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Full-day Fajã Caldeira Santo Cristo

Full-day Fajã Caldeira Santo Cristo

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Program:
09:30 Departure Velas – Serra do Topo
10:00 Stop Cheese Factory – cheese tasting
10:30 Serra-Caldeira trail (optional – waterfall swimming) – 5 KMS
12:00 Boiler
Lunch – pic-nic (optional – swimming, snorkel, visit cave)
14:30 Caldeira Trail – Cubres – 5 KMS
15:30 Transfer Cubres – Norte Grande
16:00 Visit Casa do Parque S. Jorge / Trail to Fajã Ouvidor – 2 KMS (optional)
17:00 Fajã do Ouvidor (optional – swim/snorkel – Poça Simão Dias)
18:30 Return Velas – car

The hours are merely indicative, approximate to the realized average .

  • February 2023
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Description

(Tour, tour, swimming, caves, snorkeling)

This trail, with a linear route, about 10 km long, allows a unique walk with a mix of adventure, walking in the history of Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo, cooling off in a waterfall, taking a dip in the Lagoon and visiting a cave. legendary. All this included in a car tour, with a stop (mandatory), at the natural pool, Poça Simão Dias.

The walk starts on the regional road, next to the Serra do Topo Wind Farm.
The day begins with departure from Vila das Velas, at 09:30, about 30 km from the beginning of the trail, so on the trip, we pass by one of the factories, of the famous Queijo de São Jorge, for a cheese tasting.

The official trail, known as Trilho PR1SJO, starts on a dirt track, with another alternative, for the more adventurous, the Trilho das Polegadas, known to very few but, being the oldest of the trails to Fajã da Caldeira, with a degree of difficulty a little higher, is compensated by the surroundings and silence of the intact nature.

On the trail there are several examples of endemic flora, such as Heather (Erica azorica), Cedro-do-mato (Juniperus brevifolia) and Holly (Ilex azorica). It is also possible to observe and hear some avifauna such as the Galician Sandpiper (Numenius phaeopus), the Little Starfish (Calliphlox amethystina) and the Kite (Buteo buteo rothschildi).
In the middle of the route we will cross some streams, where one of them, with a small waterfall and lagoon, allows for a dip in the clear and fresh waters that spring from the mountain. A few minutes to rest and refresh.

Along the way, in descending phase, we will cross some fountains and a place from where it is possible to see the Caldeira de Santo Cristo. We continue to the fajã, passing by the Sanctuary of Senhor Santo Cristo and the Environmental Interpretation Center.
In this place, you can visit the Lagoa da Caldeira de Santo Cristo, an area classified as Protected Landscape and a place of cultural and scenic interest. Known mainly for the presence of clams, the lagoon is an important place for resident birds, as well as for some migratory species. With the increase in tourist activity in the region, the fajã was discovered by the water sports community and classified as a sanctuary for bodyboarding and surfing.
Here, you can take the opportunity to take a dip in the Lagoa (salt water) before lunch.

Lunch, to be arranged with your Guide, can be picnic (included), transported by us or, if you wish, we can make a reservation at the local restaurant (not included).

The route continues in the Northwest direction, along the coast, passing by Fajã dos Tijolos.
On the way out of Fajã da Caldeira, you can also visit a cave that, in the past, was of some importance to the locals and, although in the wild, difficult to access, it is worth visiting, which takes no more than 15 minutes.

Then, after Fajã dos Tijolos, we find Fajã do Belo, a place that remained inhabited until the 1980 earthquake. Currently, a resort is under construction.
Along the way there are steel cables, formerly used to transport firewood to population areas. From this point it is already possible to see the Fajã dos Cubres in the background, where the route ends, next to the church of Nossa Senhora de Lourdes.
From Fajã dos Cubres, by car, we continue along the North coast, to the emblematic Fajã do Ouvidor, the tourist attraction of São Jorge until a few years ago. Before starting the descent to Fajã do Ouvidor, in the parish of Norte Grande, we visit Casa do Parque, an interpretation center with a lot of important information about the island of São Jorge.

The descent, to Fajã do Ouvidor, can be done by car or on foot, through the old access, to this fajã, a pedestrian trail, which is part of the mountain trail.

Once in the fajã, we head to Poça Simão Dias, one of the most popular attractions on the island of São Jorge, due to its beauty.
Access is via a small trail in the rocks, or, alternatively, also with a more difficult option, but which allows the visualization of imposing rock formations.

This place, ideal for a unique snorkeling experience, where, with the use of a mask and fins, we will be able to find many of the colorful fish that inhabit the seas of the Azores.
After the dive, in these waters, there is still time for a soft drink, in a local bar, above the port, with a breathtaking landscape, of Fajã da Ribeira da Areia, before returning to Vila das Velas, a 30-minute journey by car. .

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