Visiting Sete Cidades
The uncertain Azorean climate betrayed our hope of seeing the lakes of Sete Cidades from the various viewpoints. Even the city, under an intense fog and drizzle, left us, in winter, but also in summer, an idea of sadness and coldness, which is certainly not real. One day the sun will help us!
Sete Cidades Lagoon is formed by two interconnected lakes: Lagoa Azul (Blue Lake) and Lagoa Verde (Green Lake). The two lakes have distinct colors, with Lagoa Azul displaying a vibrant blue hue and Lagoa Verde showcasing a greenish tint. The contrasting colors create a stunning visual spectacle, making it a popular destination for tourists and nature enthusiasts.
The best way to appreciate the lagoon is to go up to one (or several) of the viewpoints that surround it.
Vista do Rei (King’s Viewpoint) is the most famous of them, offering a stunning panoramic view of the two lagoons, Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon) and Lagoa Verde (Green Lagoon). From here, you can see the contrasting colors of the lakes and the picturesque landscape. It’s a great spot for taking photos and appreciating the grandeur of the area.
In alternative, you may also have great views from the “Miradouro da Boca do Inferno” or the “Miradouro do Cerrado das Freiras”.
The most ambitious hotel project in the Azores led to the construction, at the end of the 1980s, of two luxury hotels – the Monte Palace, next to the Vista de Rei viewpoint, and another in Água de Alto (where I spent 5 nights).
Monte Palace only lasted 16 months, and closed permanently in 1990. Since then, the impressive facilities have not stopped deteriorating, with a strong help from tourists, indifferent to the prohibition (and risks) of entering.
It seems that there are Chinese plans for reconstruction, hindered by Covid.
Sete Cidades is a small village, very traditional, which can still be seen in the construction, which tourism has driven towards development.
Ale above all for the surrounding landscape, whose beauty goes far beyond the lagoon.
The church of São Nicolau was built by a private individual in the 19th century, in a Neo-Gothic style, in a relatively isolated area.
To facilitate access, a promenade was added, which today functions as the most beautiful element of the complex.
The Sete Cidades lagoon is enchanting above all for the contrast in the colors of the two lagoons – blue and green.
You must, however, be lucky, because this contrast is only evident with a very strong sun, which, in the place, is a very uncertain gem.
Only on the fifth attempt, when I was thinking about Photoshop, did I get a few minutes of luck.
From the geothermal stew, to the muddy and scorching baths, there is no space or time for hassles.
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