A volcanic archipelago characterised by dramatic landscapes, salty sea air, and blossoming azaleas and hydrangeas as far as the eye can see, the Azores is a unique travel destination that feels more like a tropical wonderland than a hidden European hotspot. Each of the islands of the Azores has its own unique character but they all share wondrous natural surroundings and a sense of a slow, simple and serene way of living. Once remote and challenging to access, the Azores is now easily accessible with several flights a week by budget airlines. Enter an ancient land where you can explore active volcanoes, swim with dolphins (or sharks for the brave among you), mingle with friendly locals and enjoy long afternoons treating yourself to plate after plate of petiscos (the Portuguese version of tapas). Our unique travel guide to the Azores takes you to the best hotels, restaurants and attractions in the region.
One of the top hotels in the Azores, Azul Singular is a tropical haven of comfort and luxury that honours and blends into its paradise-like surroundings seamlessly. Describing itself as a ‘nature retreat with ecological motivation’ the hotel takes ‘glamping’ to a whole new level and is composed of spacious tents made from purely natural materials boasting huge windows to allow guests to feel fully immersed in the palm tree forest surrounding them. For a really special experience, book one of the hotel’s yurts which have glass dome ceilings, allowing you to doze off while looking at the blanket of stars in the sky above you.
White Exclusive Suites: Contemporary luxury suites and villas on the stunning coast of Sao Miguel.
Lava Homes: Peaceful private villas with generous outdoor space, swimming pools and beautiful ocean views.
Santa Barbara Eco Beach Resort: Modern 14-Villa eco-resort perched on the north coast of Sao Miguel.
A Caso do Abel is a hidden taverna style steak house serving mouthwatering meats and perfectly cooked sides. The emphasis here is on the high quality food so don’t expect too many frills. The space is intimate and welcoming and the team of staff are fantastic, offering recommendations based on your tastes. Enjoy an evening of some of the best steak you’ve ever had with a large glass of local wine – what better way to spend an evening in the Azores.
Otaka: A Japanese gem of a restaurant in Ponta Delgada serving creative fine-dining plates.
The Azores are known for being home to some of the most spectacular tropical waterfalls in Europe. While on the islands, you must experience them first-hand by embarking on hikes that will take you through the lush green wilderness to discover majestic falls that you’ll be able to hear long before you see. On Sao Miguel, the largest island of the archipelago, there are several different hikes that you can take depending on your level of fitness. For those looking for an easier walk to a waterfall, embark on the trail to Salto do Cabrito. The two and a half hour walk takes you to a beautiful waterfall and hot springs where you can go for a dip. For those looking for something more challenging, the hike to Salto do Prego takes you through orchards along the creek’s banks until you reach the base of the waterfall.