Welcome to the Azores.
This is an undiscovered gem right in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. And what a place it is, only 5 hours from New York or Boston, 4.5 hours from the UK and just under 2 from Lisbon.
Caz and I came here in 2006 on our honeymoon, at the time we didn’t know what to expect from the Azores. But as we landed and looked around we knew this was a special place. We spent a week watching whales and dolphins during the day and enjoying amazing dinners at night. 12 years later, we decided to leave Hong Kong and move here permanently.
Peace and quiet. I am going to start here, as the Azores is one of the most peaceful and quiet places. While there are several bars and restaurants in the main town, Ponta Delgada, this is overall a quiet and laid back place. Amazingly friendly people, the second thing to talk about is how friendly everyone is. English and Portuguese are both spoken widely, and the people could not be more friendly and helpful. From bars and restaurants to taxi drivers, the people at the information tourist board and even people just hanging out in their front gardens, a simple “good morning” or “Olá” in Portuguese is welcomed and returned with a friendly response.
Next up, the views. Wow, this is a beautiful place with some simply stunning views. The Portuguese are smart, they kept this place quiet, away from the hoards of tourists. The Azores does not have white sandy beaches, so won’t attract the Ibiza or mass crowds as Spain or mainland Portugal does. This is a place for people who love nature and want to keep it unspoiled. Sustainable tourism is something that everyone on these islands not only speaks about but also works towards. Everyone works to keep the nature pristine, and the whale tours are all incredibly aware of their impact with a desire not to disturb them.
Speaking of the whales, let’s talk about two of our ocean residents, the whales, and dolphins. You can go dolphin and whale watching from several islands, including Sao Miguel, Pico, and Faial. Here you can see these amazing creatures in their own environment.
Finally, go beyond Sao Miguel. The Azores is made up of nine islands and it is well worth discovering more than one. Each island has its own character, and there are so many sights and adventures out there for you to experience. You can read about each island here.
It really is beautiful here. So what are you waiting for?