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DISCOVER THE NINE ISLANDS OF THE AZORES
and the variety that the Archipelago can offer you.
The Azores are a true paradise for those who love nature; the fantastic shapes of the lakes, the superb views over the ocean, the deep craters of dormant volcanoes, the hot springs, the intact landscape, the bucolic harmony, the serenity of silence… Surrounded by the blue of the sea and wrapped around a splendid green mantle, the Azores are an unforgettable experience during any time of the year.
The Azores and the Sea
The nine islands of the Azores lie in the North Atlantic Ocean along an approximately SE/NW direction. The islands of São Miguel, Terceira and Faial have marinas, which attract international cruises. Nevertheless, all the other islands have small harbours, so every island can be reached by boat.
The extremely jagged coast is a truly imposing and varied natural exhibit. Some islands even have marine caves that are worth visiting. A boat tour will always be a surprising experience. Remember that many companies, using sail or motor boats, provide visitors with an unusual perspective of the islands, surrounded by the intense blue of the ocean.
The Azores and the Land
It does not take much time and distance to either enjoy unique landscapes and breathtaking views or to get know the rich and diversified traditional heritage of the Azores. But if you would like to enjoy a closer contact with the unspoiled Azorean nature and the unique feeling of discovering hidden and magical places, there are specially-recommended walking trails, with all the information and features of each one of them at your disposal. On Terceira Island, some cultural walking trails are also organised, both in Angra do Heroísmo, which is a World Heritage site, and in Praia da Vitória; these trails offer a real meeting with the island's history, its monuments and its people. Besides that, equestrian centres also allow visitors to discover the Azorean landscape and trails in a new and exciting way. A horseback ride in the Azores can be indeed an unforgettable experience.
The Azores and the Air
Would you like to take a look at the islands from high above? Well, you can. On Terceira Island there is a company that provides this unusual experience. The departures are made from the Lajes Airport and the trip offers dreamy views over Terceira Island. Given its proximity to the other islands of the Central Group, this trip also enables an impressive view over them, providing a clear idea of what an archipelago is. Paragliding and ultra-lighting are also gradually becoming common activities in the Azores.
Volcanism and Speleology
The volcanic origin of the Azores Islands, located in the junction of the Eurasian, American and African tectonic plates, created a series of important and exciting phenomena for those who are interested in volcanism and speleology, but these phenomena also represent a unique and impressive sight for everyone. The beautiful lakes at the bottom of craters are a symbol of the Azores, but the visitors also have the possibility of seeing other phenomena from up close: caves, hot springs, fumaroles, solidified lava (locally called mistérios [mysteries]), as well as the impressive vestiges of the eruption of the Capelinhos Volcano. But the most pleasant aspect of this underground activity is yet to come; it is possible to take a bath in the hot springs with the waterfalls providing a wonderful back massage, and even to discover hot water flows while bathing in the ocean… These are some of the musts for those who visit our islands!
Countless yachts from all over the world make the marinas of Horta, Ponta Delgada and Praia da Vitória their port of call before leaving to other islands or before crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Many high-seas fishing records have been registered in the Azores. Tuna, several shark species, needlefish, Atlantic bonito, Almaco Jack, barracuda, Gilthead seabream and red porgy are among most captured species.
As far as rock fishing is concerned, the abundance of species is impressive: conger eel, drumfish, mackerel, mediterranean moray, white sea bream, white trevally, etc. Each island offers excellent fishing spots!
Besides that, diving, surfing and sailing are also very popular in the Archipelago.
Extreme sports lovers will find great spots on every island, with good weather conditions and unique settings to practise their favourite sport. The tourism offer is also ever richer and diversified in this sector, as there is an increasing number of companies providing various extreme experiences.
Nightlife in the Azores
The Azores are naturally peaceful and calm, just as the surrounding landscape. However, the cities offer theatres, cinemas, pubs, cafés and outdoor cafés, Fado houses, among other places that provide a lively nightlife. Nevertheless, for those who are more energetic, we suggest the nightclubs that exist on every island.
In addition to that, during springtime and throughout the summer, there are countless outdoor music festivals, concerts, dances and shows, both in the cities and on the beaches and lakes.