Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

The azores, an autonomous region of portugal, are an archipelago in the middle of the atlantic. These 9 islands are distinguished by their spectacular landscapes, fishing villages and green pastures.

São Miguel

Of the islands that make up the Azores archipelago, São Miguel is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. Its heavenly beaches and lush vegetation have earned it the nickname “the Hawaii of Europe.” Measuring almost 750 km2, it is the largest island in the Azores. Discovered in the 15th century, it has a variety of exceptional landscapes, from craters to green plains. Walkers and hikers will find plenty to explore on the 86 trails that criss-cross the island. With its panoramic viewpoints, its two volcanic lakes, Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde, and its natural reserve, which extends over 11 km between Praia and Lagoa do Fogo, there is something for everyone on São Miguel.

Saõ Miguel

The capital, Ponta Delgada, has everything that makes Portuguese port towns special: narrow cobbled streets, white-fronted houses, local markets and traditional restaurants. Holidaymakers can visit the Church of São Sebastião, built in the Manueline style typical of 18th century Portuguese architecture.


Surrounded by turquoise waters, Faial is considered a sanctuary for many marine mammals. Indeed, some twenty species of cetaceans shelter around the island. Among them are whales, dolphins and sperm whales. This rich marine fauna that attracts enthusiasts every year. The island’s flora is also very varied, and nature lovers will find it to their liking. Faial is known as the Blue Island because of the many hydrangeas that bloom there every summer and paint the landscape with their azure colour. Faial is also home to numerous volcanic massifs such as Capelinhos and Caldeira, whose peak, Cabeço Gordo, reaches 1043 metres.


As with all islands, the ports are particularly lively. Horta, the capital, has the most colourful marina in the Azores, and its festive atmosphere is particularly appealing to visiting holidaymakers. Surrounded by the green hills of Faial, the city is alive with the rhythm of the music bands that get the streets dancing throughout the day.

São Jorge

This narrow island in the middle of the Azores has a surprising and unique landscape. It is made up of fajãs, geological formations caused when lava flows meet with the sea or landslides caused by earthquakes. For centuries, the inhabitants of São Jorge have settled here because the land is particularly fertile. These villages, often very colourful, are located at the foot of gigantic cliffs, the highest point of which is at an altitude of 1,000 metres. You can observe them by following the many marked hiking trails and by getting a good view.

Saõ Jorge

This spectacular panorama can make it feel as though you were in a Jurassic Park landscape, like those filmed in Hawaii. The waves are very popular with local surfers who brave the wind and currents. For those who prefer to enjoy the good life, it is essential that you try the local speciality: queijo São Jorge, a traditional cheese.


Pico is the second largest island in the archipelago, but it is also home to the highest point in Portugal. With its eponymous mountain, which rises to over 2,350 metres, it looms over its neighbours. Venturing up its slopes, visitors can see the islands of Faial and São Jorge. For geology enthusiasts, the island offers many sites to visit: the five-kilometre long Torres Cave, the Frei Matias and da Silveira fumaroles or the Arcos do Cachorro, lava clusters riven with tunnels through which the sea water rushes in with the tides.


Nicknamed “the mountainous island,” Pico has a very fertile soil, which makes it an ideal place for crops, especially grapevines. This is where the renowned verdelho variety is grown and exported all over the world. Pico enjoys a preserved natural environment protected by UNESCO, which declared it a World Heritage Site in 2004. Its immense green pastures, occupied by cows, are proof of this.


Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2007, the small island of Graciosa is a veritable Garden of Eden. Nicknamed the White Island, it is home to a variety of landscapes that give it its charm and authenticity. Between its three volcanic clusters, covered with lush vegetation, are clusters of houses with white facades, typical of the Azores. The Caldeira da Graciosa, (literally: the Graciosa cauldron), is located at the top of an ancient volcano’s crater. The Furna do Enxofre cave with its spectacular underground lake can be reached from the heights.


A scuba diving excursion allows you to enjoy the richness of the island’s marine life up close. For the more adventurous, you can take a paragliding trip to see the beauty of the Graciosa landscape from a bird’s perspective.


By Lala