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Azores: Portugal’s Best Kept Secret for Adventure Seekers

9 mins. read

Discovered by Portuguese navigators in 1427, the Azores archipelago was the trade centre between Europe, America and India. It is an archipelago set in the middle of the Atlantic and composed of nine major islands. The Azores are here and ready to roll out a green carpet for you and a trip to the Azores Islands is a must-do vacation, the one you’ll never forget. From lively marinas to the serene beaches of Praia da Vitoria and the ever-bubbling volcanic ground of Furnas, each island in this archipelago has something unique to offer.

An Island-By-Island itinerary

There are nine major islands and several small islands, all of them having volcanic origins. Azores in the Portuguese territory of Madeira is an autonomous region with wildlife and landscapes that are so unique that you’d be doing yourself an injustice if you did not spend all your time seeking out its natural wonders. So, when you book an Azores island tour package, fit in as many natural attractions as your itinerary can accommodate. Here is the list of islands with highlights that you cannot miss.

  • Sao Miguel
  • Flores
  • Faial
  • Pico
  • Sao Jorge
  • Graciosa
  • Terceira
  • Santa Maria
  • Corvo

Sao Miguel

Sao Miguel

It is the largest and the most visited island in the island chain of Azores (Portugal). Filled with delightful lagoons, a diverse rainforest dotted with waterfalls and breathtaking sea views. It is a great starting point, as you get welcomed by steaming geysers and springs. The highlight of this island is - Sete Cidades, a unique crated lake visit this island is a must and a perfect site for photogenic travellers as it sits in a dormant volcano in the middle of Sao Miguel.

For adventure seekers looking for a hike, the island has Lagao do Fogo trail, a 13km round-trip trek passing through farmlands, green valleys and lakes. This trek is a one-of-a-kind experience nobody should miss. Since it is the regional capital and the most populated island; it offers easy access to all the amenities and transportation.

Must try - Cozido das Furnas (Portuguese stew), local tea, Bolos Lêvedos (Portuguese muffins)


Characterized by an extremely rugged coastline. It is relatively a small island and part of the UNESCO biosphere reserve. It is a perfect destination to explore unspoiled vegetation, lush forests, waterfalls and lakes and beautiful coastlines. Poco da Ribeira do Ferreiro is the highlight of Flore Island, it is a magical lagoon with multiple waterfalls falling, reminding the visitors of Jurassic Park-like landscape. The island is known for some of the best viewpoints – Caldeira Rasa e Funda viewpoint, portal viewpoint (Miradouro do Portal) and faja de Lopo Vaz.

Must try – watercress soup, yams with sausage, boiled pork with vegetables.


Located in the central group of islands of the Azores, it is known for its profusion of blue hydrangeas and yachting. The highlight of this island is a volcano cone (Mount Gordo), offering a spectacular panoramic view of the bay. However, the hidden gem of this island is Porto Pim, one of the most popular swimming areas of the Azores with crystal water beaches.

Must try - Gambas Rosadas (prawns), Malasadas (doughnuts), Bolo lêvedo (Sweet muffin).


The Azorean island of Portugal is the second largest island in this archipelago with a landscape made by Viticulture and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. Pico Island is home to Azorean natural pools that nestled beside the sea, coupled with lush garden areas, and are a perfect spot for leisure and relaxation. Pico Island is also a hotspot destination for whale watching and to witness other marine mammals up close. Just like another island in this archipelago, Pico Island also has a mountain peak and it is an experience to witness for visitors as the climb is not challenging, however, the panoramic view of land and sea is spectacular. Thanks to the hot and dry climate, this island has been ideal for cultivating wine and is home to the Azores Wine Company, which has made the island popular for wine tasting.

Must try – Pico Island octopus stew, linguiça com inhames (Portuguese sausage with yams) and Caldo de peixe (fish soup).

Sao Jorge

The Sao Jorge Island in the Azores archipelago is known for “fajas” (coastal plateaus) due to the long volcanic ridge.  The mountain island offers the best view from cliffs that go down to natural pools. Since the island is formed mainly by the constant collapse of lava, it lacks a sandy beach. However, in return, the “fajas” is a perfect place to have a break from a busy life with just a short hike away. It is a haven for nature lovers and the locals have preserved the cultural heritage. Sao Jorge is a coastal delight in the Azores and since it receives fewer visitors, it is a perfect destination for travellers looking for peace and isolation.

Must try - Morcela com ananás (traditional Portuguese dish) and Portuguese Cheese Biscuits


It is one of the most underrated islands of the Azores archipelago, also known as White The island as most of the coastline is white rocks. The main attraction of this island is “Furna do Enxofre”(lava cave). The island is known for its architectural heritage buildings, churches with centuries-old networks or reservoirs and water supply systems. This is among the few multifunctional tourism spots due to its pleasing climate and various attractive landscapes to explore.

Must try - Queijadas da Graciosa (chocolate cake), Lapas/limpet (sea snails) and Caldeirada (traditional fish stew).


What makes this island unique is the astonishing contrast between the volcanic landscape and the ancient Portuguese architecture. Terceira Island is like a green carpet laid down for its cherished visitors with pastoral sights and cow gazing all over the island.  Climbing up to the hilltop viewpoint of “Miadouro do Facho” is a perfect spot for photogenic travellers with 360-degree views of the countryside. Unlike other active volcanoes in the archipelago that are entirely blocked, it is one of the only three volcanic chimneys that offer inside access with just a small hike.

Must try - Boca Negra fish, Vaquinha Cheese, Rump (meat flavoured with local spices)

Santa Maria

Considered as one of the most beautiful places in Portugal, the island is a part of the eastern chain of islands in the Azores archipelago. The island is also flatter than its counterpart, making it easier to drive around the island. When you visit Formosa Beach, make sure to not skip Macela's viewpoint, it is a sport where the natural beauty unfolds its majesty and it is only one of the two white sand beaches of the Azores. The island is best known for its calm beaches with crystal clear water for a perfect escape for any traveller. Santa Maria is not just limited to its beautiful beaches, the Aveiro waterfall is another underrated spot for travellers to listen to the relaxing sound of water amidst lush greenery.

Must Try - Biscoitos de Orelha (traditional sweet), Alheira Sausage, Meloa (oval melon).


Located in the the western part of the Azores island archipelago, it is a popular destination for bird watching and is also a part of the UNESCO biosphere reserve. The residences of the island are like a close-knit community, offering a genuine sense of connection. The highlight of this small island is “Caldeiro”, also known as the crown jewel of the Azores island chain, as the stunning geological formation grabs the attention of travellers with its beauty. This remote island is perfect for travellers to realize “Why isolation is an asset”.

Must Try – Couve Frita and Erva do Calhau (rock weed)

Make your next trip to this hidden gem of Europe. The archipelago offers seamless connectivity with flights and ferries for you to explore more. Booking a tour package to Portugal for an Azores island trip is worth it. It is among the most beautiful places in Portugal for you to enjoy the local food, sightseeing beaches and witness the spectacular volcanos with the peace of nature, all with a community of friendly locals.

March 28, 2024


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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