The Azores, a volcanic archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean, where number one on the World Travel Awards list of “Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination 2021”.
The region, that belongs to Portugal, is made up of nine islands which are divided into three groups. Flores and Corvo, sit in the Western group; Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, and Faial are in the Central group; and São Miguel and Santa Maria lie in the Eastern group. All of which offer unique features, activities, and cultures.
But what make these islands, in the middle of the Atlantic, so special? There are plenty of reasons why everyone should visit the Azores at least once in a lifetime – but here are our top five reasons.
1. Close to both the US and Europe
The archipelago is located about 3/4 of the way to Europe from the Eastern coast of the US. Just under 1,000 miles from mainland Portugal, the islands are easily accessible from both the US and Europe, meaning you can combine a trip to Portugal or other European country with a stop in the Azores.
With flights times from mainland Portugal being just two hours, and four and a half hours from North America, getting to the Azores it’s easier than you might think.
2. Perfect for Nature Lovers
From the moment you step onto the island, you’ll be awestruck by the landscapes surrounding you. Regardless of which islands you choose to visit, what will not be lacking is nature around you and outdoor activities to experiment like whale watching, snorkeling and diving, biking or hiking tours around of the villages, exploring hills, cliffs and beaches too.
3. Plenty of Food and Drinks
Foodies will delight in different cuisine found on all the islands. A large portion of the food consumed on the Azores are produced locally, making for three fresh meals a day. It is specially known for it’s cheese, seafood, and exotic fruits and it’s included in most of the islands most famous dishes.
4. Year-round appeal
It doesn’t matter what time of the year you would like to travel, the Azores deliver it in every season. The climate is subtropical and the temperature ranges between 15°C and 30°C — that’s 60°F and 86°F — and rarely goes higher or lower at any time of year.
This means that if you prefer to take a trip in low season, away from the usual high season crowds – although the Azores are not known for their overcrowded tourism, the islands will continue to be a perfect destination to visit.
5. Great Hospitality
Hospitality is a Portuguese trademark and the Azores are no exception. The locals are very welcoming, kind and ready to help at any time. They love to welcome people into their homeland and make them feel they are at home. Knowing Portuguese is not mandatory, but if you can say a simple ‘Olá!’ (Hello!) and ‘Obrigado’ (thank-you), the Azorean’s will appreciate the effort.