Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Music and Dancing - Flores Island - Azores

In spite of its distance from the other islands in the archipelago, the folklore of Flores keeps up the common tradition with typical songs and dances such as the Sapateia, Tirana, Chamarrita Encaracolada, Rema, Manjericão, Ciranda, Pézinho de Baixo and others that enliven festival days.
The musical taste of the population of Flores also finds an expression in the half dozen bands whose presence is a must at all ceremonies and festivals.

Festivals - Flores Island - Azores - Acores

The Festival of the Holy Ghost is the most important in the island. A centuries-old tradition, it is closely connected with the religious feelings of the people of Flores. Enacting the rituals of the coronation of the "emperor", the showing of his insignia and celebration of the "bodo" or feast, attracts the inhabitants of the village and visitors. Similar festivals are held in every parish. The most important, lasting for two days, is at Santa Cruz, in which the town is decorated with flowers and coloured arches and there is dancing in the streets. With the presence of the crowns of the 27 emperors existing on the island, it is considered to be the most important festival of the Holy Ghost in the Azores.

Festival of the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost festivals take place on Sundays after Whitsun until the summer. At Santa Cruz it is held on the last Sunday in August. Other festivals include the Folares (Easter cakes. including baked eggs), the processions of the Senhor dos Passos (Our Lord bearing His Cress), held on Good Friday in every parish. St. John s Festivals at Santa Cruz which attract many visitors, the Festival of Senhora das Flores held in honour of Our Lady at the Chapel called Capela dos Matos and the best frequented in the whole island, and the Emigrants Festival at Lajes das Flores on the 2nd week-end of July.

Walking and Sight-Seeing - Flores Islands

Flores is a paradise for fishermen. The craggy seashore gives them an endless number of fishing grounds where they can catch large fish such as bluefish bream, amberjack, conger eels, stone bass, grouper, mackerel, snapper, etc. But if the sports fishermen find abundant catches in Flores, underwater sportsmen have, in the depths, fringed by multi-coloured rocks, an abundance of animal and vegetable life and in the island's caves, attractions for many days spent appreciating the beauty beneath the sea.

For the same reasons the underwater diving-dress practice increased a lot those past years, not only due to those wonderful sea conditions, but also due to the rising of specialised and well-equipped clubs on that particularly practice - Clube Naval das Lages das Flores - Phone: +351-(0)92-53145 and fax: +351-(0)92-53605.

The roads will take you to the main attractions of Flores. There are also hidden areas of real scenic beauty, that can only be discovered by walking through flowers and green fields, crossing murmuring brooks and small waterfalls.

Swimming, Sailing and Water Activities - Flores Island

Flores is a paradise for fishermen. The craggy seashore gives them an endless number of fishing grounds where they can catch large fish such as bluefish bream, amberjack, conger eels, stone bass, grouper, mackerel, snapper, etc. But if the sports fishermen find abundant catches in Flores, underwater sportsmen have, in the depths, fringed by multi-coloured rocks, an abundance of animal and vegetable life and in the island's caves, attractions for many days spent appreciating the beauty beneath the sea.

For the same reasons the underwater diving-dress practice increased a lot those past years, not only due to those wonderful sea conditions, but also due to the rising of specialised and well-equipped clubs on that particularly practice - Clube Naval das Lages das Flores - Phone: +351-(0)92-53145 and fax: +351-(0)92-53605.

Clear, lucid waters, lapping pebble-covered beaches between rocks, await swimmers along the coast of the island, particularly in the area of Lagedo and Castelo (Ponta dos llhéus), Fajãzinha, Ponta do Albarnaz and Cedros. Santa Cruz, Lajes and Fajã Grande have natural swimming-pools.
Flores also offers excellent conditions for practising sailing and windsurfing, using the natural indents of the coast.

The Streams and Fishing - Flores Island - Sporting Holidays

Flores is a paradise for fishermen. The craggy seashore gives them an endless number of fishing grounds where they can catch large fish such as bluefish bream, amberjack, conger eels, stone bass, grouper, mackerel, snapper, etc. But if the sports fishermen find abundant catches in Flores, underwater sportsmen have, in the depths, fringed by multi-coloured rocks, an abundance of animal and vegetable life and in the island's caves, attractions for many days spent appreciating the beauty beneath the sea.

