Hands on São Jorge

Island of São Jorge
Elongated, rugged, green and blessed by countless lava deltas, this island stands out in the Atlantic for its unique flavors: the most famous cheese, the most special sweets and the most breath-taking views!


Itinerary – Ribeira do Nabo and Urzelina Sao Jorge 01
1. The sound of the looms remains very much alive at the ‘Senhora da Encarnação’ Handicraft Cooperative, founded in 1991, in Ribeira do Nabo. In addition to the traditional weaving (an activity that you can watch live!), present in many different pieces, needle lace is among the renowned works of excellence by this cooperative. Some of the production has been certified by the collective brand Artesanato dos Açores. (Mapa)

2. At Urzelina, visit the ‘Conservação e Restauro de Obras de Arte S. Jorge’ Workshop and learn about the different techniques for the restoration of paintings, wood or ceramics pieces. This workshop also provides artwork security marking and tagging. (Mapa)

3. Also at Urzelina, taste the special flavors of the island of São Jorge produced by ‘Panificação Urzelinense’, with emphasis on the exquisite Espécies, whose spices echo centuries-old habits, but without forgetting the suspiros, confeitos, various cheese tarts, different cakes and the traditional bread. (Mapa)

4. As the last stop in this parish, the wood scent of the ‘Rui César Teixeira Workshop’ invites you to discover the replicas of fish, toys of the olden days, models of boats and whaling boats, and the cedar or beech wood pieces used for marking the cakes the day before the festivities of the Holy Ghost—a tradition perpetuated by this artisan’s mastery. (Mapa)



Itinerary – Calheta, Vimes and Toposao jorge 02

1. Start your day with the flavors of ‘Dulçores’, in Calheta, whether with the well-known and tasty Massa Sovada (a sweet bread) or the famous Espécies: Sara Marques and Carla Silveira have devoted their lives to the artisanal production of a wide range of sweets since 2010, investing in traditional products but with a contemporary presence. (Mapa)

2. It’s time to visit one of the many lava deltas of São Jorge—at Fajã dos Vimes, visit the ‘Casa de Artesanato’ of the same name and be dazzled by the beauty and expertise of the works carried out by the sisters Alzira and Carminda Nunes, including the beautiful bedspreads made on looms and following the traditional strong colors and weaving pattern of the island; these bedspreads are certified by the collective brand Artesanato dos Açores. (Mapa)

3. Also in this lava delta, the ‘Atelier de Tecelagem Paula Azevedo’ allows you to learn about loom work using the traditional weaving pattern and patchwork to create pieces such as oven mitts, blankets, various cloths, table mats, cushions or rugs of bright and appealing colors. (Mapa)

4. Go to the village of Topo, across the island, and indulge yourself in the immense variety of bread and sweets created by Maria de Fátima Brasil: biscuits, esquecidos, charutos, caramels, massa sovada (a sweet bread), cookies, Christmas cakes, véspera cakes and coscorões… not to mention the very special Espécies of São Jorge, here certified by the collective brand Artesanato dos Açores. (Mapa)

5. Your itinerary ends in the best way possible: with music! Visit the ‘Violas do Topo’ workshop, by Raimundo Leonardes, builder of Violas da Terra (the very Azorean Guitar with Two Hearts) and Terceira Guitar, each with its specificities and sounds. You can also find other types of guitars, such as those with 12, 15 or 18 strings. (Mapa)