Sum­mer events on the Azores

Fest­iv­al Sao Joao Da Vila (Saint John The Apostle)

When: 15th – 24th of June, 2019

Where: Vila Franca do Campo, São Miguel island

Entry: free

The Saint John the Apostle Fest­iv­al takes place in Vila Franca do Campo. It is a won­der­fully col­or­ful and happy cel­eb­ra­tion, where every­body takes part in the dan­cing and singing.

The cel­eb­ra­tion dates back to the 14th cen­tury, and it has been ori­gin­ally a pagan ritu­al: people cel­eb­rated the plen­ti­ful har­vest and wor­shipped the Sun God. The cel­eb­ra­tion was even­tu­ally turned into a Cath­ol­ic feast, and was named after Saint John.

Dur­ing the times it was still a pagan ritu­al – to cel­eb­rate fer­til­ity – people used to hang a leek on the wall of their house to bring good luck. Herbs – which were thought to bring health and good luck – were also essen­tial parts of the festival.

These days the fest­iv­al of Saint John is cel­eb­rated on sev­er­al islands of the Azores, and also in sev­er­al cit­ies across con­tin­ent­al Por­tugal. On Sao Miguel there is a pro­ces­sion in Vila Franca do Campo where all cit­ies of the island are rep­res­en­ted by dance groups and sing­ers. It is a very col­or­ful and happy fest­iv­al, def­in­itely worth a vis­it if you are on Sao Miguel dur­ing this week.

Red Bull Cliff Diving

When: 22nd of June, 2019

Where: Vila Franca do Campo Ileu (small island across Vila Franca do Campo), São Miguel island

Entry: approx. 65 EUR watch­ing it from a boat

The Azores edi­tion of the Red Bull Cliff Diving takes place on the small island across from Vila Franca do Campo. The best ath­letes of the world are brav­ing the waters from a free stand­ing rock turned into a spring­board.  The cliff divers are execut­ing flaw­less somer­saults and oth­er incred­ible feats dur­ing their 27 meters high jump, at the end of which they reach the water with the whoop­ing speed of 85 km / hours. People are watch­ing the com­pet­i­tion from boats anchored nearby. Make sure to reserve your­self a seat on one of these boats if you don’t want to miss out on this breath­tak­ing race.

Festa Do Chicharro (Mack­er­el Festival)

When: 4th – 7th of July, 2019.

Where: Ribeira Quente (Povoa­cao), São Miguel island

Entry: pre-sales for the entire fest­iv­al 20 EUR (until the 20th of June), after­wards 23 EUR, or daily tick­ets 7 EUR (4th of July), 10 EUR (5th of July), 14 EUR (6th of July).

Very excit­ing music fest­iv­al with fam­ous Azorean and Por­tuguese musi­cians and bands. 

The best event of the fest­iv­al: con­cert of Vania Dilac on the 6th of July, 2019.

WALK&TALK Fest­iv­al

When: 5th – 20th of July, 2019

Where: mul­tiple loc­a­tions across São Miguel island

Entry: var­ies based on event

Com­munity arts fest­iv­al intend­ing to inspire all sorts of Azores-related artist­ic cre­ations. You can get an event guide in every tour­ist inform­a­tion point on Sao Miguel or on this link.

Feira Quin­hentista (Medi­ev­al Fair)

When: 8th – 14th July, 2019

Where: Ribeira Grande, São Miguel island

Entry: free

Huge medi­ev­al fair in Riber­ia Grande with shows, music, dan­cing, and of course the drum­mers. You can read my blog post about this fest­iv­al here.

Dur­ing this week the city cen­ter is filled with people – chil­dren, par­ents, and eld­erly – dressed in medi­ev­al cos­tumes. There are shows and per­form­ances ever after­noon / even­ing in front of the city hall. Arts and crafts are sold in the medi­ev­al mar­ket. What makes this fest­iv­al very inter­est­ing: all food sold at the ven­ue has medi­ev­al names. Of course you can try the Azorean dough­nut: Malas­sada. Once you are in town, make sure you vis­it the A Mer­enda bakery, where you can try the bean tart and the loc­al cot­ton candy: Algodao Doce.

XV. Santa Maria Blues Festival

When: 18th – 20th of July, 2019

Where: Santa Maria island

Entry: daily tick­et 15 EUR, entire fest­iv­al 40 EUR

Santa Maria island can be best reached with ferry from Sao Miguel, the jour­ney takes approx­im­ately 4 hours. This blues fest­iv­al is the longest stand­ing blues fest­iv­al in Europe, which means the island is filled with blues lov­ers. There­fore, if you are plan­ning to go make sure to book your ferry tick­ets or flights and accom­mod­a­tion in advance.

IX. Mostra Gast­ronóm­ica De Água Retorta (Gast­ro­nom­ic­al Showcase)

When: 18th – 21st of July, 2019

Where: Casa do Povo de Água Retorta, São Miguel island

Caloura Blues Festival

When: 26th – 27th of July, 2019

Where: Praia Baixa d’Areia (Caloura beach), São Miguel island

Entry: 2 day-ticket 15 EUR, 1 day tick­et 10 EUR

Caloura blues fest­iv­al with fant­ast­ic bands. I will be def­in­itely joining.

Gosto Do Mar (Taste Of The Sea Festival)

When: 18th – 23rd of June, 2019

Where: Lagoa, São Miguel island

Gast­ro­nom­ic­al fest­iv­al with a focus on seafood.

Cor­pus Christi In Povoacao

When: 19th – 23rd of June, 2019

Where: Povoa­cao, São Miguel island

Entry: free

The people of Povoaco dec­or­ate reli­gious pic­tures with flowers. The cel­eb­ra­tion ends with a won­der­ful procession.

Fes­t­as Do Nordeste 2019  (Nordeste Festival)

When: 11th – 18th of July, 2019

Where: Nordeste, São Miguel island

Entry: free

Music fest­iv­al with great bands in Nordeste.

Festa Do Baleeiro Em Sao Vicente Fer­reira 2019 (Whalers’ Festival)

When: 19th – 21st of July, 2019

Where: Pocos De Sao Vicente Fer­reira, Pon­ta Del­gada, São Miguel island

The Festa do Baleeiro, near to the Poços de São Vicente Fer­reira, takes place every year in the former Fábrica da Baleeira.

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