If there isn’t a saying that goes, “my favorite Aҫores island is the island I’m on right now,” then there should be. As we proceed on our trip to the Aҫores, in order of their distance from the United States, the island of Flores is our next stop; and it’s a good one!
Flores is Accessible by Boat and by Airplane
Flores is located 3,425 miles from the United States and 15 miles from its little neighbor, Corvo. It’s populated by approximately 3,800 people and has the reputation of being one of the most beautiful of the nine Aҫores islands. Visitors say that everywhere you stop on this 55 square mile island, there’s something beautiful to see. Visiting this island is done by using its regional airport, which was built in 1973 or by using the ferry system that travels among several of the islands. It’s wise to plan on flying during the winter months as the ocean conditions make the ferry service unpredictable.
Rocks That Change Colors
In asking people, both residents and visitors, for a favorite sight in Flores, I was handed a list that’s pretty long. Flores has the distinction of being a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The entire island, and three miles of the surrounding marine zone, is protected. Like Corvo, it guarantees that its beauty is protected for generations to come.
Because the goal is to share something about each island that can’t be found on the other islands, I chose Rocha dos Bordões. This canyon is very popular because it’s the only one like it on earth. The bottom portion of the stunning rock formation is surrounded by the same lush vegetation found on several of the Aҫores islands. Then as you look towards the top, you see gigantic vertical rock formations that look 65-foot tall pipe organs. If that isn’t enough to awe you, the top section of rock is covered in various forms of vegetation. Because the vegetation changes color throughout the day, it gives the impression that the rock is changing colors as well.
Eat, Drink and Be Happy
Flores has several restaurants to choose from and based on what visitors say; it doesn’t lack for delicious food. It even has a restaurant that only serves one dish per day, varying daily. Another of Flores’ popular restaurants requires that diners select their choice of a meal while calling to make their reservations. While Flores doesn’t produce its own wine, its restaurants offer a large variety of Portuguese wines for you to enjoy as you relax, take in the beauty of the island, and of course, chat with the locals.
An Experience Not to be Missed
As stated earlier, it’s hard to say which Aҫores island is the most spectacular, especially when deciding on the one experience not to be missed on each of these fantastic islands. Flores is described as a small version of Ireland because of its numerous lagoons, waterfalls, and endless green hills. While there’s so much to see while driving its narrow roads and hiking its trails, the best way to take in the enormity of Flores’ beauty is to go on an island coast tour. Island coast tours include a glimpse into some of the island's caves. Those who participate in this experience say that their coastal tour was an experience never to be forgotten. Whether you hike, drive, or take a coastal tour around Flores, this island offers beauty no matter where you look or how you find it.