Like most of the Azores, Santa Maria Island also celebrates the Holy Spirit Festival with Holy Spirit soups, made from wheat bread, beef, cabbage, cinnamon, butter and fresh mint.
In Cabo da Praia, inside an old quarry where stone for the construction of Praia da Vitória port was extracted, in the end of the industrial park and next to the Fuel Park of Terceira Island, you can find an unlikely place to watch birds.
The Ilhéu das Cabras, or the ‘Goat Islanders’ in English, are near the south coast of Terceira Island and are considered by many one of the “Angra do Heroísmo” icons.
At first sight, these were just natural resources used to make fire or feed the animals. But the Azoreans are a creative and innovative people and they looked further, producing many objects from vegetable fibers, such as baskets.
“It was summertime and I was in the Azores hanging around the small village my parents are from, I was looking out on this very rural setting, on a road going up a hill. There was an old man coming down the hill with a pitchfork on his shoulder. He was wearing gum boats, work pants and a Coca-Cola t-shirt, I saw that and thought ‘That’s my album!’”
In the Azores you will find the only tea plantations in Europe, which produce excellent teas, processing the leaves on vintage 19th century English machinery.
Azorean cuisine is influenced by mainland Portugal, but also has its own distinctions.