Azores Adventures – Futurismo

Jump back to the Table of content

São Jorge island

This picture-perfect balcony of the triangle islands scores top points for its dramatic volcano cliffs. It will leave an unforgettable first impression.

A feast for the senses from its famous cheese production and empire of juicy clams, to wild surf adventures and bodyboard.

About São Jorge island

Looking like a green dragon emerging from the Atlantic Ocean, everything about São Jorge island is truly beautiful: from its range of mountains and its welcoming people to its delicious cheese and wonderful costal pools. If you want to be in contact with nature and love exploring breathtaking landscapes by foot, this island is all you can dream of. 

Some local secret spots are yet to be discovered by travellers as the gorgeous nature of São Jorge is full of surprises. There is so much to experience in one of the wildest and greenest island of the Azores. Lose yourself in the many Fajãs, take time to know this island because one thing is for sure: You will want to come back. 

Show all Show less

Geography

São Jorge is part of the islands of the “Triangle” with Pico and Faial. It is known as the island of Fajãs – flat land of small extension located by the sea. From east to west, São Jorge is 53 km long and from north to south it is only 8 km wide, for a total area of about 246km2. The closest island is Pico only 20km away.

The island is home to approximately 9,500 people. It is formed by a long “mountain range” that rises more than 1,000 meters above sea level, often described as the backbone of a mystical animal, giving São Jorge the name “dragon island”. The highest point is Pico da Esperança, at 1,503m above sea level. 

Economy

In the first centuries after the island was discovered, wheat and wine were important sources of wealth for São Jorge. However, the quality of its pasture was always a strong point. As São Jorge did not have harbors in good conditions, the island doesn’t reach much economic strength. Another weak point was the many agricultural crises in the 16th and 19th centuries. Also, many earthquakes and eruptions destroyed parts of the island. 

São Jorge was part of the whaling industry with manufacturing production from 1882 to 1972. You can learn more about the history of sperm whales at Casa dos botes in Urzelina and Topo.

Today, in addition to cheese, tuna fishing is a significant economic activity since the 1960s. Raising cattle was always also important for the island, for the cheese and for the wool.

History

São Jorge is believed to have been discovered along with the other central islands by Portuguese navigators, after Terceira island. The population began to arrive around 1470.

Just like many other islands, in the 16th and 17th centuries, São Jorge will be attacked by English and French privateers, and one of them will succeed to settle in Velas, in 1708. However, the local population resisted and they won their island back.

Nature & Geology

São Jorge is the island of many Fajãs, small flat ‘platforms’ inhabited or uninhabited close to the sea, formed by landslides or lava flows that have accumulated at the base of a cliff. Some fajãs are abandoned in the pursuit of a modern way of life, more practical. But in some of them, we can see persistent residents really loving their simple life. From the top of the fajãs, you can have incredible views of those tiny villages on the coast.

The high mountains are in the interior of the island. There, you can see many cones and lakes. Great views away from this part, as you can see all the islands of the central group on a sunny day.

There are many natural pools to enjoy the ocean around the island, and there is only one sandy beach, which is a secret place that locals can tell you if you ask.

WHY VISIT SAO JORGE

  • Canyoning and Surfing Heaven

    Waterfalls as far as the eye can see make São Jorge a favorite destination for canyoning lovers, and the perfect waves all year round attract surfers from all over the world.

  • Underground Enchantments

    São Jorge’s algars (Algar do Morro Pelado and Bocas do Fogo) are excellent volcanic cavities for some speleology.

  • Views over all the central islands

    From Sao Jorge, it is possible to see all the islands of the central group, the views are stunning everywhere you go.

  • Tours São Jorge island in Azores

    Top Sights in São Jorge island

    Things you must see in São Jorge island

    Reviews What people think about

    Back to the navigation

    Subscribe To Our Newsletter

    Sign Up for Email Updates on News & Offers