The Island of Hawaii is in the United States, but did you know there’s an equivalent in Europe? Europe is home to the Azores, which is one of the most stunning locations on the continent. If you want to meet the Hawaii of Europe, travel to the Azores! We offer custom travel planning services to help you create a relaxing Azores vacation.
The Azores is an archipelago situated off the coast of Portugal. Although the Azores lie next to Portugal, the islands are autonomous. The highest elevation in the Azores is Mt. Pico, which reaches 7,713 feet at the highest elevation. As for geography, it doesn’t get much more relaxed and laid-back than the Azores! When you meet the Hawaii of Europe, you’ll discover that the Azores has a topography and geography similar to Hawaii, complete with beautiful lush landscapes, rolling hills, and stunning beaches! As with many Mediterranean locations, there are also vineyards scattered across the Azores as well.
About the Islands
In total, there are nine islands that form the Azores. The island group includes the Flores and Corvo islands, which are in the western-most part of the archipelago, along with the islands of Pico, Sao Jorge, Graciosa, Terceira, Santa Maria, Sao Miguel, and Formigas islets. In total, the islands cover 370 miles. Temperatures in the archipelago are stable and mild throughout the year, which makes the Azores a prime destination for those seeking a getaway any time of the year! Regardless of the season you intend to travel, a luxury vacation planner can help you figure out how to prepare for your trip to maximize your comfort. A travel planner can also tell you about the seasonal highlights and holidays that you may experience in the Azores, depending on when you plan to travel.
What to do in the Azores
When you’re in the Azores, you’ll be glad to know that there is no shortage of things to see and do! The Azores features some of the best whale and dolphin-watching around. The Azores is home to some resident dolphin species, including bottlenose and common dolphins. Spotted dolphins also appear seasonally in the summer months, along with migrating whales such as baleen, sei, and sperm whales. Blue whales, which are some of the most sought-after whales to sight on earth, also make an appearance regularly in the Azores.
If you are thinking of going on a whale-watching adventure while you are vacationing in the Azores, it’s best to set up a time to see the whales beforehand, as whale-watching adventures can fill up quickly. Even if you are late to the game and don’t sign up for whale-watching on time, or if you can’t go on a planned whale-watching excursion due to the weather, there are still options for admiring whales. Several islands in the archipelago, including Faial and Pico, have onshore alternatives in case you can’t make it out to sea to spot whales on your own. Both places have whale-watching museums and information centers where you can learn about local whales instead.
Get Outside and Explore
The Azores is also home to many great hiking and recreational trails. Throughout the archipelago, you will find various trails ranging from peaceful and tranquil nature trails to challenging hiking trails.
The Azores Cuisine
As with many other places in the Mediterranean, the cuisine is a main attraction for those who choose to vacation in The Azores. The Azores provides a rich and diverse culinary scene because of its water supply, microclimates, and volcanic origins. You may have heard of the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on simple and healthy foods. Not surprisingly, you’ll find such cuisine in the Azores. The cuisine here includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood. Since there are many vineyards in the vicinity, you’ll also find plenty of delicious wine to enjoy!
If you are visiting the Azores for the first time, you may be wondering where to go for a delicious meal. Many great options are available, and a Europe VIP travel concierge can help you find the right location based on your dietary needs and preferences.
Along with seafood, the Azores Islands are also world-renowned for cheese! Did you know that 50% of all cheese made in Portugal comes from the Azores? The Azores are known for one particular kind of cheese called Queijo de Sao Jorge. This cheese is so well-known and loved that it has been designated the “Protected Designation of Origin” status, which means that it is a product that comes from a particular geographical location in Europe. Along with cheese, there are many other culinary delicacies that the Azores are known for, including Morcela, which is commonly known as “blood sausage,” and “bolo levedo,” or “English muffins.”
Beaches in the Azores
Of course, if you are vacationing in the Mediterranean, you probably expect stunning beaches to be part of the experience. If that’s the case, you won’t be disappointed with the beaches in the Azores. A luxury vacation planner can also help you book your vacation plans for a personalized experience.
Praia do Porto Pim
While many beaches offer pristine sandy shorelines and stunning blue waters, the Praia do Porto Pim beach offers even more. Here you’ll find a stunning beach that is surrounded by many bars and cafes in the city of Horta, which is the capital of Faial Island. This beach is known for its calm waters and recreational opportunities, including paddle boarding.
Praia do Areal de Santa Barbara
This beach is another must-see for those who are looking for sandy shores when they book a vacation with our custom travel planning services. This beach features an unusual aesthetic appeal of black sand shorelines. It’s also a prime destination for surfing, and a top-ranked surf school is located at this beach! Along with world-class surf instruction, you’ll find many other appealing amenities at this beach, including beach bars, lifeguards, and plenty of parking spaces. With all these amenities, the beach is not surprisingly a top place to visit in Sao Miguel.
Praia dos Moinhos
Praia dos Moinhos is another stunning beach that you’ll find in the Azores. This spectacular beach is accessible for swimming, due in large part to seasonal lifeguards, but it’s also a place with striking geography. As you sunbathe on shore or dive into the warm, inviting surrounding waters, be sure to check out or at least stop to admire the stunning surrounding scenery, including caves. There is also a beach bar for those who truly want to kick back and relax. If you feel like wandering around and exploring, you’ll also discover that there is a majestic waterfall at the beach as well!
When you book a vacation to a faraway destination like the Azores Islands, you’ll want to know that you can truly relax upon arrival. That’s why it is a good idea to enlist the skills of a Europe VIP travel concierge to help take the stress and guesswork out of travel planning for you. A travel agency can also help you book a place to stay at some of the area’s top resorts, such as the White Hotel, which derives its inspiration for accommodations from Santorini in Greece. No matter where you choose to stay in the Azores, rest assured you can look forward to a fun, relaxing, and enjoyable European getaway.