Sete Cidades: The Blue & Green Lakes in Sao Miguel

setecidadesThe name Sete Cidades is said to have originated from the 7 craters on the island which resulted from volcanic eruptions millions of years past and which gave way to the Verde, Azul, Rasa, Santiago, Caldeiras Secas and Alferes lakes that now exist in the area. “Lagoon of the Seven Cities” known in Portuguese as “Lagoa Sete Cidades” is a twin lake that is located inside a dormant volcanic crater on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores (Verde lake and Azul Lake). One of the most breathtaking volcanic scenes in the Azores islands for sure. The Lagoa of Sete Cidades is located in the parish town of Sete Cidades which is part of the county of Ponta Delgada, the islands capital. Although the smallest community in terms of population in the county of Ponta Delgada, it is the largest in terms of space with the famous twin lakes that is located inside a 12km dormant volcanic crater.12bde-poppThe colonization of Sete Cidades developed after the property owner, Dr. José Bettencourt, who was the principal benefactor of the lands within the crater, made tracts available for settlement. These lands were rented to farmers and other colleagues, who then cultivated the limited tracts and paid monthly stipends for their use. For a long time, this limited the number of inhabitants living within the region and left mass construction and destruction of the natural beauty alone. This has allowed the beautiful region to become one of the most unspoiled regions in all of Europe. Considered one of the 7 natural wonders of Portugal, these twin lakes with the bridge that divides them is truly one of Portugal’s most famous sites. The sweet smelling hydrangeas, and laurasilva trees that surrounds the lakes only add to the pleasure of exploring them. Each side of the lake has it’s unique charm and character and together only add to the wonderful experience of hiking, touring or simply just exploring on your own this tranquil area. The total depth of the lake at it’s deepest point is 19 meters, and is surrounded by unique trails perfect for anytime of outdoor activity.6a980-p-12-065In 1901 when the King of Portugal was visiting the Azores islands, he spent sometime on the island of Sao Miguel with his wife Queen Amelia. They did not stay in hotel’s like modern day monarchs but instead resided in the homes of the various members of the royal family on the islands. When Carlos and was wife Amelia visited the twin lakes they fell in love with it’s natural beauty and the government decided to name the viewpoint located where the King and Queen stood in honour of him which he graciously accepted. Under the name Miradouro Vista do Rei ” The King’s Viewpoint” is where hundreds of thousands of visitors to this glorious sight has taken photographs that have been on the walls and in picture frames around the world for over a century.Mountain landscape with hiking trail, Sao Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal

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