How to plan a trip to Corvo Island in the Azores
It’s the perfect island destination for bird watching, relaxing, and experiencing real island life.
Corvo is the smallest island of the archipelago, a lump of volcanic land discovered in 1452. The settlers didn’t bother much with it until the mid-16th century. At that time, a group of slaves was sent to the island to farm the land and raise cattle.
The island seemed to be no man’s land, isolated, not top of mind. Not even an island, more of an islet that people wouldn’t bother reaching. But the local population has done a great job telling people a different story.
Resilience isn’t enough to describe this people’s capacity to survive against all odds. The bonds that hold the community together are tight; it couldn’t be any other way in such a small village.
Corvo might not be full of deep blue lagoons, and crystal clear brooks, and endless lush pastures, but that’s not why people visit.
It’s the peculiarity of the small village. It’s that fortress-like town of narrow streets and the everyday life of an isolated community that makes people wonder, “is it really possible to live like this?”
The food tastes better in Corvo, mostly because locals have mastered the art of growing things organically. The made-from-scratch way of life is not a hipster trend over here. It’s a need and a skill.
Summer days are humid and lazy. Winters are harsh and always seem longer than they should. But the weather is just a detail; it doesn’t really matter once you’re in that islander mood.
Top things to do in Corvo Island
Birdwatching, hiking, swimming, and diving are top activities.
I’m not sure if we can call it an activity, but engaging with the local community beats buying postcards and souvenirs all the time.
Head over to Largo do Outeiro, and you’ll find local men sitting around and chatting. Even if you don’t speak the same language, I’m almost 100% sure you’ll find a way to communicate.
- Passeios Turísticos (boat ride from Flores to Corvo) – www.facebook.com/passeiosturisticosflores
- Flores by Sea (boat ride from Flores to Corvo) – www.floresbysea.pt
- Extremo Ocidente (boat ride from Flores to Corvo) – www.facebook.com/extremocidentecarlosmendes
- Experience OC (guided tours) – www.experienceoc.pt
Top cultural events in Corvo Island
The most famous event is on August 15 in honor of Nossa Senhora dos Milagres.
It would be just another celebration of a religious icon if this one didn’t come with the bonus of a real pirate story. In case you were thinking this was a dull and boring little island, nothing is ordinary in Corvo.
What to eat in Corvo Island
Pork, fresh seafood, and locally produced cheese are top foods.
I feel the pork sausages are unique, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s either the spices or the technique, perhaps a combination of both. The perfect side dish for fried pork sausages is taro, baked or fried. I enjoy them deep-fried and crispy. To me, they taste kind of bland when boiled.
Seafood tastes best when it’s cooked simply — no need to add lots of spices because the fish is already rich in flavor.
The local cheese is slightly spicy and salty, produced according to artisanal techniques and recipes. I like to balance that strong flavor with something sweet like a slice of massa sovada (sweet bread).
Algae patties (erva patinha) and limpets (lapas) are also a typical dish here.
Handmade wooden door locks and navy blue and white wool caps are the souvenirs that best represent the island.
The locks are a simple but effective system and unique to Corvo – you won’t see it elsewhere in the Azores.
Where to stay in Corvo Island
Know before you go
Corvo is one of the two islands in the Western Group (Grupo Ocidental) of the Azores Archipelago, an autonomous region of Portugal.
Portuguese. The Azoreans are also fluent in some foreign languages (mostly English), especially those who work in the tourism industry.
GMT -1 hour
The same as in Portugal, the Euro (€).
You need a visa to enter all Schengen area territories, including the Azores islands. Click here for detailed information.
* Please note that this information may change over time. Refer to the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate in the country of your departure for updated information.
Special vaccination is not mandatory to enter the Azores region. If you have special health conditions, please seek medical advice.
There is a pharmacy and a public health clinic (known as centro de saúde) with emergency services on the island.
220 volts (round two-pin plugs).
No. There is only one (very small) town on the island and everything is within walking distance. For sightseeing, you can walk, hitchhike or book a guided tour with your accommodation.
The area of Corvo island is 17.10 square kilometers (approximately 6.60 square miles).
1,893 km (approximately 1,176 miles).
430 people, according to the last census of 2011.
SATA Air Acores – between islands
Azores Airlines (via Faial, S.Miguel, or Terceira), Tap Air Portugal (via Faial, S. Miguel, or Terceira), and Ryanair (via S. Miguel and Terceira) – from the Portuguese mainland and other countries
Atlanticoline SA – scheduled passenger transport between the islands of Corvo and Flores, throughout the year
Climate is mild temperate. Temperatures: average high 19.9°C/67.8°F. Average low 14.9°C/58.8°F.
In August for the weather and the Our Lady of Miracles festivities.
There isn’t any seismic activity in Corvo. (Source)
*Note: seismic activity is constantly monitored in the Azores.
Yes, 3G and 4G.