This short hike takes you to the Fajã do Araújo, a rather isolated fajã on the east coast of Sao Miguel. The tour starts in Pedreira and takes you 4 km along the cliff to the Fajã do Araújo and back to Pedreira. If you then wish to continue to the Praia do Lombo Gordo, you will need to add another 2 km. Note, however, that the path on this stretch collapsed a few years ago, but we’ll come back to this event later. The best starting point is the large car park in front of the church in Pedreira. The path then starts at the end of the road in front of the church.
The Fajã do Araújo
In Portuguese, the term fajã refers to a tongue of land that juts out into the ocean. In the case of the Azores, they were generally formed as a result of landslides on the rocky coast. In other places, fajãs were formed as a result of lava flowing into the sea. These promontories are often used to build small weekend houses, and sometimes, as in São Jorge with the Fajã dos Cubres, they are also inhabited. Depending on the place, the inhabitants have a certain respect for the fajãs, as is the case with the fajã do Araújo.
Here are some tips if you want to take this walking trail. Avoid taking this path, as well as all other paths directly on the cliff, in case of heavy rain. This also applies to the days following more severe weather. Regularly, stones and small amounts of rocks fall off the slope and onto the paths. It is not without reason that crosses are found along the way. This trail, however, is particularly beautiful and relaxing in good weather. If the weather is not good during your stay, and you still want to go to the Fajã do Araújo, it is better to take the car. However, there are always rocks on the small road down to the Fajã, so take something to eat and drink on your excursion, as you have to climb 235 meters on the way. You can also take a break on the rocky coast near the Fajã. If you want to continue to the Praia do Lombo Gordo, you should also bring a swimming suit and a towel.
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The way down
The path down to Fajã leads you after about 200 meters to the coast and through the dense vegetation. Although the path is sometimes quite steep, it is easy to walk. However, I do not recommend doing it with sandals. Depending on the season, you can see the various typical plants, many butterflies and other insects as well as raptors birds. In a natural stone wall just before the Fajã do Araújo, some spiders have even built their web between the stones and are waiting for their victims.
About halfway along, you cross a river bed, which never contained water when we came here. Then the path continues downhill, the side of the slope being “secured” by railings. Don’t lean on them, as the generation of railings still behind them suggests. At the same point, you will also pass crosses that remind you to be careful.
Arrival at the Fajã do Araújo
There is not much time left before you reach the first buildings of the Fajã do Araújo. The buildings are in very different states and the users have to provide themselves with everything. None of the buildings are really permanently inhabited. You won’t find electricity or mobile phones here. The alarm systems installed made us smile a little. How long will it take before someone hears the alarm, and even longer before someone arrives at the premises? But security is always a matter of feeling. The path leads along the houses to the road with a small car park. For those who want to go even further, you will find the appropriate signs here.
Passing the car park, you come to a bridge over the Ribeira dos Caimbos, which leads you to and along the Praia do Lombo Gordo walk. But this path was collapsed years ago, as you can see in the following pictures. If you want to continue, you have to climb or walk on the big stones of the coast. Be careful, the way back with twisted ankles is certainly no fun.
We then took advantage of the time spent down here to eat and drink a little. Our youngest child looked for a place with some sand and played. Swimming is not possible here. The waves combined with the rocks would be much too dangerous. If you want to enjoy a beach, you should definitely go to the Praia do Lombo Gordo. If you want someone to pick you up there to save you the tiring journey home, you should set a time in advance. Mobile phone service is hardly available here, or barely usable at all.
In the surroundings, you will find a few more places that you may be able to combine with this hike: Nordeste and the Farol Ponta do Arnel Miradouro da Vista dos Barcos Miradouro da Ponta do Sossego