Azores - São Miguel

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Parque da Grená – nature and history

The Parque da Grená combines all the different facets of São Miguel. With its waterfalls, viewpoints, untouched nature, the former manor house and the direct proximity to Lagoa das Furnas, is perhaps the essence of the region. The park is completely new and was only opened in early 2020. Certainly not the happiest time for a place like Furnas, which lives entirely on tourism like no other place. Maybe that’s why the entrance fee is quite high for the conditions here. In addition to the 10 € per person, there is also an access fee to the Caldeiras, where the parking lot is located. But one can easily spend half a day there. If you want to go all the way to the “Salto da Inglesa” waterfall, you should definitely plan 2 hours for it.

The tour begins

When you come from the parking lot, the entrance is behind the Caldeiras area . The area directly behind the entrance is laid out like a park in which there are many different plants.

The path meanders through the forest and begins to climb gently and then becomes very steep. As the path is followed, there is a fork on the right towards the waterfall. On your way back, you should only take the left path, as this will then lead you along the circular hiking trail.


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Up to the Salto da Inglesa

Now the most difficult part of the hike begins. The path gets steeper and steeper and partly up stairs. On one side the steeply ascending slopes, on the other, sometimes less clearly visible, the small river, whose water also feeds the waterfall. Before you reach the waterfall, however, a short steep path leads up to the right to a lookout point.

Parque da Grená - View of the Lagoa das Furnas
Parque da Grená – View of the Lagoa das Furnas

Enjoy the view of the lake, take a break at the bench and relax a little. You did the hardest part. The path now leads you back on the way to Salto da Inglesa. When you arrive at Salto da Inglesa, the path leads down a few steps to the water basin at the foot of the waterfall. In the summer when we were there, the river had little water, so we could stand dry below. The wall on which the water falls is thickly overgrown with moss and looks impressive just because of its height.

The way to the mansion

On the way back you will come back to the junction described at the beginning. The climbing that made you exhausted is no longer a problem. Shortly after the junction you cross the river over a small wooden bridge.

Parque da Grená - The bridge
Parque da Grená – The bridge

From here you also have another view of the upper part of the waterfall. Again and again, smaller branches lead to smaller waterfalls.

After a while, the path turns right from the river and then leads you in the direction of the old manor house.

The story of Casa Grená

he times when the English consul landed here by seaplane on the Lagoa das Furnas are long gone. Nevertheless, the history of the house is quite eventful. The land went to an Englishman in 1832 who wanted to build his summer house here. It was not built until 26 years later by the English consul from Ponta Delgada. The property was sold several times over the next few years and was intended to be used as a hotel until it was opened at the end of the 19th century. was leased to José do Canto. If you wish to learn more about José do Canto, you can! Here is some information about the nearby botanical garden . It was not until 1987 that Portugal acquired the site back to receive state guests, which it never did. After some negotiations, the site was handed over to the regional government in 2015, which decided to auction the site in 2018. Feliz Terra, Lda., Which began to set up the park, was awarded the contract.

The eventful history has many stages, which unfortunately also led to the dilapidation of the house. Today the place is a typical one Lost Place. But after all, they too have their special charm.

From here the path leads you back to the entrance and to the grounds of the Caldeiras. Buy a Bolo Lêvedo and an espresso at the snack bar and if you need a little more relaxation, take a detour Ribeira Quente on the beach.

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