Island To See
Sao Jorge island with oblong shape and rugged coastline, has a mountain range through it's length, reaching its highest point at Pico da Esperança (1053 m). The perfect place to spot the other islands of the Triangle - The Azores.
Its land, predominantly pasture, offers panoramic views of great value, which can be admired from the road bordered by hydrangeas and heather trees.
The "fajãs" can be found on Sao Jorge island both sides, converted into orchards and fertile farmland with beautiful dragon trees and tropical fruits. The "Fajã de Santo Cristo", in Ribeira Seca, has a lake that is the only place in the Azores where clams grow. Considered a natural reserve, it deserves a visit. In the eastern tip of the island, visit Topo Islet.
There, you can find some examples of indigenous flora and a large concentration of sea birds, whether migratory or resident, and it's one of the biggest nesting gulls in the Central Group of the archipelago.
Algar Montoso is a huge cave where you can try the thrilling experience of diving into the depths of the earth, but it requires a guide and proper equipment.
Velas is a charming town where some of the houses testify the nobility of its past. Town Hall building is one of the most important buildings of Velas and a rare example of the Azorean baroque.
Velas church was built by will of Infante D. Henrique and has a rich collection of religious art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Its main altar, carved and gilded, is worthy to figure in all the finest examples of Portuguese religious art.
The Church of St. Francisco, also in Velas, as a porch and mantels made with the island black stone.
Santa Barbara church, built in the eighteenth century, is one of the most beautiful baroque religious buildings in the Azores. The gold leaf, cedar ceiling with images of Sao Jorge and the Holy Spirit, the six panels of tiles portraying the life of Santa Barbara and paintings representing scenes from the life of Christ are some of the most important relics of the temple.
Urzelina is a picturesque seaside village, rebuilted after the volcanic eruption of 1808.
Topo was the first populated location of the island. Visit "Casa dos Tiagos", a seventeenth-century building considered a great example of the noble architecture of the island.
Museum of Sacred Art annexed to the parish church of Sao Jorge, has an interesting collection of sacred images.
Ethnographic Museum keeps objects and tools that were used in the daily life of the island. There, you can find the instruments of daily labor, such as an ox- cart axle mobile or an "Atafona", used to grind the grain.The manufacture of bread and pork slaughter are represented in all its phases, like all the instruments used to make linen and wool fabrics.
Fragueira, near Faja dos Vimes, is the hometown of Francisco Lacerda (1869-1934) the famous portuguese conducter and composer.
Museums, Churches and other historical buildings
Sacred Art Museum
Velas Town Hall
St. Francisco Church
Santa Barbara Church
Casa dos Tiagos
Sao Jorge Church
Sao Jorge Natural parks and special ecological areas
Pico do Areeiro Forest Reserve
Pico da Esperança Forest Reserve
Topo Islet and adjacent coast
Faja da Lagoa da Caldeira de Santo Cristo
Pico do Carvão Forest Reserve
Pico das Caldeirinhas Forest Reserve
Furna da Preguiça
Furna do Pombal
Algar dos Suspiros I e II
Furna do Polo
Ribeira do Almeida
Algar do Pico da Maria Pires
Furna da Vigia I e II
Lomba do Gato
Algar do Morro Pelado
Furna da Recta da Cruz
Canada do Pedroso
Cerrado dos Algares