Fajã da Caldeira do Santo Cristo

Costa Sul - Santa Maria PR05 SMA

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Trail Info

This route connects Vila do Porto to Praia Formosa, village of Almagreira, where takes place the oldest music festival of the country, Maré de Agosto.

Begin the trail near the Fortress of São Brás, military construction from the 17th century, with a view over the bay of Calhau da Roupa and the commercial harbor of the island. Follow by the dirt road until the stream of São Francisco, where it is possible to observe several species of migrating birds, especially in the Fall/Winter such as the grey heron (Ardea cinerea), the little egret (Egretta garzetta), the eurasian coot (Fulica atra) and the eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata).

The route continues towards Pedreira do Campo, a geosite classified as Natural Monument where the presence of marine fossils confirms part of the local geological history. Continue until you pass the artificial cave of Figueiral from where, once clay was extracted for the production of roof tiles and limestone for the production of lime, resources used on the construction of the typical houses of the island. Along the climb to Touril it is possible to see some species of birds like the buzzard (Buteo buteo rothschildii), the rock dove (Columba livia), Santa Maria goldcrest (Regulus regulus sanctae-mariae) but also you can be surprised by european rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus).

Follow the marks along a dirt road entering a wood, on the right, that go down until Prainha. At this place and in case of stormy disturbance, choose the alternative path. Arriving to this bathing area, continue the trail along the coast, carefully, due to the danger of vertigo. At this stage of the trail there is a steel cable to help on the crossing. Pass by the ruins of the Fortress of São João Baptista and right ahead, a crossroad connecting to Cardal, through the GR 01 SMA – Grand Route of Santa Maria.

The trail ends ahead, at the parking place of Praia Formosa, unique in the Azores by the presence of limestone sand (yellow). It is a place where you can profit to rest and refresh in the Atlantic waters. From here it is possible to connect with other parts of the island, through PR 06 SMA - Areia Branca

Outline

Trail Information

Category - Linear
Difficulty - Medium
Extension - 8 km
Time average - 3h00
Classification
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Number of ratings: 110
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