Ilha de São Jorge Things to Do
Velas is well worth a wander around, especially on a sunny day. The views over to neighbouring Pico, and its same named volcano are stunning.
A nice walk is up to the summit of Morro Grande, the big hill just outside town. The views are marvellous (see my Sao Jorge home page for a typical one)
Ponta dos Rosais
Another wonderful walk is from the Sete Fontes (seven fountains) forest park down to the abandoned lighthouse at Ponta da Rosais. You can hire taxis from Velas to take you to the start point. The route is obvious. The lighthouse makes a good lunchstop atop the cliff with stunning views to the islands of Pico and Faial.
After lunch walk back to the village of Rosais, where your pre-arranged taxi will pick you up
0 Hotels in Ilha de São Jorge
Ilha de São Jorge Transportation
Aluguer de viaturas
Se vai visitar esta ilha, há pelos menos cinco agências de aluguer de viaturas a ter em conta.
If you are visiting this island, there are at least five rent-a-car agenies to have in mind.
Auto Turística São Jorge, 295432421, 910028115, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ribeiro e Sá. Recentemente tive uma má experiência com esta agência. Houve uma tentativa de inflacionar uma tarifa previamente acordada. Recently I had a bad experience with this agency. They have tryed to overcharge a rate previously informed.
Velas Auto, 295430159, email@example.com
Sao Jorge to Pico
If arriving on Sao Jorge was exciting, departing also hjas its merits. The ferry over to Pico takes around 30 minutes.
The beautiful Velas harbour soon fades into the distance, as does the ridge of Sao Jorge, as the island of Pico approaches. If you're lucky and its clear. You get great views of the volcano.
An added bonus is a spot of free whale watching. We saw a sperm whale coming up for air about 400 yards off the bow of the ferry.
Terceira to Sao Jorge
This is quite an adventure. As you come in to land at tiny Velas Airport, you can almost touch the mountain to your left, and to the right there is a stunning view across the channel to Pico and its superb volcano.
Rumour has it, that sometimes the pilots take two or three goes to land, although we got down first time.
The arrivals hall is not much bigger than my living room, and packed with passengers, locals and taxi drivers.
What an arrival!
Ilha de São Jorge Local Customs
If you're going to Velas, try and get there the first week in July, when it celebrates the Semana Cultural, a week long festival of activities. We were there on the Saturday night for an excellent pop concert. (Well the speakers were in touching distance from my hotel window, so there was no chance of sleeping).
There's also a traditional running with the bulls, where the local lads try and outwit the young bulls. There is no cruelty here, the bulls do not finally end up in the bullring as in Spain
Ilha de São Jorge Off The Beaten Path
This is a wonderful story. Urzelina suffered tremondouly in a volcanic eruption in 1808. The lava flowed down and buried everything, except miracously the church tower, where it passed by either side. The tower still stands today as a monument to the buried village.
You can see further evidence by the coast, where lava tunnels flow out into the sea.
Ilha de São Jorge Favorites
Can you explore this Island in one...
Favorite thing: If you have no time enought to spend in this Island, I adise you the following itinerary:
Velas - Urzelina [Tower church and local museum at the port] - Manadas [Santa Bárbara Church] - Biscoitos - Calheta [Port, museum of São Jorge, Santa Catarina Church] - Fajã Grande - Ribeira seca [Noronhas manour house] - Fajã dos Vimes [coffee plantation, traditional crazy quilt factory]. From this point, I advise you to return back to Ribeira Seca and cross the island, at this point, to the north. From Norte Pequeno, go to Fajã dos Cubres - Fajã do Santo Cristo [lagoon] (only on foot) - Fajã do Ouvidor (one of my favourites!) - Picos (Brenhas, Areeiro, Esperança, Carvão, Caldeirinha) - Pico of Choupana - Rosais [Park of Sete Fontes and Light house] - Velas.
Fajãs and Fajãs!
Favorite thing: Fajã da Caldeira do Santo Cristo.
Fondest memory: Unfortunately I didn´t go to Fajã da Caldeira do Santo Cristo because I couldn't go on foot.
I liked a lot Fajã dos Cubres and Fajã dos Vimes. In the last one, I had the opportunity to drink the coffee produced locally. Try it?
If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.