With a length of 54 km and a maximum width of 6.9 km, São Jorge Island features a long volcanic ridge stretching from northwest to southeast. The area of the island reaches 243.9 sq. km, and it is the home to 9.171 inhabitants (2011 data). The island of São Jorge is part of the Central Group and is one of the corners of the so-called "triangle islands" together with Faial and Pico, the latter of which is 18.5 km away. At an altitude of 1,053 m, Pico da Esperança is the highest point of the island and is located at 38°39'02'' north latitude and 28°04'27'' west longitude.
A nature reserve and special ecological area, it is considered to be a sanctuary for body boarding and surfing. It is the only place in the archipelago where clams (Tapes decussatus), a local delicacy, grow.
A nesting place for birds on the eastern side of the island. During the summer, cows swim to the islet to graze there. Topo is also well known for the quality of its cheese.
1,053-metres high, this is the highest peak of São Jorge from where one can see the other islands of the central group.
A lookout affording a panoramic view over the town of Velas and the other two islands of the so-called “triangle”, Pico and Faial.
Church built in the 17th century and likely to have been the first church on the island. It was built under the order of D. Henrique with the purpose of replacing a 15th century temple.
In addition to providing ethnographical information on the island, this center exhibits several pieces, including pieces related to agriculture and flax production.
Part of the walls that defended the town of Velas from external attacks.
The original building dates back to 1485, when a 28-cm long statue of Santa Bárbara was found, leading to the construction of the church. In 1770 the building was extended and the only vestiges of the old temple can be seen in the present-day sacristy. Lavishly decorated in ...
Weaving in manual looms has subsisted in this fajã since the sixteenth century. Various stitching techniques are applied to produce beautiful bedspreads and carpets. Because of the micro climate of this fajã, coffee is planted here for local consumption.
Typical homes built in black stone with sash windows, and small farms, whose production is all for the farmer's own consumption. This fajã is one of the most pictoresque on the island.