The Real Countryside: Your Guide to Povoação

Hi everyone! This post in continuation of my full coverage of my trip to the Açores, the group of Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic. Check out my other posts about the Açores here

My grandmother’s side hails from Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Açores. While nothing in the Açores has big cities or big lights, Ponta Delgada is definitely at least a small city and has city-life attached to it. In direct contrast, my grandfather comes from the other side of São Miguel island. This other side is a completely different world at times, as this is home to the idyllic rural town of Povoação.

Povoacao 8Povoação has only about 6,000 people, but at one time was one of the most important areas on the island as it was the first area to be settled. It has existed for more than 500 years.

Povoacao 2 Povoacao 7And what did these settlers do with the land? They proceeded to create an agricultural community. There were lots of cattle farms, as well as vegetable farms. To this day, Povoação remains a farm and fishing town.

Life on this side of the island is slow, but steady. My family constantly travels between Ponta Delgada and Povoação, due to family get-togethers. My grandfather owned a factory, and today it has been turned into a grand mansion of a house. The area is absolutely beautiful. It doesn’t get any more natural than this. People live simply, but fully. On the long, winding drive to Povoação, my uncle (in broken English) explained to me that he loves to visit because he can relax and just take a break from his busy lawyer life. However, he says he can’t stay more than three days because he’ll go crazy. What he means is that he’ll get so tired of doing the only main activities you can do in Povoação: eating, drinking, and sleeping.

Povoacao 6 Povoacao 1 Povoacao 3And yes, you basically live like one of the many dairy cows that roam the fields. But, there’s nothing more peaceful. This is the real countryside, and you might as well bask in its beauty.

Povoacao 4

For more pristine beauty, read my post on Sete Cidades — the most famous lakes in the Açores.

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