Sao Jorge

Sao Jorge is the third of the Ilhas Triangulo – a triangle of beautiful, rural islands in the centre of the Azores.

Sao Jorge

Sao Jorge’s long, slender shape is quite unlike any of the other islands of the Azores – it’s 55km long and only 7km at its widest point. The island grew out of a linear volcanic fissure which extends almost 200km across the seabed to the main island of Sao Miguel. The island is famous for its fajas – coastal plateaus which are home to many of the island’s smaller villages. The fajas are formed by different processes: by landslides in the north where the sea cliffs are steepest, and by lava flows in the south creating a more rolling landscape.

Sao JorgeFaja dos Cubres and Faja da Caldeira Santo Cristo are two of the truly off-grid locations in the Azores. Santo Cristo was all but abandoned following the devastating earthquake in 1980 – at last count, eight hardy souls are still full-time residents. The tarmac road to Faja dos Cubres is a relatively recent addition from 1993 – prior to its construction, access was via a steep zig-zagging trail or by boat, and it was quite common for the fajas’ residents to be cut off from the rest of the island in the wintertime.

Sao JorgeThe western town of Velas is the island capital. Its naturally sheltered harbour was a popular target for French privateers throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, prompting the construction of the heavily-armed forts, They were all but destroyed by a tsunami in 1899 but their remains are still visible if you know where to look. The centre of town is dominated by the 17th century Igreja Matriz de Velas church. A likeness of Saint George sits centre on the church’s main alter – outside, you’ll see a fountain with a modern-day sunken sculpture of the dragon he slayed.

Sao JorgeSao Jorge is an excellent choice for a split-stay when paired up with neighbour Terceira , and one of our most popular walking holidays is our Terceira & Sao Jorge Guided Walking Holiday: exploring the island’s beautiful coastal landscapes on foot.

Sao Jorge


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