The nine islands that make up the Azores, a nature-rich Portuguese archipelago nestled in the heart of the Atlantic, mark the westernmost boundary of Europe. Their volcanic origins are clear – deep craters or calderas dominate the landscape, while the fertile volcanic soil and year-round mild climate nourish vibrant vegetation. Whilst each island has its own unique cultural heritage, they all share unspoilt nature, tranquillity and a traditional way of life, with the main sources of income being agriculture and fishing.
Hike across volcano shaped landscapes to discover steaming geysers, mineral hot springs and fields of bright hydrangea flowers. On Sao Miguel island travel the mountain road to visit Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake), occupying an extinct crater, explore the cathedrals and botanical gardens of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angra do Heroísmo on Terciera Island. Head to Pico Island then take to the sea by boat, searching for sperm and pilot whales, striking black and white orca pods and bottlenose and spotted dolphins that move through the waters off the Azores’ coastline.