Everything You Need to Know Before You Go!
Things to Do
The Azores’ off-the-beaten-path location allows travelers to truly enjoy timeless, tranquil beauty and offers everything from world-renowned whale watching to spectacular hikes, to kayaking in crater lakes, rock climbing, Jeep tours and more. There is plenty to see and do throughout the nine islands to keep the most ambitious traveler busy and beyond satisfied. Here’s a list of our “Must-Do” activities and experiences.
Explore the Azores’ alluring volcanic landscapes by mountain bike for a unique and exhilarating experience. The islands boast a plethora of trails ideal for all levels, as well as an array of fascinating nature and unusual volcanic terrain.
One of the best ways to experience the unspoiled nature of the Azores, canyoning is a water sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages who enjoy adventure and fun. Hike, rappel, jump and swim through the deep ravines and waterfalls of the Azores. São Miguel, São Jorge and Flores offer a vast supply of beautiful canyoning options and itineraries, all of which are unique to each island.
Canoeing & Kayaking:
One of the best ways to appreciate the beautiful scenery of the Azores is to view it from the water! Each of the islands offers plenty of tour and rental options for those looking to canoe or kayak on a lake or in the sea.
The breathtaking landscape is the perfect setting for unforgettable rounds of golf in the pure, natural environment of the Azores. There are currently three golf courses on the islands, 2 with 18 holes and 1 with 27 holes. On São Miguel, Batalha overlooks the sea and is the newest and most challenging course while Furnas (located in the mountains at an altitude of 500m/1,640ft) is sprinkled with lakes and stands of Japanese Cryptomeria. The Vila Nova course on the island of Terceira is a heavily wooded course close to the UNESCO World heritage site of Angra do Heroísmo. The course dates back to 1954 and is well maintained, offering similar facilities to those on São Miguel.
Hiking & Walking Trails:
The Azores islands offer world-class hiking and walking trails of all levels that are sure to appeal to advanced adrenaline junkies, nature enthusiasts and everyone in between. Visitors to any of the islands can enjoy trails throughout the countryside, along the coast, up steep mountains and through deep forests, passing by crater lakes, waterfalls, and geothermal springs, enjoying the wild beauty and diverse endemic fauna and flora of the islands. For the truly adventurous spirits, we suggest a hike up Portugal’s highest mountain located on Pico Island. Mount Pico is 2,351m (7,713ft) and boasts breathtaking views over the surrounding islands and ocean below.
One of the best ways to discover the spectacular landscape of the Azores is on horseback. The islands are a paradise for horseback riding enthusiasts and nature lovers alike with rides along old trails between stone walls, through rainforest-like vegetation and charming villages and coastal rides enjoying views over the sparkling blue ocean beyond. For many, a highlight is a ride around the twin crater lakes at Sete Cidades on São Miguel. Whether you are an experienced rider or a beginner, there’s something to suit everyone.
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling:
Diving in the Azores has the advantage of the mix of subtropical climate and the Gulf Stream waters, which means that divers will typically get to observe multiple marine species on the same dive. Diving in the Azores is best during the months of June to November but you can actually dive year-round in these waters. Good visibility is almost always a given, and the water temperature makes the dive even more of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you prefer snorkeling or you just want to try scuba diving for the first time, you will have no trouble finding equipment, teachers and tours for that as well. Diving and snorkeling in the Azores is a great way to swim with turtles, dolphins and diving birds, to find black coral and soft coral and many other beautiful species.
SUP (Stand-Up Paddle):
Many activity providers in the Azores offer SUP rentals and guided tours of the islands’ many pristine lakes and ocean waters. Head out along the coast for some gorgeous views of the islands’ steep cliffs and black sand beaches, or paddle out to the middle of one of the Azores’ many crater lakes and prepare to be awed by the pristine natural beauty of the lush, volcanic landscape surrounding you.
Due to their unique, remote location 1,300km (800mi) off the coast of Lisbon, the Azores islands boast some of the best surf conditions of the Atlantic with incredible waves for all tastes and surfing levels! Because they are located in the middle of the ocean, swell arrives from all quadrants offering waves all year round.
- Whale Watching in the Azores:
See the beautiful whales and dolphins that call the Azores home! Considered a world-class whale watching area, in the Azores you can find around 27 species of whales and dolphins throughout the year. Whales and dolphins are regularly seen during tours around the islands, along with turtles, seabirds and other marine life.