9 Islands scattered in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, simply magical volcanic paradise
- Unique wild nature with fantastic landscapes
You would hardly find a greener place one the earth with lagoons everywhere look, perfectly arranged gardens and flowers, flowers everywhere as far as you can see. Just being surrounded by the nature of the Azores recharge your energy, not even talking about the natural hot springs which you will find in several places around the Island of São Miguel. Bigger, smaller, still unknown by many or more popular. It´s up to you where to go – Ribeira Grande, Furnas, Mosteiros or any other place – they are all welcoming. These thermal healing waters are rich in iron (rust colored). It might look questionable at a first glance – but it‘s the natural hot springs water passing through the iron rich rocks which give the color. Hot springs are both – calming and fun. Simply perfect places to relax after a long adventurous day. Well, you can be sure, after the time spend in the fascinating nature of the Azores you’ll feel like born again.
- Welcoming people
At the heart of the Azores are it´s people: humble, friendly and genial, welcoming you into part of the family and making the Azores feel like home. Friendly advice – talk with the locals, they will be glad to have a conversation, give an advise, to tell their story.. Mainly on the smaller islands like Curvo, Flores, São Jorge, Faial and, definitely, Pico. Azorean people would be really glad to show you they vineyards or, for example, give you some wine to taste. If you need a lift, don’t hesitate, locals would love to give you a ride and especially on the islands like Graciosa, Santa Maria or Terceira.
- Azores Islands is a great place for hiking
Probably no island could beat the São Miguel when speaking about the hiking trails. Anyway, Flores, Pico and S. Jorge or any other island can easily surprise anyone. Having in mind you are in a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic, this magical volcanic paradise has much to offer. Mountain or flat, long distance or short, coastal or forest ones – you will find all kind of the trails one ever could imagine. We guarantee you amazing landscapes while discovering lava caves, waterfalls, lakes and much more.. Every hike takes you to incredible places. A place to stand out here with no doubt would be the Pico Mountain. This mountain is the highest point of all the Portugal. And some good news, you do not need to be in a perfect shape to be able to climb it up! To make this trip even more special and memorable, make sure you do it in the best way – climb the Pico Mountain in the evening and overnight on the top of the highest mountain of the Portugal. Surprise is waiting for you in the early morning. You would be the witness of, perhaps, one of the most spectacular sunrises ever. The islands of Faial and Pico would lay under your feet as you stand high on the Pico Mountain. Would you image any better way to start you day when you are in the Azores?
- Meet the only tea plantation in Europe
The dynamic Azores weather of four seasons in a day is just perfect for a cup of Azorean tea. The verdant hues of green tea plantations mesmerize you. The Azores is the unique place in Europe to sip local tea overlooking tea plantations, mountains and endless sea.
Whatever the weather is, a short hike in the tea plantations should not be missed. Walk around, appreciate fantastic landscapes, breath the fresh air, smell the tea leaves. Well, simply enjoy the moment. At the end take a look at the equipment still being used to produce local tea, sit back and watch a short movie if you like. And, obviously, take a small cup of tea. Could it be more perfect for a tea lovers?
- Unique black sand beaches and natural swimming pools
Although the Azores is not known as a beach destination, these black volcanic sand beaches are the ones to take your breath away. One of the, probably, most fascinating ones lays on the north coast of the São Miguel Island. Santa Barbara beach hosts the international surf competition with the participants from all over the world. So Santa Barbara beach and it´s, by the way, powerful waves must be definitely worth this attention.
You will find a vast number of unique natural swimming pools all over the islands. They are simply perfect for the ones who prefer rocks or paved lava areas to sunbathe, still water and no sandy feet. Make sure you always carry sunscreen with you. Azores sun is the strong one even for the most resistant ones. And, specially, on the cloudy days!
Being in Furnas feels like entering the heart of the volcano: feeling small and powerful at the same time. Here you let the hot thermal waters warm your body and soul, you savor delicacies slow cooked by the heat of the earth. And these are just some of the experiences that make this place so unique.
It’s extraordinary to see the earth breathing here and showing all of us a bit of her power. Like in no other place, Azorean people are building their houses just right next to the gazers. Have you ever thought having an active gazer steaming out violently boiling water from the ground in your backyard..?
- Whales and dolphins
You should not leave the Azores Islands without saying “hi” to the whales and the dolphins. Pico and São Miguel Islands would, probably, be the best ones to meet these amazing animals in their natural surroundings. Pico Island is the one where the whale hunting culture once was really present. In general, whaling was once a major source of the income for Azorean people. Nowadays the Azores is one of the best places in all the world to meet these large sea creatures, so many of the old lookouts, once used to spot whales for hunting, are now used to spot whales for whale-watching. To sum up, whale watching is absolutely something you can’t skip while visiting the Azores Islands.
- Majestic crater lakes
Lakes everywhere. Stunning lagoons in the craters of the volcanoes. Encountering the spirit of the lagoons is always powerful in a different way, always seems to be the first time, always discovering something new, something unique and inspiring. Whether you are travelling around the island on a sunny or a cloudy day the magnificent natural carved lagoons are majestic. Clouds even make them more mysterious.
While you are contemplating the lake, the fog or clouds may move in from the ocean and occasionally disappear. The next wind might repeat all the cycle. So the color of the water is constantly changing, imagine it going from the deep dark blue to a light clear green. Simply stunning. If there is a possibility don’t hesitate to go down and feel that calmness and silence.
All the time and wherever you go on the Azores, take a bathing suit with you. This might be an ocean or a lake, or a simply gorgeous waterfall for a fresh dip. These well-hidden beauties of the islands are not always easy to find, but that what makes worth it. Flores Island is the special one when speaking about the waterfalls. If you ask, the Sanguinho waterfall on the São Miguel Island should not be missed. And, of course, how do you get there? Hiking! Not a difficult hike, but if it is a sunny summer day the dive into that fresh cold water will be just fantastic award for you efforts. Flores Island..? Well, just choose: Poço da Alagoinha, Poço do Bacalhau, Fajã Grande..
- Remarkable diving experiences
The underwater world in the Azores is unique and so the Azores Islands could be considered as the most thrilling diving destination in Europe. Countless diving spots, more than three thousand marine species, up to twenty four species of cetaceans, diving deep with the sharks and encountering the whales, observing mantas or mobulas as well as caves, shipwrecks, underwater volcanoes.. Have we already mentioned it‘s unique..?
So this is the Azores and in this spirit we share with you these fascinating islands. This is the way we experience this magical volcanic paradise, and wish you could feel them in the same way. Enjoy.