For the same reasons the underwater diving-dress practice increased a lot those past years, not only due to those wonderful sea conditions, but also due to the rising of specialised and well-equipped clubs on that particularly practice - Clube Naval das Lages das Flores - Phone: +351-(0)92-53145 and fax: +351-(0)92-53605.

The swiftly flowing streams, whose sparkling waters enhance the landscape of Flores, are also a paradise for fishermen, who can catch delicious trout in them.
Main fishing areas are in the streams of Moinhos, Além Fazenda, Fazenda, Silva, Urzela, Grande and Lake Lomba.

Sails in the Atlantic - Flores Island - Sporting Holidays

Flores is a paradise for fishermen. The craggy seashore gives them an endless number of fishing grounds where they can catch large fish such as bluefish bream, amberjack, conger eels, stone bass, grouper, mackerel, snapper, etc. But if the sports fishermen find abundant catches in Flores, underwater sportsmen have, in the depths, fringed by multi-coloured rocks, an abundance of animal and vegetable life and in the island's caves, attractions for many days spent appreciating the beauty beneath the sea.

For the same reasons the underwater diving-dress practice increased a lot those past years, not only due to those wonderful sea conditions, but also due to the rising of specialised and well-equipped clubs on that particularly practice - Clube Naval das Lages das Flores - Phone: +351-(0)92-53145 and fax: +351-(0)92-53605.

Situated on the main route linking Europe and America, a growing number of yachts call every year at Flores, attracted by its geographical position, the port of Santa Cruz and the welcoming hospitality. Flores thus constitutes, together with Faial, Terceira and São Miguel, one of the points of the quadrangle that takes in the whole archipelago, enabling visitors to enjoy cruises in Azorean waters.


The Central Mountain Range - Flores Island - The Charm of The Landscape

The island of Flores is Nature in all its exuberance. Deep valleys cut by streams. Peaks and hills marking the horizon, breaking up the landscape. Rolling countryside that descends to the coast and ends in vertical cliffs. Cove, mild sharp, rocky capes. Everywhere is greenery plants and flowers, and edging the fields, in strips that stretch for miles and miles up and down mountains and valleys, the sky blue hydrangeas.

The central mountain range, formed by Morro Alto which has the highest altitude on the island, together with Pico da Burrinha, Pico dos Sete Pés and other peaks with lower altitudes, provide magnificent views over the lakes, valleys, streams and the irregular outline of the coast.

The hill called Madeira Seca, fairly easy to climb, offers a dazzling view over Lajes valley.

The Rock Formations - Flores Islands - The Charm of The Landscape

The island of Flores is Nature in all its exuberance. Deep valleys cut by streams. Peaks and hills marking the horizon, breaking up the landscape. Rolling countryside that descends to the coast and ends in vertical cliffs. Cove, mild sharp, rocky capes. Everywhere is greenery plants and flowers, and edging the fields, in strips that stretch for miles and miles up and down mountains and valleys, the sky blue hydrangeas.

Galo Cave - Guluseimas Gallery

The basalt and lava of the island of Flores have been formed into fantastic shapes by the wind and rain. On the Frades hill (literally, Friars), overlooking Fajã de Lopo Vaz, two rocks resemble the figures of a friar and a nun. Near Galo Cave, you can imagine the profile of a graceful cockerel (galo in Portuguese), in a large rock.

The Islets - Flores Island - The Charm of The Landscape

The island of Flores is Nature in all its exuberance. Deep valleys cut by streams. Peaks and hills marking the horizon, breaking up the landscape. Rolling countryside that descends to the coast and ends in vertical cliffs. Cove, mild sharp, rocky capes. Everywhere is greenery plants and flowers, and edging the fields, in strips that stretch for miles and miles up and down mountains and valleys, the sky blue hydrangeas.

All round the island, there are numerous small islets that lend colour to the blue of the sea and bear picturesque names such as Alvaro Rodrigues, Fragata, Maria Vaz and Cartório. Abrões islet is crossed by a curious grotto and Monchique islet is the westernmost part of Europe, having served, in the times of navigation by astronomy, as a reference point for adjusting routes and checking navigational instruments.

