The Azores are a group of nine volcanic islands way out in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are an autonomous region of Portugal. But because of their isolation, climate and volcanic nature they feel very different to the rest of Europe.
The predominant climate is mild and humid, and this results in a lush, green vegetation. Some areas have a distinctly other-worldly appearance.
Hydrangeas are very common on some of the islands. Together with the abundant ginger lilies they provide lots of summer colour.
The islands rise from very deep water. Unlike mainland Europe and islands closer to the mainland, there is no continental shelf. This makes them an excellent feeding site for whales and dolphins, and the Azores are probably the best place in Europe to go whale watching. Over 20 species of whales and dolphins are seen around the islands.
The Azores contain a wealth of interesting volcanic features. São Miguel has bubbling hot springs and fumaroles around Furnas. Furnas itself is situated in a huge volcanic crater.
Throughout the islands there are ancient craters, lava tubes, basalt columns and various other evidence of past volcanic activity. Anyone the least bit interested in volcanoes, like me, will be fascinated.
The Azores are extremely beautiful, and because they are so unique they are fascinating to explore. Every island has great walks, amazing sea views, fascinating geological features, and unique fauna and flora. I can’t wait to go back!
For advice on travelling to and within The Azores, and on our recommended places to stay, please see Azores Practicalities.
For a collection of our favourite photos see Azores Gallery.
Please remember that this site is based purely on our own experiences – therefore kindly note the Disclaimer.