The Azores consists of 9 islands which covers a 370 mile area and sits just over 800 miles to the west of continental Europe. The 9 islands are Santa Maria, Sao Miguel, Terceira, Graciosa, Sao Jorge, Pico, Faial, Flores and Corvo. People who visit the Azores are greeted by some of the most incredible scenery, colorful and vibrant plant life, pristine beaches and a whole lot more.
The islands which make up the Azores are also volcanic. Tourists are free to go on guided tours of any of these volcanoes. Other tourist activities include whale watching, kayaking, forest hikes and lots more. Each of the 9 main islands offers a different set of activities so further below we will discuss each of these 9 islands in a bit more detail.
Santa Maria is the third largest of all the islands and has been named ‘the yellow island’ because of its strange yellow colored shorelines. The island has two beautiful bays known as Santa Lourenco Bay and Maia Bay, both which has spectacular cliffs alongside them. If you’re ever going to visit Santa Maria then be sure to see a village named Anjos – as its believed to be where Christopher Columbus landed upon returning to Europe from the New World.
The largest of the 9 islands is Sao Miguel. It’s famous for its stunning nature and greenery which is why its often referred to as ‘the green island’. Here you will enjoy picture perfect lakes, green tree covered hills for as far as the eye can see, beautiful plains, various mountain ranges and incredible beaches. Some of the tourist activities here include fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving, playing golf, mountain climbing and a whole lot more.
Graciosa Island has a number of interesting places such as Serra Branca (White Mountain), Pedras Brancas (White Stones) and Barro Branco (White Clay). Because of these names starting with the word white.. Graciosa is often known as ‘the white island’. It’s known for its windmills, lagoons, vineyards, wheat fields and peacefulness.
Pico Island is known for its majestic mountains and vineyards. Pico is one of the top destinations for those who visit the Azores but its not only tourists who visit here but scientists too. These scientists come here to observe the local volcano which has now been dormant for over 300 years. The volcano has left its mark on Pico as you will notice various lava rock formations all over the island. There are numerous festivals held here throughout the year which attracts large numbers of tourists and there’s always a wide range of fun, outdoor activities available.
Flores Island is known for its many volcanoes, beautiful valleys, seaside cliffs, many lagoons and majestic mountains. It’s also the most western point of Europe. Flores is a great tourist destination for those who interested in visiting the Azores thanks to all of the above named natural attractions but the island is also known for its countless vineyards scattered across the island as well as its many farmlands.
Find more information about these incredible European Islands at azores-islands.info.
The visitazores.com website has more information about tourist activities and accommodations.
Visist azores.com for further reading.