Taking A Day Trip to Corvo

Written by:
Last updated on June 14, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 7 minutes

The Azores, a group of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, is a unique part of Portugal. All of the islands are worth visiting, but one that stands out for its remoteness is the island of Corvo.

Home to just 400 or so people, this island is one of the remotest in the whole of Europe. If you’re already visiting Flores, visiting Corvo is an absolute must.

This article discusses taking a day trip to Corvo and the logistics surrounding that. For information about Corvo, see the guide to Corvo.

How to Get There

The journey from Flores to Corvo is a small adventure in itself. The islands are only 17 kilometres apart, and the trip can be made by ferry, speedboat, or by a short flight.

By Tour

There are several tour companies on Flores that offer day trips to Corvo, including Flores by Sea, Experience OC, and Extremocidente

By Ferry

The ferry service operates from Santa Cruz das Flores to Vila do Corvo, and the journey takes about 40 minutes. Ferry tickets can be purchased on Atlanticoline.pt and plane tickets can be purchased on AzoresAirlines.pt. The ferry port can be found here.

Unfortunately, the ferry doesn’t run twice daily every day. If you can’t find a day when you can get there and back on the same day, and you don’t want to try to stay overnight, you should look at tour companies or flying.

The other issue with the ferry is that sometimes it can get delayed and communication from Atlanticoline isn’t always great. The tour companies, on the other hand, tend to keep their clients very up to date. The downside, unfortunately, is that they tend to come back from Corvo a bit earlier so it may not give you as much time there as you want.

If you are worried about getting sea sick, there’s a pharmacy in Santa Cruz das Flores. Both the ferry and the speedboat can be bumpy rides.

Flying

There are flights between Flores and Corvo, however they don’t run every day and often they run in the late afternoon, which isn’t ideal for sightseeing. You will probably need to add an overnight if you plan to fly both ways. Another alternative would be to get a boat over in the morning and fly back the following day.

Staying Overnight

There are very few accommodation options on Corvo, so you can quickly rule this option out if these places are booked up.

  • Hotel Comodoro: The only hotel on the island, the Comodoro is modest but homely and within walking distance of everything, including the airport, the restaurant, and the bar. 
  • Joe & Vera’s Place VintageA simple, friendly guest house that has extremely positive reviews from almost everyone that has stayed. 
  • Joe & Vera’s PlaceThis seems to be another place that Joe & Vera own, but there’s rarely availability. 
  • Parque de Campismo: There is also a free campsite at the end of the runway with toilets and facilities for cooking. If you’re travelling from São Miguel, there is a Decathlon there where you could purchase a tent. Alternatively, a safer option would be to purchase one in advance of your trip to the Azores. 

Booking.com and Airbnb.com are worth checking further just in case there are any other options.

What To See & Do

Vila do Corvo

Upon arrival in Corvo, you’ll be greeted by the island’s only village, Vila do Corvo. The village, with its narrow cobbled streets, is home to about 400 residents, making this one of the remotest parts of the world. There isn’t a lot to see in the village itself besides the local church, the Igreja de Nossa Senhora dos Milagres.

Caldeirão

caldeirao corvo

The highlight of any visit to Corvo is undoubtedly the Caldeirão, a massive volcanic caldera that dominates the island’s landscape. The caldera, which is about 2 kilometres in diameter and 300 meters deep, is a natural wonder that leaves visitors in awe. A hike to the rim of the caldera offers panoramic views of the island and the Atlantic Ocean. Inside the caldera, you’ll find two lagoons and several peat bogs, which are home to a variety of bird species.

You can either hike to the Caldeirão, which takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to the top or take a taxi. There are normally taxis waiting whenever a ferry arrives. Alternatively, if you book with a tour company, they can arrange transportation to the top for you. Expect to pay around €10 per person for a roundtrip in a taxi. In many cases, the taxi driver will drive you to the top of the Caldeirão and then come back for you an hour or so later.

On the way down, you may want to stop by the Miradouro do Morro dos Homens and the Miradouro Cabeça do Indio.

Windmills

On the outskirts of Vila do Corvo, next to the airport entrance, there are several beautiful windmills. If you have a spare few minutes, these are worth going to see.

What to Bring

  • Backpack
  • A windbreaker waterproof jacket for the Caldeirão
  • A sweater, hoodie, or extra layer
  • Snacks and/or sandwiches
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • A hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Portable charger (optional)
  • Blister plasters (optional)
  • Lip balm (optional)
  • Hand sanetiser (optional)

There are ATMs on the island, but it’s still a good idea to have some cash on you.

How Much Time do You Need

Most day trips give you about 5-6 hours on the island. This is more than enough time to see the Caldeirao, if you’re taking a taxi and you should have some leftover time to see the windmills and the town of Vila do Corvo.

If you’re planning on hiking both ways, you can do it in that amount of time, but you will need to hike at a steady pace.

You’ll need around 1 hour and 45 minutes to hike to the Miradouro Caldeirao. However, you may want to also hike into the crater to see the lake up close. If visibility is bad at the miradouro, which it often is, you’ll probably want to do this. Allow an extra hour for this. Then you’ll need another hour and a half to hike back down, and more if you want to try and see other attractions like the Miradouro Cabeça do Indio.

This is just about doable on one of the longer day tours, but would be tight with any less time. If the ferry arrives and departs on time, which it doesn’t always, that would give you 7 hours on the island, which is more than enough time.

Eating and Drinking

There are two options eating and drinking on Corvo:

  • O Caldeirão – The only restaurant on the island. Menus for that day are often posted on Facebook.
  • BBC – Caffe & Lounge – a bar which serves snack foods like burgers and toasted sandwiches.

Because of the limited options, it’s a good idea to bring some backup fruit or granola bars with you. If you take a taxi to the top of the crater, this will leave from the port straight away and you won’t have time to stop for a coffee or snack.

The small print: Portugalist may generate a commission from mentioned products or services. This is at no additional cost to you and it does not affect our editorial standards in any way. All content, including comments, should be treated as informational and not advice of any kind, including legal or financial advice. The author makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors or omissions or damages arising from its display or use. Links to external websites do not constitute an endorsement. [Disclaimer Policy]
Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

Spotted a mistake? Suggest a correction

There are 0 comments on this article. Join the conversation and add your own thoughts, reviews, and stories of life in Portugal. However, please remember to be civil.

Leave a Comment