PR3SMA | Between the Hills and the Sea

PR3SMA | Between the Hills and the Sea

This trail starts and ends at the Santa Bárbara Church and takes about two and a half hours. In the beginning you will climb through a steep road, the Canada dos Atoleiros, which will lead you to the ruins of two windmills at a place called Arrebentão.

On the regional road you turn left and soon after to the right, into a footpath that leads to the “Poço da Pedreira”, an old quarry from where men extracted the reddish stone used to build the typical houses of Santa Maria.

Continuing along the trail you can observe the typical houses of Santa Bárbara, with their chimneys, their characteristic colours and their rural architecture. A little further you will notice a deviation that will lead you to the top of a hill which constitutes a unique viewpoint over the Bay of São Lourenço. Once you have contemplated the magnificent view, you must return to the main trail; continuing along it, you will reach a place called Norte.

Here you will find the only chapel in the Azores whose façade is oriented north: the Chapel of Our Lady of Lurdes. After visiting the chapel, you descend through its very yard and you enter a footpath that crosses several pastures and continues, via a dirt road, towards the Lagos valley.

During this portion of the trail, a stop should be made to contemplate the Ribeira do Amaro and its splendid waterfall about 50 metres high. Back on track, you will continue until the creek, which you should cross very carefully; after a little climb along the valley slope, you will reach the place called Lagos.

After passing Lagos you will find yourself at a place called Covão da Mula, where several plant and bird species can be observed, besides enjoying a beautiful view over the centre of Santa Bárbara. Here you can also have a look at the holes from where the inhabitants of Santa Bárbara extracted the clay for domestic use. And just a few metres further you will reach the end of the trail.

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