Porto Moniz

The island's northernmost village, Porto Moniz, was a whaling station in the 19th century, but these days, its natural pools, formed by ancient lava, make it one of the island’s best day trips. There's not much to do here except splash around the pools (there are changing facilities), eat, and sunbathe, though its position below towering mountains is part of its appeal. The old houses and twisting cobblestone streets can be found uphill—most of the seafront is made up of a new town of little hotels, cafés, and restaurants.

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