The Flower Power of Madeira

The Portuguese island of Madeira has been referred to as one giant garden. Its vast biodiversity qualified it as a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. With over 3,000 types of flowering plants and 780 native Madeira plants, it's no wonder the island is know as a 'floating flower pot.' Madeira is also home to traditions of refined embroidery and a wild toboggan run known as the Monte Sleigh Ride. BCD's insightful reporting gives you the lay of the cultural landscape in a way no other site does.

The Flower Power of Madeira

Cultural Connections - Pico Island

With this mesmerizing video, visit Pico, part of the Azorean archipelago of ancient volcanic islands located in the Atlantic ocean. On Pico, you feel the rich, fertile, potent power of the black earth. But the awe-inspiring forces that made all that black lava rock are unpredictable, and so on Pico, most people seek a connection with a comforting, protective divinity...and with each other. That connection is evidenced in the Bom Jesus festival, held in the village of Sao Mateaus each August 6, and at the Santo Amaro Craft School. BCD scouts out and brings you the most authentic cultural tourism experiences!

Cultural Connections - Pico Island

Rafael Carvalho on the Viola da Terra & Traditional Music of Azores

In this thoughtful & insightful interview with Azorean musician & teacher Rafael Carvalho, get a candid and heartfelt glimpse into life on this isolated archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. Learn about traditional Azorean music, its chief instrument the Viola de Terra, and Rafael's role in reviving Azorean roots music, almost extinguished by Fascism. Get a glimpse of the history behind the music's diversity and improvisation, and the faith & festivals of the Azorean lifestyle. Let BCD's access to and relationships with local people inform your travels & ensure authentic encounters!

Rafael Carvalho on the Viola da Terra & Traditional Music of Azores

Carina Costa of the Azores' Terra Nostra Gardens

Do you aspire to a career following your bliss? Check out Q&A with Azorean gardener doing just that! Carina Costa is a second-generation steward of Terra Nostra Gardens, a cultural landmark in Furnas village on Sao Miguel Island. Soak up the history of this 200-year old garden set in volcanic crater & amidst therapeutic springs. Enjoy a tutorial on plant cataloguing, camellias & cultivars! Get insight into the design of an English border garden in the Azores! Dig deep into what makes a career rewarding and how Terra Nostra Gardens is unique.

Carina Costa of the Azores' Terra Nostra Gardens