Home » Visiting Poça da Dona Beija Hot Springs With Kids: All You Need To Know

Visiting Poça da Dona Beija Hot Springs With Kids: All You Need To Know

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Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Leslie Stroud

Given the flood of questions about our relocation to Portugal and being American expats, I’ve taken the plunge and launched a second blog titled ‘American Family in Portugal’. Join us as we share our journey and insights into expat life in this beautiful country!

The Azores Islands offer incredible beauty, peaceful landscape, and breathtaking coastlines.  Due to volcanic activity, they also offer many of the joys of geothermal adventures, and hot springs are on the top of our family’s list of fun.

We’ve visited hot springs around the world like the Blue Lagoon and other Hot Springs near Reykkajiv and the Hot Water Beach on the North Island of NZ. Our family is always in for a warm soak, and we still have plenty more on our wish list!

São Miguel hosts many hot springs and we hope to get back and explore more of them.  However, we were able to visit Poça da Dona Beija and we loved it!

Portugal beach

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Getting To Poça da Dona Beija Hot Springs

This small hot spring is located in the town of Furnas, on the eastern side of the island of São Miguel.  As the name suggests, you’ll find lots of volcanic activity in this place. There are also a lot of unique and exciting adventures that you can do: hike around a caldera (the rim of an ancient volcano), eat cozido for lunch or dinner (a traditional Portuguese dish composed of different meat and veggies cooked by volcanic steam in huge pots underground), or see bubbly, steaming mud pits.

The town boasts the classic “sulfur smell” like all areas with heavy volcanic activity.

I’d recommend renting a car to explore the island.  We stayed in the Nordeste, or Northeast, area of the island and had to drive about 45 minutes to get to Furnas. The roads can be mountainous and curvy.  Prep any riders prone to carsickness!

Doing a bus tour or guided tour is another great option! Here are a couple of good alternatives:

Furnas, Azores
Source: Unsplash

Parking at Poça Da Dona Beija Hot Springs

The entire town of Furnas, like most parishes in São Miguel, has limited parking.  Break out those parallel parking skills!  

The parking lot, specifically of Poça Da Dona Beija Hot Springs, only offers around 20 parking spots.  We visited twice (the first time giving up and coming back on a less busy day), and both times the parking lot was completely full.

You may need to either wait for a spot to open up or park in a street nearby.  Just pay attention to parking and street signs.

Getting Into Poça Da Dona Beija Hot Springs

Poça Da Dona Beija Hot Springs

What Does It Cost?

No need to buy tickets ahead of time.  Just visit the ticket booth right on site.  

Adults cost 6€, Children cost 4€. For our group of six (two adults and four kids), we spent around 35€.

Hold Onto Your Ticket

Note that the capacity is limited, and you may find a line waiting to get in on weekends or holidays.

Scan your ticket to get in AND get out (so hold onto that ticket!).

Lockers And Changing Facilities At Poça Da Dona Beija Hot Springs

There is one small changing area offering around 5 changing stalls and two toilet rooms (one for men and one for women).  Showers had been closed at the time of our visit in March 2022.

Lockers are available for rent, or you can simply bring your bags outside onto the benches by the pool (what we did).  Green mesh baskets are also available to use for storing your stuff.

Pool Options At Poça Da Dona Beija Hot Springs

There were four open hot spring pools available during our visit.  All were available to children and adults alike.  However, they are relatively small, hosting a max of about 10 people each comfortably.

An orangish river flows between all the pools. The orange color is due to the high iron content of the water. This will stain your swimsuit and your skin (temporarily), so plan accordingly.

Temperature Of The Pools At Poca da Dona Beija

All the pools were around at the same temperature of 39 degrees Celsius.  We went on a cold, rainy day, which was perfect in many ways! The kids did not overheat easily and could simply get out of the hot water for a few minutes to cool down.

Thermal Baths in Portugal
Source: Unsplash

Bask In the Scenery Of Furnas

All four pools are on the edge of the river where the hot water is coming down the mountain.  The scenery is beautiful, and two pools encase each side.  There’s one bridge that connects the pools.

Access to the river itself is not available. When we visited, the current is not safe for children to explore anyway.

Enjoy The Water Features In The Hot Spring

Each of the four pools varies slightly in having a waterfall, waterfall curtain wall, or simply just an inlet of water.  In all four pools, you can lean over the edge to see the river, such is nice scenery, but you have to watch your little kids carefully!

Adults and kids can lay on the infinity part of the pool to have water rush around them and cool in the open air.

Nossa Senhora das Vitórias Chapel with mom

Time Limit at Poça Da Dona Beija Hot Springs

Note that at the time of our visit, time in the resort was limited to 1.5 hours only.  Frankly, this is a perfect time for us.  Enough to get warm, play, and get out.

Open Hours Of Poca da Dona Beija Hot Springs

The pools are open roughly 10 am to 11 pm. Many tours offer dinner and basking under the stars in the pool, which make the trips more memorable!

However, going late with kids might not be the best idea. The crowd gets rowdier after dark!

Other Things To Know About Visiting Poça Da Dona Beija Hot Springs With Kids

  • The high iron content of the water has many health benefits but can also stain your swimsuit!  Be sure to wear a dark-colored swimsuit or a suit you don’t mind staining.  
  • Bring your own towels.  They are not available for rent.
  • Young children wearing diapers must wear a swim diaper. Note that the Portuguese are very loving with children. There was zero annoyance with our three boisterous boys. 🙂
  • Bring swimming accessories. This will give additional peace of mind for us parents: water wings, life jackets, and floaters.
  • Don’t forget to apply your favorite sunblock with a high SPF.
  • There are plastic baskets available for use near the gift shop, or you can bring your own mesh swimming bag.
  • The reddish clay that the water brings with it can also stain your skin. You can have fun making “temporary tattoos”!
  • If you bleach or dye your hair, keep it out of the water. I was warned and read several times it can discolor your hair.
  • If you are in search of a swimsuit, like we were, try the “Chinese Store” in Furnas as well.  These stores in Portugal are the equivalent of a Walmart combined with a dollar store.
  • There is a small gift shop with a few swimsuits, postcards, small gifts, etc.
  • Showers are currently unavailable at the facility.
  • No outside food or drinks are allowed inside.



Book your flight to Portugal on Booking.com, Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, or Expedia

Find a nice hotel near Poça Da Dona Beija Hot Springs on Booking.com, Expedia, or Vrbo, (we also love Tripadvisor and Hotels.com)

Plan your activities with GetYourGuide, Airbnb Experiences, or Viator

Rent a Car on Expedia Rental Cars

Get insured while traveling with World Nomads

Capture your best Portugal memories as we do with a GoPro, Sony camera, or our favorite drones: DJI FPV, Air, and Mini

Check out your travel necessities from a comprehensive list of all the 7Wayfinders Travel Must-Haves. Click Here!

Additional Reading

Discovering Madeira as a Family

Six-Month Update On Moving To Portugal: How Is Everyone Doing?

The Perfect 5-Day Itinerary With Kids In São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal 

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