Monumento Natural Regional da Gruta do Carvão

Monumento Natural Regional da Gruta do Carvão


The natural wealth of the Gruta do Carvão lies in its great variety of geological aspects, structures and phenomena that are typically caused by volcanic activity. These features include structures known as "gas bubbles", corresponding to sectors of the cave wall that "burst" under the action of the accumulated gases, or the presence of cracks in the walls and ceiling, resulting from the cooling of the lava flow.

Countless stalactites can be seen on the ceiling of the cave: some are conical in shape with a smooth surface, resulting from the solidification of drops of lava; others are irregular in shape, with a whitish colour and very fragile, resulting from phenomena caused by the alteration and sedimentation of the water that infiltrated into the cave. This water also caused the oxidisation of the basalt rocks that form the Gruta do Carvão, giving them red and orange tones. As in other caves in the Azores and on the island of São Miguel, what we see here is clear evidence of the different levels of lava that flowed through the inside of the cave at various times in the past.

The presence of countless volcanic micro-structures prove the importance of the Gruta do Carvão for our knowledge and interpretation of basalt volcanism on the island of São Miguel.

Rua de Lisboa Ponta Delgada - Ilha de São Miguel

: 700m
Guided Tours
Visits must be booked in advance.

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