Azores – A man walked into a volcano and landed on a beach
the title might be misleading – the Lagoa do Fogo on Sao Miguel / Azores is a lake in a volcano but the last time it was active was a couple of million years ago. the center of the caldera (the hole that is left after a volcano tip explodes or crumbles) is now a beautiful azure blue lake with its own freaking beach and thick Jurassic park like vegetation around it.
this means that we actually climbed down into an extinct volcano to chill at a sandy beach and take a dip in the cool waters.
to start your trip you need to drive to the Miradouro da Lagoa do Fogo – lookout point. There are parking opportunities around and usually you can’t miss it because of other travelers who are taking pictures of the incredible vista around and below.
good shoes with a profile – the “track” gets muddy and slippery on areas close to the water
some light breathable clothes – if you are visiting in spring or summer – the air in the caldera is a lot hotter and because of the thick vegetation it is humid too.
water (a lot)
swim trunks (the water is really cold)
sandwiches (or any other snack)
cameras (you don’t want to miss this photo-op)
you have to imagine the track as a muddy trail that starts out at the look out point and goes down on a very steep incline with manmade steps in some areas. getting down is not the problem but to get back up you need to go back the same way. keep that in mind before you start your descend. you need to be in OK shape to do this, if you want to take your kids I would recommend 10 years and older.
at some point you will get close to water level. there the trail basically disappears. the next thing you do is track around the edge of the lake (or swim if you are up for it – water is very cold). this involves jumping over water, walking through water and climbing muddy hills. I loved each moment, my inner child was exhilarated.
take your time to experience this amazing natural phenomenon. there are only a few on this planet like this and snap some pictures.
at last – the beach. time to chill out and experience your surroundings. dip a toe into the water, watch the bird’s nest on the opposite side of the lake and look up to your starting point to see your incredible achievement.
“Damn, we have to go up all that way…. do they sell condos here?”