The Azores

A hidden gem in the Atlantic, the Azores islands offer a paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and those looking to unwind in serene, verdant landscapes far from the hustle and bustle of mainland life.

Travel Guide to The Azores

The Azores, an enchanting archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, is Portugal's best-kept secret, offering an abundance of natural wonders from lush landscapes and volcanic craters to hot springs and cobalt-blue lakes.

Essential Highlights

  • Sete Cidades: Marvel at the twin lakes situated in a massive volcanic crater, one blue, the other green, surrounded by steep mountains and vibrant foliage. It's a picture-perfect panorama of the Azores' stunning natural beauty. Learn more here.
  • Furnas: Experience geothermal springs and mud pools in Furnas. Visit Terra Nostra Park to bathe in its therapeutic hot springs and witness the unique method of cooking food underground using volcanic steam. More information available here.
  • Whale Watching: The Azores is one of the world's premier destinations for whale watching, where you can spot sperm whales, blue whales, and dolphins in their natural habitat. Start planning your excursion here.
  • Pico Mountain: Challenge yourself with a hike up Mount Pico, Portugal’s highest mountain, for awe-inspiring views of the Atlantic and surrounding islands. Essential hiking info found here.

Top Destinations

  1. São Miguel - The largest island, known as "The Green Island", is famed for its dramatic landscapes, thermal springs, and the enchanting Sete Cidades lakes.
  2. Terceira - Home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira is rich in historical significance, colorful festivals, and natural beauty, including the Algar do Carvão volcanic cave.
  3. Faial - Nicknamed "The Blue Island" for its hydrangeas, Faial is a sailor’s paradise with its world-renowned marina and the striking Capelinhos Volcano, which last erupted in 1957-58.
  4. Pico - Famous for its vineyards, unique to the UNESCO landscape, and the imposing Pico Mountain, the island offers a rugged landscape that is perfect for adventure enthusiasts.

Getting There

Airlines Flying to the Azores
  • Azores Airlines (website): Offers direct flights from North America and several European cities to São Miguel and Terceira.
  • TAP Air Portugal (website): Provides connections from major international airports to the Azores, with a layover in Lisbon or Porto.
Island Hopping
  • Ferry Services: Atlânticoline (website) operates ferry services between the islands, offering a scenic way to explore multiple islands.
  • Domestic Flights: SATA Air Açores (website) covers inter-island flights, enabling quick and convenient travel within the archipelago.

Top Experiences & Things to Do in The Azores

  • Hot Spring Baths: Relax in the geothermal waters of the Terra Nostra Park or the Poca Da Dona Beija in Furnas.
  • Hiking Trails: Embark on the trails of Sete Cidades, Faial's Caldeira, or the vineyards of Pico for breathtaking landscapes.
  • Scuba Diving: Dive into the clear Atlantic waters to explore vibrant marine life and underwater volcanic formations.
  • Cultural Festivals: Experience local traditions at festivals like São João in Terceira or the Holy Spirit Festivals across the islands.
  • Volcano Explorations: Visit the Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre in Faial or venture inside a volcano at Algar do Carvão in Terceira.

Accommodations & Dining in The Azores

The Azores has a range of accommodations, from luxury hotels like the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel (website) in São Miguel to charming bed and breakfasts that offer a personal touch.

Azorean cuisine reflects the islands' rich maritime culture with an emphasis on seafood, beef, and a variety of cheeses. For a unique dining experience, visit the Restaurante Alcides in São Miguel (website) which is well known for its local meats and traditional dishes.

Helpful Tips

  • Currency: As part of Portugal, the Azores use the Euro (€). Cash and cards are accepted, though small vendors may prefer cash.
  • Best Time to Visit: The mild climate makes the Azores a year-round destination, but the best weather is from May to October.
  • Language: Portuguese is the official language. English is widely spoken in tourist areas but learning some basic Portuguese phrases is appreciated.
  • Outdoor Adventures: If you’re planning activities like hiking, whale watching, or diving, be sure to book with reputable companies and check weather conditions.

For additional information and trip planning, visit the official Azores tourism website:

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