Nestled in a large exuberant green crater partially filled by a vast lake of tranquil waters, the Vale das Furnas speaks of volcanoes, tradition, clear waters, smoking caldeiras (hot springs) and pure magic… Magic that has been widely documented in photographs and writings such as Joseph and Henry Bullar’s 1841 book A Winter in the Azores; and a Summer at the Baths of the Furnas. Furnas municipality lies in the heart of the island and yet is only a 35-minute drive from Ponta Delgada. The perfect spot to spend a memorable holiday in the Azores, steeped in history, natural beauty, thermal hot springs and nature parks.
The Casa da Igreja Velha forms part of the history of Furnas because it neighbours the beautiful Santa Ana Church, built in 1760, where one of the oldest hermitages of the island existed and was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1630. It was once a school, then became the priest’s residency, a private house, it was bought in 1995 and renovated twice (in 2011 and 2018). Its central and yet quiet location provides easy access to cafes, restaurants, grocers, the post office, police station, bank and bakery. Notably, the house is very close to Terra Nostra Park, only a 3-minute walk from one of the most beautiful botanical parks in the world (according to Condé Nast Travel magazine); only 5-minute walk from the geothermal natural pools of Poça da Dona Beija; 10-minutes’ walk along a tree-lined avenue to the Caldeiras, an emblematic spot for the hydrologic and thermal richness of the island. In Ribeira Quente, 6km away there is Fogo Beach with its warm waters heated by fumaroles; and 11 km away you will find the main council town of the council, Povoação. The 18-hole Furnas Golf Course is one of the most impressive in the world and is only a 5-minute drive from the house.
The Casa da Igreja Velha is very spacious and includes a fully equipped kitchen, living room, dining room, 3 bedrooms (2 double bedrooms and 1 bedroom with 2 single beds), 3 bathrooms (two inside the house and another in an outdoor building accessed via the garden), a pleasant walled garden with indigenous plants that’s ideal for children to play safely. Every room has heating and you can relax in the living room to the crackling sound of its wood burning stove. The house facilities include satellite TV, HI-FI, a small library, board games, bicycles and golf clubs (on request). Guests can also book leisure activities such as whale watching, horse riding, jeep tours, diving, canoeing or birdwatching.
Taking holidays in Furnas means recharging your batteries with the best that Nature can offer, including the leisurely commotion offered by a small town. Holidays at the Old Church House is all this plus the quality, comfort and tradition provided by the house and its natural surroundings.
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