The Portuguese archipelago of the Azores is a wonderful destination if you are looking for sun, sea and adventure. The nine volcanic islands of Corvo, Flores, Faial, Pico, São Jorge, Graciosa, Terceira, São Miguel and Santa Maria have a wonderfully mild climate with mostly spring and summer temperatures. However, there can be regular heavy showers. An advantage of this is that the islands have a beautiful nature that are ideally suited for walking and cycling. In addition, the volcanic landscape offers impressive views and crater lakes such as Caldeira das Sete Cidades or Lagoa do Fogo. And it is also good to stay on the beaches.
Top 10 places of interest in the Azores
#1. Angra do Heroísmo
According to BRIDGAT.COM, the historic character of the city and the municipality of Angra do Heroísmo on the island of Terceira has not gone unnoticed. The capital of the Azores is often visited for its world heritage, which has been part of Unesco since 1983. Fortunately, its value was recognized in time and part of its history can be preserved. The sixteenth century Se Cathedral of Angra do Heroísme has always been very important. The Portuguese influences are clearly visible. There are several chapels such as those of Santo Estêvão and Senhor Jesus dos Aflitos. Other attractions of Angra do Heroismo are the fortresses of San João Baptista and San Sebastio.
#2. The sources of Furnas
On the island of Sao Miguel you can visit the hot springs of Furnas. The springs are full of minerals that would work well against certain conditions such as rheumatism, skin rashes and respiratory problems. Each bubbling and/or steaming source has its own name. The area is also ideal for long walks.
#3. Whale and dolphin watching
It is a fairly well-kept secret that you can spot whales and dolphins around the Azores. So you really don’t have to go to America or Canada for this. The dolphins and whales have long provided a steady income in the Azores. The archipelago was known for its whaling industry. Until the mid-1980s, these animals were hunted in a traditional way. Due to various rules, this has quickly decreased considerably and people now enjoy these special animals in a completely different way. Nowadays people go out with tourists to spot the whale and dolphin species.
#4. Ponta do Pico
The dormant stratovolcano of the island of Pico is with its more than 2350 meters also the highest point of Portugal and therefore also the Azores. The last eruption was in 1720. For many, a climb to the Ponta do Pico is a huge challenge with the reward (on clear days) of an amazing view of the beautiful surroundings. A trip up takes about four hours for trained climbers.
This small island in the Azores is about ten kilometers long and seven kilometers wide. The coast is characterized by high jagged cliffs, bays and small fishing ports can be visited at Vila da Praia and Folga. On the island you can find various historical buildings such as windmills, lighthouses and churches. Some of these are worth a visit. Beautiful examples are the lighthouse Farol da Ponta da Barca, the church Igreja Matriz de Santa Cruz da Graciosa and the chapel Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda.
#6. Chapel of Anjos
The full Portuguese name for this small chapel is ‘Nossa Senhora dos Anjos’. According to many, this is the very first chapel on the island of Santa Maria. The wooden one was built in the fifteenth century and a stone one was added at the end of the same century. Only a piece of window remains. The current chapel was built towards the end of the twentieth century. In the meantime, some restorations have already taken place.
#7. Ponta da Ferraria
This beautiful piece of nature in the west of the island of Sao Miguel is known for its volcano and hot springs. On the coast the water is nice and warm because the springs flow here. In the area, traces of previous eruptions of the Ponta da Ferraria are clearly visible. The rough lava rock forms a special coastline. Although there are good hiking trails, it is still advisable to have good shoes.
#8. Jardim António Borges
The beautifully landscaped garden Jardim António Borges is a small paradise on the island of Sao Miguel. The originally private garden is named after its founder, the businessman with a penchant for plants António Borges Medeiros. The garden can be visited for free on Rua António Borges in Ponta Delgada. The island also has a botanical park which is definitely worth a visit. This is the Terra Nostra Park near Furnas.
#9. The marina of Faial
The island of Faial with its volcano Caldeira is mainly visited for the lively marina. Especially in the month of August during the Semana do Mar, a vibrant festival, it is very pleasant. Another attraction are the black beaches at Praia de Almoxarife, Porto Pim and Conceição.
#10. Algar do Carvão
We already knew that volcanic eruptions can create a remarkable landscape. Just look at the Canary Island of Tenerife. There you almost imagine yourself in a futuristic area. On the island of Terceira in the Azores you can see another phenomenon. Here, several cavities have arisen between the lava rocks where you will find unique places with stalactites and stalagmites.