If you’re tired of traditional cruises and beach getaways, look no further than the Azores for a trip that will introduce you to a whole new type of vacation destination.
Never heard of the Azores? This is because the chain of islands has for the most part, have remained hidden from mainstream tourism. They have since grown more popular, but the region’s relative secretively allows for a culturally authentic trip to the quaint island.
Where are the Azores?
Hidden in the Atlantic Ocean, the nine islands that make up the Azores archipelago are approximately 850 miles west off the coast of Portugal. They are about 1900 miles east of the US, so not near any other land mass. The cluster is generally split into 3 main groups, each offering distinct features.
How’s the Weather?
The Azores is not a tropical destination, but you can still expect moderate and enjoyable climates year-round. During those summer months, temperatures span between 75-85°F. The winter months are cooler, but still relatively mild, as the air drops between 45-60°F. November through March generally bring more rain to keep the islands lush and green, but during this time your visit will be more affordable, so we recommend bring a raincoat so you can still enjoy the amazing landscapes and activities.
What Makes the Azores Special?
Traveling to the Azores is like stepping back in time; from cafés and shops lining the cobble streets to the castles atop hills, you’ll feel that you stepped off the plane 20-30 years ago. If you’re looking for a destination filled with big-name chain hotels, the Azores may not be for you. The Azores are filled with small, boutique-style hotels full of culture. Within these local hotels, usually consisting of less than 100 rooms, you’ll get a true feel for authentic Portuguese hospitality.
One Azorean tradition that has carried on over the years is their passion for celebrating. Get a taste of festivals on the islands where the cobbled streets fill up with dancers, musicians and other talented street performers, showing off traditional celebrations.
During the day, explore the diverse lay of the land. The Azores are islands known for their beauty, nature, and plethora of activities. Hike to the volcanic craters from which the islands were formed, as well as the scenic valleys and refreshing geothermal pools left in their wake. Or, take a leisurely drive around to all the scenic lookouts promising an enticing view around every corner.
Where Should I Visit?
The two destinations that we most heavily recommend are the islands of Sao Miguel andTerceira, because they have the most activities to offer. You’ll never be bored! In Sao Miguel, the largest of the 9 islands, you’ll discover the heart and capital of the Azores; Ponta Delgada. Here, you’ll find a town full of beautiful architecture, lush botanical gardens, and incredible locally produced food.
Just a short flight away, continue your Azorean adventure in Terceira; an island whose natural wonders make the entire trip worthwhile. Enjoy stunning hikes down caverns, up mountainsides, or through mazes of luscious forest. Extend your expedition by venturing through 15th century fortresses and cathedrals in the islands history-ridden, UNESCO World Heritage city of Angra do Heroismo.
If these two islands aren’t enough to quench your thirst for adventure, we recommend visiting Faial and Pico, two equally beautiful and riveting islands. Thousands of years ago these two islands were one bigger island, but they are now separated by small body of water that you can cross by ferry in 30-minutes. All across the Atlantic island chain, you’ll find scuba diving, whale watching, unique flora and fauna, great food, and plenty more thrilling activities.
Thinking of traveling to the Azores? If you’re looking for an island getaway that’s not your traditional beach vacation, then these islands are for you. Rather than spending your days lying on a beach, you can enjoy the sunshine in a different way, by soaking in the rich culture, nature, and history of the island. An up-and-coming vacation destination, your trip to the volcanic region can be relaxing, action-packed, or somewhere in between. Come find out why travelers all across the world are visiting the island and book your flight to the Azores today!