Located off the coast of Portugal lies an archipelago composed of 9 volcanic islands – The Azores.
Europe’s Eden is one of its most hidden destinations that goes unheard of. Only those who have dug up enough about the nooks and crannies of the continent are aware of the beauty these islands have to offer. However with cheap fares and a wide array of carriers, it is becoming easier to reach the archipelago.
Why should I go there?
The Azores are a haven for sports lovers who are looking to get a taste of both land and water sports.
At a junction between the North American, European and African plates, The Azores bear witness to ever-changing geological formations. Thus, it is home to calderas draped in green fields, ridiculously blue lakes flanked by dense greenery, a vast number of waterfalls that erupt from cliffs, hot springs and lava tubes, amongst other things. These formations lay the foundation for many exciting land sports- hiking, paragliding, canyoning (land and water) and biking.
If that does not pique your interest already, plunge into the waters of the best diving location of the Atlantic Ocean. Nutrient-rich and warm, the water encourages life to thrive beneath the surface. A barrage of animals lives harmoniously underwater in a blurry rush of colours. Some of the most breathtaking views are of blue sharks gliding past shoals of tuna around the circumferences of submerged volcanoes. The unblemished ecosystem can be viewed, unobstructed, until a depth of 30 meters when the waters are calm.
If you are not ready to swim with sharks, there is kayaking and paddle boarding in the ocean. Also, take the opportunity to hike on the islands and discover small gems – swimming holes formed by lava flows. Peer past the mess of stone gray rocks and watch the glittering turquoise and green waters flow sway to the ocean’s breeze.
While the activities above might be fun or even heart-thumping, the activity that takes the top spot is whale watching. The Azores have the perfect conditions to house our herculean mammals and more. Catch sight of sperm whales and dolphins gliding through the waters – even blue whales during their migration. Soak in these sights as watching them may be the opportunity of a lifetime. After all, who knows when you would be able to see these gentle giants again?
Guided tours are governed by a strict code of conduct so that the activities and lifestyles of these animals are not disrupted.
The Azores islands are extremely accessible by plane! TAP (Portuguese Official Airline) and SATA (Azores Official Airline) fly out to The Azores from the main European cities and some cities in North America. To get around the different islands of the archipelago, you can take daily flights offered by SATA or tour around by ferries and ships.
Whether you’re a geography buff or an adventure seeker, make sure to check out this stunning island. Filled with wonder and interlaced with nature’s magic, it promises a holiday experience that is out of the ordinary.