Lomba da Fazenda
The next village on this route, deserves a halt because of its interesting endemic park, situated near the coast, amidst beeches and heather, offering impressive views over the rugged coastline.
As the name implies, the small town of Nordeste marks the north-eastern point of the island and it is considered the ‘end of the world’ of the inhabitants of the island, for whom the trip from Ponta Delgada to Nordeste means in Azorian terms a very long journey, with this place not offering much distraction. Nevertheless, due to a very dynamic municipal administration, Nordeste has become a genuine ‘nature tourism centre’, with marked paths, a camping and some old water mills having been restored and opened to the public. For everybody who is an amateur of savage, unspoilt nature, this area covering several nature reserves is a genuine paradise, providing long hikes, some can even require more than a day, and offering grandiose views across magnificent landscapes.
The road leading south along the east coast is abundant with beautiful viewpoints, some of them remind of pretty gardens, amidst untouched nature, offering splendid views of the lighthouse of Arnel, built in 1876, the rugged cliffs and gaping breaches of the east coast and captivating wide wilderness.
Reaching the southeast coast, the first village you will encounter is the curious village of Povoação with a very pleasant atmosphere. Located in a large bay and surrounded by seven hills, this is one of the oldest settlements in the Azores and its church, the Nossa Senhora do Remédios, former Ermida de Santa Bárbara, is considered the oldest sacral building on the island.
The road to the next major point of interest on the south coast, Vila Franca do Campo, climbs first inland to run along the Furnas Lake, before it is approaching the coast again and continues to the island’s old capital. Just before reaching the village of Furnas, a short detour down to Ribeira Quente, an authentic fishing village, reputed for its calm, often deserted sandy beach, Praia do Fogo, and some good fish restaurants. Along the access road, which is bordered by luxuriant vegetation, run torrents of ferrous waters and at one moment, in the middle of two tunnel sections, you can see a beautiful waterfall to the right.