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Corvo is the smallest and northernmost island in the Portuguese Azores archipelago, and in Macaronesia, situated in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Life on ‘the island of the crow’ is slow-paced and quiet, with just the one volcanic crater and a single village with just over four hundred inhabitants, comparatively much less than the rest of the Azorean islands. Corvo is so isolated, in fact, the residents have maintained a medieval-style dialect, with electricity only introduced in 1963. However, best of all, as an island devoid of traffic, touristic resorts and virtually all crime, Corvo offers an unforgettable getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. The one and only village, Vila do Corvo, is the smallest municipality in the Azores, consisting of small, plain houses along narrow streets.
Corvo’s prominent physical feature is the two kilometre-wide crater, known as a ‘caldera’ in Portuguese, found on Monte Grosso, partly filled with shallow, glistening lakes with several islets. The island itself is circled by towering, steep cliffs, making for magnificent viewing upon arrival by ferry, and once you’re ashore you’ll spot numerous black windmills dotting the verdant landscape.
Culture on Corvo
This tranquil island bursts into life during the Holy Ghost Festival in August, a celebration of the Saint Nossa Senhora dos Milagres, by the chapel of Vila do Corvo which dates back to 1871. It also involves excellent brass bands from the other islands performing for a few days. Further celebrations are held for the end of summer each September, when locals dance in a large procession.
Despite its small size, Corvo is one of the largest producers of handicrafts in the Azores. Most commonly made are woollen hats and bonnets, coloured in dark blue with a white stripe. In terms of cuisine, it centres on fresh seafood, as you would expect from a remote island, which is usually served with locally baked corn bread. Kale and fresh pork, which is salted the day before, is another favourite dish.
What ferry services are there?
From the island of Flores, directly to the south, there are many sailings every week to Vila Nova do Corvo. Lasting just forty minutes, the routes are operated by Atlanticoline, one of the leading ferry operators in the Azores.
The trip itself went relatively well. However, there were some problems with functioning of the website and for a week we could not buy the tickets because the website was not active (in May). I strongly recommend reminding/explaining foreign tourists the car license issues. While buying the ticket online for some reasons there was no option for "car registration/licence no. is unavailable at the moment" or something like this in the beginning of purchasing process. Then it appeared. When we came in a rented car to get the tickets in Madalena, the staff member at the ticket office did not ask us for the car registration number, so we went to the ferry and got to Horta with no car registration number on the tickets but, going back we experienced a big stress, when almost 5 minutes to the departure of the ferry we were told that our tickets are not valid for this car, though we had come without any problems to Horta already. Your staff at the ticket office should be careful. But generally we found this way of moving to Horta and back to Madalena very good.Read More Read Less
"Booking Atlanticoline with Direct Ferries"
Booking with Direct Ferries resulted in major issues which we have had to rectify while on holiday. The Direct Ferries website failed to include a car on the selected ferry crossing. When I contacted Direct Ferries to request that a car be included, I was informed that they would address this within the next 24 hours. I did not hear from Direct Ferries until one week later, shortly before our departure for the Azores, to inform me, as I was already aware, that a car was not included in the booking 2. When I attempted to rearrange the booking, once on the Azores, it transpired that Direct Ferried, despite confirming the booking for the 7th August, had in fact booked the outgoing journey for the 22nd July. Since this date had now passed I had to forfeit the cost of this booking and rebook for the correct date. I was fortunate to be able to include a vehicle in this booking but had to rearrange to a 7.30am crossing which was far from convenient. I will be raising these issues with Direct Ferries on my return to the UK. My advice to other travellers in the Azores would be to book directly with Atlanticoline who proved to be very efficient and helpful while trying to rectify the problems, and on our first crossing the service was excellentRead More Read Less
departure right on time and quick checkinn. that is something your rarely see when travelling by plane. pleasant and beautifull trip sitting on deck with a Nice sunshine seeing all the islands by. What more can jou wish. Only thing to improve is the lunch and diner. Food is good but it is serves in a short periode so the line up is long. Sometimes to long. Why not a buffet??Read More Read Less
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