery is beautiful at Lagoa do Fogo.

How to get to the start of the Lagoa do Fogo hike.

If you are coming from Ponta Delgada, then you need to stop just before Vila Franca.There is a large hotel called Pestana Bahia Praia, right on the beach. This is where you have to turn left up a little side road. If you have your own vehicle, then this is straight forward. But If you come with the public bus, then this is where you hike starts. If you drive on the other hand, then you can drive a little up hill until the official hike starts. The start of the hike is well marked with a sign and a map, by the side of the road.

Hiking sign.

The hiking path is well marked.

Once you start hiking towards the Lagoa do Fogo, you will be having a fairly steep hike right away. The surface is gravel, but very suitable for hiking. Your biggest obstacle during the first 2 kilometers will probably be cow dung, as this is an area with lot’s of cattle farming. After a while, you will hit get to a levada. Levadas are most common on Madeira Island. But they also have a few of them on the Azores. Walking along the levada is quite easy and very pleasant.

Azores levada.

You walk along a levada on the way to the crater rim.

The hike to Lagoa do Fogo is about 6 kilometers, from the start of the trail. If you start walking from the main road, then count in an additional kilometer.

You have a nice view of the sea and Ilheu de Vila Franca, during the hike.

Once you are by the crater lake, you should take a rest. Lagoa do Fogo is really a nice and tranquil place.

All that being said, I was actually almost hit by a champagne cork when I walked up there. But this was very cheerful, as it was a couple of young hikers who popped the bottle, cause the guy had just proposed to the girl. And she said yes. Very nice to accidentally be part of the joyful occasion :-).

Wedding proposal volcano

Happy young couple, drinking champagne on the volcano.

You have a paved road on top of the crater rim. So if you have someone picking you up with a car, then you can end the walk to the north side of the crater rim, where the road is and where you have a small parking lot. Otherwise, you will have to walk back down the volcano. This can be done, by going back the same way that you came. There is also another road down though. It’s a little more eastwards than the official hiking trail. It’s not as straight forward as the marked road. And you need to climb a metal fence along the way, at a place where you have a little farm. But if you are a little athletic, then this should pose no problems. And by doing this, you do not have to back track.

Once you are back down from the Lagoa do Fogo hike, you can take a short walk to the bar called Bar Praia de Água d’Alto. This bar is located on one of the few beaches than you have on Sao Miguel island. The Azores is not a place you travel to, if you want to go on a beach holiday. But chilling out on a nice beach bar is always good, after hiking to the top of a volcano and back down :-).

 

Finally I should probably mention, that there are no toilet facilities on this hike. But you have plenty of trees that you can hide behind :-).

And also be ware that you have no food and drink facilities on the trail. So make sure to bring what you need in terms of food and drinks.

Happy volcano hiking :-).

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1 Comment

  1. Sounds like an excellent hike. I have hiked two volcanoes in Hawaii. Just watch out for those champagne corks.

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