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Terceira

City Walks and Hikes

Geotourism and Speleology Guide

From January to March of 2009 extra-ordinary visits to the caves can be made by appointment and for groups with a minimum of 10.

Gruta do Natal (Christmas Cave)
In the interior of the island it is possible to visit the Gruta do Natal (Christmas Cave), next to Lagoa do Negro (Black's Lagoon) and duly marked at the Altares-Biscoitos crossroads. Initially called Galeria Negra (Dark Gallery), and later Gruta do Cavalo (Horse's Cave); today it is known by the name Gruta do Natal (Christmas Cave), because on December 25 of every year Christmas mass is celebrated inside this cave. It is a lava tube with an approximate length of 700 metres. Several passages branch out from the main hall, which measures 300 metres in length. It has different types of lava, speleothems and lateral banks. It is possible to visit the cave Gruta do Natal which has a tourist centre within which is the access to the cave.

Hours of Operation
- 16 April to 31 May: 3:00pm to 5:30pm
- 1 to 30 June: 2:30pm to 5:45pm
- July to August: 2:00pm to 6:00pm
- 1 to 30 September: 2:30pm to 5:45pm
- 1 to 15 October: 3:00pm to 5:30pm

Furnas do Enxofre (Sulphur Fumaroles)
The Furnas do Enxofre (Sulphur Fumaroles) are classified as a Regional Natural Monument and are located in the centre of Terceira. They a secondary volcanic manifestation called fumaroles, which are vents or holes in the Earth's surface that expel gases and steam. Sulphur deposits have formed around some of these vents. The Furnas do Enxofre are considered an integral part of a natural habitat that is on the list of Sites of Community Importance (SCI) of the Natura 2000 in the Macaronesian region.
Visitors to the Furnas do Enxofre should only step on the pedestrian trails and should follow the information signs.

Algar do Carvão (Coal Cavern)
We can begin our visit to the "bowels of the earth" through this cave which is one of Terceira Island's hallmarks. This site is classified as a Regional Natural Monument and is a natural habitat that is on the list of Sites of Community Importance (SCI) of the Natura 2000 in the Macaronesian region.
The cave has permanent lighting and a visitor's centre. It is the most renowned volcanic cavity in the Azores and the one that receives the most visitors annually.

Hours of Operation
- 16 April to 31 May: 3:00pm to 5:30pm
- 1 to 30 June: 2:30pm to 5:45pm
- July to August: 2:00pm to 6:00pm
- 1 to 30 September: 2:30pm to 5:45pm
- 1 to 15 October: 3:00pm to 5:30pm


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