The Azores are a group of 9 volcanic islands situated in the mid-Atlantic. The main language is Portuguese, and the influence from the 15th century is very evident in all the islands architecture. I visited 3 of the islands Sao Miguel, Faial and Sao Jorge.
All of the islands are very green and fertile, with breath taking views of the volcanic craters, lakes, and thermal springs bubbling up from the volcano (this is seen in Furnas a village in the base of an active volcano with some lovely hotels) one of the most unusual and beautiful aspects of these islands is that the do not have hedges or walls, the fields are all separated by blue hydrangeas,
So in the summer months the islands are a sea of vibrant blue hence the name Azores (azure means blue) a must to see.
Each island I visited had their own specialities, Corvo one of the smallest islands is a haven for bird watchers as it is on the migration route.
Sao Miguel the largest of all the Azores has 7 active volcanos, ideal for walking, touring in a car, or twin centre. We stayed in Porto Delgada which has a very cosmopolitan feel with a range of wonderful restaurants and tapas bars. Hotels range from 5* luxury to small casas of 8 rooms with self-catering facilities
We flew to The Island Faial and stayed in the capital of Horta, a much smaller Resort, with a village feel and a lovely harbour. This is the stopping off point for sailors cross the Atlantic, and also the best island to go whale watching, which I was lucky enough to do and saw a huge sperm whale and her baby, and many different types of dolphins. Diving is also very popular here; Hotels here are more low key but a very good selection.
We took the ferry to Sao Jorge which took about an hour, passing the island of Pico with its amazing volcano rising from the centre of the island. Pico has some of the best red and white wines I have tasted!!!
Sao Jorge is one of the smaller islands but very beautiful ideal for walking/ touring or hiking, with very well signposted trails with spectacular scenery. We stayed in Velas a lovely town with winding cobbled streets leading down to the harbour. There is a very good cross section of hotels here, so catering for most tastes.
I shall definitely be going back to explore the other islands, time for another adventure!!!!