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Why the Azores Should be at the Top of Your Bucket List

Why the Azores Should be at the Top of Your Bucket List

A relatively unheard of Eden of natural, sprawling mountains, green cliffs and waterfalls that look like they should be in Asia.  Not to mention the teeming wildlife that includes dolphins, whales and a whole array of birds. This unspoilt archipelago of volcanic islands is Europe’s best-kept secret. Verdant forests, hot springs, dormant volcanoes, flowered fields and cavernous grottos beckon to the intrepid adventurer.

 

The Nine Islands


There are nine islands in the peninsula: Santa Maria, São Miguel, Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico, Faial, Flore and Corvo. Visit Sao Miguel, the largest island, and discover a WW2 shipwreck.  Visit Flores for kayaking, canyoning and discovering beautiful waterfalls, while Corvo is world-renowned for bird watching and Pico is perfect for hiking and whale watching.

 

 

 

Stunning Landscapes


The Azores has been voted as one of the best destinations in the world for stunning scenery. Sete Cidades is a merging of two lakes that are visible from hiking points. The emerald green lakes are enclosed by rolling green mountains that create little islands within the bodies of water. Nick-named the “Hawaii” of Europe, the Azores offers amazing panoramas to be savoured by tourists, including Capelinhos Volcano, an underwater volcano that erupted on the island of Faidal. There is a Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre where you can learn more about the volcano, and then you can ascend the defunct lighthouse to truly appreciate the amazing views. On Pico you can visit magnificent Mount Pico, Portugal’s largest mountain. The ascent will take you two to four hours. Whilst you are in Pico, you have to visit the vineyards, which have produced wines of the highest quality since the 15th Century.

 

Incredible Activities


In the Azores you can experience new horizons and discover new activities such as dolphin and whale watching.  The Azores has been voted one of the best places in Europe to watch these magnificent creatures. You can try your hand at big game fishing, yachting, bike tours, bird watching, canoeing and kayaking, canyoning and golf.  You can discover volcanic cavities, cave systems, dry calderas, crater lakes, fumaroles and thermal water springs. There are also horse riding centres where you can discover the ever-changing landscape on horseback, meandering through lush green fields. On your journey you will stumble upon hidden lagoons and waterfalls, some of which rival those found in Asia. 


As well as stunning beaches where you can surf, the underwater ecosystem in the Azores is magical.  On your dive look out for myriad marine life, including blue sharks, devil rays, whale sharks, dusky groupers, dolphins and whales. For a more historical dive, there's an impressive Second World War shipwreck at just 20 metres below the water just off São Miguel Island, or you can head to Graciosa island to visit the ‘Terceirense’ shipwreck. Under the water you will discover a whole new mountain in the form of a seamount, here you will find devil rays and thousands of pelagic fish.
In the Azores it's possible to paraglide year-round, but the summer months provide the best climate. With an array of landing and take-off points, as well as incredible panoramas, the Azores are the perfect place to go paragliding. Sete Cidades, a village on São Miguel Island, has been voted one of the 60 most beautiful sites to free-fly in Europe. The Azores Paragliding Festival has been hosted for 20 years on São Miguel Island.

The Azores is a scenic paradise that offers welcome respite from the usual tourist saturated beaches and bustling cities. For more information about holidays to the Azores, call Travel Club Elite on 0800 707 6229.

Click here to find our tours of the Azores >>

 

 

  • 17th January 2018