Sao Jorge - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Sao Jorge

Sao Jorge

Say 'cheese' when on holiday in Sao Jorge, the resort island surrounded by sheer, black cliffs, because this is the centre of the Azores' dairy industry. The lush green grass of the island's fields plumps up the grazing cows, who in turn produce rich milk that is turned into creamy, straw-coloured wheels of cheese, weighing about 22 pounds (10kg). The cheeses are cured for several months in temperature-controlled rooms, acquiring a honey-coloured rind and piquant flavour. Not only is Sao Jorge renowned for its cheeses, but the island also has exclusive rights to the delicious fleshy cockles that are caught in the waters of its lake called Caldeira de Santo Cristo.

Aside from its gastronomic delights, Sao Jorge offers active pursuits like dive fishing, hiking, swimming and bird watching. Villages such as Velas and Manadas offer pretty historic buildings dating back to 1400, and the sleepy culture of traditional harbour towns.

Information & Facts

Portuguese is the official language, but English is widely spoken and understood.

Portugal is a member of the European Union and its official currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. There are numerous banks, bureaux de change and ATMs available in main cities and tourist destinations. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and automatic currency exchange machines. Banking hours are generally 8.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques.

Local time is GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).
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