The Azores are a cluster of 9 sub-tropical islands, representing the visible peaks of gigantic underwater mountains. The undiscovered secret of Portugal, yet it is almost impossible to envisage a place better suited for enthusiasts of adventure sports, nature, and environmental sustainability.
In the past, the Azores islands have been relatively unnoticed as a vacation destination, but now with direct flights from New York and Boston, that is about to change. The time to go is now!
A must visit is Angra do Heroismo; idyllic surroundings, with rolling green hills and pastures, dramatic cliffs, and the azure blue ocean for as far as the eye can see. Angra do Heroismo is the oldest continuously settled town on the islands, and is filled with history and culture. The town is centered around the 18th-century Praça Velha, a large, handsome town square from which numerous streets and winding alleys branch off, leading to beautiful palaces, churches and forts.
Fortunately, the 250,000 Azoreans that populate the islands remain passionate about the conservation of their unspoilt environment, with just 5% of the land subject to construction. This drive for sustainability means you can find a wealth of marine reserves and preserved zones thriving with tropical birds and alluring wildlife.
In terms of things to do, The Azores are most popular for whale and dolphin watching, with sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins making annual appearances during their migration routes. The diverse coastline, sublime year-round climate and crystal waters crown the Azores islands as the ideal location for water sports such as surfing and kayaking. Volcanic thermal pools and natural crater baths offer a perfect opportunity to relax- whilst on São Miguel the vast green woodland is easily explored through bike trails and by foot.
With centuries of wine production, fantastic local cheese from the São Jorge island, succulent beef, and fresh seafood, the local cuisine will not disappoint either!
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