Volcanoes, calderas and legends

Sete Cidades (engl.: Seven Cities) is one of three active but currently dormant giant volcanoes on São Miguel, one of a total of 26 active volcanoes on the Azores. The name also refers to the double lake in the caldera and the village on the lake. Just the drive there is fantastic. The Lagoa do Canário (“lake of the canary”) is a eutrophic lake at a height of approximately 750 m. From Miradouro da Vista do Rei (the name goes back to the visit of the Portuguese King Carlos I in the year 1901), one has a view to the caldera with the village and the double lake that one does not forget. The blue and the green volcanic lake (Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde) are only distinguishable in colour because of the different reflections (the smaller Lagoa Verde is closely surrounded by a dense green coniferous forest on the steeply rising crater wall. This coniferous forest influences the light reflections on the water surface and makes it shimmer rather green. In the larger, more open part of the lake near the village of Sete Cidades, the blue of the sky can be better reflected. The Lagoa Azul therefore appears more blue). But the legend of this is much nicer:

“One of the Sete Cidades legends tells of the love of a princess and a poor shepherd. On her excursions over the fields & valleys the daughter of a rich king met a shepherd. The romance turned into a gripping, secret love between the two. But one day the king found out the secret of his daughter and forbade her to have contact with the shepherd. For his daughter he had long since planned a prince who would inherit a large kingdom. He granted his daughter one last meeting. When they parted, both shed so many tears that two lakes were created. The tears that flowed from the blue eyes of the princess formed the Lagoa Azul. The tears from the green eyes of the shepherd formed the Lagoa Verde. And though they were henceforth separated, their tears united them forever.”

On the way back you will encounter fascinating viewpoints like the Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado, Miradouro do Caminho Velho, Ponta dos Mosteiros, Miradouro do Caminho Novo / the Baleias, just to name a few.

The evening ends with a Cataplana do Mar with a 2017 Tinto Vulcânico from the Azores.

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