There’s always something going on in the Azores. Although the summer season comes with temperatures hovering within an idyllic range of averages (lows in the 60’s and highs in the upper 70’s) you’ll find that island locals create reasons to celebrate on the black sand beaches of their 9 islands year-round.
Make your way to Santa Maria in August for the Festival Mare de Agosto. Praia Formosa beach hosts the Mare de Agosto Festival for four days at the end of August. Enjoy concerts featuring artists from around the world. Started in 1984 when some Azorean musicians put together a jam session on stages throughout the island, it has evolved into one of the most popular music festivals in the Azores.
Get religious on Sao Miguel at the Festa do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres each May. Held the fifth Sunday after Easter, this festival celebrates with parades weaving throughout the city with a religious statue as its centerpiece. Ending at the convent at Esperanca in Ponta Delgada, this ritual procession has been taking place since the sixth century. A street fair joins the three day festival where you’ll find visitors flocking to churches and chapels in a pilgrimage.
Portuguese mainlanders make their way to Faial for the Week of the Sea Festival in August. Complete with a whaling boat competition in Faial’s canal, a street parade, procession and music performances by some of Portugal’s greats, you’ll find yourself in the midst of a true local celebration of the the Sea.
Join the grape harvest in September on Pico at the Mes das Vindimas festival. During this time you’ll find yourself among locals helping to squeeze the grapes for liquors, brandy and Portuguese wine.
July is prime time for a trip to Sao Jorge where you’ll find the Semana Cultural das Velas Festival in full swing. The most popular event on the island this festival is filled with concerts, dancing local crafts, a regatta and even a bullfight.
The Azores celebrates their own Mardi Gras with Carnival in March. Every island has its own events, but those on Graciosa are the most popular event that island sees all year. The Parades are filled with creative costumes and the year-round visitors line the streets in droves to be a part of the action.
March through the streets of Terceira in June when the island’s Sanjoaninas Festival (festival of Saint John) is in full swing. Taking place in commemoration of the patron saint of Terceira, Saint John. Check out the daily marches, parades, and decorated cars within the town of Angra do Heroisimo.
The island of Corvo celebrates the Festa de Nossa Senhora dos Milagres in August. The largest festival on Corvo includes a procession through the village streets atop a colorful carpet made by the local craftsmen. Celebrating the legend that states that Our Lady of Miracles was responsible for drawing pirates away from the island, this is special time for Corvo.
Flores is the spot to visit for the Santa Cruz Festival each August. One of the Azores’s largest festivals it draws a good crowd. Here you’ll find stunning flower displays covering the arc in the main street. 27 Emperors crowns are on display at this most important Holy Ghost Festival.
To learn more about the Festivals of the Azores, and plan your trip, check out their website: http://www.visitazores.com/en/calendar/all/parties-festivities
– A woman in need of a snow-less, solo escape to the Azores, Jess