The Azores Islands as a destination for a trip popped up one day while we were talking about choosing a “minor” destinations after we had to cancel our previous trip to South Africa due to the theft of our wallet. The Azores brought to us up some child’s memory of this mythical name – the Azores Anticyclone – which we heard constantly on Tv during the weather reports and so after a bit of research we decided to give it a try.
The Azorean archipelago is an easy destination for us europeans but for some reasons it is still a bit off the beaten track, nevertheless we were really surprised to discover its incredible beauty and subtle charm! The nine islands of the Azorean archipelago, which are “lost” in the Atlantic Ocean more than 1300 km from the mainland, have revealed to be a truly incredible natural, climatic and human paradise
The islands lie southeast to northwest in a stretch of 550 km roughly in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and are divided in three groups:
São Miguel, Santa Maria are the nearest to the coast of Portugal (about 1350 km)
Faial, Pico, São Jorge,Terceira, Graciosa in the middle
Flores, Corvo are the closest to America (about 1950 km)
Given we had only 15 days of course we could not visit them all. They look like a small archipelago but the islands are far from each other. In October, when we were there, many ferries were canceled due to the adverse conditions of the sea – and in any case the calendar did not allow it. Another reason to come back another time!
However, in the days we’ve been to the islands we were able to visit four of them : São Miguel, Pico, Faial and Terceira. Each island is a new discovery and has lots of surprises. Volcanoes, dense pine forests, green meadows, oceanic cliffs, flowers, skies full of fast clouds, small delightful villages, lively towns full of history, desolate corners: Mother Nature at her best!
The climate is simply fantastic: never too hot, never too cold. That’s what the legendary Azorean Anticyclone was !!!
Traveling around the islands is easy. Hopping from an island to the other with inexpensive flights with the very well organized Sata Airlines (now Azorean Airlines) and then with a small cheap rented car we have moved from San Miguel to Terceira, To Pico and Faial – small airports, small planes, small cars, small number of tourists – everything here is small except the beauty of this land and and the kindness of the Azorean people. We did fantastic treks around volcanoes, we followed paths that lead to inaccessible shores of inaccessible cliffs populated by colonies of birds, we stopped for coffee or beer in small immaculate villages with churches and palaces of colonial, admiring the flights of seagulls, smelling the perfume of resin and hortensiae, listening to silences and sometimes the roar of the wind, looking at grazing cows on an oceanic background
The Azores have won us over. They are now in pole position as a retreat goal… if we manage to get there…
And nothing could have sealed this experience better than three days in Lisbon.
Lisbon is a magical, decadent and relentless city, resplendent and vital, vertical and horizontal, buzzing and quiet, alive, colored and gray, clanging with trains and silent, ancestral and modern. We lost ourselves here. We will come back for sure.