• Fajã de São João - Walking Trails in Sao Jorge Island - Azores
  • Fajã do Toledo - Walking Trails in Sao Jorge Island - Azores
  • Fajã da Caldeira Santo Cristo - Walking Trails in Sao Jorge Island - Azores

na rota das fajãs

walking trails in sao jorge island - azores

This is a 3 day hiking program to discover 16 fajãs of São Jorge Island.

The island of Sao Jorge has an extensive coastline as a result of its elongated configuration and mountainous aspect is mainly due to steep cliffs, especially on the north coast, which makes the most abrupt landscape. Alongside the enclosed valleys there are others that do not even reach the sea level, being suspended at the top of the cliff leading to magnificent waterfalls. In coastal arise occasionally flat surfaces, designated fajas (fajãs slope and lava coves) which are a distinguishing feature of the island, the balance between man and nature and the unique experiences, landscapes and biodiversity. Customs associated with coves, unique in the Azores, were being consolidated over the years, resulting in a cultural specificity that remains to the present day.

day 1

fajãs da fragueira, vimes, fonte do nicolau, bodes, cavalete, ginjal, além e são joão.

Fajã dos Bodes - Walking Trails in Sao Jorge Island - Azores

This trail starts in Portal (in Ribeira Seca - Calheta) and goes down a trail with many steps until Fajã da Fragueira. The most illustrious inhabitant of this fajã was Maestro Francisco de Lacerda, who is said to have been born in the largest house of this place that is now in ruins.

Further down the coast, we arrive to fajã dos Vimes, where you’ll find a coffee production. Here we’ll stop in order to visit the coffee plants and the handcraft house. This Fajã and Fajã de São João are the only places in Europe with coffee productions.

We will pass by Fajã Fonte de Nicolau to get to Fajã dos Bodes. You can see old water mills and small plots cultivated along the way.


In Fajã dos Bodes there are people living, but many of them only go down to the fajã during the time of transhumance, coming from Loural to cultivate the land in January, February and March. Following East, we pass by Fajã do Cavalete before starting the ascent to Loural. This place gave its name to the very famous cheese of the island of San Jorge. The cheese of Lourais, which now has its production in the cooperative in the Parish of Ribeira Seca, which still has the same name: Lourais.


Fajã de São João is still inhabited all year round. This is due to its temperate weather and its fertile land for cultivation. It is another of the two places in Europe which produces coffee, as Fajã dos Vimes. This is the end of our walking tour. For those who want to know Fajã da Saramagueira, we can go on for almost 1 hour walk. Who is not interested, you can taste the Angelica (the typical drink of San Jorge) and enjoy the scenery in contact with the locals who stop in this nice typical coffee shop in São João.

activity information


difficulty level


south coast

Distance of the Hiking

total distance  17km

Starting Point

start: portal

Finish Point

finish: fajã são joão

Maximum Altitude

altitude max. 500 m

Hiking duration

hiking 5h

Total Time of the Activity

total time  6h

day 2

fajãs de manuel teixeira, rasa e vasco martins.

Fajãs do Toledo - Walking Trails in Sao Jorge Island - Azores

This Walking trail is located in Toledo, on the north coast of the island of San Jorge. It is a circular route which will pass through three of the fajãs of the island: Fajã Manuel Teixeira, Rasa and Vasco Martins, also known by the fajãs of Toledo.

The first part of the path to Fajã Manuel Teixeira is not the easiest, it is a sloping path and slippery in some areas, populated by a vast abundance of typical species from the forests of Laurisilva. The descent time varies depending on the physical condition of each Trekker, it may be around 50 minutes.


Fajã Manuel Teixeira has six old houses, with some wine cellars outside, and its water comes from four springs. It was this water that watered the main crops of this fajã such as the vine, yam (because of the abundance of water), watermelon, melon, pumpkin, cabbage, peppers, peas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and corn. There were also fruit trees such as fig tree, strawberry and apples.

From this Fajã we can see Ponta Furada. It is a geological formation with a large hole, that encloses the legend of Ponta Furada.

Although there are people there spending a few days, no one lives there for the whole year since the earthquake of January 1st, 1980.


We follow along the coast to Fajã Rasa. This fajã is characterized by its exoticism and the fact of being practically at sea level, a fact that gives it its name. Some time ago there were four wine cellars and it is still possible to see remnants of the mills. This fajã was practically buried by the earthquake in 1980 although we can still find some traces of the houses that were located along the coast.

