Green + Eco-Travel

Green Retreats

by Stephen Anderton

The garden: Terra Nostra

A tree grows in: Furnas, São Miguel, Azores

First planted: 1790

Roots: São Miguel might be a volcanic island, but it's incredibly verdant, with field hedges of blue hydrangeas and orange ginger lilies. Only yards from fissures spewing hot volcanic mud is the Terra Nostra garden, originally developed as a country retreat by Portuguese merchants. The Art Deco Terra Nostra Hotel was built next door in the 1930s to house curious visitors (and still makes an excellent base today). The garden itself is a wonderful jungle of serpentine canals, mossy banks populated by tall tree ferns and palms, agapanthus, and raging pink azaleas—like a painting by Rousseau (sans the tigers). At its heart is a green geothermal swimming pool with waters so pleasant they potentially cry out for bathing au naturel. Hey, if it's dark, who will know?

Terra Nostra Garden and Terra Nostra Garden Hotel
Tel: 351 296 549 090
Doubles from $177

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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