Is It A Hidden Paradise? Explore The ‘Invisible’ Mysteries Of The Seven Cities On Azores In Portugal

by Mallika Khurana
Is It A Hidden Paradise? Explore The ‘Invisible’ Mysteries Of The Seven Cities On Azores In Portugal

Hidden away in the midst of the vast Atlantic Ocean, in the heart of the Azores archipelago, lies a place where myth and reality dance harmoniously. This enchanting destination, known as Seven Cities Island, holds within its mist-shrouded landscapes a treasure trove of captivating history and enigmatic allure. Imagine standing on the precipice of a volcanic caldera, where emerald-green and sapphire-blue lakes glisten in the sunlight while centuries-old legends echo through the lush, ancient forests. The Seven Cities Island is a place where the past weaves seamlessly into the present, where mysteries beg to be unravelled, and where every corner holds the promise of an extraordinary adventure. 

The Legend Of Portugal’s Seven Cities Island

Sete Cidades
Photo Credits: Canva

The Mysterious Island of the Seven Cities, also known as “Ilha das Sete Cidades” in Portuguese, is a fascinating legend and geographical feature associated with the Azores archipelago. It is a group of islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean, belonging to Portugal. The legend and history surrounding this mysterious island have captured the imaginations of many over the centuries.

It is often linked to two specific islands within the Azores:

  • São Miguel Island

This is the largest island in the Azores archipelago and is where you’ll find the famous Sete Cidades Lagoon (Lagoa das Sete Cidades). This stunning twin-lake feature has often been at the centre of legend.

  • Flores Island

Another theory ties the legend to Flores Island, one of the westernmost islands in the Azores. According to some versions of the story, Flores Island was discovered due to the legend of the Seven Cities.

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The legend of the Seven Cities dates back to the early days of Portuguese exploration. It tells the tale of seven bishops and their followers who, in the 8th century, fled from the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula. They set sail in search of a new, safe land. After a long and perilous journey, they discovered a lush, green island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

These bishops founded seven cities on the island and lived in isolation from the outside world. However, as the legend goes, the island was shrouded in mist and protected by magic, making it invisible to anyone trying to find it. The bishops and their followers lived in peace and prosperity, untouched by time or conflict.

Explore The Mysterious And Scientific Aspects

São Miguel Island
Photo Credits: Canva

The Mysterious Island of the Seven Cities has several intriguing and mysterious elements. The island’s supposed invisibility led many explorers and adventurers to search for it in vain, contributing to the legend’s allure. According to some accounts, the island would sometimes become visible to passing ships, only to vanish once more.

The Sete Cidades Lagoon on São Miguel Island, with its striking blue and green waters, adds to the mystical aura of the legend. While the legend itself is mythical, some historical accounts and records mention the belief in the existence of a hidden island in the Atlantic. The legend of the Seven Cities has left a significant cultural imprint on the Azores, influencing local art, folklore, and traditions.

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From a scientific standpoint, the Sete Cidades Lagoon results from a volcanic caldera formed by the eruption of a massive volcano. The blue and green colours of the lakes are due to various minerals and algae in the water. The island’s appearance and disappearance are likely the result of meteorological conditions and cloud cover.

The Mysterious Island of the Seven Cities is a captivating legend that has endured for centuries, intertwining history, myth, and geological wonders. While the invisible island remains elusive, its legend continues to enchant those who explore the Azores and its breathtaking landscapes.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva

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