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  • Meredith Peters

The Magic Of The Azores Islands

If you love natural beauty, stunning scenery and magical places, the Azores in Portugal might be perfect for your next vacation.

The Portuguese archipelago of nine islands in the North Atlantic Ocean is well-known for whale and dolphin watching and is a fantastic place to go snorkeling and diving. On land, you can go hiking or biking if you are feeling energetic or rent a car to go sightseeing around country areas and rustic villages.

Sao Miguel Azores Cliffs

Sao Miguel is the main island and has everything from volcanic backdrops, churches, forts, crater lakes, thermal hot springs and golf courses. Also known as The Green Island, Sao Miguel is a great place to stay if you are limited on time.

The capital is the town of Ponta Delgada where there's lots of shopping, nightlife and tourist attractions including The Convent and Chapel of Our Lady of Hope and Carlos Machado Museum which showcases Azorean culture.

Sao Miguel Azores Hydrangreas
Sao Miguel

You can fly or catch a ferry to the other islands, which are all lovely and each have their own unique charm. The islands are divided into three groups - Western, Central and Eastern.

The main area of Terceira Island, Angra do Heroismo, is on UNESCO's International Heritage list. You can see the Fort of the Berlengas and an impressive collection of palaces and churches on this island.

Angra do Heroismo Azores Terceira
Angra do Heroismo, Terceira

On Graciosa Island, a highlight is the vision of light being filtered through a cave onto a lake. The Furna do Enxofre is a lava cave and the trek, once made by Prince Albert of Monaco, is worth making.

Every island you visit will surprise you with natural beauty and exotic landscapes that are pristine and largely untouched. Stunning volcanic black sand beaches, waterfalls, mountain ranges and quaint cobblestoned villages are some of the reasons many people describe Azores as utopia.

You will see beautiful hydrangeas during your travels and the blue bloom is considered the national flower and features on many things including souvenirs.

Sao Miguel Azores
Sao Miguel

Fresh seafood, locally-grown fruit and vegetables and produce such as milk and cheese are abundant and delicious. A lot of restaurants are farm to table and sure to impress foodies. You can take a food tour in Ponta Delgada, which includes a visit to the local market. In Furnas on Sao Miguel, locals cook food using the steam from natural geysers. They put pots with meat and vegetable stew (cozido) in the ground and it's slowed cooked over many hours. The sulfur smell is as memorable as the meal.

Furnas is also an area to soak in hot thermal spring waters with Terra Nostra Park being one of the most popular sites and also the oldest and largest garden in Azores. Poça da Dona Beija hot springs are noted for healing properties, beautiful surroundings and a nice place to relax.

Azores Terra Nostra Park
Terra Nostra Park

Azores is a place like no other and is suitable for travelers who love to explore while still enjoying all the luxuries that should come with a perfect vacation. You can find adventure and relaxation in equal amounts with an inspiring dash of culture included whatever you may be doing. The climate is mild all year round, so any time is a great time to arrive.

Ready to pack your bags? Drop us a line and we can make it happen!


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