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Canoeing and Mountain Biking Adventures around Lagoa das Furnas, Azores

Canoeing and Mountain Biking Adventures around Lagoa das Furnas


If (when) you come to the Azores, Portugal, you must visit Lagoa das Furnas! It's one of the island's three massive volcanic lakes. It's extremely beautiful and the vegetation around the edge is like something out of Jurassic Park. 

Lagoa das Furnas Azores s


Having done pretty relaxing activities at the other two lakes (walking/driving around Lagoa das Sete Cidades and relaxing in hot springs nearby Lagoa do Fogo), we wanted to do something a bit more adventurous at Lagoa das Furnas. 
lagoa das sete lagoa das fogo
Lagoa das Sete and Lagoa do Fogo


So we headed over with the best adventure company on the islandPicos de Aventura to enjoy an awesome fun-packed day of canoeing, mountain biking and eating local foods! 

It was a fantastic day and the perfect way to experience Furnas. Here's what we did: 

Mountain Biking around Lagoa das Furnas

Mountain Biking Lagoa das Furnas


At Picos de Aventura's headquarters in Ponta Delgada, we met our guide and the other people on the tour - there were just five of us in total (including us, not including the tour guide). This was a great number as we all got to know each other and didn't have to fight for the best photo spots (like you do with bigger tours). 

Our guide drove us over to Furnas in the minibus, the drive itself was very pretty and he told us some interesting facts. 

Once we were in Furnas, we got the bikes out and got going. Almost instantly, we knew that biking around these volcanoes is the way to go. 





The Azores are renowned for their ever-changing weather - one minute beautiful sunshine, the next torrential rain (hence the fabulous plants). 
azores
Same day two hours apart ;)

But one type of weather you are guaranteed to have in the Azores 24/7 is humid weather. This makes it hard to walk around without getting sticky and tired. 

Mountain biking is the perfect cure for this. You still get to see things more intimately than you would in a car, and you're a lot more comfortable than when walking. 


Mountain Biking Lagoa das Furnas

Mountain biking around the lake was very cool.  Our guide was perfect - he gave us enough space to do things at our own pace, but was always there with funny jokes and facts when needed. 

We biked up to the lake and half way around it, where we got to see where our lunch was being made:


Lagoa das Furnas hot Springs


Our lunch was actually cooked in the earth next to the volcano. There are hot springs there which are heated by the volcanic steam. 

Lagoa das Furnas hot Springs

It's so hot you can cook meat, fish, veg - well, anything really! There are even sections of boiling water where they cook eggs. 

lagoa das furnas azores

It was so fascinating to watch the men take the pots out of the ground. By this point we were all hungry and excited about the lunch we'd just seen being cooked, so it was a quick (downhill) cycle ride back to the town for lunch:

Lunch

Lagoa das Furnas Food


We ate with our guide and the other members of the tour at a restaurant called Tonys. Tonys was absolutely packed and is one of the most popular restaurants in town.

We had Cozido - a traditional Portuguese/ Spanish stew. This was what we'd seen being cooked in the ground! Although I like my meat rare and Tanbay likes his burnt to a crisp, we still enjoyed the Cozido which, having been cooked in the ground for five hours, was well done and juicy. 

We were very happy to try something that a) we'd seen being cooked in the ground b) was traditional and c) was served to us in a popular restaurant. The restaurant also served the best chocolate cake ever, amazing coffee, and extremely fresh pineapple (grown on the island). 




Canoeing on Lagoa das Furnas 

Canoeing on Lagoa das Furnas


After lunch we headed back to the lake to try out canoeing/kayaking. It was a great way to see the lake. 

Canoeing on Lagoa das Furnas


We'd enjoyed admiring the lakes from the side, but actually being on the lake was even more exciting. Kayaking also complemented the mountain biking perfectly - a full body work out! But there was no pressure, our guide gave us an hour and a half to explore the lake at our own pace - which, after the massive lunch, was slow! 

Lagoa das Furnas


Mountain biking and canoeing around Lagoa das Furnas with Picos de Aventura was so much fun! We spent a month in the Azores and this was definitely the highlight of our trip - we highly recommend them

Picos de Aventura truly are the best adventure company on the island. 



Fun times at Lagoa das Furnas


If you'd like to hear more about the Mystic Furnas trip with Picos de Aventura click here. They also offer lots of other exciting tours, which you can find out more about here. We went whale watching with them too (post to follow soon). 

Travelling Weasels experienced Lagoa das Furnas as a guest of Picos de Aventura however, the above opinions are our own. As always. 

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We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same!

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