São Jorge - What to See & Do
The nature of São Jorge is definitely the main reason to visit. The landscape is simply stunning and the villages are picturesque and tiny (the smallest with an occupancy of only 7 people!). A visit to this island will involve a lot of walking, due to the lack of roads and mountainous nature, so make sure to take comfy shoes. The most famous hiking trail is Caldeira de Santo Cristo, beginning at the top of a mountain and descending for about 3 hours through several fajãs, where you can swim under waterfalls. On the way, you will see cow pastures, small forests, blue hydrangeas, juniper bushes, yellow ginger lilies, lush green valleys, and waterfalls, before ending in one of the most famous fajãs, Fajã dos Cubres. Here you can watch the birds, stroll, and have a picnic by the lakes.
There are also many little villages that you can visit, the largest being Vela. Here, you will find some restaurants, shops, and the cute little square Jardim da Praça da República, with a bright red bandstand and cage full of birds.
The island is also littered with lighthouses. You can visit an abandoned lighthouse at the westernmost point of the island, Ponta dos Rosais, where you can see views of Pico, Faial, and sometimes Graciosa and Flores. Another landmark, which you should definitely see, is the Sineria Tower. The church tower famously survived a volcanic eruption, which destroyed most of the area but left the tower intact.