The paradise archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is renowned for its natural beauty with dense and diverse vegetation. The Azores are best known for volcanic landscape full of crater lakes and geothermal springs.
The archipelago consists of nine major volcanic islands. These are Flores, Corvo, Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, Faial, São Miguel and Santa Maria. The Azores Islands enjoy a mild temperate climate throughout the year.
The Azores archipelago, located in a contact zone of three tectonic plates, displays a rich and diversified volcanic landscape with basaltic lava flows. There are 271 lava tubes and caves spread all over the archipelago (48% in the Pico Island and 26% in Terceira Island). São Miguel is the largest and most volcanically active of the nine Azore Islands. The geology of the island is marked by three stratovolcanoes: Água de Pau (Fogo), Sete Cidades and Furnas. In the western part of Ponta Delgada city, you will find Gruta do Carvão, the longest lava tunnel of São Miguel Island (about 2,5 km of total length).
Mount Pico, on the island of Pico, is the highest point in Portugal, at 2,351 m (7,713 ft). Like Hawaii, the Azores are some of the tallest mountains on the planet, measured from their base at the bottom of the ocean to their peaks.
Photo Credit: Mikenorton, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
How to get there:
Ryanair is to begin flying from Lisbon and Porto to Terceira Island starting from December 2016 (tickets are already on sale). Low-cost carrier easyJet is offering nice deals from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada (São Miguel Island). Check out the cheap flights to Azores:
- Flights from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada (€20) >>
- Flights from Lisbon to Terceira Island (€26) >>
- Flights from Porto to Terceira Island (€26) >>
- Flights from Luxembourg to Lisbon (€23) >> to combine with flights from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada (€20) >>
- Flights from US East Coast to Lisbon ($440) >> to combine with flights from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada ($23) >>
- 2 in 1: Germany to both Lisbon and Azores for only €61! >>
Where to stay:
We encourage you to stay at 4* Hotel Vale Do Navio with good reviews and breakfasts included in price! The hotel features a golf course, an outdoor pool, a Jacuzzi and a sauna. Hotel Vale Do Navio provides a wide range of state-of-the-art amenities, including a Turkish steam bath and free Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy the recreational facilities available, such as a BBQ/picnic area, billiards and bicycle rental. It also has a gym with a swimming pool.
What to do:
There’s much to explore in the Azores – from hiking and bird watching, to diving to great Atlantic surf. The archipelago is full of outdoor activities. For the adventurous, we suggest you go canyoning or climbing. The Populo and Praia’s sandy beaches are also superb places to relax. You can take a boat trip to enjoy the beautiful landscape and watch various marine species. The Azores are simply one of the best locations, where you can not only see whales, but can also swim alongside the wild dolphins.
There is a village nestled in the volcanic crater in Furnas, where you can enjoy swimming in a thermal pool, cycle on the side of a volcanic lake, and kayak across to explore the beautiful hot springs and botanical gardens. Enjoy the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Sites and explore the old fortifications. To experience the local artisan culture, visit one of the Azorean pineapple plantations, walk the tea fields or go wine tasting in one of many vineyards on Pico Island.
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