Azorean legend has it that long ago a beautiful Princess with piercing blue eyes used to roam the countryside because she was in love with land. One day she came across a humble shepherd tending to his flock on a nearby hillside. She and the shepherd began talking about their shared love of the flora and fauna all around. They returned to the same spot day after day to meet and quickly fell into love. When the King found out his daughter was in love in a lowly shepherd, he was displeased and told his daughter she had to marry a foreign prince and she was no longer allowed to see the shepherd. The Princess knew she must oblige her father, but asked the King if she could see her love one more time. She and the shepherd met a final time, at the same spot on the hillside, and she shared the sad news. They both cried endless tears, and it’s said that her flowing blue tears filled the Blue Lake and tears rom his emerald colored eyes filled the Green Lake. While they were separated from that moment on, they were still together forever in those two connecting lakes.
The lakes at Sete Cidades are just as beautiful this Azorean legend. Shimmering blue and green, they’re cradled by lush green crater slopes all around. As a protected area by the government, very few buildings lie in the crater, so the raw natural beauty is striking.
The best way to see the lakes and surrounding beauty is to hop on a kayak and paddle to different parts of Sete Cidades. We had the most magical experience with our guide Didi at Azores Adventure Islands Tours. They have brand new, top-of-the-line kayaks, and he’s so fun and wonderful to paddle around with. Plus, his family has been in the area for generations so he knows that land and the history so well.
Kayaking on these lakes is like gliding on glass; they’re so peaceful and serene. The crater topography creates an almost rainforest-like environment, so it can be raining on the crater side 20 yards away, yet sunny right above you.
A trip to the Azores should most definitely include a kayak around the stunning Sete Cidades lakes. It’s probably the most photographed area of the island, and after a 2-hour glide around, you’ll know why.
Check out our friends at Azores Adventure Islands: here.
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