The Azores, a Portuguese archipelago made out of nine volcanic islands, is situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Because they are so remote and far from the mainland, tourism hasn’t reached massive proportions and the nature there is unspoiled.
There are many reasons why you should travel to the Azores or even consider living in this area and we are about to tell you just a few that will make you fall in love with these islands.
There are countless waterfalls all around the Azores and even though most of them are a bit difficult to reach and require a lot of hiking, the views are incredibly beautiful. Search for these hidden gems and swim surrounded by the most amazing natural atmosphere.
If you’ve done some research about the Azores you'll almost certainly have read or heard about their famous hotsprings. The most famous one is the thermal pool of Furnas that allows you to swim in hot water, with the palms, ferns and conifers of a subtropical Atlantic forest all around you.
Yes, the Azores also have geysers! Unlike the Icelandic ones, though, these are in a tropical environment! In Furnas, for example, they are in one of the most active volcanos of the archipelago and the pressure and heat might even scare you a little bit!
Trust us, you have never seen lakes like these. With waters in every shade from blue, to green and even black, you will fall in love with the views. Take a hike around them and enjoy!
If you are a fan of hiking this is an amazing destination. On São Miguel alone you can already find 21 official trails, so you can imagine how many possibilities there are on nine different islands. Every hike will allow you to discover more about the beauty of the Azores.
6. Peace and quiet
If you really want to disconnect and be in tune with your own self, this is the place to be. The islands don’t really have mass tourism so don’t worry about overcrowded places, waiting lines, loud tourists… it will be just you and the sound of nature.
7. The people
Hospitality is a Portuguese trademark and the Azores are no exception. Everyone is very welcoming, kind and ready to help at any time. You'll feel right at home.
8. Small towns
If you want to escape the hustle and noise of the big city, you have to go here. Don’t expect to find big residential areas, shopping malls or department stores. This is the kind of place where you’ll buy a few groceries at the local corner shop, where everyone knows your name, where kids play in the street and cars hardly ever drive by. All in all, it's the perfect place for a retreat.
9. The food
The Azores has a fantastic climate and fertile land, which means the islands are all self-suficient and don’t really need to import food from mainland Portugal in order to survive. Also, the products are amazing and very affordable.
The most famous dish of the Azores is Cozido das furnas, a stew that’s cooked inside a volcano! Other food highlights included the tangy Azorean cheese, the amazing Azorean wine, the juiciest pineapples you will ever have, and snacking on unusual seafood whenever you want to.
10. Whales and dolphins
The Azorean Archipelago is one of the best sites to spot whales and dolphins since no less than one third of all cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) in the world can be found here. In São Miguel these elusive species are spotted by people who are at a lookout on the coast. Arm yourself with powerful binoculars and be prepared for some amazing video footage in the near future!
11. Magnificent coastlines
With dark cliffs decorated with different shades of green, waterfalls that drop into the ocean and massive rock formations formed by lava, every island has its own different look.
Be careful because the sea is pretty rough and should only be ventured into by experienced swimmers, but there are still sections you can swim in, because they've cleverly built up the rocks to create a kind of 'sea swimming pool'. You get all the benefits of sea swimming, without having to worry about being swept out to sea!
12. Easy to get around
Thanks to the paved roads and very little traffic, it's really easy to get around the islands by car. The only downside is that there are very few public transport services so, if you can’t drive yourself that can be a problem.
You can also move around visiting different islands using the many interconnecting flights from different companies, or even the ferry for a cheaper option.
Now that you have been truly convinced that the Azores are a sight to be seen, go ahead and pack!