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The Sete Cidades Legend: A True Love Story

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Every place has its own stories for those guided by a spirit of inquiry, and the Azores is full of them. Its charm is a source of inspiration for various local myths, tales, and legends. Notably, the best-known legend – The Sete Cidades Legend, is inspired by the sublime landscape of its lakes.

Although many versions of the Sete Cidades legend exist, the tale is always about a beautiful princess and her beloved shepherd.

Once upon a time…

A long time ago, in a distant era, there was the kingdom of the Sete Cidades (Seven Cities), surrounded by beautiful mountainous and verdant scenery. Nevertheless, pale in comparison with the unique beauty of the princess who lived here.

Besides being beautiful, she had a unique inquisitive mind that transported her beyond the doors of her palace. Across meadows and trails of spontaneous quietness, among dancing flowers, as well as deciduous trees waiting for the seasons. 

Álvaro Palácios | Sete Cidades is one of the most emblematic sceneries of the Azores. It was elected one of Portugal’s seven nature wonders and is protected by Natura 2000.
Álvaro Palácios | Sete Cidades is one of the most emblematic sceneries of the Azores. It was elected one of Portugal’s seven nature wonders and is protected by Natura 2000.

An impossible love at first sight

One day during one of her country walks, the princess found a young shepherd playing the flute on top of a hill. Those chords of vibrant notes reverberated in his ears like a call to a new adventure. The poor shepherd, surprised by that unexpected encounter, remained in contemplation.

Everything around them was born spontaneously like the fire of an enormous volcano, now transmitting to this couple’s feelings, the force that only nature can impose!

Vitor Dias Rego

Hours and days went by, the princess and the shepherd were always in the same place. Their hearts were already playing the same melody and exchanging vows of love, a love somehow impossible for both of them.

Together they continued to dream in secret, but fate was already sealed. Eventually, the news arrived through the wind and the unsetting fog, so the princess became betrothed to a prince from another kingdom.

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David Rodrigues | Is pretty common to see the mist invading the Lagoa das Sete Cidades, by the morning, swallowing its picturesque village for some minutes.
David Rodrigues | Is pretty common to see the mist invading the Lagoa das Sete Cidades, by the morning, swallowing its picturesque village for some minutes.

The sad separation

Though it was against her will, the princess was bonded by the king’s ultimate command. Therefore the condescending princess has accepted her fate.

Then for one last time, on the same green field as before, the lovers met. In the same quietness green, sorrow was seen. At some point, the dream ended and the resigned hearts now sang in silence, an agonizing melody that overflowed in tears.

For instance, the princess’ tears were so many and uncontrollable that they gathered in an immense lake with blue waters like her eyes. In turn, the shepherd wept with all his feeling, tears that gave way to another pond of green water slightly smaller.

Deep green eyes, as green as the luxurious vegetation that would depict him for all time!

Vitor Dias Rego
David Rodrigues | Surrounded by green, get mesmerized by the deep colors of Sete Cidades.
David Rodrigues | Surrounded by green, get mesmerized by the deep colors of Sete Cidades.
SUP Volcanic Lakes Adventure
Enjoy the opportunity to deel the atmosphere that covers the lagoons like a dome in a SUP board, wandering in thoughts and feelings.

The origin of the Blue and Green Lagoons of Sete Cidades

From this enchanting legend of Sete Cidades, our Blue and Green Lagoon was born. Mysterious and melancholy as the mist embraces the lagoon and shining waters when the sun caresses it. It carries an intense green of the luxurious vegetation and a vivid blue like the sky.

Here, nature emerges in all its splendor, authentic and vibrant, just like the love of the Princess and her Shepherd.

For one thing, the waters that can almost touch but never unite. Here in these waters lies a love that lasts and enchants whoever sees the lagoon. 

Bruno Ázera | The
Bruno Ázera | The “Vista do Rei” viewpoint offers an incredible panorama over many lakes inside the Sete Cidades volcanic complex. Breathe fresh air and enjoy the spectacular views.

Undoubtedly, come and stay for the fantasy or emotion, walk along the old tracks now decorated with colorful hydrangeas.

Who knows these are the same paths where young lovers wandered. Perhaps, even today during the silence of the night, under the moonlight, these young lovers still meet themselves. Searching for each other in the infinite of their waters hidden from the gaze of the world.

What is certain is that those who visit the most beautiful corner of Sete Cidades, create their own tale of “Once upon a time”, in the memories they take from here.

References

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Stand Up Paddle in Lagoa das Sete Cidades

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Outstanding photo of the Lagoa das Sete Cidades

Experiências

Complementary Content – Sete Cidades Legend

Gallery

  • Amazing photo of the nature of the Sete Cidades Lake
  • Amazing shot of the Lagoa das Sete Cidades and the houses there located
  • Picturesque photo of the Sete Cidades Lake
  • Extraordinary colors of the Vista do Rei in Sete Cidades
  • Outstanding picture of a couple kayaking in Lagoa das Sete Cidades

Video – Sete Cidades Legend

Map

Valentina Rodrigues