São Jorge – A Journey into a Portuguese Natural Oasis

August 6, 2019

If hiking along breathtaking cliffs, surfing world class waves, observing more than 25 whale species or diving between gorges with sharks and dolphins is one of the things on your bucket list, the heavenly island of São Jorge of the Azores should be your next destination.

The Azores have long ceased to be an insider tip only for surfers and nature lovers. But while most tourists and sportsmen travel to the more famous island of São Miguel, we from Secretplaces have chosen to discover the island of São Jorge, where we were rewarded with awesome experiences and wonderful landscapes and panoramas.

Only 2.5 hours of flight separate the Azores from the Portuguese mainland. Although its mild temperatures make it an attractive year-round destination, the best time to visit São Jorge is between June and October. During this time the average temperatures in paradise ranges from 22 to 26 degrees Celsius – ideal for exploring the island.

Enchanting Fajãs – a paradise for hiking

Like all islands of the Azores, São Jorge is of volcanic origin, but in contrast to the other islands, it does not have a caldera. The island with a length of 54 kilometres and a width of 7 kilometres has an incredibly beautiful nature incomparable to any other island on the Azores. The cliffs along its shores are a landmark of the island and make it a perfect destination for hikers and trekking enthusiasts.
From the plane you will see numerous ‘fajãs’, small headlands surrounded by steep mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. They were formed by lava sliding down the slopes or mountain slopes sliding into the ocean. The island of São Jorge is blessed with more than 40 different ‘fajãs’. Many of them can be reached on foot. While some routes are easier to walk, others are more of a challenge, being steep and difficult to reach. However, in the end every great effort is worth it, as breathtaking views await you everywhere along the routes.
One of the most spectacular is the Fajã de Santo Cristo where you will find natural pools and waterfalls along the way, inviting you to take a long break after your hiking tour.

Surfing, diving and whale watching

In addition to excellent trekking conditions, the island also attracts numerous surfers, divers and whale watchers. No wonder, because here, in the middle of the ocean, you find perfect conditions for all kinds of water sports. The long, tube like waves on São Jorge can be up to 300 meters wide, making them ‘world class waves’. They are especially suitable for experienced surfers who want to discover new frontiers and feel a special kick of adrenaline.
The waters around São Jorge can also be a new challenge for divers: besides wreck and cave diving, the island is especially suited for shark diving. There are few places in the world where divers can swim so close to sharks. However, you must be very experienced and patient, because it can often take a very long time for the sharks to take the bait.

But it is not just sports that make São Jorge such a fantastic travel destination. The island is also a perfect location to watch whales and dolphins. Unpolluted, crystal clear water and abundant food makes São Jorge an ideal habitat for whales and dolphins. Up to 25 different species of whales and dolphins can be found around the island, with some staying all year round, while sperm whales and Atlantic spotted dolphins can be found mostly in summer.

Eager to visit the island of São Jorge? Now all you need is a great place to stay, such as the beautiful Quinta da Magnolia.

This beautiful hotel welcomes its guests with unique rooms, maximum relaxation, and a panoramic view over the deep blue sea and the mountains covered in lush vegetation.

Discover our other accommodations in the Azores on secretplaces.com.