The Azores are a series of volcanic islands similar to Hawaii. While similar in nature, the Azores are roughly 1/10th the size of Hawaii. They were formed roughly 1-8 million years ago, and some of the islands experience volcanic activity today. The Azores are made up of 9 islands. In order of size, largest to smallest they are as follows: SÃ£o Miguel, Pico, Teceira, Sao Jorge, Faial, Flores, Santa Maria, Graciosa, and Corvo. The Azores are part of Portugal, and its residents are Portuguese citizens. The main currency is the Euro. The highest peak is Mount Pico at 7,313 feet. Considering that the base of the Mountain starts at sea level, this makes the mountains here some of the largest on Earth, as far as vertical rise. The islands are also home to scenic volcanic lakes.
Where are the Azores?
The Azores are located in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. With nearly a thousand miles of ocean to the east, and over two thousand on the west, the term isolation comes to mind. Fortunately the islands are now home to roughly 250,000 people. The Azores have experienced a unique history, as the islands were uninhabited for millions of years. When they were finally settled, it was not a fast process. The gradual habitation took hundreds of years, making one of the most unique cultures, blending elements from all kinds of people throughout the world.
Why Travel to the Azores?
There are many reasons to visit the Azores. First off, the climate. The average yearly temperature is around 67 Fahrenheit. Secondly, they are islands! That means lots of beaches, fresh amazing seafood dishes, all with a Portuguese flair you won't experience anywhere else.
Top 5 things do in the Azores
- With the mountain ranges in the Azores, you will find all kinds of hikes. Everyone from beginners to experts will be as challenged as they want to be. You will love the view, regardless of which trail you're on.
- As stated above, the beaches are legendary in the Azores. Grab your favorite book and a chair and relax. From secluded private beaches, to public fun spots, you are to find and enjoy the beach you will love forever.
Ocean Based Activities
- The Azores have many festivals that are similar to ones you would find throughout Portugal. While many are based on religious holidays, there are many celebrating the history and culture of the Azores.
- Swim with the dolphins, go for a whale watch, try some surf-casting or charter a boat for ocean fishing, or dawn a wetsuit and try your hand at surfing. There's no shortage of awesome ocean activities in the Azores.
- The fact that the islands are over a thousand miles from another country and they still have great shopping says a lot about the creativity of the people living there, as well as global transportation efficiency. :)
Next time you are thinking about a vacation to Europe, consider the Azores. You won't be able to get there with a rental car in Portugal
, but you can rent one once you arrive.