Best hikes in Europe
To access the fajãs of the island of São Jorge, the inhabitants created trails that we believe to be the best hikes in Europe. Built between the mountain and ocean they provide unique panoramas. Currently there is a vast network of hikes that look that were specially designed for any nature and Farm tourism lover. You can choose from the gentle route of the Fajã dos Cubres to the Caldeira de Santo Cristo with its coastal lagoons to the Fajã do Ouvidor with the beautiful natural formed swimming pool, Poça Simão Dias.
Interior mountain trails
Away from the ocean (as we can be in this 4 miles wide island) we feel the true volcanic nature of the island from the hikes of the central mountain range. We snake through hundreds of small cones and craters that were once active volcanoes and now are small lagoons. The great reward of these trails is the viewpoints of the peaks of Pico da Velha and Pico da Esperança. The views are stunning and we can see the five islands of the central group at the same time. We also highlight the craters of the Bocas do Fogo, which were active volcanoes in 1808. In these hikes through the middle of São Jorge we constantly see wild rabbits and wild eagles among the natural fauna. A scent of peppermint and heather escort us along the path lined with thousands of hydrangea. It’s hard to say which are the best hikes in Europe: whether the interiors of the Island of S. Jorge or the ones to the Fajãs of São Jorge.
Coastal hikes to the Fajãs
But before we get to the fajãs, let’s go to the end points of the island. The Ponta dos Rosais has, on top of its cliff, a lighthouse at 200 meters of altitude. It faces Faial and its sunset between the sky and the sea horizon is a must by many tourists. It is also a special conservation area of the European Union, with the second largest concentration of Cory’s Shearwaters in the Azores.
Amaro Filipe is very nice and pleasant, an excellent host. He received us very well, offered some typical, homemade products. Besides the overview about the island spots and facilities Amaro offered us a ride to the beginning of Santo Cristo trail.
Alexandre – Booking Review
On the opposite side we have Topo and its islet. With a spectacular view of the ocean we can clearly see Terceira Island and the sunrise from a privileged place.
Finally let’s head to the lateral parts of the island, with its rocky tips that penetrate the ocean, also known as fajãs. In our opinion, these are the best hikes in the world, but we know our opinion is biased. Being the best or “just” among the best trails, these hikes cut between the almost vertical cliffs and the sea are already world famous. When we walk through these trails we feel like we are in a Jurassic Park movie or in the middle of a rainforest. Although the island is not large in terms of area it is quite long, providing trails with many difficulty levels and unique beauties. You can find out more about the different trails on the Azores trails site. Whether to feel alive close to mother earth or even for photographers, these hikes provide perfect natural beauties that absorb all the stress and give great angles to unique pictures
Don’t forget to bring:
- Practical and discreet clothing
- Appropriate hiking shoes
- A waterproof poncho (it may rain suddenly)
- Biscuits for energy (we recommend Maria Alice cookies from Calheta)
- Sun screen
Tranport to trails
If you need a ride to the beggining of the trails or a ride at end, check our transportation to trails service.