10 Things To Do In Azores Portugal: Lisbon has received a lot of attention lately as a major vacation spot in Europe, but the Azores islands are probably the best summer destination in Portugal. There are many things that can be seen and done (and eaten) on nine islands to keep the most ambitious tourists busy and satisfied; This is only a starter.
10 Things To Do In Azores Portugal
One of the most unforgettable experiences for the whole family including sailing across the Atlantic in search of this majestic marine mammal. Most of the islands have tour guides available, but São Miguel is probably the easiest (because this is the largest of the nine islands) with companies in Ponta Delgada and Vila Franca do Campo. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins too.
Order food cooked in volcanic soil
In the village of São Miguel in Furnas, locals take ‘slow cooking’ to a new level. The pots of cozido (or meat and vegetable stew) are lowered into volcanic soil, where they cook all day. Many local restaurants accept orders in advance (it is recommended to call the day before), so don’t wait for dinner before ordering.
Swim in a geothermal pool
Before eating cozido at Furnas, go to Terra Nostra Park or Poça da Dona Beija and soak in a hot geothermal pool. These two places are just a few of the many hot springs in the islands, which increase the health benefits of increasing circulation to reduce stress and heal skin conditions. The only thing to note is not to use bright colors in the geothermal pool at Terra Nostra because natural yellow-brown water can change the color of a swimsuit.
Climb Mount Pico
Pico, the second largest island, is home to Portugal’s highest mountain. Reaching an altitude of 2,351 meters (7,713 feet) is not a track for novice climbers, and most of the climb is rocky terrain, but the scenery above is spectacular. Plan ahead.
Eating seafood is a must in Azores (many sources of restaurant ingredients directly from the sea), and ordering prisons (Limpet shells) is very special. They are trapped from rocks and can be eaten raw or roasted; the latter (called prison grelhadas in Portuguese) is served with butter, garlic and lemon drizzle. Found throughout the Azores, prison is one of the most popular ocean snacks but also one that is more unique for tourists. Bonus tip: the biggest prisons can be found on the westernmost islands, Flores and Corvo.
Horses ride the train
The charming cities and villages of the Azores will make visitors feel like they have traveled back through time, so embrace that feeling and explore the city by train. Many of the most popular locations, such as Angra do Heroísmo in Terceira and Ponta Delgada in São Miguel, offer this experience, which can be ordered directly on the spot.
Attend the festival
From religious to musical to even maritime related, the hottest months also when islands come alive with various festivals. Each island has its own calendar of events, which can be found online.
Try paddleboarding standup
For full body workouts and other ways to spend time on water, order a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) trip. The lake provides a calm but beautiful environment to try this, and arranging trips on the sea are also available.
Visit a different beach
At destinations such as the Azores, finding a local beach to spend the day on the waves and soaking in the sun goes without saying. Some large beaches include Praia Grande near Ponta Delgada, Praia Formosa in Santa Maria, and Ribeira Quente in São Miguel.
Visit Sete Cidades
Head west on São Miguel for one of the most dramatic and iconic sights in the Azores: the crater and lake in Sete Cidades. This is another top location for pedestrians and one that must be visited with a camera. Book a guided tour for help on where to start or the best way to explore the area.