In 2020, open your eyes to the wonder that is the Azores. This Portugese archipelago has something to offer for each and every traveler. The nine islands are often being named the next best destination or greatest hidden gem and have been featured in Travel and Leisure, Jet Setter, CN Traveler, and the NY Times. We’ve rounded up the best 20 things about the Azores below.
1. Sustainability focus: The Azores is considered one of the top 10 most sustainable leaders in the world, voted by several international organizations and judged against 100’s of destinations. From a focus on conservation of natural areas, hiking trails and marine life, the islands place an emphasis on renewable energy.
2. Breathtaking scenery: With top notch sustainability, it’s no surprise the nature of the Azores can blow away any traveler. From waterfalls to volcanoes to the beach, there’s something for everyone.
3. Whale watching: As a pit stop for about ⅓ of the world’s species of cetacean - aka whales - it’s no surprise that the Azores is a phenomenal place to take a boat ride and go whale watching.
4. Volcanoes and Hot Springs: Did you know that part of island has 26 volcanoes? Not only does this make for beautiful scenery but it means some great hot springs and spas!
5. Wine: If there’s one thing Portgual does well, it’s wine. The island of Pico in the Azores even has thousands of acres classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its unique viticulture.
6. Food: Not only is fish delicious, but the culinary map of the island features an amazing array of foods. Cozido (meat stew), Cracas (barnacles), Lapas (limpets), Malasada (fried dough) and Octopus stew are just a taste (pun intended) of the amazing Azorean specialties. Be sure you try a bite of them all!
7. Cows: Taste the magic they create - Cheese. Cheese has been a staple of the Azores for 6 centuries and on the tiny island of Terceira, there are even more cows than people! It’s no surprise then that they supply almost 50% of Portugal’s cheese production.
8. Fancy a cuppa: That’s right, the Azores is home to the oldest tea plantation in Europe. It's family run and still in continuous operation! We’re talking almost 300 years of growing and perfecting black tea.
9. Safety: There’s no denying one of the most important thoughts into planning a trip overseas, is how safe you will be. The Azores is considered one of the safest locations in the world.
10. Weather: Year- round, temperatures rarely drop below 50 degrees, or rise above 85 degrees. The best time to visit is May to October.
11. Affordable: Despite a remote location, the strong Euro and lack of mass tourism certainly help. Meals can be as little as 5€ with a three-course dinner with drinks averaging only 40€ per person.
12. Adventures Galore: Adventure is a vague word, but one that perfectly encapsulates the Azores as there never seems to be an end to what you can do. Whether it’s by land or sea, if you’re looking to get your blood flowing during your vacation, the Azores is a place to be!
13. Canyoning and Rappelling: The Azores is a goldmine of opportunities for beginners or experienced travelers to try canyoning and rappelling. So, if you’re ready for quite the exhilarating experience be sure to add this to your itinerary!
14. Hiking: Available on almost every single island with terrific trails and even better views, hiking is the best way to get active in the Azores. If you’re a geology nerd, be sure to “descend into the crater” on Faial island or if you’re looking to go as high as possible, hit the highest point in the Azores on Pico. Be sure to be prepared with a permit and to spend a full day hiking.
15. Real Life Seaworld: Take a boat trip out into the water where you’ll simply drop in with some snorkel gear and live amongst the wild dolphins.
16. Surf’s Up: Thanks to the island’s location and orientation there’s the perfect opportunity for beach breaks, reef breaks and point breaks surfing, bodyboarding, SUP and windsurfing. Each season has fantastic swells on different sides of the islands.
17. The People: To many travelers, it’s quite the surprise when they feel they’ve traveled home rather than a resort. The inhabitants of the Azores often blow people away as being some of the most hospitable they’ve come across.
18. Hopping: We don’t mean the wild rabbits in the Azores, we mean just the quick 30 to 90 minutes to jump between the different rural, city and beach life of the nine different islands. Don’t restrict yourself by only visiting one!
19. Time to Celebrate: One of the best ways to experience local culture is to celebrate with them. Whether it's the late springtime Sao Miguel celebration including street booths and a fair or the concerts at the August festival of Santa Maria - there’s plenty of fun to be had.
20. Do you really need another reason to visit this beautiful place? Contact us today to book your trip now!
No matter the reason that hooks you, here at Quest Travel Adventures we’re here to guide you to the adventure of your dreams! The Azores has it all and we can find the best options to satisfy any traveler or group. Make your 2020 unforgettable by booking your trip to this hidden gem! See the best of the best with The Best of the Azores, or choose your favorite theme like Taste of the Azores, Azores Nature Lovers Hiking or the Azores Adventure Seeker.