São Jorge

São Jorge Island, Azores

 

Nature


Caldeira do Santo Cristo - The fajãs, the most iconic element of São Jorge Island’s landscape, arose due to natural causes such as land and rock detachments from the cliffs, earthquakes, heavy rains and lava flows that came into the sea. The best known fajã of the island and its true ex-libris is Caldeira do Santo Cristo. Sought by surfers from all over the world due to the quality of its waves, it’s also considered a Natural Reserve since 1984 because it’s the only place in the Azores where clams are grown.

Cordilheira Central - In this range there are two hundred formerly active volcanic cones that now give place to small lakes, ponds and vegetation. Standing out amongst them is Pico da Esperança, the highest point of the island, from where it’s possible to sight the south of Faial and Pico islands as well as the north of Terceira and Graciosa islands.

Ponta de Rosais - Considered a Natural Monument, this high zone located on the coast of the island, with view to Faial, shelters several breeding seabirds and a few flora species such as heather.

 

Heritage


São Jorge Mother Church - Built in the seventeenth century on an ancient temple by the order of the Infante D. Henrique. On the inside there is an altarpiece thought to have been offered by D. Sebastião. Associated with the church is the Sacred Art Museum of São Jorge, where an interesting collection that includes a painting on glass representative of São Jorge can be seen.

Church of Santa Bárbara - Highpoint of São Jorge Island’s religious architecture, the church of Santa Bárbara, located in Manadas, is one of the finest examples of the Baroque style in the Azores. Classified as a National Monument, this church is considered one of the most beautiful of the Azores.

 

Cuisine


Queijo da Ilha de São Jorge - Most famous product of the island and probably of the archipelago. Produced with raw cow's milk and with an aging of at least three months, it has a strong and slightly peppery aftertaste. Semi-soft or hard, this cheese has a yellowish color and a round shape.

Amêijoas da Caldeira de Santo Cristo - Another exclusive food wonder of São Jorge Island that can only be found in the Caldeira do Santo Cristo. Because its harvest is limited, this clam characterized by its size, unique flavor and texture can only be enjoyed in some restaurants.

Espécies - Made with spices like fennel, cinnamon and pepper, the espécie takes the shape of a horseshoe and contains small holes that display its filling. This is the best known pastry of the island.

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