Why You Should Visit the Azores in Portugal
The Azores are a group of 9 islands in the mid-Atlantic Ocean distinguished by beautiful landscapes, fishing villages, lush greenery, and rows of colourful hydrangeas.
High above the town of Caloura
These volcanic islands are a beautiful remote destination to get back to nature and simplicity.
The people are very helpful and friendly, and the vibe is laid back.
Exploring the forest around Furnas, Sao Miguel
Our experience in Sao Miguel (The Green Island) was a positive one, so we wanted to share some of the highlights of our time there.
Dating back as far as the 1500’s, the Portuguese heavily depended on whaling for survival. Whale flesh was used for cosmetics, oil, soaps, fats, flour, and more.
Whale Hunting in the Azores
The Azores were an important place for whale hunting until the mid 80’s, but now they are one of the best places in the world to view these beautiful creatures.
Dolphins swimming along side the boat
These islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean are one of the best examples of how a violent, and unsustainable practice, can be turned into an ecologically balanced and sustainable activity and business for the locals, both human, and non human.
We are thrilled that whales are no longer hunted in the Azores for their flesh, but are respected for their beauty and existence.
Whale Watching in the Azores
Our tour with Furturismo was so great. they respected the Whale’s space, and went by the book.
is truly a responsible tour company.
SETE CIDADES is a small village that sits in the middle of a large volcanic crater. The setting of the village is lush green, and situated in the centre, are two twin crater lakes, one blue, and one green.
The small church in Sete Cidades
The view from the highest tip is magnificent.
Cody, Michelle, my Mom, and I, were dropped off in town and spent the day drinking espresso’s, exploring deserted houses, and wandering the quaint streets.
There was beauty all around us in Sete Cidades
We also visited the abandoned hotel perched at the top of the hill. There are great views from any room facing Sete Cidades.
The view from the abandoned Monte Palace Hotel
LAGOA DO FUGO is another area with an emerald green crater lake.
One of the largest bodies of water in the Azores, this spot is breathtaking, and a perfect place for a picnic.
Modern construction is not permitted to be built in this area, so there is no worry of the views being spoiled any time soon.
There is not much around Lago Do Fugo in walking distance, but after our stop here, our taxi driver dropped us off in Ribeira Grande, the small town where my mom was born.
Hanging out in Ribeira Grande
We enjoyed a pizza, visited a traditional tile shop, and hung out by Porto De Santa Iria for quite a few hours. It was difficult leaving with views like this.
Make sure you don’t fall Cody
FURNAS is a civil parish of about 1600 people, that has a very special way of cooking an incredible Portuguese meal.
It is close to 3 active trachytic volcanoes, where several hot-springs, geysers, and fumaroles are scattered in the middle of town. There are 30 springs, each of different chemical composition, and temperature.
Pulling out the food in Furnas
In the geysers is where the magic begins. We ordered a vegan meal to be cooked in this traditional Portuguese method of cooking called- Cozido.
On a Sunday afternoon, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, and collard greens, were all lovingly stuffed into a pot, and placed underground into a volcanic geyser until the food was ready to be unearthed.
One of the best meals we had on the island
We can’t think of a greener way of cooking food, can you?
Once the cozido was ready, we made our way to Tony’s Restaurant and were served our amazing meal with some rice, fresh Portuguese bread, olive oil, and red wine. A-mazing!
These are all a MUST if you visit Sao Miguel.
Have you been to the Azores before? If so, what did you think?