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Lajes das Flores

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At one of the most beautiful islands of the Azores, covered in summer by thousands of blue hydrangeas, the county of Lajes das Flores offers a dazzling and verdant landscape, with deep valleys crossed by streams, dramatic peaks and cliffs and small bays framed by rocks.

Several waterfalls plunge into the sea or form lagoons of transparent water, of which the most scenic is the Cascade of Ribeira Grande, at Faj„zinha, with a vertiginous jet falling more than 300 metres. The landscape is punctuated with typical water-mills made from black lava rocks to take advantage of the abundance of brooks and rivulets.

Rising above lush valleys there are several strange rock formations, such as Rocha do Touro (bull's rock), near the Lagoon of Lomba, offering stunning views of the island, or the popular Rocha dos Bordűes (staffs rock), a vertical structure of solidified basalt.

The county is an ideal destination for walkers and fishermen, who may choose between angling in the streams for trout and deep sea fishing to catch species such as turbot, grouper or sea-bream.

There are also excellent conditions to practice diving, sailing and windsurf, and those wishing to swim in a beautiful setting will find small beaches, lagoons surrounded by rocks and natural swimming-pools.

Considering Nature's exuberant offer, the county's architectural patrimony rather seems to be left in the background; nevertheless, it is worth visiting religious sites such as the Church of the Holy Lord Christ of Miracles, at Fazenda, founded in 1896 and displaying a beautiful altarpiece, the 18th-century Parish Church of Faj„zinha or the Mother Church and Chapel of Our Lady of Anguish at the town of Lajes.

At table, visitors may taste the island's typical specialities, including water-cress soup, yam with sausage, boiled pork or pastries of marine herbs, besides abundant fresh fish and shellfish.

Handicrafts offer interesting works in wicker, wood and raffia, objects made with seashells and delicate embroideries and lace.

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