The Enchanting Beauty of Furnas Valley - Azores

The Enchanting Beauty of Furnas Valley - Azores.

The Furnas Valley is home to the Furnas Parish, a small isolated rustic community of about 900 dwellings, set within a 6km diameter crater of a dormant caldera surrounded by towering hills with geysers and fumaroles nested within the lush green landscape.

The caldera, exhibiting volcanic eruptive activity, is part of the Volcanic Complex of Furnas classified as an active stratovolcano. Since 1630, after the Azores were populated by the Portuguese, eruptions have occurred at regular century long spaced intervals.

Formed over 30 thousand years ago, the volcanic activity in the Valley is famous for its intermittent bubble-shower geysers and the many geothermal fumaroles together with a variety of thermal mineral water springs. Considered to hold one of the world’s largest thermal water resources, some waters are hot, some cold, some saline, some sulphurous and some are just sparkling.

Indeed, the nine islands of the Azores are laid in the mid-Atlantic ridge where Eurasian and North American tectonic plates collide. The whole archipelago was formed from about 32 active subaquatic eruptions raising the nine islands up from the ocean floor for many millions of years.

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