For many clued-in voyagers, the Azores will have already nabbed a premium spot on their travel bucket list. This exotic and enigmatic region flung far out into the Atlantic ocean, has long represented a desirable location to spend a couple of weeks for that in-the-know. However, despite some international attention (including that most prestigious of recognitions from UNESCO), the region remains largely unknown with the majority of jet-setters. Which is great in some ways, and not so great in others; the Azores are a breathtaking collection of islands, which feature some of the most stunning natural beauty on the planet. They deserve to be experienced.
They’re also the perfect place to go if you love adventure sports. Strange as it may be, this tiny, remote part of the world, seemingly so detached from the hustle and bustle of regular life, is a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s nature untamed, waiting to be reckoned with; if you’re into adventure, the Azores deserves the top spot on your bucket list. Log on to BUCKiTDREAM and discover if anyone other travelers have tackled the Portuguese islands, then keep that BUCKiTDREAM planner fastened to you as we give you six reasons why an adventure tourist will love the Azores!
Take a Hike up Portugal’s Tallest Peak Coming in at an impressive 7,713 feet, Mount Pico is Portugal’s highest mountain, despite the fact that its several miles from the Portugal mainland. It takes about three hours to ascend the beast, and if conditions are in your favor and your timing is right, you can catch a spectacular sunrise or sunset while you’re up there. Pico is considered the Azores’ premier hiking experience, but it’s certainly not the only one! The islands feature more than fifty marked hiking trails between them; if you’re a walking enthusiast you may want to try them all!
Explore the Region’s Volcanic Origins The dynamic scenery which can be found and seen all over the Azores is due to an unprecedented amount of volcanic activity, which formed the dramatic topography of the region millions of years ago. On the island of Pico, you can descend into cavernous lava tunnels named Gruta das Torres (the world’s longest in fact), to get up close and personal with all kinds of unique hardened lava formations.
Jump in a Canoe to Explore by Water The dramatic land formations on the Azores make for some world-class canoe routes. Waterfalls cascade almost everywhere you look, with rivers and tributaries shooting off in all directions. It might be your first time stepping shakily into a canoe, or you might be an old pro looking for some challenging descents; whatever your skill level, with over fifty equipped routes to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits your tastes. Just make sure you know exactly where the really big waterfalls are…
Go Above the Sea The region’s warm, consistent climate make the Azores a perfect place to indulge in some water sports. Due to the topography of the islands, there’s coastline everywhere, meaning you’re never far from diving right into the, endless stretch of crystal clear waters. Whatever you enjoy doing on the waves, be it surfing, kayaking, windsurfing or just plain ol’ reliable swimming, you can be sure the Azores have you covered. Due to the wealth of coastline and shortage of tourists, none of the spots are ever too busy either; which is great if it happens to be your first time trying to stand up on a surfboard.
Then Go Under the Sea There’s a whole other world under the sea (take it from me), and to get the most out of the Azores, a serious adventurer should consider taking the plunge and exploring it. The volcanic activity in the region has resulted in waters saturated with nutrients, which attract a large variety of colorful sea life. Couple the species on display with warmed water and striking visibility, and the Azores can happily rank itself as one of the best diving spots in the Atlantic.
Unwind with some Welcoming Azores Hospitality A day full of adventuring can get a little tiring; sometimes it pays to just kick back and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Azores with a cool drink or slap-up meal. Terceira is one of the larger islands in the Azores archipelago and is home to two of the region’s finest restaurants. Tasca Das Tias holds the arguable distinction to be the best restaurant on the island. The tuna fillet is some of the best you’ll have anywhere, and the large collection of sangria will keep you watered while you dine. In terms of pure seafood, Cais De Angria is the eatery to beat; situated on the waterfront, this popular restaurant serves up a selection of fresh offerings from the surrounding oceans.
The Azores is full to the brim with adventure opportunities, making it a perfect bucket list destination for an outdoor enthusiast looking to combine challenging excursion with Mediterranean relaxation. Make sure to make notes of all the activities that take your fancy in your BUCKiTDREAM planner; then, when you finally make it over to the Azores, make sure to share all your memorable adventures with your fellow BUCKiTDREAMERs!