Having put in more work this summer than you would have liked this summer, the annual getaway unfortunately had to delayed this year. However, as September dawns, more schedule has cleared up considerably, so taking a holiday has become an alluring option.
However, you crave an experience less ordinary, as the extraordinary effort you just expended in prior months requires a worthwhile payoff. What you though about the Azores? Located more than 1,300 kilometres off the coast of Western Europe, this unheralded destination may be out of sight, and therefore out of mind for many people, but it doesn’t mean its not a worthwhile place to travel.
This set of volcanic islands is covered in lush greenery, and the weather in the Azores in the fall, due to its position within the Gulf Stream, is much warmer and pleasant than its northerly latitude would suggest, making a seaside holiday even in early October a realistic possibility.
So while you should be sure to stay in a hotel near the beach, the Azores offers much more than sun loungers and cervejas (not cervezas … this island is a Portuguese possession after all!). In this guide, we will reveal everything you need to know to make your autumn holiday to this mysterious and remote archipelago a memorable one.
View its many crater lakes
While some volcanic activity persists on the Azores in the present day, most structures have long since gone dormant or extinct. In the latter case, the caldera of these volcanoes have filled with water, forming stunning crater lakes.
The jade green colour of Lagoa das Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo will get your camera shutter clicking, while those seeking a bit more action will enjoy the bubbling mud pits near Lagoa das Furnas, as magma still boils deep beneath this tempestuous lake.
Tour the historic town of Angra
Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for its unique fortifications and its status for almost 500 years as a vital waypoint in trans-Atlantic shipping, this stunning multi-coloured town will bring joy and delight to even a curmudgeon’s face.
Be sure to check out the Castle of Moinhos, which stood guard over the port town for centuries, and take time to wander amidst its cobblestone streets, and let the magic of serendipity lead to countless amazing discoveries.
Find your beach bliss
While the Azores is not a beach destination of the caliber that the Canaries are for example (if the Azores were, you would have probably heard of them by now), one can still find stunning specimens that for some reason or another have never caught the eye of a developer.
Porto Pim on Faial Island has a short loamy off-white sand beach that is quite popular with locals, while Sao Miguel has countless black sand beaches that offer a great place to lounge and feel the fresh ocean air thread its way through your hair.