Rabo de Peixe is a parish located in the north of the island of São Miguel in Azores. It belongs to the municipality of Ribeira Grande and is named like this because of the similarity that one of its land ends has with a fish’s tail.
In August, when I traveled to Azores I immediately added this parish to my travel itinerary because I had seen a television report that said Rabo de Peixe was one of the poorest areas in Europe. I can tell you, from a short passage there, the poverty it’s easily understandable. However, it seems that although poor, the people are proud of their roots and all they’ve achieved.
Make sure to include Rabo de Peixe in your itinerary if you have time on your travel to Azores. A short stop is enough as the biggest attractions are the Church of Bom Jesus and its fishing port, which is the largest in the Azores. As a curiosity, it is known that the majority of the population of this parish, about 10 thousand people, lives essentially from fishing and agriculture .
The date on which Rabo de Peixe was populated isn’t certain but it appears to have been around the 15th century. The area of the place of Santana, an extensive plain belonging to the parish, was transformed into a military airfield during World War II (between 1939 and 1945) having passed to the civil aeronautics in 1946 with the construction of the first airport on the island of São Miguel. In 2004, on the 25th of April (a very important day for Portugal that celebrates Freedom and rights), Rabo de Peixe and its geographical area of almost 17 square kilometers was promoted to an Azorean village.
Where to park
Unfortunately Google Maps street view van hasn’t had a chance to visit Rabo de Peixe yet, but don’t worry that the driver has already called me to say he’s dealing with this . As I think you already understood by this time, if you are followers of the blog, I am a bit of a maniac planning my trips and I like to have a good idea of things. Because of that, before going anywhere I go to Google Maps in street view and decide 2 or 3 places where I can park the car. This time it wasn’t like that because there was no street view so I had to go exploring. Fortunately we were lucky and we parked the car in the central square of Rabo de Peixe.
What to visit
As I told you, a quick stop in Rabo de Peixe (about 20/30 minutes) in perfectly enough and you can get a clear idea of the region. As interesting tourist points I highlight the Church of Bom Jesus and the fishing port.
❃ Church of Bom Jesus
Located right next to the central square of the parish, it’s known that the construction of this church lasted 150 years and was started to be built in 1522 to replace another that already existed on the same site. It has a harmonious design and a Baroque-style building made up of three naves, a large central and two sides.
When I visited this church it was closed so I just had the opportunity to see it from the outside. It’s perfectly clear that it is a place of conviviality for the inhabitants of Rabo de Peixe given the high number of people sitting on the stairs and on the wall in front of it. I even felt intimidated while taking the picture because a lot of people where watching (I felt like a celebrity!).
❃ Rabo de Peixe fishing port
As I mentioned, the Rabo de Peixe fishing port is the largest in the Azores and also has the largest fishing community. Because of this, it’s noted that there is an effort on the part of the Azores government to restore some areas and provide better conditions for fishermen.
We were extremely tired and then we only saw this port from the top. I could understand that it is a small but modern port that has about 40/50 fishing boats 🚣♂️.
This fishing village deserves at least to be included in your travel itinerary for a quick stop. As I said, it doesn’t take long to get an idea of the essence of the place. I hope I gave you a hand and sparked a little interest. I am sorry to have taken few photographs but I was tired. Be sure to follow me on instagram, I publish all the news about my trips there.
All posts about the Azores here.