The lava pools. Chances are if you have read anything about Terceira, you have heard about the beautiful lava pools in Biscoitos. Let me just take a moment to say they are beautiful, relaxing, and scenic, but there is also some very tasty wine hidden away in this small town. In fact, Biscoitos is the most important agricultural town on the north coast of Terceira.
Before we get to the wine, I have to tell you about the lava pools. The coastline is marked with quite a few coves making beautiful and natural swimming pools with lava rocks all around. Quite a few lava pools have cement poured to make steps, or ramps for those who are lured into the crystal clear water on a beautiful day. We went to the lava pools a few times, and each time we found different pools. We went in April, and while the water was still extremely chilly (please note, I am not in the water in the above picture), the weather was warm enough for a quick dip, and none of the pools were crowded. I have heard in the summer months, it’s very crowded, so definitely go off season for a less crowded experience.
Also choose the right pool for you. There are different “types” of pools and different locations to choose from. Pools that are very calm and great for kids, and there are pools that are the exact opposite, that I wouldn’t recommend going in, but there are stair heading into the water, so someone out there is that brave!
Calheta dos Biscoitos is the largest of the natural pools and is found near the town’s small harbor. These pools boast changing rooms, and sunning platforms if that is your preference, or you can drive around till you find your own private pool just off the road that has no amenities. Whatever your preference, there is a pool that fits what you are looking for, just keep searching till you find it.
Now onto the wine. What is better than spending the day in the sun swimming in the ocean (sort of) then grabbing a glass of wine? Biscoitos has a wine museum that is open from 13:30 – 16:00. As the museum is right off of R1-1, I highly suggest stopping off at the wine museum. It’s small, and the guided tour only takes about 30 minutes, but go right as they are opening for a private tour, if you are not into crowds. You will learn about the history of growing grapes in an unpromising place, along with learning how lava rocks are used to keep the soil warm and to create wind barriers.
At the end of the tour, you will get to taste some wine, and they also have the wine available for purchase. I heard some people commenting that the wine was a little overpriced, however I found the prices to be quite reasonable. The lady that was pouring the samples was incredibly sweet, giving me a flower and telling us how to go about getting the wine back to the States. We did buy a bottle, however it didn’t make it back to the States because we drank it at the hotel. It was good, really good and we have discussed going back just so we could buy more.