• Adventure Expeditions - Fajã do Sanguinhal - Sao Jorge Island - Azores
  • Adventure Expeditions - Fajã do Sanguinhal - Sao Jorge Island - Azores
  • Adventure Expeditions - Fajã do Sanguinhal - Sao Jorge Island - Azores


adventure expeditions in sao jorge island - azores

This expedition takes us to one of the remotest fajãs of the island of São Jorge. It has been forgotten by the population since 1980 who abandoned it due to the earthquake of January 1st, 1980. Its inhabitants lived of what nature gave them, fishing, farming and grazing. It was a self subsisting fajã. This expedition takes us back in time where man and nature lived in perfect harmony.

In Fajã do Sanguinhal, in the past, there were quite a few inhabited houses, about 18 overall. Due to their abandon by their owners, the houses are almost all in ruins. The inhabitants of this fajã raised cattle in the high grasslands during the summer and were taken to fajã in winter, being fed with leaves and small branches of the incense tree harvested nearby. Besides the river that divides the boundaries with Fajã Redonda there is the Sanguinhal River in whose pools you can find many eels. Here the water of six water springs runs all the way until the last grasslands of Sanguinhal, soaking them and allowing fresh grass to grow all the time.

day 1

After the briefing in the Aventour Base, we’ll leave to the starting point of the trail, accompanied by the responsible guide for the expedition. The trail begins in the Mountain of Topo, 700 m altitude, with a slight ascent to the summit, up to 850 meters altitude in the mountainous foothills of the Volcanic Complex of Topo, where the descent to Fajã do Sanguinhal begins. This route was used by the inhabitants to go for supplies to Ribeira Seca or Santo Antão. They didn’t do it often because the distance was long. That’s why people tried to take from the land a little bit of everything to be self-sufficient.

On this route we pass by a great diversity of endemic plants such as heather, cedar, beech and we can hopefully see wild goats that now populate the hillside. When we arrive to Ribeira da Fajã Redonda, we will stop for a snack and have a break to rest, surrounded by the "wilderness".

We’ll go through Fajã Redonda and the dairy place where we can still see the skimming machine. On reaching Fajã do Sanguinhal we have the feeling that time has stopped, involving us in the mysticism of the place.


After having lunch and recovering energy, we will explore Fajã do Sanguinhal. There are many houses in this place, completely abandoned, like sentinels guarding this piece of paradise. There it’s still possible to see some artifacts that people used in their day-to-day life. We will also have time to bathe in the crystalline waters of a river that ends up in a waterfall of 110 m height.

We’ll wait for the night in the camp, with a very inspiring as well as mythical dinner, accompanied by the sound of Cories and the sea. It will be, for sure, an unforgettable night, due to the surrounding environment and to the fact that you are in such place where once the houses were lit by lamps or by the fireplace in each room.

Adventure Expeditions - Fajã do Sanguinhal - Sao Jorge Island - Azores

day 2

After waking up surrounded by Nature and having breakfast watching the sea, we will explore Fajã Redonda. This place is quite abundant in water, where once there were two water mills. The abundance of water comes from four relatively strong sources that run throughout the year. Products grew in this fajã and they were always sufficient to meet the basic needs of its inhabitants. When, by chance, something was missing they would travel all the way up to Ribeira Seca or Santo Antão for supplies.

After lunch we will say goodbye to this Fajã. We will use the trail that people used in the past to reach the summit of the island. This is a route of 3000 stone steps, which gave the name to this path: the path of steps. In the late afternoon we will reach the summit and will be presented by a breathtaking view of the north coast of the island of Sao Jorge.

We’ll end this journey on Piquinho da Urze, near the wind farm of Sao Jorge Island.

activity information


difficulty level


north coast

Distance of the Hiking

total distance  12km

Starting Point

start: serra topo

Finish Point

finish: piquinho urze

Maximum Altitude

altitude max. 850 m

Hiking duration

hiking 7h

Total Time of the Activity

total time  2 days

price from


atctivity number


additional information

bring to the activity

Comfortable and light clothing;

Hiking boots or tennis shoes;

Cap and Wool cap

Backpack not exceeding 25L;

Waterproof jacket;

Wind shield;

Extra underwear;



included in the activity

Transfers from our base and return;

Accredited guides;





Camping equipment;

Gift Aventour.