Azores Holidays



Azores Holidays

There aren’t many unspoilt places left on our planet, but if stunning scenery, geotourism or adventure sports are your quest, the Azores should be top of your list. With only 5% of the country being developed for inhabitation, if you’re after an Insta moment (or ten!) you’ll definitely not be disappointed.

Why the Azores?

If we haven’t hinted enough already, the Azores are just a tad beautiful. They are mother nature at her finest with such a range of settings, you'd not believe they were all within the same country.

Adventures And Escapism

If you are after a break from humanity, as such a little known treasure, the tourism is still quiet here. Even on the busiest days where cruise ships are in port, the most popular sites such as Porto Formoso Tea Plantations will have less than 1000 visitors. There’s not exactly a need for crowd control here, but the beauty is that it’s developed enough for you to have plenty to do.

A natural haven for adventurers, the activities available suit everyone from the beach lovers to the adrenaline junkies. There are no less than 30 blue flag beaches or the bluest of lakes such as the Lake of Fire for you to swim in. The soil is so mineral rich you can almost see it for yourself in the lushness of the surrounding greenery with the cedar and laurel forests contrasting the lakes so vibrantly it takes your breath away.

Settings such as the rim of Faial’s Caldera are absolutely perfect for photographs or trekking around. Talking of trekking, Mt Pico at 7,713ft is Portugal’s highest mountain offers a good 3-hour hike if you fancy a challenge.

There are also boundless underwater caves and grottoes which the molten rock has beautifully moulded over the years for the more adventurous types to dive into. There are accredited diving centres on most islands here as this apelago is known as one of the best Atlantic diving locations.

Whales, Dolphins and Turtles

The waters here are teeming with life from loggerhead turtles to devil rays which is why it does attract so many divers. Whale watching is also a favourite pastime here now with Common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and sperm whales being regular visitors. Blue whales ‘pop in’ on their way through too. There are responsibly organised whale tours where you can get up close and personal but without upsetting the animals as they are well protected now. Whaling was actually a strong presence here until as recently as 1987, so besides the trips, you can also view the whales from one of the many whaling watchtowers (vigia) along the shore which were originally for whaling purposes or visit the Whalers Museum on Pico

Hot Stuff

We mentioned Geotourism - the level of thermal activity here is phenomenal. In a world where safety is one of your biggest considerations, your biggest risk here is burning your pinkies in the boiling pools. The hot spring pools are so plentiful here you’re likely to find one all to yourself. The islands are actually the tips of volcanic mountains, so the shorelines are awash with thermal pools sitting in volcanic rock right next to the Atlantic Ocean.

The abundance of geothermal activity is hugely popular on the islands - from the history of the tectonic movement which created the islands in the first place, to the hot jets in the pools to warm your cockles, this part of the islands attracts many of their visitors.

You’ll even find natural spring fountains throughout the towns providing mineral water literally on tap. It seems the Azores have natures answer to the world’s plastic problem!

Sustainability

Talking of plastic, the attitude towards preserving this paradise is also a breath of fresh air. This mainly untouched chain of islands tops the sustainable tourism destinations too - last year over 75% of the country’s energy was created sustainably.

We know that may not be top of your agenda when you’re trying to check out where to escape to - but it’s reassuring to know that you can enjoy this beautiful country knowing you’re not negatively impacting its long term beauty.

This really is a place for everyone. Whether you want adventures galore or pure escapism, all of those boxes will be ticked.

Useful Information

The language here is Portuguese but many residents and locals speak English. The currency is the Euro and considering these are islands - which often mean ‘expensive’ - the Azores are pretty easy on the wallet. Flights to the Azores usually take just under 4 hours from London.
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