Corvo is an island of the Azores populated by about 400 inhabitants, and the smallest of the whole archipelago. This does not mean that it does not attract tourists from all over Europe and beyond: its beaches and the typical beauty of the Azores make it a truly privileged destination.
The population of Corvo has decreased by about half in less than a century, due to various waves of migration that reached a peak at the turn of the ’70s of the last century, when many inhabitants decided to build a new life abroad, especially in the United States and Canada. But the beauty of the island is indisputable: in 2007 it was awarded the title of World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
Beaches aside, in Corvo there are numerous tourist attractions, to be visited to better understand the mentality and habits of the area, as well as its history. It’s a vacation suitable even for children, who will be fascinated by all that this land offers.
Vila do Corvo is the only residential center of the island. It is located on a flat surface and it is a picturesque little town with houses characterised by a dark stone facade and a white stripe on the window and the door, and by the traditional wooden locks handmade by local artisans. The narrow streets of the city are a joy for the eyes, and every corner is worth a picture.
The Church of Nossa Senhora dos Milagres – the main church of the city – is dedicated to Our Lady of the Miracles, who is the saint patron of Corvo Island.
It is also interesting to visit the Corvo Interpretation Center to learn more about the history of the island.
Alto dos Moinhos is located near Ponta Negra and it is a very characteristic place thanks to the several wind mills along the promenade. These are the traditional Mediterranean windmills, similar to the ones of Portugal, unlike the ones located on the other islands of the archipelago.
Reach Monte Gordo Viewpoint to be seduced by the landscape one can admire from Caldeirão, a crater which, along with the lake, constitutes the main panoramic element of the island. Towards south-East there are two rock formation named Cavaleiro and Marco.
From the Pão de Açúcar lookout, built on the namesake island, it is possible to admire a beautiful view over the island, Vila do Corvo and, on a clear day, also on Flores Island.
Corvo is surrounded by cliffs reaching up to hundreds of meters, overhanging the blue of the Ocean. Climb one of those cliffs to admire the beauty of the island and its coast. Lastly, the several caves, islets, and cliffs make the landscape of Corvo really unique.
Obviously the beaches are a mainstay of a trip to Corvo because they are many and scattered around the island, but there is a more touristy one that welcomes tourists for its beauty and its characteristic sand. You can not help but visit it if we really want to fully experience the island of Corvo: it is Portinho da Areia.
This is a small beach famous for being full of small white pebbles and large ornamental stones; moreover, it is possible to take a bath even when normally the weather would be cool, even if Corvo Island never has excessively cold temperatures, as the water remains quite warm.
It is very appreciated by tourists also because, in the presence of a windy day, the rocks are strategically placed so that the wind does not reach the beach.
Surely it is a priority, for anyone visiting the island of Corvo, to go and explore and experience as much as possible the sea that surrounds the island.
For this reason, a great idea is to go for a boat ride, to be rented at the many beaches present, perhaps booking a trip for a close encounter with a marine fauna that leaves you speechless: come into contact with dolphins can be a beautiful and educational experience even for children.
Taking advantage of the wide spaces, wind and waves, it can be a good idea to practice windsurfing or surfing, but also to dive in calmer waters to admire the many fish that live in this pristine sea.
In Corvo there is a bull run similar to the more famous one held during the San Firmino festival in Pamplona, Spain. It is a traditional activity held every year, in which locals who feel brave enough try to get close to a bull to see if they can defeat it or get close enough to touch its horns.
Warning: if you want to attend this event, make sure to sit on a high wall or behind something that the bull won’t be able to destroy; several tourists have been seriously injured in these events.
The small island of Corvo, despite its size, has several hotels and accommodations where to stay, all located in Vila Nova do Corvo, the only inhabited center and the one where you can find all the main tourist attractions. Among other things, staying here it will be very easy to reach the airport, or the port to sail to another of the Azores.
It is one of the most recommended accommodations because of its strategic location just a few minutes walk from the beach, and in addition provides free shuttle service, difficult to find in this location.
Corvo island has its own airport, which is located near the city of Vila Do Corvo and it is operated exclusively by the company SATA Air Açores, which offers domestic flights to and from the islands of Flores, Horta, and Terceira.
In order to reach Corvo from the rest of Europe it is necessary to make a stop over at one of these islands, after a 4-hours flight from Lisbon or Porto.
Alternatively, in order to move around the islands of the Azores archipelago, it is possible to take one of the ferries operated by Transmaçor or Açorline only during summer months.
Corvo Island does not have public transports. For this reason the best way to discover the island is to rent a scooter or a bike if you are an active person.
If you are traveling with kids, if you are a group of friends or if you are a numerous family, the best way is to rent a car. We recommend to book it in advance on the internet in order to avoid unpleasant surprises or if you don’t want to run the risk of not finding any suitable vehicle once you are on the island.