Holiday: a Guide to the Azores

By: Liam G

The nine islands that make up the Azores where discovered in 15th century and because of their mid-Atlantic location, they quickly became the link between Europe and "the new world".

The volcanic formation and temperate climate has sculpted a range of islands with spectacular natural beauty. The combination of rolling green valleys, vast craters filled with blue lakes, and huge cliffs falling into the clear blue ocean brings together truly diverse islands, unlike anywhere else on earth.

Their remote location and low level of tourism has meant that the traditional lifestyle of the Azores has remained very much the same, especially in the country.

The slow lifestyle and lack of sandy beaches means that the Azores may not be the most suitable location for every holiday goer. If busy cities and active night life are things on the agenda, then the Azores are probably best avoided.

Ocean sports, cycling and walking however, are some of the most popular activates throughout the Azores, with each island offering its own unique landscape to explore.

The mild and varied climate of the Azores means that there are certain times of the year where particular actives might be more suited. For instance, dolphin watching, sailing and scuba diving are best experienced May to early October.

Swimming in the ocean however, is popular throughout the year, with the oceans rarely falling below 15 degrees.

As the Azores are a region of Portugal, the food on offer is not too dissimilar to that of cuisine offered on the mainland.

As agriculture and seafood is the only real industry throughout the Azores, seafood forms the basis of many dishes. Soups are popular starters and along with seafood, meat dishes are also popular mains, often accompanied by potatoes and vegetables.

In summary, the Azores are the perfect holidays destination for those wishing to simply sit back and experience the traditional Portuguese lifestyle or for the more adventuress there is a wealth of landscape to explore either on foot, bike or by car.

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