Via Portugal > Azores and Madeira

 

Açores

In the midst of the immense blue of the Atlantic Ocean, Mother Nature created an area of unprecedented beauty and ready to be uncovered: the archipelago of Azores.

While walking along the stunning volcanoes of the island of São Miguel, the largest island, you can have a glimpse of its crater lagoons: Lagoa das Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo. The power of the earth can be felt at the geysers, hot springs, volcanic lakes, and by having the tasty “Cozido das Furnas” dish, slowly prepared over a hole in the ground. This Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean has many historical sites and is represented by its stunning nature.

Uncover the rich culture of Azores in the capital, Ponta Delgada. From the harbor, near your hotel or apartment, you can take a boat and sail to the ocean to observe the several whale species that, especially during summer months, roam along the coast.

In Santa Maria, one of the eastern islands, with white beaches and warm waters, the vineyards form a kind of amphitheater along with their huge stairs.

The islands of the central archipelago: Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, Faial and Graciosa are harmoniously found amid the blue sea, where dolphins jump to welcome the visitors.

Faial can be described by the fresh blueness of its hydrangeas, its brightly colored marina with murals of sailors from around the world and the extinct volcano of Capelinhos, which bears a resemblance to the lunar landscape. On the opposite side, you can see Pico, the mountain that rises from the sea, with its vineyards being cultivated in fields of black lava, a unique landscape that is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. In São Jorge, all eyes go straight to the Fajãs and to their uniquely flavored cheese. The graceful Graciosa is a green island, covered with vineyards that contrast with its strange windmills.

In Flores, one of the islands of the western side, the beauty of the natural waterfalls and volcanic lakes is quite impressive. Corvo, the miniature island, holds in its center a beautiful and large volcanic crater that attracts different species of birds from Europe and America, in addition to the constant marine inhabitants, the dolphins and the whales.

 

Madeira

The islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, in the middle of Atlantic Ocean, have pleasant temperatures throughout the year. Thanks to their mild climate, the landscape presents all types and colors, being a perfect destination if you wish to take long walks during your holidays.

Between the blue of the sea and the emerald green of the vegetation, the colorful exotic flowers stand out. Two-thirds of the archipelago’s territory consists of protected areas, including the largest forest of laurels in the world.

It is quite possible to walk along the Levadas, visit the city of Funchal and discover the legacy from the voyages of the Age of Discovery, or simply explore the island at will, especially the orchids within the Botanical Garden of Madeira. A boat trip is also an excellent opportunity to observe the coast from a different perspective.

In such a pleasant, natural environment, balance and wellbeing are familiar concepts. Madeira has several beach resorts and good access to the ocean for the practice of all kinds of water sports, such as diving. The island of Porto Santo is the perfect place to escape from stress and to follow a thalassotherapy program. You can also schedule a holiday at beach that may include a golf course.