The Azores are 9 islands in the Atlantic Ocean of volcanic origin (in geological terms, they are very young and are, in fact, the top of an underwater mountain range) and taken under the protection of UNESCO. The Azores archipelago is a territory of Portugal, although it is located 750 miles from it. Translated from Portuguese, the name sounds like "blue" islands.
The local nature can surprise even an experienced traveler, and each island is unique in its own way. At the same time, they are united by an incredible amount of greenery and unique natural phenomena that can be observed in just a few places on the planet. Here you can see and visit emerald mountains, crater lakes, black massifs of frozen lava, fields of extraordinary beauty with flowers and herbs, and observation decks with stunning views.
Thanks to the warm and humid climate, wild vegetation is thriving everywhere on the islands. Previously, subtropical evergreen forests grew here, but now they occupy relatively small areas. But everywhere along the roads, along the edges of viewing platforms and along the borders of pastures, there are hydrangeas of extraordinary beauty - the symbol of the Azores archipelago.
Many tourists prefer to visit this archipelago by renting a yacht in Portugal, because it is on the yacht that you can best enjoy the extraordinary views of the pristine nature, beautiful beaches, swimming in geothermal springs and, of course, meet whales! The mysterious El Niño Current (a natural phenomenon characterized by an abnormal rise in temperature in this part of the ocean) attracts migratory whales here, and from May to June they can be seen in coastal waters almost every day.
The weather on the islands is changeable, in summer the temperature is kept at the level of 24-25 ° С, mostly dry and sunny. Thanks to the warm climate, you can relax in the Azores all year round (it is not for nothing that they are called “the islands of eternal spring”). In general, the archipelago resembles a huge botanical garden, and tourists come here to see this abundance of lush vegetation, lakes of wondrous beauty, waterfalls with clear water and idyllic landscapes.
The Azores are the ideal retreat for those looking to enjoy a peaceful getaway. There are no industrial enterprises on the islands, and agriculture is conducted without the use of chemicals, so this area is popular among fans of ecotourism. Basically, all the attractions are of a natural nature, unique volcanic landscapes and rich fauna attract thousands of tourists from all over the world to these virgin places (the last wild place in Europe).
The main island of the Azores, São Miguel, is famous for the location of the Sete Cidades lake region - one of the 7 natural wonders of Portugal. The largest lakes: Lagoa Azul or Blue and Lagoa Verde or Green Lake, most often find themselves on the pages of sites about the islands. These are some of the most beautiful places in the Azores, next on the list of interesting places are geysers and thermal springs.
There are hundreds of volcanoes on each of the islands, and although there are no active ones, there are springs with hot healing water - it is for them that many tourists come here. So, on San Miguel, Caldeira das Furnas geysers can be observed right on the territory of the city of Furnas - because of them, the water in local rivers is brick-yellow.
Also worth a visit are the Porto Fotmoso and Gorreana tea estates, which offer free guided tours. There are pineapple plantations on the islands (the Azores are the largest exporter of these fruits). Thanks to suitable natural conditions, tobacco is grown here, and if you wish, you can take an excursion to the Fabrico de Tabaco Estrela bacterial factory. Note that cigars in the Azores are much cheaper than in Cuba.
Faial Island is famous not only for its natural beauty (for example, the Costa da Feteita caves or the majestic Capelinhos volcano), but also the largest marina Horta Marina with 240 berths (the best in the archipelago) in the city of Horta. Its convenient location provides it with good protection from the winds from all directions, and Horta is the venue for many international competitions, for example, ARC Europe or OCC Azores Pursuit Race.
The architecture of the island of Graciosa is interesting, represented by miniature snow-white cube-shaped houses built by the island colonizers. The island of Pico is worth visiting in order to see the eponymous volcano and lava fields reminiscent of Martian landscapes. Also, tourists come here to see whales (there are 12 species of them here). By the way, it is on Pica that the best diving spots are located - the underwater volcanic rocks have become home to shellfish and fish that you cannot find anywhere else. The clear waters of the Azores are home to giant stingrays, octopuses and white sharks.
Also among the popular attractions of the archipelago are:
There are few sandy beaches in the Azores, and they are concentrated mainly on the islands of San Miguel, Santa Maria and Faial. However, hotel owners are trying to compensate for this disadvantage by placing them on slopes of hills or on the coastal cliffs descending to the water in such a way that from the windows a picturesque view of the ocean opens.
The cuisine of the Azores deserves special attention, which combines Portuguese dishes and original author's recipes. Here you can always try fresh seafood dishes, organic and delicious vegetables and fruits, and even meat stew cooked in a geyser. And the prices in local restaurants will pleasantly surprise you.
Be sure to taste the island tea that is not inferior to the elite varieties of Chinese (the only tea grown in Europe). Due to the variety of honey plants, a large number of varieties of honey are available on the islands. Local wines and liqueur are worth trying, and Bagaceria do Pico vodka ranks first among spirits - it can be ordered in restaurants on Pico Island.
Popular dishes: Polvo Guisado Em Vinho De Cheiro (octopus stew with wine sauce), Molhos de porco pork sauce, juicy meat with Cozido das Furnas stews, Caldo Azedo sour vegetable soup (served cold), Azorean cheese is also popular. tourists often buy it as a souvenir.
The yachting infrastructure in the Azores is well developed due to the fact that yachts crossing the Atlantic sail here all year round. And only a few come here to rent a boat for island hopping.
Yachting in the Azores is perfect for experienced yachtsmen, as, as already mentioned, the weather here is quite changeable. But the islands are located in such a way that in case of impending bad weather there is always an opportunity to take refuge in a modern, weather-protected marina. But there are few anchorages. There are airports on each island and there are air and ferry connections between them. The prevailing wind direction is southwest, this area is under the influence of the Azores anticyclone.
If you are interested in purchasing or renting a yacht in Portugal, we recommend that you seek qualified assistance from the professionals of the 2yachts company. With us you can be sure that you will consider the best offers from the yacht market and you will be able to choose the yacht of your dreams!