Between Europe and America, the nine islands of the Azores offers visitors the chance to experience a rare paradise. It’s not only rich in culture, abundant in wildlife but is also one of the best whale watching spots in the world. The Azores are an autonomous region of Portugal and its remote location comprises an archipelago of lush green volcanic islands.
The staggering diversity means you could be visiting a UNESCO Heritage Site one day, walking up a snow-capped mountain the next, before soaking in thermal rock pools. And then there’s swimming with wild dolphins and watching whales. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, nature lover or just want to relax on a beautiful exotic island, the Azores has something for you, but in case you’re in any doubt, here’s 10 reasons to go.
10 reasons to visit the Azores
- Stunning volcanic islands less than four hours from London
Weekly flights from Gatwick and Stansted from April to October or fly from Lisbon in just two hours.
- An abundance of locally sourced produce
Whether dining out or self-catering, enjoy fantastic fresh fish, local meats, cheeses, pastries and excellent local wines.
- Excitement for thrill-seekers and families alike
Walking, fishing, cycling, canoeing, sailing, horse-riding, diving, canyoning, golfing and surfing, the list goes on.
- Incredible biodiversity
Magnificent lakes, warm volcanic pools and waterfalls abound.
- Swimming with wild dolphins and whale watching
Around 25 resident and migratory species of whale can be seen including the magnificent sperm whale and blue whale.
- A safe and tranquil place to relax and unwind
Feel safe and comfortable in a welcoming environment. English is widely spoken.
- Rich cultural heritage and unique identity
UNESCO sites include the walled vineyards of Pico and the city of Angra Do Heroismo.
- A range of affordable accommodation
From top-end hotels to traditional rural properties, hostels and campsites, the range of accommodation caters to all preferences.
- Health and wellbeing
The islands’ natural thermal resources have been used in its spas for centuries.
- An award-winning sustainable tourism destination
‘The National Geographic’ voted the Azores second in its sustainable tourism awards.