The Azores is a group of nine islands located over a thousand kilometers from the Portuguese coast, in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. Truly a bucket list destination, they are a delight for everyone, from the avid traveler looking for adventure, to the retired couple looking to relax. Keep reading to find out why your next trip should be to the Azores.
I arrived on the Azores at the end of August with no real expectations. Although I had booked my flight quite in advance, the planning and research had been minimal because of, well, life. Work, travel, social activities and other responsibilities had taken up much of my time prior to my departure date!
But with over two weeks to spend on these unspoilt, mysterious islands, it didn’t take long to see why it gets such rave reviews! Start packing, because by the end of this article, you’ll be planning your very own Azorian adventure!
If you like to get up in the morning, put on your hiking shoes and head out into nature, you will love the Azores. And if you’re not such a person, the views alone might convert you!
Check out this website for maps and descriptions of all the trails on the islands. You can search per island and difficulty level and plan out your itinerary. The trails are marked (though sometimes hard to make out) and the difficulty levels are pretty accurate.
Want another great hike? Try Climbing Volcàn Tolimàn in Guatemala!
My mom is especially a big fan of this one. Since I was traveling solo, she tends to worry, but the Azores really is a quiet and safe region. Obviously, you shouldn’t go around begging for trouble; but since they are definitely not party islands, it doesn’t get very rowdy at all.
Natural Hot Springs
Who doesn’t love hot springs? The Azores are volcanic islands, which means that geothermal activity is present and warming the springs in certain areas. Although there are a few different places to enjoy, the most popular are Poça da Dona Beija located in Furnas on São Miguel.
Beaches all around
Vacationing at the beach is my favourite, no matter where in the world that I end up. Something about the soothing sound of waves crashing and the scrubbing sensation of sand between my toes always make me happy.
Each of the Azores have no shortage of beaches and they are so small in size that it means you are always within driving distance of one!
Great beaches are also Costa Rica's thing!
Read 7 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Costa Rica!
Sunsets to die for
Something that never disappoints is a sunset on the ocean. Mother nature has a remarkable color palette and you can witness some of the most beautiful ones here.
Make sure to try a few different vantage points; the west coast, the beach, the marina, the mountains and the city all give out very different but equally amazing shows.
World class diving
The Azores have an abundance of sea life all around the archipelago. A variety of whales, sharks, fish and sea plants either make their home in the area or swim by for visits. There are also boat wreckage for the total pirate adventure!
Watersports for every type
No island life is complete without surf, boating and jet skis! Rent all those here for a bit of water fun. You can also find paddleboards, snorkelling, swimming, as well as boat tours like whale watching, fishing and cruising.
Quiet & Peaceful
For every vacation, it’s good to take a day or two per week to unwind, relax and forget about anything stressful happening at home. The Azores will let you do just that with its quiet atmosphere, tranquil people and breathtaking nature.
Ireland is another great place to enjoy some country side peacefulness!
Click here for the top 12 things to do in Ireland.
Think fresh seafood of every kind! After all, the Azores are surrounded by Ocean so it’s a given that seafood would be some of the tastiest.
If you’re not much for seafood, don’t worry; they’re renowned for their beef and cheese actually. You can find delicious steak in almost every dinner restaurant, and I recommend trying at least once. For the cheese, each island has their specialty. My favourite was the São Jorge Cheese, a deliciously salty hard cheese.
The Azores is truly a destination for every, and any, kind of traveler. The adventure type could spend weeks hiking across the islands, the young couple will find this to be a romantic getaway worthy of their love and the elderly will find fun and comfort that they can appreciate and enjoy. All great reasons why your next trip should be to the Azores. After all, I'm sure you will agree: it's a bucket list destination!
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