Fajã da Caldeira do Santo Cristo

Pico da Vara - São Miguel PRC7SMI

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Trail Info

This linear roundtrip to Pico da Vara, the highest point of the Island (1103 m), begins on a dirt road that goes from Algarvia towards South. Go with the car until you find the initial trail panel.

Start climbing on a Japanese cedar wood (Cryptomeria japonica) that, at the end, gives way to ground vegetation, mainly composed by gramineae, giving name to this place – Planalto dos Graminhais.

When you arrive to a fork, from where it is possible to see the South Coast, choose the path on your left, towards Pico da Vara. The existing paths, now closed, allow the population to access the areas of coal production and cattle handling.

Follow the marks going through a landmark, signing the crash of an Air France plane, in 1949. This part of the trail is in a classified area as natural reserve where, sometimes, it is possible to observe the Azores Bullfinch (Phyrrula murina), endemic bird from São Miguel, threatened due to the decrease of its natural habitat - the Laurissilva Forest.

Before reaching the highest point of the trail, you will pass another landmark that signs the falling of a plane of the Portuguese Air Force, in 1943. Reaching the geodesic point (1103 m), profit to rest and enjoy the view around you, with the area of Povoação to the South, Nordeste in the opposite direction and in days of good visibility, the Planalto dos Graminhais to the West and the entire North coast with the volcanic complex of Fogo and Sete Cidades.

Return by the same way until the beginning point, always respecting the local biodiversity through the protection and conservation of this natural habitat.

Outline

Trail Information

Category - Circular
Difficulty - Hard
Extension - 7 km
Time average - 3h
Classification
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