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Sao Jorge is a long, slender island in the Portuguese Azores archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean.
A volcanic ridge stretching from northwest to southeast acts as the spine of the island, making it an ideal hiking or mountain biking holiday destination. Also, any thrill-seekers should be certain to traverse some of Sao Jorge’s canyons and large, vertical descents.
One of the most attractive walking trails takes you down to Faja do Santa Cristo, where you’ll come across a lovely church and an enormous lagoon in which clams, a local delicacy, are farmed. Also, be sure to sample some of the world-renowned Sao Jorge Island cheese where you can.
Another great way to drink in the scenery is on horseback, as the Azores are home to a range of well-trained breeds such as Lusitano and Cruzado Portuguese horses.
Sao Jorge boasts some stunning buildings too. One of which can be found in the town of Manadas; the beautiful Church of Santa Barbara. It is one the archipelago’s finest examples of religious architecture and features a magnificently decorated ceiling.
Much like all the islands in the Azores group, Sao Jorge’s seas offer fantastic diving, fishing and sailing opportunities. They’re also one of the best locations in the world for whale spotting and shark diving.
In July, the island really comes alive during the Semana Cultural das Velas, a week-long celebration of all things cultural in the town of Velas. It consists of musical performances, nautical shows and a superb food market, so it’s definitely worth seeing.
You can sail to Velas towards the northwest on Sao Jorge from the Azores Islands of Faial, Flores, Sao Miguel, Terceira, Pico and Graciosa.
These routes are operated by Atlanticoline, providing a few sailings each week.
The trip itself went relatively well. However, there were some problems with functioning of the website and for a week we could not buy the tickets because the website was not active (in May). I strongly recommend reminding/explaining foreign tourists the car license issues. While buying the ticket online for some reasons there was no option for "car registration/licence no. is unavailable at the moment" or something like this in the beginning of purchasing process. Then it appeared. When we came in a rented car to get the tickets in Madalena, the staff member at the ticket office did not ask us for the car registration number, so we went to the ferry and got to Horta with no car registration number on the tickets but, going back we experienced a big stress, when almost 5 minutes to the departure of the ferry we were told that our tickets are not valid for this car, though we had come without any problems to Horta already. Your staff at the ticket office should be careful. But generally we found this way of moving to Horta and back to Madalena very good.Read More Read Less
"Booking Atlanticoline with Direct Ferries"
Booking with Direct Ferries resulted in major issues which we have had to rectify while on holiday. The Direct Ferries website failed to include a car on the selected ferry crossing. When I contacted Direct Ferries to request that a car be included, I was informed that they would address this within the next 24 hours. I did not hear from Direct Ferries until one week later, shortly before our departure for the Azores, to inform me, as I was already aware, that a car was not included in the booking 2. When I attempted to rearrange the booking, once on the Azores, it transpired that Direct Ferried, despite confirming the booking for the 7th August, had in fact booked the outgoing journey for the 22nd July. Since this date had now passed I had to forfeit the cost of this booking and rebook for the correct date. I was fortunate to be able to include a vehicle in this booking but had to rearrange to a 7.30am crossing which was far from convenient. I will be raising these issues with Direct Ferries on my return to the UK. My advice to other travellers in the Azores would be to book directly with Atlanticoline who proved to be very efficient and helpful while trying to rectify the problems, and on our first crossing the service was excellentRead More Read Less
departure right on time and quick checkinn. that is something your rarely see when travelling by plane. pleasant and beautifull trip sitting on deck with a Nice sunshine seeing all the islands by. What more can jou wish. Only thing to improve is the lunch and diner. Food is good but it is serves in a short periode so the line up is long. Sometimes to long. Why not a buffet??Read More Read Less
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