The Azores are not for everyone. These far flung islands are not built up with towering all inclusive resorts, catering to the masses. Some 1000 miles west of Europe, in the North Atlantic this archipelago is a little beauty waiting to be discovered by those looking for a different kind of vacation. So if you like to get away from the crowds and go somewhere just a little more exciting then everyone else, the Portuguese Azores might be your perfect next destination.
Here are 5 reasons you should consider the Azores for your next adventure.
The Azores are as if you combined Iceland with Hawaii. A unique mixture of natural and cultural history that is not found anywhere else in the world. They are a Portugese owned group of Islands with volcanic origins. The Azores are not bill exclusively as a beach holiday but they do have amazing and dramatic beaches. The weather on this island is an adventure of its own sort. If you cannot pick your favorite season then the Azores will give you all of them in one day. For a little bit more milder micro climes stay on the south side of the islands. While this eden has remained largely unexplored by mobs of tourists, the recent addition of more direct flights might be changing that.
If you are going to travel to the "European Eden" it is comforting to know that the natural beauty you want to enjoy is being responsibly stuarded. Eco tourism is a hot word in the travel industry and the Azores have been successfully working to have ecologically sustainable tour option for visitors. The Azoreans are bend of preserving their natural splendor. Less then 5% of the land is built and they are working to keep that number.
If posh parties are you jam then the Azores are not for you. If active adventure is more your style then book your flights today. Mountain biking tours are available on São Miguel, Santa Maria, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico and Faial, with trails ranging from ultra-technical tracks to gentle lakeside circuits. Horse riding is another way to explore the islands. Look for crowd free surfing at most breaks all over the islands. Hiking is the most popular way to emerge yourself in the nature world of the islands. The hardest part for any visitor is deciding which activities to do! Also available are whale watching tours, sailing, kayaking, rock climbing, para gliding and more.
With towering volcanos, thundering waterfalls, lava tubes, coral reefs, lakes and black sand beaches this island has it all. You can surf, kayak, hike and climb all over these wonders. At the end of the day, soak away the aches in the thermal springs or mud pots. Try some of the local cuisine, cozido a hearty vegetable stew, which is cooked by the geothermal heat underground. Visit one of the youngest islands, Faial, which was born in just 1957, when it surged out of the sea bed.
Not many people know that a thriving wine culture can be found in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. So, if you like trying new things and discovering hidden treasures, come to the island of Pico. Franciscan Monks brought wine production to the island in the 15th century. Epicurean and Culture describe the wine area as, "Rocky, volcanic, mineral-rich soils allow for good internal drainage, while the cool climate aids in creating great whites and light-bodied reds, as well as wines from a number of other grape varieties that have made their way to the Azores over the years." While these wines are known for being of high quality they have yet to figure out large scale exporting, so if you visit it will be a truly unique experience.
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