Costa Sul e Sudoeste
Protected Area for the Management of Habitats or Species
This area, with about 497 hectares and a maximum altitude of 550 metres, extends along the south and southwest littoral of the island and includes steep sea-cliffs alternating with talus-platforms (named “fajãs”) originated from lava flows and/or from detritic materials.
On the southwest sea-cliffs, outcrop old geological formations, of submarine origin and with about 2.5 million years, which are covered by younger geological formations associated with the subsequent subaerial volcanism.
At the south, stand out the Ponta da Rocha Alta (formed in 1980) and the Fajã de Lopo Vaz, detritic platforms that resulted from the landslide of the high and steep adjacent sea-cliffs.
The Lajes das Flores lava delta is constituted by basaltic flows, which moved towards the sea and formed the rocky tip that extends from the lighthouse to the Porto das Lajes (harbour).
On the inaccessible islets and sea-cliffs, occur endemic plants such as the Daucus carota azoricus, the Euphorbia azorica and the Festuca petraea.
In this protected area, nest important colonies of seabirds, standing out the Calonectris borealis, the Sterna hirundo and the Sterna dougallii.
It is possible to discover this protected area through the Lajedo - Fajã Grande (PR02FLO), the Fajã de Lopo Vaz (PRC04FLO) and the Great Route of Flores (GR01FLO) walking trails.
This area includes the Costa Sul e Sudoeste Special Protection Area (SPA), a geosite of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark and an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) of the BirdLife International organization.