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Celebrating Tradition: Festas do Espírito Santo - A Tapestry of Azorean Heritage

Annually, Portuguese communities, especially those with Azorean heritage, partake in the vibrant Festas do Espírito Santo (Festivals of the Holy Spirit). These celebrations feature an adorned parade, with participants gracefully carrying baskets of bread on their heads. Festivities include the coronation of festival queens and communal meals. A highlight is the display of a crown adorned with a dove image, typically held on Pentecost Sunday or any Sunday between Easter and Pentecost. What might seem like a charming display of Portuguese community spirit actually has its roots in a widespread European theological movement. Portugal uniquely preserved it, thanks to royal moderation and support.

Festas do Espírito Santo, emerging from the 17th-century Holy Spirit's cult in mainland Portugal, stand out as a distinctive Azorean tradition. While the exact origin date remains uncertain, historical accounts trace the celebration's presence to the Azores, Brazil, and Canada. Early reports in Terceira date back to 1492, adding a rich historical layer to these captivating festivities.

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Itineraries

Day 0

Date : July 10, 2024

Overnight flight

Evening departure aboard AZORES AIRLINES for our transatlantic overnight flight to Ponta Delgada. Dinner will be served onboard accompanied by a selection of Portuguese wines to complement your meal.

Day 1

Date : July 11, 2024

Arrival to São Miguel Island

Welcome to the Island of São Miguel, the largest and most populous island in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. Soothing natural thermal pools, scenic hikes, dramatic coastlines and volcanic landscapes await for you in this secret nature lovers dream.

After arrival, we will transfer you to your hotel and you will have the rest of the day to rest and prepare for your future adventures.

Tonight, you will enjoy a welcome dinner in a private estate accompanied by typical Azorean food and will be entertained by a local folklore group.

Day 2

Date : July 12, 2024

Sete Cidades - A Journey to the West

Today you will explore the western part of the island. In the morning we’ll visit a local farm and during this visit you will have the opportunity to learn about Azorean culture, see how people used to live in the past, get in touch with various farm animals and even milk a cow. During the visit, you will also get to know the different plants and fruits that were the basis of the families’ sustenance.

On the way to Sete Cidades, a village known for its tales and beauty you will have the opportunity to take in the breathtaking view of the main lake, also known as, Blue and Green Lakes with a stop at Vista do Rei (Kings view).

You will enjoy lunch at a traditional restaurant.

Day 3

Date : July 13, 2024

Half Day Tour of Lagoa do Fogo

Today you will take a half day tour to Lagoa do Fogo (Lake of Fire) stopping first at the pineapple plantations to observe how this tropical fruit grows on these islands in the middle of the Atlantic. Take the opportunity to indulge in a pineapple liqueur tasting.

We then we explore the central part of the island of São Miguel, mostly known for its volcano which harbors Lagoa do Fogo, one of the most beautiful lakes on the island.

At the top of Lagoa do Fogo you are able to see both the North and South coasts of São Miguel and the city of Ponta Delgada.

Day 4

Date : July 15, 2024

Espírito Santo

Guide will meet you in the morning for a small city tour in Ponta Delgada so we can enjoy the festivities and prepare for the feast in the afternoon.

Day 5

Date : July 15, 2024

Full Day Furnas Tour

We depart to Furnas lake where you will be astonished with the contrast of the peacefulness scenario with the hectic pulsing of the volcanic fumaroles.

You will then head to a local restaurant where you will enjoy a traditional Cozido das Furnas (a meal cooked in sealed pots using the islands hot springs known as fumarolas) and have the chance to indulge in the famous cozido.

In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to relax in the thermal waters of Terra Nostra Botanical Garden

The day will end with a visit to the Gorreana Tea Factory, where you will learn about the island’s tea industry and the tea production, still operated by 19th century machinery. Enjoy a tasting of the famous green and black tea while admiring the lush plantations and dramatic coastlines.

Day 6

Date : July 16, 2024

Leisure Day

Take a leisurely break today to explore São Miguel at your own pace. Whether you choose to relax by the pool, stroll through the charming streets, or discover hidden gems, this day is yours to savor the island's charm independently. If you would like to add one of our experiences and tours, please let us know.

Day 7

Date : July 17, 2024

Departure

Today we say goodbye to the beautiful island of Sao Miguel. We hope that on the flight back you reminisce of the good times that you had on the trip.

Includes:

  • 6 nights in Marina Atlántico Hotel sea view room on a BB basis
  • Bus with A/C in all tours and transfers
  • English speaking guide in all tours and transfers
  • 2 lunches with drinks in full day Tours
  • Dinner in private estate with drinks on day 1
  • Entrance in Terra Nostra Botanical Garden
  • Single supplement not included.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Gratuities.
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