James Kay, a writer for The Lonely Planet, said of the Aҫores that they are “the other Eden; Europe’s secret islands of adventures.” I think most people who have visited these nine beautiful islands will agree with that statement. Each one is not only magnificent; each has something unique to offer. I’ll be writing about each island separately, in the order of distance from the United States, so that these nine gems get the individual attention they all deserve. So, for our trip together to the Acores, we’ll leave from the United States and stop at the first island we encounter- the island of Corvo!
Corvo is Accessible by Boat and by Airplane.
Corvo is located 3,423 miles from the United States and has a population of 430 in one single town. As the smallest of the Açores islands, it’s by no means any less beautiful than the other eight islands. And while it’s isolated, it’s not entirely out of reach. In fact, it is accessible both by boat and by airplane! In 1983, the opening of the airport of Corvo was crucial to modernizing the island’s infrastructure. Since 1991, there are scheduled flights from the islands of Flores, Faial, and Terceira.
Corvo is for the Birds
While Corvo’s economy is centered on cattle breeding as its mainstay, its what doesn’t stay there that brings flocks of interested visitors from all over the world. Birdwatchers love Corvo because it’s one of the best places to catch sight of what’s called vagrants. A vagrant bird is one that has strayed far from where it’s expected to be found. Because Corvo’s location gives respite to birds affected by hurricanes and storms from the west and the east, it gathers a large assortment of birds rarely seen together in one place. The best time to take in this birding bonanza is in the fall; however, if you plan on staying on Corvo, it’s rumored that the Comodoro Guesthouse and other hotels are generally booked up years in advance.
Corvo has the distinction of being a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which protects its emerged landmass and the surrounding marine zone. This not only grants Corvo the honor of being a UNESCO site, but it also protects its beauty and uniqueness for future generations.
Eat, Drink and Be Happy
As with any of the Açores island, food is always deliciously prepared in Corvo. There’s one restaurant with seafood being the show stopper meal. Of course, no Portuguese table is complete without freshly baked bread and locally made cheese sitting front and center. Meals served in Corvo are no different and served in a leisurely way that invites guests to relax while taking in the local culture. Corvo residents welcome visitors and are happy to talk about their beautiful island.
A Sight Not To Be Missed
All of Corvo is a sight not to be missed and, in fact, each of the nine Açorean islands shouldn’t be missed. Visiting Corvo is a treat, and no one should leave it without seeing the stunning sight of the 2.17-mile wide volcanic crater of Caldeirão. This extinct volcano has three slopes that drop abruptly into the magnificent lake at its center. Visitors can hike the crater of the volcano or even camp at one of its viewpoints. Whichever choice a person makes, it’s sure to be an experience never to be forgotten. Of course, that’s said to be true about the entire visit to Corvo…it’s like nothing else.