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The island of São Jorge is located in the center of the Central Group of the Azores Archipelago. It is located about 37 km from Graciosa, 20 km from Pico, about 40 km from Terceira and 30 km from Faial. Its privileged location allows it to be observed from the other islands of the Central Group, giving the visitor, more than in any other island, the strong impression of belonging to an archipelago.
The island has unique features that begin in the very elongated form it presents, reaching about 60 km in length to only about 7 km in maximum width. When seen in the distance, the tall silhouette of this island reminds us, as Raul Brandão has noted (The Unknown Islands, 1926) the back of a large animal in the water. At its two ends, it is completed by two islets: the west, the Islet of “Canalhoto”, and the spring the Islet of “Topo”.
On it’s approximate area of 246 km2 live about 9,500 inhabitants and the main villages are Velas and Calheta.
This island is crossed by a mountain range that reaches the maximum altitude of 1 053 meters – Pico da Esperança. The coast is generally rocky with steep and high cliffs.
The great peculiarity of this island are the Fajãs, almost all inhabited but of very difficult access. On the north coast there are Fajã do Ouvidor, Fajã da Caldeira de Cima, Fajã da Ribeira da Areia, Fajã dos Cubres and Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo. On the south coast, the most important are Fajã dos Vimes and Fajã de São João.
This island was created by successive volcanic eruptions in a straight line. It’s central platform has the average altitude of 700 meters, often descending almost from the height from that altitude to the fajãs by the sea.
It is located at 28º 33 ‘west longitude and at 38º 24’ north latitude.
The climate as in the other islands of the Central group is moderate, with average annual temperatures ranging from 12 ° C (53 ° F) to 25 ° C (77 ° F)