Fajãs do Norte
Protected Landscape Area
Extending along the northeast coast of São Jorge, this Protected Landscape Area comprises about 2926 hectares. It is composed of sea-cliffs with heights between 300 and 700 metres and several fajãs, mostly detritic platforms, as the fajãs of Cubres, Belo and Caldeira de Santo Cristo.
Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo is a detritic platform formed by materials that resulted from slope movements (such as rockfalls, landslides and slumps), which dimensions were significantly increased as the result of slope movements during the earthquake of 9 July 1757. The erosive action of the sea, of the rainwater and of the surface water runoff probably originated its unique coastal lagoon, separated from the sea by a pebble beach, but linked directly to it through a tidal influx built by Man.
Fajã dos Cubres and Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo are detritic platforms formed by materials that resulted from slope movements and together they constitute the only coastal lagoon system in the Azores, a priority and protected habitat. The coastal lagoon of Fajã dos Cubres does not communicate directly with the sea, which influences its hydrodynamics.
Fajã da Ribeira d'Areia together with Fajã do Ouvidor and Fajã das Pontas are the only lava deltas on the north coast of the island. They were originated from basaltic lava flows emitted from the central volcanic ridge, associated with volcanic eruptions that occurred in the last 10 thousand years, and reached the coastline spreading at its base.
Here, the fossil cliff (located before Fajã da Ribeira d'Areia and evidence of the coastline that existed before the volcanic eruption that originated the lava delta) reaches about 280 metres of altitude. Along the coast it is possible to observe ropy lavas, coastal caves (from marine erosion) and several well-preserved lava arches, such as the Arco da Fajã da Ribeira d'Areia.
This zone allows to observe species of migratory birds such as the Ardea cinerea, the Egretta garzetta,the Anas platyrhynchos and, more rarely, Ardea purpurea. In terms of flora, we highlight the Juniperus brevifolia, the Morella faya and the Picconia azorica.
This protected area integrates the Costa Noroeste and Ponta do Topo Special Area of Conservation (SAC), within the Natura 2000 network and is classified as Ramsar Site under the Ramsar Convention and as a geosite of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark.