"Sete Cidades" Sete Cidades by Avieira67

Sete Cidades Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 46 photos

The Sete Cidades Massif and Caldera is a Volcano located on the extreme western side of the Island. It occupies an area of about 110 km2.
The present circular caldera, with 5 km on diametre and up to 400 m high, is occupied by diverse volcanic structures and four lakes. It was formed by three phases of eruptions. The first one occurred 36,000 years ago, and ceased with the collapse of the principal volcano. The second one began around 29,000 years ago, and was responsible for the collapse of the northwest portion of the primitive caldera. The last one occurred 16,000 years ago, and lead to the collapse of the northern sector of the caldera.

The Sete Cidades Volcano has experienced 17 intra-caldera eruptions within the last 5000 years, which makes it the most active in the Azores. The last intra-caldera eruption occurred around 500 years A.D., resulting in the creation of the Caldeira Seca cone.
Sete Cidades has no active fumarole, and most secondary manifestations occur in the submarine vents off the coast of Ponta da Ferraria and Mosteiros, as well as zones of natural degasification.
The most recent historical eruption dates back to the 15th Century. Other eruptions have occurred within the caldera and from submarine vents along the western coast of the island.

This samll typical civil parish, situated on the bank of the Lagoa Azul - Blue Lake, has an area of 19.22 km2 and a population of 793 living inside this crater (Data 2011).
Besides the Azul, Verde, Santiago and Rasa lakes, and the amazing landscape due to volcanic origin, the village is worth a visit for the preserved traditional houses, some of them still with granaries, the Gotic style church of São Nicolau, the manor house Casa Grande and the tunel. I advise you to cross it, about 1 km, with a flashlight!
There are, at least two viewing points to have a panoramic view of the whole caldera, including some of the volcano that were active after the formation of the caldera. These are: Vista do Canário, located in Canário Park. and Vista do Rei , the main point, located one foot from the abandoned hotel. When going down to the lakes, Miradouro do Cerrado das Freiras allows you a good perspective of the Blue lake.

Since 1980 an area of 2067 acres including, not only the Sete Cidades Lakes and Cratera, but also other small volcanic craters housing various lagoons such as Lagoa do Canário, Lagoa do Pau Pique and Lagoa das Empadadas are classified as a Protected Landscape.

It is possible to visit Sete Cidades village on a day trip by local bus from Ponta Delgada.

  • Last visit to Sete Cidades: Jan 2013
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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