Waterfalls - Flores Island - The Charm of The Landscape

The island of Flores is Nature in all its exuberance. Deep valleys cut by streams. Peaks and hills marking the horizon, breaking up the landscape. Rolling countryside that descends to the coast and ends in vertical cliffs. Cove, mild sharp, rocky capes. Everywhere is greenery plants and flowers, and edging the fields, in strips that stretch for miles and miles up and down mountains and valleys, the sky blue hydrangeas.

Cut by torrential streams that curl as they leap from mountain to mountain in small, transparent waterfalls, the island of Flores has a bucolic nature that is in harmony with the scenery of hues of green intersected by the blue of the hydrangeas and rainbow colours of other flowers.
The most important waterfall is Ribeira Grande, at Fajãzinha, which has a drop of hundreds of metres. In the area between this parish and Ponta da Fajã alone, there are about twenty waterfalls, many of which drop into the sea.


Enxareus Grotto - Flores Island - The Charm of The Landscape

The island of Flores is Nature in all its exuberance. Deep valleys cut by streams. Peaks and hills marking the horizon, breaking up the landscape. Rolling countryside that descends to the coast and ends in vertical cliffs. Cove, mild sharp, rocky capes. Everywhere is greenery plants and flowers, and edging the fields, in strips that stretch for miles and miles up and down mountains and valleys, the sky blue hydrangeas.

An enormous volcanic cave at sea level, about 50 metres long and 25 metres wide. There is an interesting boat ride, allowing the visitor to appreciate the attractive coast fringed by rocks and small caves. On the shore of the island, there is the Galo cave, with interesting volcanic formations and an entrance that resembles the portal of a giant cathedral.

Rocha dos Bordoes - Flores Island - The Charm of The Landscape

The island of Flores is Nature in all its exuberance. Deep valleys cut by streams. Peaks and hills marking the horizon, breaking up the landscape. Rolling countryside that descends to the coast and ends in vertical cliffs. Cove, mild sharp, rocky capes. Everywhere is greenery plants and flowers, and edging the fields, in strips that stretch for miles and miles up and down mountains and valleys, the sky blue hydrangeas.


A curious geological phenomenon, originated by the solidification of basalt in high, vertical channels, forming a majestic headland. Near the base and at sea level, are the "Hot Waters", small hollows filled with boiling, sulphurous water. In some coastal areas there are other basaltic formations, though of a smaller size.

The Seven Lakes of Flores - The Charm of The Landscape - Flores Island

The island of Flores is Nature in all its exuberance. Deep valleys cut by streams. Peaks and hills marking the horizon, breaking up the landscape. Rolling countryside that descends to the coast and ends in vertical cliffs. Cove, mild sharp, rocky capes. Everywhere is greenery plants and flowers, and edging the fields, in strips that stretch for miles and miles up and down mountains and valleys, the sky blue hydrangeas.

The seven lakes of Flores are lovely expanses of water set in volcanic hollows surrounded by flowers. Lake Funda or Verde, which has small stretches of sand and is bordered by vegetation and hydrangeas, is doubtless the prettiest. The other six - Branca, Seca, Comprida, Rasa, Lomba and Funda das Lajes - also have a serene and attractive beauty that makes them worth a visit for moments of calm and relaxation.

Fazendas das Lajes - Flores Islands - History

Church of Senhor Santo Cristo. Attractive place of worship (late l9th c ) representative of the religious architecture of the Azores. Carved woodwork. Equally worth visiting are the churches of Caveira, Fajã Grande, Lomba, Mosteiro and Ponta Deleada, as well as the impérios (chapels) of the Holy Ghost and other whitewashed chapels which, here and there, stand out in the green landscape as symbols of Azorean devotion and examples of the adaptation of architectural styles on an island which was isolated for centuries from European aesthetic currents.

Fajazinha - Flores Island - Art and History

Characteristic village hugging the shore. Near the Ribeira Grande waterfall, with a 300 metre drop. Picturesque ruins of old watermills.
Church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. Grandiose 18th c. building. Chancel. Sculptured woodwork. Images.