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Building a Wood-fired Cob Sauna in the Azores on the Magical Island of São Miguel


June 3, 2017 @ 9:00 am - June 18, 2017 @ 10:00 am Contact

Location & Project


The west end of São Miguel

I visited São Miguel for the first time last Fall and fell in love immediately with this green, lush island with a perfect climate and water temperature, warmed by the Gulf Stream current.


Mosteiros Natural Pools

São Miguel is a UN Biosphere Reserve and the government has very strict environmental protection regulations to preserve the overwhelming natural beauty you will discover here. These are ancient volcanic islands very similar to the Canaries, Cabo Verde and Hawaii in that each island is unique in its vegetation, landscape and climate.  The people are mostly of Portuguese ancestry, while there are also long-term immigrants from France, Ireland, Israel and returnees from the US.  You will find this place so relaxed and peaceful, you might want to make it your home!

Bettina Reifferscheid, a longtime resident of the Azores, purchased this abandoned




The Nordeste region


Furnas Public Hot Springs

settlement a few years ago and has been carefully restoring the original stone homes to create this relaxed, quiet, enchanted Eco center for education and vacation.  Sanguinho overlooks the ocean and Faial da Terra, the closest village below, with which it also shares a running stream.  The Atlantic Ocean

and waterfalls to bathe in are a short walk away.  The island is small enough to get around easily (20 miles by 10 miles) by car and the world-renowned geysers and iron-rich hot springs of Furnas are a short drive from the property as well as is the first town populated by the Portuguese, Povoação, 3rd largest after Ponta Delgada and Vila Franca do Campo.  The Nordeste region is the most wild and forested, with endless hiking trails and little population. The energy of this island is “freedom” “easy-goingness”, “health” and “gorgeous nature”.  Cob is unknown here and most building has been with stone and wood and now with concrete, sadly.

We are excited to bring you this workshop, a first in the Azores and a first building a sauna!  We are lucky to have a master eco-builder nearby, John Shenton, who has created beautiful


Another EcoLodge’s ecopods on the island

ecopods of local wood for his new resort, and who will be assisting in the design and roofing of the sauna.  Students will have the first weekend and second Sunday and after the workshop to explore the island as well as the others.  There is  ferry service that connects all of the Azores Islands and I highly recommend you follow up your workshop with some time to explore, especially by bike!  I did a 2-week tour all the way around São Miguel and Terceira last year and camped anywhere and everywhere….really enjoyable!

The weather in June is warm as is the water, but can be humid.  The average air and water temperature in June is 18℃ to 20℃ or 65℉ to 70℉.   Perfect time for a cob workshop.

This workshop will be in English and Portuguese, if needed.


June 3, 2017 @ 9:00 am
June 18, 2017 @ 10:00 am
Event Category:


Sanguinho EcoCenter
Sanguinho, Faial da Terra, Azores Portugal


Whatsapp +1 831 212-7225