Wanderlist Discover: The Azores, Portugal
A heavenly archipelago of nine islands, The Azores is truly a world unto itself, secluded not only from the rest of Portugal, but even the rest of the world. The azure skies and the emerald lakes of the Azores can make anybody think that they have stepped onto a secret parallel universe with fertile pasturelands, active volcanic craters and majestic manors. The Azores even enjoys mild and generally pleasant weather all year long, making it a perfect, timeless paradise for tourists. The crisp pure air will refresh your mind and body, while the clear waters will cleanse your spirit, filling you up with vibrant energy that you probably didn’t even know you had. Whether you decide to take a walk into the volcanoes, ride bareback on horseback, go whale watching or even swim with the dolphins, this mystical island has all the unusual adventures that you may not have even imagined.
A COUPLE OF ACTIVITIES YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS
- Take a bath in the hot springs : The Azores landscape is volcanic in nature, and hence there are thermal pools of warm waters all over the islands for a quick refreshing dip, after a long day trekking into the volcanic peaks on the islands. Nothing can beat the cold wet rains (yes, the Azores has those days too) like a dip in an all-natural hot water bathtub.
- Whale Watching : Different species of whales flourish in the nutrient-rich waters of the Azores thanks mainly due to the abundance of krill and squid, natural food sources for many types of whales. Of all the different activties the Azores has to offer, the most exhilarating is probably the sight of watching a whale surface from the depths of the ocean a few metres away from your boat. Even if you have seen the whales multiple times during your stay here, you can’t help but gasp at such an awesome sight, every single time.
- Relish the culinary delights the islands have to offer : Portuguese cusine is undoubtedly amazing, but the healthy Mediterranean diet of the Azores is out of this world. Where else can you enjoy Cozido das Furnas, a stew cooked underground, with volcanic steam? The meat, especially the steak, served in the Azores is good enough to make you want to give up meat everywhere else. Don’t forget to wash down your meal with a cool local beer. And the best part? Great food doesn’t cost an arm and a leg in the Azores, like the rest of Europe.
Best Time To Go: Anytime
This lovely slice of Heaven can be visited almost any time of the year, as the temperature stays well between 14o C and 25o C all year long, resulting in a year long summer. To catch a glimpse of the whales, visit the Azores in April and May, but if you are more interested in land based activties, such as trekking and biking, you can even visit till Mid-August.
Where in the world:
The Azores is a group of 9 volcanic islands, in the North Atlantic Ocean, about two hours away from the coast of Portugal.
Fun Fact: The entire archipelago is volcanic in nature, and the islands are in fact, just the visible mountain peaks that are jutting out of the Atlantic Ocean. If some of the islands were measured from the base, deep below the ocean surface to the highest peaks rising up above the sea, they would be some of the tallest mountains on Earth, perhaps even taller than many impressive peaks above the ground.
- Language : Portuguese
- Currency : Euro (€);
- How to Get Around : Getting across from one island to another on the archipelago is quite tricky. According to some, it is advisable to take a local charter flight from one group of islands to another group. However, the inter-island travel between the same group of islands can be done by ferry. Once you are on a particular island, it is prudent to hire a car or a bike from a local, as local buses can be quite unreliable.
The Discover Series by Wanderlist
Discover less explored destinations & places that have never been on your travel radar with our Discover Series. Every week we will share a beautiful underrated city you should add to your travel bucket list.