Most people have heard about how beautiful, historic, scenic and interesting the European nation of Portugal is, but they may not realize that the Azores, which lie in the North Atlantic Ocean, are just as nice. The remote archipelago of nine islands which belongs to Portugal is rich in beauty and offers a simple and easy way of life.
The Azores sit about 1,000 miles to the west of mainland Europe and more or less sit in the middle of the ocean between Portugal and North America. The lush, green islands are far from overcrowded and overdeveloped and are an ideal place to escape to for some relaxation and exploring.
You can fly to the Azores from several destinations in Europe and North America and once there, witness the traditional way of life of the residents as well as the wonderful natural attractions and beauty.
There’s virtually no stress and no pollution on the islands and they enjoy a subtropical climate all year round. This makes a visit to the Azores ideal at anytime of the year as they feature warm temperatures and relatively high humidity.
The Azores are dotted with hot sulphur springs, sloping hills, and volcanoes, but the population of about 250,000 people don’t worry about things such as earth tremors as they go about their daily lives the same way their ancestors did hundreds of years ago.
The islands are naturally ideal for fishing and you can enjoy some of the world’s freshest seafood here. Cod is one of the specialities and it can be cooked in a variety of delicious ways. The local residents are also active agricultural labor as the islands are filled with farmland, fruit orchards, and vineyards along with picturesque whitewashed houses.
The coast of most of the islands is generally rugged and dotted with inlets and bays. However, you’ll also be able to find stretches of white sandy beaches that are fine for sunbathing and swimming. It’s easy to explore as many islands as possible on a trip since you can travel between them by ferry and air.
The nine islands are Corvo, Faial, Flores, Graciosa, Pico, São Jorge, São Miguel, Santa Maria, and Terceira. Sao Miguel is the most populated with about 140,000 people and Corvo is the least populated with about 600 residents. The location of the islands made them a strategic part of World War II as they were used by the allies as a place to refuel planes. The U.S. Navy has a small fleet of ships in Terceira as well as an air force base.
A trip to the Azores will allow you to get close to nature while enjoying traditional and modern conveniences.