Velas: Travel and tourism

Velas is the capital of the island of São Jorge, but the town has less than 2,000 inhabitants. However, its urban layout, the many streets that cross it, the fine mansions and churches give it a smart look which is not usually found in other small towns of the Azores.

The island is characterized by the fajãs (tongues of land between the cliffs) and it was on these promontories along the coast that the colonists first settled in the 15th century.

The island was devastated in different periods by terrible earthquakes which greatly damaged the architectural patrimony. However, there are churches and chapels all over the island, even in places of difficult access, where at least once a year there is a feast in honour of the patron saint.

At Velas, it is worth visiting the 17th-century Mother Church and the Town Hall.

Across the island, the typical 16th and 17th-centuries rural houses have two floors and guillotine windows on the whitewashed façades.

Visitors usually enjoy exploring the paths that climb up and down between the fajãs, and the scenery is dazzling specially in Summer, when the blue hydrangeas are in full bloom.

Caldeira de Santo Cristo (Holy Christ Crater Lake) is the only place in the archipelago of the Azores where clams can be found, so it is no wonder they are one of the local gastronomical specialities.
Hotel São Jorge Garden Hotel São Jorge Garden
$$$ (50 to 100 euros)

With a privileged ocean side location, this hotel stands 200 metres away from the main shopping area. São Jorge Garden Hotel has a lovely outdoor sea water pool for you to cool off in, with separate areas for adults and children.

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