Gruta do Natal

Useful Information

Location: Altares, 9700-000 Angra do Heroísmo.
At the Pico Gordo (622 m asl), next to the lake Lagoa do Negro. From the road Angra do Heroismo to Biscoitos, turn off and follows signs to Lagoa do Negro.
(38.7373933, -27.2686939)
Open: JAN to MAR Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat 14:30-17.
APR to MAY daily 14:30-17.
JUN to SEP daily 14-18.
OCT to DEC Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat 14:30-17.
Closed 01-JAN, Carnival, Easter, 01-DEC, 24-DEC, 25-DEC, 31-DEC.
Fee: Adults EUR 9, Children (0-12) free.
Combo Ticket Algar do Carvão + Gruta do Natal: Adults EUR 15.
Classification: Speleologylava tube
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=510 m, H=90 %.
Guided tours: D=30 min,
Photography: allowed, no tripod
Accessibility: no
Address: Os Montanheiros, Rua da Rocha 8, 9700-169 Angra do Heroísmo, Tel: +351-295-212992, Cell: +351-961-362215, Fax: +351-295-216465. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1998 new entrance building with generator and toilets built.
01-DEC-1998 opened as a show cave.
2006 entrance building enlarged.


Gruta do Natal (Christmas Cave) is located in the middle of Terceira Island. This lava tube is used by the locals every year at Christmas to celebrate a Mass on 25-DEC at 11. This tradition was started by Os Montanheiros in 1969, and is the reason for the name of the cave.

Originally an undeveloped cave, the number of visitors increased drastically during the 1990s, which caused some destruction. Originally there was a wooden building on top of the cave entrance, but the wood deceased and there was vandalism. So it was developed by the mountaineering club Os Montanheiros with a new stone building, the generator for the electric light, and toilets. The new building closes the entrance protecting the cave from vandalism. There is a staircase from the entrance building down into the cave. The cave is almost level and visitors walk on the natural cave floor.