THE AZORES

An Introduction To The Azores

Made By Volcano...

The Azores was created by volcanic activity ensuring that we are left with stunning scenery and lush green landscapes that just beg to be explored.

The islands were discovered by Portugese navigators in the 15th century with Vasco de Gama and Christopher Columbus both visitors.

The islands beaches are not really conducive to sunbathing however the beach at the Hotel Bahia Palace on Sao Miguel island is excellent. However, beachcombing and beach walking is very popular as here you can relax and enjoy the natural scenery.

At the heart of Azores tourism is the ability to go whale watching and today there are many companies offering opportunities to head out on to the Atlantic seas and witness for yourself some of the largest mammals on the planet.

The islands food and wine is excellent with a rich variety of organic produce grown locally on the island. Spicy sausages, pork kebabs and delicious soups are everywhere. Vegetarians are well catered for and there is a terrific choice of cheeses! The wine is produced locally in the many vineyards dotted around the islands with the most famous being the Pico Verdelho which is excellent.

Getting Around The Azores...

Travel between the islands can be by boat or the more popular inter island air service which runs like an efficient bus service. Naturally both are subject to weather conditions so its best to coordinate your trip through a travel agent who will ensure that should there be issues then alternative arrangements can be made.

Nine Islands to Discover...

Sao Miguel – 67km X 16km
The largest and most populated island on the Azores measures 67km X 16km and is known for its beautiful botanical gardens, agriculture and vineyards. With its green hills, thermal springs, waterfalls, lakes lagoons, forests and villages it makes for a great place to take a holiday or as the starting point for some island hopping.

Terceira – 29km X 17km
The main town of Angra do Heroismo is a picture postcard town with traditional houses and cobbled streets and which has been declared a World heritage site by UNESCO.

Faial – 14km X 13km
Dominated by a volcano Faial is known as the blue island because of the abundance of hydrangeas in the summer months. There is the small port of Horta which has some hotels and there is Peters Cafe which is popular with the sailing fraternity.

Pico – 42km X 15km
Dominated by the snow capped volcano, Mount Pico is the highest mountain in Portugal. The island is great for hiking and is also a main base from which to head off whale watching.

Sao Jorge – 56km X 8km
A long narrow craggy mountainous island formed from volcanic eruptions

Santa Maria – 17km X 9km
The island of Santa Maria has the longest history in the Azores. The main town is Vila do Porto and is set dramatically above its harbour. There is also great walking and nature reserves to enjoy.

Flores – 17km X 12km
Known as the garden island due to the abundance of hydrangeas as well as its green pastures, lakes, waterfalls, stunning views and settlements going back to the 15th century.

Graciosa – 12km X 8km
A flat peaceful island which is reached by a 1/5 hour ferry from Sao Jorge or by air in 20 minutes from Terceira.

Corvo – 6km X 4km
The smallest and most remote island of the Azores with just one settlement and a spectacular deep volcanic crater.

Essential information

The Azores Flag

Continent:                         Europe

Capital:
Ponta Delgada

Time Difference:              Local Time – 1 hour

Currency: 
                          Euros

 

Flight Time:
7h from London

Visa:                                    
No

Language:                          Portugese

Vaccinations:
None required

 

Weather

Google Maps

Your Bradt Travel Guide

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The Azores Blog Posts

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