Lagoa do Congro
I'm green, da ba dee da ba die da ba dee da ba die da ba dee da ba die.
Lagoa do Congro is not the easiest place on São Miguel in the Azores to find, but it is among the most worth visiting. From Ponta Delgada, take EN1-1A east to EN4-2A north towards Furnas.
Off of EN4-2A is a small sign pointing towards Lagoa do Fogo on a small side street leading to a dirt road. Take this road along the trees between fields until you reach small signs for the Lagoa and stairs leading down into the woods; then be prepared for a quick and rewarding hike.
Be warned that reaching Lagoa do Congro is heavily weather dependent. When we visited in December, the predictable rains in the Azores had flooded out the dirt road to depths beyond which we felt comfortable driving our baby car in.
Fortunately, there is a small semicircular clearing right at the beginning of the dirt road. If you park here, it is maybe a fifteen-minute hike to the start of the hike path down to the lagoa.
Situated in the middle third of São Miguel island is stunningly emerald Lagoa do Congro. On an island in which almost everything is some shade of brilliant green, this lagoon takes the top spot on the list for being the most naturally verdant — as well as the most utterly still, quiet, and calm.
Hidden in a sudden swelling of forest among rows of fields, the Lagoa do Congro is an ultimate escape on a island that already feels like something taken out of a fairy tale. Off of the dirt road leading to the forest is a fairly easy ten-minute-ish downhill hike towards the lagoon itself.
Nestled in among thickly wooded rising hills, the Lagoa do Congro brilliantly reflects light off of all the surrounding trees. As such, on a sunny day, the lagoon sparkles with the most magnificent greens. On a cloudy day, it looks more like green slate — still beautiful (which is largely how it was when we saw it, aside from a few moments of sun peaking through the clouds brilliance), and still utterly tranquil.
Branching away from the Lagoa do Congro are various hiking paths leading to better views of the lagoon, the lagoon's shore, and deeper through the woods. All together, a trip around the area makes for a very pleasant morning or afternoon detour, especially coupled with a visit to near-by Furnas, which is only a twenty-minute drive away.