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The county of Lagoa, one of the most important of the island of São Miguel in terms of agriculture and industry, is also one of the most beautiful, as can be seen at Caloura, where the vineyards neatly separated by walls of dark stone, the port lying nestled against the tall cliffs and the white-washed convent never cease to delight visitors.

Here it is possible to enjoy swimming in the clear waters of the sea or at the beach of Baixa d'Areia, and there are natural swimming-pools and diving boards.

To view all this, the belvedere of Pisão offers a dazzling panorama of all the island's southern coast.

The generosity of nature can also be seen at Chã da Marcela, namely at the large forest park where countless species grow, some native (such as laurel, heather, moor besom, etc.), others brought by the first settlers (araucarias, cedars, acacia-trees, pines).

The town of Lagoa is one of the most ancient of the island and it was named after the lagoon which once existed at the place where now stands the Mother Church of Saint Cross.

Being one of the most fertile regions of the Azores, the county produces namely pine-apples, but also other fruit and woods.

The local pottery is much appreciated, hand-made and with patterns where blue is the predominant colour.

As for the gastronomy, it benefits from the richness of land and sea and offers specialities such as caldo azedo (sour broth), sopa de feijão (bean soup), caldeirada de peixe (a rich stew of different kinds of fish) or lapas de molho Afonso (limpets with a special sauce), all accompanied by home-made wheat or maize bread.

During August there is a shell-fish festival at Santa Cruz da Lagoa not to be missed by those who enjoy fresh and varied seafood.

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