Best trails in Serra de Santa Bárbara e dos Mistérios Negros, Azores, Portugal

58 Reviews
Explore the most popular trails in Serra de Santa Bárbara e dos Mistérios Negros with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
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Map of trails in Serra de Santa Bárbara e dos Mistérios Negros, Azores, Portugal
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Top trails (3)
#1 - PRC1 Gruta do Natal e Mistérios Negros
Serra de Santa Bárbara e dos Mistérios Negros
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Length: 3.2 mi • Est. 1 h 38 m
The trail begins and ends where the Grotto known the Christmas Cave is located, next to Lagoa do Negro, and it takes around 2h 30m. The trail begins on a beaten earth track that ends at a wooden gate. After the gate it continues through meadowland until you come to a second wooden gate and after that you continue along a narrow path. Heather (Calluna vulgaris), tall growing heather (Juniperus brevifolia), running along the edge of the Vale Fundo lake. Along the way you will get a fork in the path where the right to short detour leads you to a different view of the lake. Return to the fork in the path and go straight ahead through an area rich in native plant species such as juniper, Azores blueberry (Vaccinium cylindraceum), laurel (Laurus sp.), Portuguese laurel (Viburnum tinus), holly (Ilex perado), Cape myrtle (Myrsine retusa) among others. Going through this area you will come upon the "Dark Mysteries", three domes formed from recent lava deposits still bare of plant cover. The trail goes between two of these 'mysteries' over very rough ground that requires careful walking. Once through this area, the track becomes easier and it soon leads into another narrow path that goes through the wood of Japanese cedar. Once clear of the wood, the trail takes you through meadowland and ends at the tarred road where you turn left and after about 100 m you will have Pico Gaspar on your right. Climb up and take a look at its crater rich in species found only in this location. Then return down Pico Gaspar and, continuing along the road for about 100 m, turn left and walk through the pastureland that comes to an end in Christmas Grotto. The course begins and finishes at the place where the Gruta do Natal is located, next to the Lagoa do Negro, and lasts about 2h30. The trail begins on a dirt road that ends at a gate, after which you enter a pasture and, following always ahead you will find a second wooden gate and only then you will enter a standing path. This path runs through a forest of cryptomeria, queiró (Caluna vulgaris), heath (Erica azorica) and cedar-jungle (Juniperus brevifolia), passing by the bank of the lagoon of Vale Fundo. Continuing the route, you will find a fork in which, turning to your right, you will enter a small detour that allows you to see the same lagoon from another perspective. Returning to the fork, and continuing straight ahead, the route continues through an area rich in endemic vegetation, such as cedar-mato, serra (Vaccinium cylindraceum), laurel (Laurus sp.), Leafy (Viburnum tinus ), holly (Ilex perado), tamujo (Myrsine retusa), among others. Passing this area you will find the "Black Mysteries", three domes formed by accumulations of recent lavas that are not yet provided with vegetation. The route passes between two of these mysteries through a very irregular floor that requires some care. After crossing this area, you will enter a dirt road, more accessible, which will take you soon after to a new path that crosses a forest of criptomérias. After crossing the forest, the trail follows a pasture zone and ends on a tar road where you should turn left and after about 100m you will find on your right the Gaspar Peak that you can climb to observe its crater rich in endemisms. Then you must descend Gaspar Peak and, continuing on the road, about 100m afterwards, you should turn left following along a pasture that ends in the Christmas Grotto.Show more
#2 - PRC3 TER Serreta Trail to Lagoinha
Serra de Santa Bárbara e dos Mistérios Negros
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(17)
Length: 4.2 mi • Est. 2 h 43 m
This trail starts and ends at "Serreta" and has the total duration of about 2h30m. It starts on the tarmac road, then goes up by "Canada of Fonts" for about 200 meters. In the first bifurcation turn right and continue by a dirt track that progressively narrows, flanked by a varied vegetation, such as Junipers, Laurel and Green Heather. At the end of this track you should turn to the right again for a larger trail, until a shortcut to the left where you should proceed, always following the signs. Short time later the track starts going up to "Lagoinha", a small lagoon encircled by a dense bush of cedars, situated at approximately half of the trail. Go back the same way until turning right in a pasture. At this time you must follow the barbed wire until a small shortcut that allows you to accede to the very beautiful "Ribeira do Além". Later, the trail continues inside the woods of Japanese Red Cedar and other vegetation, at "Pico do Negrão". The track is sometimes very inclined and demands attention. When you arrive again in a pasture, cross it towards the water deposit and there follow to the right until arriving at this panel. This trail crosses to Forest Reserve. It is our responsibility to contribute to it's preservation as well as ensuring biodiversity by conserving this natural habitat. This trail starts and ends in the parish of Serreta and has a total duration of about 2h30m. It starts on the regional road going up a stretch of tar, Canada das Fontes, for about 200 meters. At the first fork you should turn right and continue along a narrow dirt road, bordered by a very varied vegetation, which includes endemic flora such as heather, white wood and beech, but also some weeds such as incense and acacia. At the end of this path you should turn right again on a wider path until you find a shortcut to the left where you should proceed and follow the signs. A short time later, the path begins to climb to Lagoinha, a small lagoon surrounded by a dense forest of cedars, which corresponds to about half of the route. Go back the same way to a pasture, where you should turn right. At that point, you must follow the barbed wire to a small shortcut that allows you to access the beautiful Ribeira do Além. Then the trail continues through a forest in Pico do Negrão, where the path of pumice and bagacina is sometimes very steep and requires attention. When you reach a pasture, cross it to the water tank and go to the right until you reach this panel again. The route crosses a forest reserve area. It is the responsibility of all of us to contribute to its protection as well as to ensure its biodiversity through the conservation of this natural habitat.Show more
#3 - Mata da Serreta
Serra de Santa Bárbara e dos Mistérios Negros
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Length: 5.8 mi • Est. 3 h 9 m
Parking is at Miradouro do Raminho. This hike is a combination of countryside, forest paths and coastal paths. The path is wide and easily accessible. You take a walk through the forest and back on the EN1. Then descend to the coast where it becomes a road that winds along the edge of the forest.Show more