The Azores, Portugal. The archipelago is one of the autonomous regions of Portugal, found 1360 km (850 mi) away from the mainland in the Atlantic Ocean. Its volcanic origins result in dramatic landscape, fertile soil and lush greenery. Nine islands, scattered in a 600 km (372 mi) stretch of the ocean, belong to the archipelago.
All nine of them have breathtaking sites and developed tourism: nature is the biggest attraction to the Azores. São Miguel is the largest island and has the most versatile scenery: from mountains to populated cities, from forests to lakes, from sandy beaches to precipitous cliffs. Of course one can find and enjoy various additional activities: golf courses, diving, bathing, hiking, sailing, going on a safari, fishing, enjoying a hip nightlife in the bigger cities or relaxing and enjoying a quiet time in the smaller towns.
Why to go there?
The nature is truly beautiful, unspoiled and providing numerous opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities. Local cuisine is splendid and has plenty of fresh ingredients: the islands produce its own dairy products, vegetables and sea food.
When to go there?
The weather is mild all year round. The season from June to November is the warmest one.
How to get there?
It takes only 2 hours to fly from Lisbon, 3 from Spain, 4 from the UK, France and Germany. There is a good connection between the islands by ship or plane.
Read more about another Portuguese archipelago – Madeira and its natural lava pools.
Lead photo by Jorge Feteira