The Azores are a pearl in the middle of the Atlantic whose fauna and flora have attracted many visitors for years. Adventure is guaranteed and each one of the 9 islands is a must-see. Check the reasons why!
On March 15, Portugal brought home a unique award in which the ITB Awards 2019, in Berlin, declared it Best Sustainable Tourism Destination. For this reason, we would like to invite you on this journey through the 9 islands of the Azores, big contributors to this award.
There is not one island better than another because each one of them has such singular beauties that it becomes impossible to make up our minds.
The Azores are famous among tourists for its natural wonders, green landscapes, and preserved areas barely touched or transformed by mankind.
So, you can imagine how important it is to care for local Nature here.
So, what are the 9 islands?
Considered a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the island of Corvo is the smallest of all islands and it has volcanic origins. When in Corvo, take the chance to visit the Church of Nossa Senhora dos Milagres, the patron Saint, and obviously the centre of Corvo. It is ideal for bird watching, diving and hiking.
It is wild and exotic and great for those who are seeking activities like bird watching, canyoning and hiking. Not a common trip for tourists, Flores is undoubtedly a spectacular show of waterfalls, lakes and rock formations.
Different from the previous two islands, Terceira has more things happening. You will be amazed by the colourful architecture, the volcanic chimney of Algar do Carvão, or the patchwork in Serra do Cume. Perfect for diving, speleology and paragliding.
This is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and you should include it in your plans. The waters in Carapacho reach 40º C, which is great if you’re seeking a great experience. Graciosa becomes a complete experience if you are seeking activities like diving, fishing and speleology.
This small island of only 8km width is famous for its cliffs and vertical coastline and it is good for brave activities like surfing, mountain biking or hiking. Furthermore, you can’t leave the island without trying a slice of its famous unpasteurized cheese – Queijo de São Jorge.
Pico means peak in English, and that is where the island got this name from. This is where you will see the highest peak in Portugal and again, following the pattern that describes Azores, Pico has a natural combination between the mountains and the sea. Moreover, Pico is good for whale-watching, hiking and wine tasting (the wineries grow in lava rocks).
This island is abundant in great sights and it is important to spend at least two days on Faial to absorb its elements. For example, you don’t want to miss the landscapes in Capelinhos, the crater of Lagoa da Caldeira, or Horta, the house of yachts and sailors. Sailing, mountain biking and whale watching are three great activities you can do on Faial island.
São Miguel is the largest island and probably the most famous among visitors. The island is great if you don’t have a lot of time to visit all the other islands because here you can do and see lots of different things. Take time to see the lakes, the relaxing hot springs, the volcano craters, and the volcanic sandy beaches. Good for paragliding, surfing and hiking.
Try our São Miguel Tour where you will enjoy a safari through the main points of the island, taste a delicious menu, experience a whale watching tour, and a visit to Furnas and its volcanic beginnings. These green holidays in Azores are so different from what you have experienced so far.
Last but not least, the beautiful island of Santa Maria. Famous for having the four seasons in just one day, Santa Maria was probably the first island appearing in the Atlantic. Its main attraction is Praia Formosa, which is absolutely the best beach you can see in the Azores. Besides this, Santa Maria is perfect for swimming, diving and paragliding.
These are the 9 islands that make this archipelago a unique attraction for visitors. Activities and experiences are guaranteed here and they just fill our hearts with pleasurable moments. Moreover, Portugal Sustainable Destination is an expression that fits very well when defining the country.