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Pico do Pedro – Pico da Esperança – Faja do Ouvidor R4SJO

 

The trail begins at the bottom of Pico do Pedro (peak), on a dirt path, and ends in Fajã do Ouvidor (cove).
Along the way you will see a large biodiversity and locals of high geological importance, highlighting the Pico da Esperança, the highest point of the island. Before going down to Fajã do Ouvidor, visit the São Jorge Park´s Shop and meet some more treasures of the Natural Park.

Start the trail at the bottom of the Pico do Pedro (peak), on a dirt path. Along the way you will see a great diversity of flora, such as Azorean St. John's wort (Hypericum foliosum), Azorean blueberry (Vaccinium cylindraceum), buckthorn (Frangula azorica) and holly (Ilex perado subsp. azorica). In terms of fauna can be sighted the common chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs moreletti) and the Azores blackbird (Turdus merula azorensis).

Through the trail you will find the Pico do Carvão (peak), which has a crater inside, followed by the Morro Pelado that has the Algar do Montoso, the deepest of the Azores, 140 m deep.

Continuing the trail, you can see the highest point of the island with about 1053 m, the Pico da Esperança and the Cordilheira Vulcânica Central (central volcanic cordillera). In this place you can take a detour and climb the peak, where you can see, on days of low cloudiness, its lagoons and the surrounding islands Graciosa and Terceira on the north side and Pico and Faial on the south side.

Following the route, you will go through large patches of juniper (Juniperus brevifolia) and tree heath (Erica azorica). Continuing down, you will arrive at Norte Grande where you can visit the São Jorge Park´s House.

Down to the Fajã do Ouvidor Viewpoint is possible to observe the geosite of this fajã and Fajã da Ribeira d'Areia, which together with the Fajã das Pontas, are the only existing lava fajãs on the northern coast of the island.

Finish the trail arriving at Fajã do Ouvidor, where you can admire the various ponds, of which highlights the Poça de Simão Dias.

 

Difficulty level: medium

Length: 17 km

Average duration: 4h

Altitude:

Minimum altitude: 5 m

Maximum altitude: 1053 m

Recommended gear: Appropriate footwear for walking, waterproof jacket, hat, sunscreen and water

 

Start: Pico do Pedro (38°40’6.539’’ N | 28°7’6.47’’ W)

End: Fajã do Ouvidor - harbour (38°40’43.02’’ N | 28°3’2.18’’ W)

 

Getting there

Leaving from Velas village, by east, follow the Regional Road 1-2A for approximately 9 km until you find the sign indicating "Nortes", following that direction. Go about 9 km, until you find a dirt path to the right, indicating to the "Pico da Esperança". Follow this path around 6m where you will find the beginning of the walking trail.