Azores: which islands to see


Which islands to see in a week in the Azores archipelago, an ideal place for beach holidays, with a description of the landscape features and the main places of interest.

Tourist information

The archipelago of the Azores islands, made up of 9 main islands and numerous islets of volcanic origin, is located in the Atlantic Ocean, at a distance of approximately 1400 kilometers from Portugal.

The islands constitute an autonomous Portuguese region.

Sao Miguel, Terceira, Santa Maria, Pico, Faial, Sao Jorge, Graciosa, Flores and Corvo, stand out for the beauty and purity of their imaginative nature, as well as for the interesting testimonies of the past.

Which islands to see

Sao Miguel it is the largest island of the Azores archipelago, its main center is Ponta Delgada, where there are buildings, churches and convents rich in art and history. Beautiful landscapes framed by picturesque lakes and enchanting panoramas.

Terceira it is the second most important island in the Azores archipelago. Its main city is Angra do Heroismo, whose historic center was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, as the first example of 16th century European urban planning in the middle of the Atlantic. Galleons loaded with precious goods from the East and the Americas docked in the port. The island offers colorful landscapes and a sea with natural pools formed by the lava of ancient volcanic eruptions.

Saint Mary it is the closest island to mainland Portugal, in fact its first inhabitants came from the Algarve. The island is famous for its characteristic white houses with tapered chimneys, bucolic landscapes, sandy beaches and the splendid bays of São Lourenço and Praia Formosa.

Pico it is the second largest island in the Azores, after São Miguel. The island culminates with the 2351 meters of altitude of the Pico volcano from which it takes its name. Along the coast, the mountain sides offer wonderful itineraries between the blue of the sea and the sky. From this island, in past centuries, boats with brave men sailed into the sea for whale hunting; today Pico is a privileged place for the observation of large cetaceans. Do not forget the famous vineyards of the island, grown in the fertile soil bordered by lava stone walls.

Faial it is located about 7 km from the island of Pico. The island is known for its welcoming marina, where yachts and sailing boats dock from all over the world. From a landscape point of view, the island is distinguished by the blue color of the hydrangeas that border the fields and paths that lead to the sea; exuberant and colorful vegetation that contrasts with the colors of the desert landscape of the area affected by the last eruption of the Capelinhos volcano in 1957/58 in the western end of the island. The main urban settlement of the island is Horta, where valuable architectural elements are preserved, such as the azulejo decorations of the church of Sao Francisco.

Sao Jorge it is separated from the nearby islands of Pico and Faial by a narrow 15 km. On the island, with its narrow and elongated shape, mountains and green valleys follow one another. The maximum altitude is reached by the Pico de Esperança (1053 m), an excellent panoramic point. Through enchanting walks along the paths of São Jorge there is the possibility to cross fields where cows graze that produce a very rich milk, from which characteristic cheeses are derived, or to get to the base of the escarpments that dive into the sea, where there are small areas of fertile and flat land called fajãs.

Graciosa it is a small and pretty island. as can be deduced from the name, famous for its windmills and its lighthouse. On the island there is a suggestive volcanic phenomenon, the Furna do Enxofre, a large underground cave where a lake of cold sulphurous water lies, more than 100 meters wide and 15 meters deep. The marine depths of Graciosa are very attractive, rich in caves and rocky ravines.

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Flores it is the westernmost island of the Azores and also the most western European point. Enchanting island, it is covered by a luxuriant and colorful vegetation with the many flowers that characterize it. The rocky walls overlooking the sea are furrowed by waterfalls that jump from the top of the cliffs into the sea. Inside the island, the area dotted with seven lakes of volcanic origin is very beautiful, where the blue of their water shines in the surrounding greenery. To visit the town of Santa Cruz, the main center of the island, Lajes and other picturesque villages.

Crow it is the smallest island in the Azores archipelago. Surrounded by a green landscape you can climb Monte Gordo, where on the bottom of the Caldeirão of the volcanic cone you can admire lakes with blue waters, embellished with various islets. It is a quiet island that belongs to a world that has remained intact from isolation.

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Tags: Portugal