Discovered in the 15th Century by Portuguese navigators en route to the Americas, the Azores remain a Portuguese territory and also use the Euro as their currency.
What is the weather like?
Expect the winter months to bring temperatures of around 13-15°c, and a gentle warmth in the low 20s during the summer. Even in mid-October it is not unusual to be sporting only shorts and t-shirts most days, and perhaps a fleece when venturing to the higher points on the islands.
How do I get there?
There are currently two direct flights leaving from the UK every week. One of these is a Saturday flight departing from London Gatwick with SATA Azores Airlines, the national carrier. The second of the flights is operated by Ryanair, who have recently introduced a weekly flight from Stansted, also on a Saturday.
A direct flight from the UK to the main island of Sao Miguel takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes, so the Azores archipelago is a lot closer than many people may think.
Who are The Azores suitable for and what is there to do?
It would be fair to say that the Azores is not a destination suitable for those seeking golden beaches, 4 and 5 star hotels and all-inclusive packages. However, if you have a passion for the great outdoors, then it is very much for you.
Activities abound in great variety and include: walking, cycling and mountain biking, jeep and driver guided tours, bird watching, whale watching, swimming with dolphins, diving and canyoning to name but a few.
You may not be surprised to read that of the many activities on offer, the opportunity to journey a short distance off the coast to watch the whales and dolphins in their natural habitat is a firm favourite with visitors. Over the years, 27 of the planet’s 80 species of whales and dolphins have been spotted off the coast of the Azores.