Part 2 - Sete Cidades and MosteirosMarch 17 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C
We turned around and drove down to the bottom of the volcano to the pretty little town of Sete Cidades. The town is very tiny with a cute little church but it sits in an idyllic spot with views of the lakes and the views to the top of the crater. Birds were chirping and flowers surrounded us. All in all it was an aesthetic experience. We had a coffee there and just enjoyed the peacefulness of the place. So pretty and far away from life elsewhere.
We were able to drive partway around the base of the crater and it was so pleasant. Sao Miguel is called the Green Island for a reason but at this time of the year there are so many colourful flowers blooming on the sides of the road. A painter’s palette of colours. The pink azaleas and purple hydrangeas are gorgeous. And then all the wildflowers...
I think that we lucked out and got one of the sunny days in the crater. It was a Sunday so lots of Portuguese families were there too, walking on the trails, picnicking on the lake’s edge and exploring the tunnel that help control the height of the water in the lake.
We had heard about the seaside town of Mosteiros so went back up the crater and then down to the sea. Mosteiros is an old town built on a flat area beside the ocean, at the base of the volcano. We were pretty hungry by that time so stopped in a busy restaurant and we were glad we did. The food was amazing. Really, really good and a great price. We had the best shrimp starter in a lemony sauce to start, followed by a shared fresh fish dinner with vegetables and salad. Dessert was an Azores cheesecake with pineapple on top. Absolutely the tastiest meal that we have had so far on this trip! We will have to go back to try some of their specialities - octopus and limpets.
On our way home, we took the coastal road and happened to see, once again the Romeros or Pilgrims. The tradition of the march of the Romeiros is one that dates back to the 16th century in the Azores and has been a tradition that has been followed by faithful followers every year for centuries on the island of Sao Miguel. It began when a large earthquake took place in the 16th century, causing landslides and deaths. It was a pilgrimage that originated from the peoples’ need to pay respect and homage to the Virgin Mary - a divine punishment for their human actions.Read more