Fajãs de São Jorge
Biosphere Reserve

The Fajãs are the main ex-libris of the Jorgense landscape and, since 2016, have been part of the restricted list of UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves, having also been distinguished with an honorable mention in the 2020 National Landscape Prize, in the context of the 3rd Conference National Architecture and Landscape.

The Fajãs de São Jorge Biosphere Reserve has a total area of 98,114.17 ha, corresponding to the entire land area of the island of São Jorge and a surrounding marine area, whose outer limit is 3 miles from the coastline.

The island of São Jorge has an extensive coastline, as a result of its elongated configuration and the mountainous appearance is mainly due to the steep cliffs, mainly on the north coast, which makes the landscape more abrupt.

Alongside the enclosed valleys, there are others that do not even reach sea level, remaining suspended at the top of the cliff, giving rise to magnificent waterfalls.

Play Video

Flat surfaces occasionally appear on the coast, called fajãs (sloping fajãs and lava fajãs) which constitute a distinguishing characteristic of the island, due to the balanced relationship between man and nature and the unique experiences, landscapes and biodiversity.

The customs associated with the fajãs, unique in the Azores, have been consolidated over the years, resulting in a cultural specificity that remains to this day.

Fall in love with "dragon" island

Fajã de Santo Cristo

Located on the north side of the island, it is classified as a Partial Nature Reserve and Special Ecological Area, with a view to safeguarding the existing clam population and maintaining its ecological balance. It has ideal conditions for the practice of various sports such as surfing or hiking, an example of which is the footpath of Serra do Topo – Caldeira de Santo Cristo. It is considered the most emblematic Fajã on the island.

Fajã dos Cubres

Fajã dos Cubres is a distinctive place, located on the north slope of the island, whose name comes from the abundant plant with small yellow flowers, called Cubres. Its lagoon stands out, with an irregular shape and with four small islets in its bosom, a natural refuge for several sea and migratory birds. Here you can find a wide variety of typical marine fauna and flora.

Fajã dos Vimes

It is located on the south coast of the island and is a very attractive fajã due to its size and characteristics, whose habitable area extends over the hills. Known for the cultivation of coffee, unique in Europe, it is also famous for its handicrafts, such as the "Colchas da Fajã dos Vimes", woven by artisans on pedal looms. Three streams flow into this area, one of the particularities of Ribeira dos Vimes being a source of carbonated mineral water.

Fajã do Ouvidor

Uma das fajãs mais procuradas da costa norte, pela sua acessibilidade, encantos naturais e humanos. As piscinas naturais, que dão ótimas zonas balneares, dão uma singularidade a esta fajã que lhe traz muitos visitantes, sendo a Poça Simão Dias a maior e mais paradigmática. É também muito concorrida por ocasião das festas do espírito Santo, na 5ª feira do Espírito Santo e da Trindade, onde são cozinhadas e fornecidas as tradicionais “Sopas do Calhau”.

Fajã João Dias

Accessed by a narrow and inclined trail, this fajã belongs to the parish of Rosais and owes its name to the owner who owned most of the fajã. The houses in this fajã are peculiar as they all have their own cistern for capturing rainwater. Its landscape is peculiar mainly due to the existence of a bay with a small beach, providing a bathing area.

Fajã das Almas

A Fajã das Almas situa-se no lado sul da ilha, na freguesia das Manadas, concelho de Velas, e é também conhecida como Fajã do Calhau. Nesta fajã podemos encontrar duas ermidas, a ermida de Nossa Senhora das Almas, situada no lugar dos Barbós, e a ermida de Santo Cristo, construída em 1876. A 9 de Setembro de 1880, a ermida de Santo Cristo sofreu um incêndio, sendo a sua reconstrução promovida pelo Barão do Ribeiro e benzida a 14 de Janeiro de 1882.