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AZORES
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Pico (1)
AZORES map
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regional overview

The nine islands that make up the Azores are located in the mid-Atlantic, 1300 km from mainland Portugal. This green volcanic archipelago is a natural and pure sort of place, ideal for those wanting to get away from it all and enjoy the great outdoors. Here, there are geysers and craters, mountains, high cliffs, lots of whales and dolphins and excellent conditions for sailing and scuba-diving. Each island is unique and it is easy to combine two or three different ones, for a superb all-round trip.

properties in AZORES

The nine islands making up the Azores are stunning, with volcanoes, cliffs, green fields and beautiful views. Our holiday home rentals include renovated stone cottages and fishermen's houses, charming properties with a unique island style. They are down-to-earth, built with natural volcanic rock and timber, located on the edge of quiet villages and right on the water's edge. In most cases, they are taken on a bed & breakfast basis. If you're looking for a true escape and love the great outdoors and the sea, the Azores are an ideal choice.

the great outdoors

The Azores is for those who love nature and the great outdoors. It is overflowing with volcanic scenery, green fields, blue hydrangeas and impressive coastlines, all forming a beautiful backdrop for those exploring the countryside. Good hiking is everywhere, from short wanders inside craters to climbing up Pico, Portugal's highest mountain. On the sea, it is most famous for whale-watching, with 20 Cetacean species, best seen in the summer. Here, there are also superb conditions for scuba diving and sailing. For those who want true remoteness, you can have that too: head out to the distant islands of Flores and Corvo.

historic towns & local culture

The Azores were discovered in 1427 by the Portuguese, who shortly afterwards began to settle in the islands along with the Dutch. The islands then prospered and grew during the period of Atlantic exploration and early trade, becoming an almost mandatory stop-over point for caravels and schooners. Thus, many coastal settlements, with their old historic churches, forts, mansions and monuments, date to this period. Angra do Heroísmo is a historic highlight, listed as a world heritage site. Well-worth seeing too are the festivities that take place in villages around the islands throughout the year.

best times to visit

In many respects, the Azores are best to visit from Easter to October. They are not as far south as Madeira which therefore has a much warmer and drier winter. Some of the biggest celebrations in the Azores take place in the week after Easter, with the Festas do Espírito Santo. A good place to see this is on Terceira island, with its painted chapels and old traditions. June brings the Sanjoaninhas festivals on all islands and August has the Sea Week festival on Faial. The summer also brings the peak of the whale migration and the flowering of the famous blue hydrangeas.

getting there & around

São Miguel, Faial and Terceira islands have international airports, with flights from Portugal and North America. To get around the islands, SATA has internal flights between all of them. There are also ferries within (but not between) each of the three island groups. Check schedules while planning your trip. Ferries are most frequent between closest islands and in the summer, with good weather conditions. A hire car is recommended for exploring the islands- available on all islands except the tiny and remote Corvo.
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