Exploring The Azores
The Azores can make for a wonderful holiday destination. The archipelago is a hidden gem that’s steadily growing more and more popular. Standing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores are an autonomous region of Portugal that benefit from a temperate climate.
Featuring islands such as São Miguel, São Jorge, Pico and Terceira, the Azores are a great trip for nature and sustainability lovers, as well as those searching for adventure. Below, we explore the best activities you can enjoy while you’re there.
The Azores are famous for whale and dolphin watching. In fact, around a third of the world’s cetacean species are known to visit the islands every year. Whale watching is sustainably run in the Azores too. Tours are carefully organised: there are rules on how many boats can view a whale at one time, the direction they approach from and the time they can spend shadowing a whale. There’s even a whale museum on Pico that illustrates the rise and fall of the whaling industry in the area.
The Azores make for a superb diving location too. The waters are teeming with life: the temperature facilitates habitats for yellowmouth barracuda, loggerhead turtles and slipper lobsters for a start. With nutrient rich water surrounding barely concealed volcanic peaks, it’s a spectacular backdrop for your diving.
The Azores has a wide variety of water sports on offer too. With eclectic coastlines, there are plenty of opportunities for surfing, kayaking and sailing.
The geology in the Azores is thrilling for anyone with even a casual interest. Most of the islands are defined by the volcanos that created them. Pico features one of the world’s longest lava tubes, which you can actually descend into to take a look. While the Capelinhos volcano, which emerged in 1957, is one of the world’s most interesting sites for examining how volcanic islands are formed.
The Azores has many wonderfully, scenic hikes too. If you’re up for a challenge you can climb Mount Pico, one of the highest Atlantic mountains. Meanwhile, there are easier but no less beautiful hikes available around the crater lakes of Sao Miguel and the unblemished beauty of Flores. There are also 60 marked trails across the islands as a whole, meaning there should always be a sublime walk nearby.
The Azores has all sorts of different activities for you, as well as breath-taking nature and scenery to enjoy. It’s an understated treasure that can be the highlight of many Europe trips. Just ensure that you plan your adventures and island hopping carefully to get the most out of your stay!