The Islands of the Azores are still less well-known than other, more sought-after destinations. Even in comparison with other, similar, destinations, these islands -- located between two continents -- are not as well known as other destinations. The popular notion of the islands is summed up in a phrase coined by the great writer, Raúl Brandão: “The Unknown Isles”. But their quality of the unknown, the mysterious, can also be an advantage.
The Azores are becoming increasingly widely recognised as one of the world’s best-kept secrets. Its location, while rendering access difficult and forming an obstacle in the way of greater familiarity, is now widely considered an advantage, since it tends to preserve the integrity and character of the islands.
National Geographic magazine once declared the Azores the “Second Most Self-Sustaining Islands in the World”. In fact, the Azores are an ideal destination for anyone searching for a unique experience, in which to rediscover the essentials of life.
Hence the fact that the Bensaude Hotels have long succeeded in interpreting the truly unique features of the Azores, attempting to enhance the potential of the Azores through the offer of unique touristic possibilities, representing the true “spirit of the Azores”.
The Azores consist of nine islands: São Miguel, Santa Maria, Terceira, Faial, Pico, São Jorge, Graciosa, Flores and Corvo.
Each island possesses its own unique character, its own enchantment. The Azoreans say that it takes an entire lifetime to get to know the Azores, and that even then, a lifetime is not enough.
There are so many surprises at each turn of the road -- in everything we explore – some new discovery that takes our breath away -- that it makes us feel like strangers in a land we thought we knew. This is why we always say “see you soon” to everyone who visits us. We know that anyone who visits us will want to return, to experience more and more of these islands in the middle of the Atlantic.
The Valley of Furnas is, in fact, a volcanic crater which has been dormant since 1630, date of the last eruption. Since then, it has sheltered the Vila de Furnas and Terra Nostra Park.
Geomorphologically, the Valley of Furnas forms part of the massif of the Furnas Volcano, one of the three central volcanoes active in the island of São Miguel.
The air temperature varies between 10 and 16º C in winter, and between 20 and 25º C in summer. The monthly air temperature, averaged on an annual basis, is 15.1ºC, with a maximum of 19º C and a minimum of 11.2º C.
Relative air humidity throughout the year is high, sometimes reaching maximum of 80 to 92%. This is chiefly due to the fact that the parish of Furnas is located at a considerable altitude and is rich in vegetation.
The parish of Furnas thus enjoys a microclimate which, associated with volcanic soil and the existence of innumerable hydric resources, permits and encourages adaptation and great vegetable diversity.
Volcanism is present in all the smallest details of the life of the small settlement of Furnas, which is one of the most active thermal locations on Earth, the result of a great number of volcanic springs and waterways.
But the most popular attraction for most visitors to Furnas is no doubt the thermal baths. Furnas possesses several establishments where it is possible to enjoy the benefits of water from the interior of the earth, charged with minerals, among them being the thermal pool of Terra Nostra Park.
Furnas has long been considered a popular holiday destination for the citizens of the island, themselves attracted by the thermal features and beauty of the valley.
As a result, several wealthy families have built holiday homes here since the beginning of the 19th century, resulting in a highly interesting heritage of in terms of architectural styles, [most of them] of Romantic inspiration.
1st October to 31st January – 10 am to 5 pm
There is a 20% discount on Garden entrance when you have a cozido at the Hotel restaurant.