With the mountainous green lands leading to the emerald ocean water, the Azores Islands, Portugal is a magical paradise. The majestic waters are a gateway to a world of endless explorations like whale watching, scuba diving and yachting, and the picturesque landscapes offer a taste of natural beauty filled with thrilling escapades. The Azores Islands are truly an adventure seeker’s haven where you are generously greeted by the warm sun and a whirlwind of fun. Whether you choose to spend your vacation tanning under the golden sun or surfing the giant waves, there are many tropical luxuries that are awaiting your arrival. The Azores Islands is a great destination to focus on building unforgettable memories while forgetting about the stresses of tomorrow.
The Azores Archipelago is composed of nine islands of volcanic origin in Portugal and situated in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are geographically divided into three groups. The Eastern group consists of Santa Maria Island and São Miguel Island; the Western group islands are Corvo and Flores; the Central group islands are Faial, São Jorge, Terceira, Graciosa and Pico. Its capital Ponta Delgada is located in the island of São Miguel and the economies of the islands thrive from agriculture, fishing, and the production of wine. Each island offers a unique cultural experience with historical monuments, festivals, and exciting outdoor activities.
Visit São Miguel to bask in its fascinating scenery, journey to the past at the museums and historical monuments, and swim on the refreshing waters of the vast lakes. Also, head to the island’s main city Ponta Delgada, and partake in its vibrant night life and restaurants. Visited by Christopher Columbus, Santa Maria is host to The Mare do Agosto Festival and houses the region’s scenic vineyards. An ancient port of goods from America and the Indies, Terceira preserves Boa Hora Hospital, one of the oldest military hospitals in the world. Graciosa is surrounded by green pastures, fountains, a lake, sulfur pits, windmills, and vineyards. Nature lovers would enjoy the challenge of climbing Portugal’s highest mountain, which stands at 2,351 meters in Pico. São Jorge’s interesting rock formations and picturesque backdrop offers a peaceful, yet mysterious atmosphere. Get a bird’s view of Pico and São Jorge at Faial’s volcanic peeks or marvel at the baroque architecture of the island of Flores’ historical monuments. The smallest island of the Azores Islands, Corvo is home to beautiful scenery and Caldeirão, a crater of an ancient volcano.
The vast sea of the Azores is home to many exotic marine animals. Big Game Fishing is a popular sport between the islands of Faial, Pico and São Jorge, where white and blue marlins are mainly spotted and caught. A perfect place for bird migration, the islands are also known to present sightings of the most exquisite species of birds. Take a stroll or bike ride through the massive cliffs or hike up the mystical mountainsides. Instead of walking, fly like a bird by parasailing in the bright sky.
The shopping experience in the Azores Islands should not be missed. Through the paved roads you will be able to find local shops and stores selling genuine products such as ceramics, clothing, blankets, and Azorean wines. Shoppers will not only be able to satisfy their shopping addictions but get a glance of the true Azorean lifestyle. By night, the streets become populated with locals and tourists who are looking to have a good time. The intense nights provide visitors with great food, lively music, and delicious cocktails.
The gastronomy of the Azores is extraordinary. Chefs are known to prepare local delicacies such as fish, pork, stewed octopus, lobster, crab, caldo azedo, a variety of soups, and seaweed pasta. The aromas from such delectable foods can quench any pallet, even the food connoisseur will be pleased by the savory tastes of such Azorean specialties and wines.
The Azores Islands experience a moderate oceanic subtropical climate. During the course of a year the temperature averages from the 50s to the 80s. Summers are mainly hot and dry while winters are typically cool.
International airports are available from Sao Miguel, Faial, and Terceira Islands and they serve as the gateway from the Azores to other cities worldwide. However, SATA (local airline) provides flights in between the nine islands. A local ferry is also a means of transportation when traveling between the central group islands (Faial, São Jorge, Terceira, Graciosa and Pico). Renting a car is accessible, but many tourists choose to walk to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and weather.