Azores Travel Tips – a rainy day on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria

Things to do on a rainy day on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria…

 

With the last in our series of Azores Travel Tips, I‘ve grouped together the islands of Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria. They’re three of the smallest islands (not forgetting little Graciosa) and share a long agricultural history. They don’t have a thriving whale watching community like Faial or Pico, and they’ve never really had the same tourist-development pumped into them as Sao Miguel or Terceira. No big hotels with heated pools, no luxury spas or superfast Wi-Fi. There are no galleries to speak of, no dedicated theatres, modern cinemas or live music venues. But that’s their attraction; seductive isolation where you can escape the trappings of modern 21st Century life. That’s why we love visiting them ourselves.

 

Truth be told, the things to do on a rainy day on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria are also the things to do when the sun’s shining – hiking the Faja Grande trail as it traverses Flores’ dramatic west coast, marvelling at the panoramic-enormity of Corvo’s Monte Gordo caldera, or circumnavigating Santa Maria’s Grande Trilha; one of the best-loved walks in the Azores. 

 

So what’s our advice ? If the heavens open and you simply fancy a day off – grab a good book, put your feet up and enjoy a lazy day of amazing seasonal food and great Azorean wines in one of our favourite rainy day restaurants on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria.

 

 

On Flores…

 

rainy day on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria

#01 -At first sight, the Restaurante Maresia in Faja Grande isn’t much to write home about. It’s not an impressive building; maybe even a little scruffy, with it’s ramshackle outdoor furniture and rusty lean-to. Look again and you’ll begin to understand why Maresia is one of our favourite restaurants in the whole of the Azores.

rainy day on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria

First, you have an incomparable location – with the pounding Atlantic on one side and the cascading waterfalls of the Rocha da Faja escarpment on the other. (That’s when the rain works to your advantage: no rain, no waterfalls). Second (and perhaps most importantly), owner and chef Jorge serves by-far-and-away the best food on Flores. If you’re offered a menu, just throw it away and allow Jorge to bring you dish after dish of his wonderful seasonal creations.

rain day on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria

 

 

On Corvo…

rainy day on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria

#02 –Corvo is the smallest of all the islands in the Azores, with just one town (Vila do Corvo) and a population of around 450. Being the most westerly (with Flores), Corvo was one of the last islands to be populated(in 1580) – the southern end of the island around Vila is fairly flat, whereas the west is dominated by the Monte Gordo caldera.

rainy day on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria

Vila’s a tiny place with just three restaurants at our last count. The Caldeirão Restaurante & Pastelaria  down on the southern-most tip of the island has a great view across the channel to the north coast Flores. On the menu: palmier cobertura de chocolate, fofas, bretzel de creme, pastel de maçã, pães de chouriço, e bolo mármore and great coffee.

rainy day on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria

 

 

…and on Santa Maria…

rainy day on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria

#03 – Arguably the best restaurant in Santa Maria’s capital Vila da Porto is Mesa d’Oito on Rua Teofilo de Braga. However if a lazy day in town appeals…somewhere laid-back and informal, then the best place for pestiscos, cocktails and a cold beer is the romantically named Organizações Central, Pub E Ginásio – known locally as the Central Pub.

rainy day on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria

If it’s a wild day and you’d prefer to be by the sea (or once the sunshine returns), I’d recommend driving over to the east coast village of São Lourenço to the Ponta Negra Restaurante. Across the steep hillside which forms the back drop to the village, you’ll see family-owned vineyards extending as far as the increasing gradient will allow. The grapes are used to produce sweet liqueurs and each family has its own closley-guarded recipe. The Ponta Negra usually has a few varaties available: Aguardente, Licor de Amor, Vinho Abafado and Vinho Abafadinho.

rainy day on Flores, Corvo and Santa Maria

If you’re island-hopping, we also have rainy day travel tips for…

Sao Miguel

Terceira and Graciosa 

Pico, Faial and Sao Jorge

 

Archipelago Choice Azores specialists

We specialise in personalised holidays to the nine islands of the Azores. Our team of experienced specialists are ready to put together your personalised trip; just give them a call on 01768 75672.

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