The island of Corvo, in the Azores, is small in size but big in beauty. Find out what you can find in this paradise.
For a long time it was said, as a joke, that one of the worst things that could happen on the island of Corvo was that the only existing ATM displayed the message “go to the nearest ATM”.
The isolation of the smallest island of the Azores archipelago has been a reality for a long time internalized by its approximately 400 inhabitants. Nothing that air or sea connections can’t solve.
Despite being a small island, the soul of the Azoreans who resist there is the size of the world. They always kindly welcome all tourists who, at certain times of the year, make Corvo present a remarkable demographic dynamism.
And then there are, of course, the formidable beauties of the island, a volcanic sculpture in the middle of the Atlantic, full of nooks and crannies that you must visit.
Corvo: a centuries-old story
The island originates from a single extinct volcanic mountain, Monte Gordo, with its entire coastline high and steep, with the sole exception of a fajã, in the south, where Vila do Corvo eventually developed, the only existing settlement. .
Attracting people to the site was not always an easy task. There are even historical records of some failed attempts to definitively establish a human presence in those parts.
The Western Group of the Azores was discovered in 1452, when the name of Corvo was Santa Iria. However, it is only in 1548 that there is news of the settlement of the island, when the captain of the region, Gonçalo de Sousa, sent a group of slaves to the island to work in agriculture and cattle raising.
From 1580, with the arrival of settlers from the neighboring island of Flores, Corvo became permanently inhabited, and was also the target of the appetites of pirates and privateers who crossed the seas.
It was only in 1938 that the island had, for the first time, a resident doctor and, from 1983, a direct air connection with the other islands, through a new aerodrome.
What to visit on the island of Corvo
Upon arrival, the first step is to head to the Environmental and Cultural Interpretation Center of Corvo. This is where all the information about the island is provided and where you can find out which places you shouldn’t miss on your visit.
You can also book guided tours and visit Atafona da Canada, the last one in existence. Then it’s on to advance along the 17 square kilometers of Corvo and marvel at its beauty.
It is the great visiting card of the island and one of the most sought after and photographed places in Corvo. With a total diameter of 2.3 kilometers and a depth of 320 meters, it is formed by a magnificent lagoon and 12 secondary cones, called slag cones.
The lagoon was formed inside the crater of the volcano that gave rise to the island, constituting a very rich area in terms of biodiversity. Absolutely mandatory.
It is called Praia da Areia or Portinho da Areia. Located on the south coast, it is the only beach with sand, where the clean and transparent waters of the Atlantic Ocean roll.
They are a little cold, it is true, but a bath there is absolutely invigorating. The sand is made up of small grains originating from the decomposition of volcanic rocks.
The only housing cluster on the island houses close to 400 inhabitants in an interesting cascade of small houses. In addition to the port and the airfield, one of the main points of interest is the Church of Nossa Senhora dos Milagres, which dates back to the 18th century.
You can also sit on an esplanade, or on a rock, and admire the outline of the island of Flores in the background.
The three mills built in the 19th and 20th centuries are located on Caminho dos Moinhos and are already considered historical heritage. In addition to being an important testimony of arts and knowledge from yesteryear, they have now become a point of attraction on the island. The Festival dos Moinhos, which takes place annually, already attracts a considerable number of tourists and onlookers to Corvo.
While on the island, you can also visit spaces such as the Ecomuseum or the Império do Divino Espírito Santo, a place for socializing, parties and processions. There is indeed a lot to see.
The fact that it is a very small island does not detract from Corvo’s charm. It has that wild beauty of the Azores and is a testament to the strength of the elements. A trip that you should really put on your agenda.
How to go
The best way to get to Corvo is by boat from the island of Flores. The trip is quick but well worth it. There are several Sata flights between Lisbon and Flores. So it’s just a matter of choosing the best time.
Where to stay
As we have already said, Corvo Island is small, which means that there are not many accommodations. Still, it is possible to recommend the Hotel Comodoro or Joe & Vera’s Vintage Place.
Where to eat
The choice is not particularly wide, but we guarantee that it is full of flavor. For an exquisite and unforgettable meal, nothing like the fabulous restaurant “O Caldeirão”. You should also stop by the café/bar “Irmãos Metralha” (with good regional food) and end your tour of the island at the “BBC Café & Lounge”.