Are The Azores Worth Adding to Your Bucket List?

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.

town of Caloura
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.

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.

Hunting in the Azores
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.

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.

Futurismo 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.

church in Sete Cidades
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.

We also visited the abandoned hotel perched at the top of the hill. There are great views from any room facing Sete Cidades.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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About the author

One day we decided to quit our jobs back home to head out and travel the world long term. We are a fun creative couple who live for travel and meeting new people. We have a strong love, and passion for animals and animal rights and have been including a lot of volunteering at animal sanctuaries on our journey around the world. We are kind, compassionate, open minded, weird, and have a quirky sense of humor. We love tattoos, horror movies, music, kind food, and animals. What's not to love? 

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