Fajã Rasa had formerly a watermill on the river that divides this fajã from the previous one. Today we can find a low-water pit with water although it is abandoned. In this fajã there were other typical cultures harvested. It was also practiced grazing, particularly in winter. In this fajã you can find the endemic species of Macaronesia of Solidago sempervirens, which locals call Cubres.


We follow along the coast until Fajã Vasco Martins. This is one of the largest coves of the island. It has been a town with its own life for many centuries. Many families lived in this fajã, many permanently other for a few months a year.

There were about thirteen houses there. After the earthquake of 1980 people living permanently in this fajã abandoned it to live in "out of the rock" because it was safer. Currently there are a few houses that are properly preserved and none is inhabited permanently. Those that are still preserved keep their mills and wine cellars.


One of the exponents of this fajã is its waterfall of 70 m high, which falls in a pit of water, called Poço da Airoses, having this name due to eels, to which locals call Eiros.

It will be our next stop to have lunch in front of the unutterable beauty of this waterfall. Hopefully we’ll still see an eel snaking in the pit.

activity information


difficulty level


north coast

Distance of the Hiking

total distance  13km

Starting Point

start: toledo

Finish Point

finish: toledo

Maximum Altitude

altitude max. 650 m

Hiking duration

hiking 4h

Total Time of the Activity

total time  5h

day 3

fajãs da caldeira de cima, caldeira de santo cristo, tijolos, belo e cubres

Fajãs da Caldeira de Santo Cristo  - Walking Trails in Sao Jorge Island - Azores

This is a traditional route to get to Fajã da Caldeira Santo Cristo, situated between the cliffs and the sea. The most impressive in this fajã is its isolation and consequent inaccessibility. However there are still a few people who remained there after the 1980 earthquake, unwilling to abandon the fajã. Twelve is the number of people living there during the twelve months of the year.

The first part of the walking has a distance of 5 km through a valley until we reach the so called Fajã da Caldeira de Cima. In this place, some years ago, the inhabitants of the Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo spent some months in the summer with their families and pets.
Along the way we can appreciate the water mills, which were once used to grind corn and wheat.

On reaching Caldeira de Cima, the first of the sixth fajãs we will go on this tour by watching streams that give place to beautiful waterfalls of crystal clear water, inviting for a swim. If you want to have this amazing experience, we will stop in order to enjoy this gift of nature. Then we follow up to the sightseeing where we will have the first view of the Paradise - Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo. It is time to contemplate...

Leaving the valley behind and heading towards Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo, you can have a glimpse at the slope on the east of the island and listen to the explanation of our guides for, for example, the formation of all Fajãs.

(...) We got to the place where time does not exist, where the past and future are present and the soul is small by so much to watching (...)

After a swim in the natural lake and a delicious lunch, let's take a tour to visit Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo and make contact with some locals.

Now it is time to complete the trekking of 5 km and go on enjoying the scenery, always followed by the sound of waves that echoes on the cliff all the way to Fajã dos Cubres, passing by Fajã dos Tijolos and Fajã do Belo.

Once in Fajã dos Cubres, the finishing point of this tour, we will visit the lagoon where we can, hopefully, observe some migratory birds that use its margins as a waypoint. We finish with a visit to the church of Nossa Senhora de Lurdes.

We’ll leave Fajã dos Cubres in our transfer, going through Fajã da Bitesga and stopping at the sightseeing to say goodbye, with one last photo, to this place "blessed by god and nature."

activity information


difficulty level


north coast

Distance of the Hiking

total distance  10km

Starting Point

start: piquino da urze

Finish Point

finish: fajã dos cubres

Maximum Altitude

altitude max. 670 m

Hiking duration

hiking 3h

Total Time of the Activity

total time  5h

general information


difficulty level

Distância Total do percurso

total distance  40km

hiking 12h

Tempo total de atividade

total time  3 days

price from




additional information

bring to the activity

Comfortable and light clothing;

Hiking boots or tennis shoes;


Backpack not exceeding 25L;

Waterproof jacket;

Wind shield.;



included in activity

Transfers from our base and return;

Accredited guides;


1 lunch with proof of clams;



Gift Aventour.