The Azores in a nutshell

Miradouro Da Ponta Do Sossego by Francis Larrede

I have my arms spread out wide, I have closed my eyes and I feel a ray of sunshine coming through a crack in the clouds. A beam of light warms up my face. Dark clouds appear and fade the sun out. With the tips of my fingers I feel the wind blowing all around me. Here I am on top of a cliff on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Far away I can hear the waves crash onto the rocks. I smell the freshness of nature. Then I open my eyes. My eyes glance down under me. A spectacle of the forces of nature that formed in the past decades unfolds itself beneath me. I am looking over the infinity of the ocean.


The Atlantic Ocean

To the Azores with TUI

Last week, Stylish Travel Tips was all about the Azores. It all started with a quick visit to this special islands archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. And of course I flew with TUI, because they are now the only European charter company that offers travels to Pico, as well as Sao Miguel and Terceira.

Very useful and practical, because now you can choose for TUIfly to get to the Azores in only 4 hours. I approve! Before I left to the Azores, I as a travel blogger, did my bit of research and read about my destination. I love to get in the mood before actually going on a journey. When you think about the Azores, you might think about nature and you are right to do so, but the Azores have so much more to offer!

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Dolphin and whale watching at the Azores

What you should know about the Azores

Did you know that the highest mountain of Portugal is on the island Pico? And did you know that the Azores are in a place in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where 3 earthly continents come together? And did you also know that the whales visit the Azores every year when they migrate from the Arctic to the South Pole?

Every year whales swim from the Arctic to the South Pole and back. When making this long journey they always visit the Azores for a bit. This is where you can experience them in their natural habitat.

I got to experience this all for myself when I visited and yes, I did see the whales. Amazing! You should visit the Azores ones, even if it’s just for that, because these islands with their impressive nature have stolen my heart.


The biggest island, Sao Miguel

The biggest island of the Azores is Sao Miguel. This is also the most popular island of this archipelago. At Sao Miguel you will find beautiful sights, meandering coastal roads and volcanic craters. The best way to describe the landscape is to compare them to the coastal cliffs of Ireland, the volcanic crater landscape of Hawaii with idyllic, hidden villages in between. The cute white plastered houses were built by the Normans back in the day.

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Traditional Normandy style houses

Crater lake of Sete Cidades

The azure blue crater lake attracts me like a magnet. I try to take everything in, because the view is overwhelming. There I am, at the edge of this natural phenomenon. The beauty of nature perplexes me, it has a huge impact on me. It gives me great respect to nature.

The crater lake of Sete Cidades is a must visit and you shouldn’t miss it out on when visiting Sao Miguel. It consists of two lakes, one blue and one green, which apparently is an optical illusion.

A unique phenomenon that is best to be experienced with nice weather, but on the Azores nature determines the daily rhythm with rapid changing of sun and clouds.


The crater lake of Sete Cidades


Faial is also called the Blue Island. Especially during summertime you will see blue fields with hydrangeas in different shades of blue everywhere. So pretty! Faial forms together with the islands Sao Jorge and Pico the ‘ilhas de triângulo’, or the Azore triangle. It’s not a massive island, but that makes it even better to combine it with the other islands. You can see Pico on the other side and it is reachable by boat.


Everywhere you see blue hydrangeas


The highest mountain of Portugal can be found on Pico, but it’s actually a volcano. I was immediately curious to see Pico, because I think it is an amazing name for an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the second biggest island in the Azores after Sao Miguel, and more stretched out and less populated.

The landscape can not be compared to the other islands, because the volcano Pico dominates the island. The black lava soil is very fertile and contrasts amazingly to the green of the ferns and the vineyards.

The vineyards consist of thousands of tiny squares of land, surrounded by lava rocks. They are also called the cookie fields by locals because of their shape. In Portuguese that’s ‘terras de biscoito’.

The red mill is obviously well-known on Pico, where you can see the volcano in the background if the weather is nice enough. Unfortunately it wasn’t like that when we arrived, but you do get a beautiful view of the vineyards from the mill.

The red mill of Pico

Last but not least

It was a unique experience to visit this island archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. As I said before, the landscape is a combination of multiple beautiful places around the world. It is not always easy to describe it, it is really a feeling that you can only experience for yourself.

It’s the feeling of tranquility, ultimate freedom, nature and gastronomy that makes these islands so special. Even more reasons to visit the Azores yourself ones, because they’re definitely worth it!

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Discover your smile

I enjoyed my short trip to the Azores with TUI. Nature made a deep impression on me, the people stole my heart and the food is finger licking good. The local wines are amazing and when visiting the authentic restaurants you get taken back in time.

A time where people enjoy each other’s company, share stories from the times of whaling back in the past. And while you enjoy the local delicacies, you toast to life and in particular to this exceptionally beautiful paradise called ‘the Azores’. I will be coming back, but then for a longer time. Adeus!

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See you next time!

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