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Santa Cruz das Flores

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Lajes das Flores
Lajes do Pico
Santa Cruz das Flores
São Roque do Pico
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Santa Cruz das Flores is the capital of the westernmost island of the Azores, which is just 17 kilometres long and was named in honour of the abundance of flowers, namely hydrangeas, growing in its ravines and mountains.

Santa Cruz exhibits a 19th-century Mother Church, the convent church of São Boaventura (1641), with a fine chancel carved in cedarwood, and the Flores Museum, lodged in a former Franciscan convent and displaying shipwreck finds, typical pottery of the Azores, furniture, agricultural and fishing tools and even a whalebone guitar as a reminder that whaling used to be an important activity here.

At the parish of Ponta Delgada, the Church of Saint Peter, rebuilt in 1763, is the richest in gilded woodwork of the island of Flores.

Santa Cruz is surrounded by spectacular sceneries and there are many caves along the steep and rocky coast, such as the cavern of Enxaréus, which according to legend was once used as a hideout for a pirate ship.

The county also offers visitors many trails to explore a hilly interior with spectacular views of the sea and land.

The traditional gastronomy of Flores offers rather unusual dishes, such as water-cress soup, yam with smoked sausage, beans with pork head and pastries of sea weeds, as well as excellent fresh fish.

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