The Azores islands still represent a hidden treasure for many travellers. This Portuguese archipelago made of 9 islands is located in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean and it is characterised by its green mountains, golden beaches, and blue waters. Natural wellbeing rituals, kind local people, and unforgettable landscapes are the main characteristics of these islands.
The Azores indeed are not just a mere beach destination, but have so much more to offer. They represent a great choice for those looking for an adventurous holiday with several activities and things to do on each single island.
Thanks to the volcanic origin of the Azores, the archipelago is characterised by a series of peculiarities and unique natural manifestations. Each island has its own characteristics.
If you choose to leave on an holiday to the Azores, here you will find some tips on the best things to do that you should definitely include in your travel itinerary.
Sao Miguel, which is the biggest and most crowded island, offers some great mountain trails. Sao Miguel indeed represents a real mecca for trekking lovers; thanks to its volcanic origins, the structure of the territory has shaped some scenographic landscapes.
It is easy to find lakes and lagoons surrounded by a lavish, green vegetation. Sete Cidades is an ancient crater that gave birth to two lakes; one lake has blue waters while the other has emerald green waters.
It is a good idea to plan a one-day excursion to visit this natural beauty, or to join a Jeep Tour to reach up the mountain effortlessly and in total safety.
The Azores are characterised by several hot springs, which are a natural alternative to wellness treatments. The Caldeira Belha di Furnas, on Sao Miguel Island, is an oasis surrounded by a lavish jungle. A real wellness path in contact with nature.
The island of Pico has some of the most impressive caves to visit in the Azores. It is possible to visit and enter these caves, which are connected by a series of tunnels of volcanic origin. Inside the cave it is possible to admire stalactites and stalagmites.
Terceira island, instead, more specifically Algar do Carvao, offers some extremely beautiful caves. In order to appreciate this peculiar hidden natural landscape you don’t need to be a speleologist, but just a nature lover, even better if you go along with a local guide!
Lastly, the Gruta do Enxofre, located on Graciosa Island, is characterised by a very rare volcanic phenomenon, where a long stair leads underground to reach a lake with hot sulphur waters.
The space is very airy thanks to the vaulted shape of the rocks. We recommend to visit the cave on a guided tour between 11am and 2pm; during this time break, the sun penetrates through an aperture among the rocks, lighting up the interior with a beautiful light.
The sea life around the Azores coast it very rich: within the last few years, 25 different species of whales have been spot. Daily boat tours leave regularly from the main ports of the islands for whale watching and much more. The waters around the Azores indeed are populated also by dolphins.
Thanks to the great state of the waters around the Azores, fishing is one of the most popular activities among tourists. The main type of fishes caught everyday are: barracudas, red sea brea, conger eel and much more.
Among the most popular fishing areas there are Ponta Delgada, Ponta das Freiras, Ferraria, Mosteiros, Ponta da Bretanha, Porto das Capelas, Poços de São Vicente, Rabo de Peixe, Ponta, and Porto da Ribeira do Nordeste.
Due to the depth of the waters off the coast, it is possible to sail aboard a fishing boat. Fishing lovers will be glad to enjoy this peculiar type of experience. In Ponta Delgada for example it is possible to join a guided tour or to rent a boat to practice deep-sea fishing. Of course, in order to rent a boat it is mandatory to have a licence.
Dolphin watching tours include the opportunity to swim with dolphins. Indeed there are several snorkeling and diving schools where expert instructors will be happy to assist you if you are interested in living a close experience with these mammals!
The best months for dolphin watching go from June to September around the waters of the islands of Faial, Pico and Sao Jorge.
The coasts of the Azores islands are populated by whales. Back in the days, whales were considered a precious good because of their meat and waste. The situation has change with the development of tourism; many factories have closed, but whales are still the symbol of the archipelago. Today it is possible to join a guided tour to observe these huge animals and photograph them in their natural environment.
In order to join a whale watching tour, whether it is a private or a group tour, you should not suffer from sea sickness; we also recommend to bring lots of water, sunglasses, a hat, and sun screen. Spending the day out at this latitudes could burn your face!
Those who visit the islands of Santa Maria and Sao Miguel may be interested in joining an organised tour of one or more days to discover the minor islands of the archipelago.
These tours include transport and the guided visit of a specific destination. It is possible to join private tours or group tours for 5 or 10 tourists. If you are staying in Sao Miguel it is also possible to join a half day tour to visit Sete Cidades and Lagoa de Fogo.
Those who are interested in going on a trekking trail with an expert guide should join a tour on the islands of Pico and Sao Miguel.
Those who travel with kids or with people affected by mobility problems, can join a jeep tour that allows to easily and effortlessly discover the nature of the Azores. Tours can be booked online.