Bucket List Worthy
Sand, salty air, waterfalls and postcard-worthy ocean views. They’re all words used to describe our favourite tropical travel destinations. But this destination is different. It’s one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, and it offers all of the warmth, adventure, and natural beauty of the world’s top island destinations without the overwhelming crowds, high-rise resorts and traffic that coincide with mass tourism.
This is the Azores — a Portuguese archipelago peacefully situated in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean. And these are four reasons why you need to put this under-the-radar destination on your 2018 travel bucket list today.
Let’s face it. We don’t usually venture away from Canada in the winter months in search of more snow and ice. All nine of the Azores islands are home to a maritime subtropical climate, and the Atlantic Ocean keeps extreme temperatures at bay throughout the year. The yearly average temperature is 17 degrees Celsius, while winter temps rarely drop below 7 degrees and summer temperatures rarely surpass 30 degrees Celsius. You’ll likely experience ideal temperatures for sightseeing and adventuring whether you visit in the coldest month of February or the warmest month of August.
Whether you’re into fresh water lakes or the majesty of the deep blue sea, you’re bound to fall in love with this stretch of picture-perfect islands dotting the North Atlantic. Often described as “Eden” for its lush landscapes, the Azores are undeniably well-watered with countless waterfalls, hot springs, geysers, multi-colored lakes and coastlines marked by ancient rock formations. Whether you’re into surfing, hiking, relaxing or sightseeing, it’s likely your day will lead you to one of the Azores many breathtaking bodies of water.
While the Azores are known for their natural beauty, visitors are always pleasantly surprised by the friendly locals and small towns that make the culture of this region so special. Tiny towns are dissected by even tinier streets, which are home to adorable churches, squares, locally-owned shops and mom-and-pop restaurants. You don’t have to search to find a truly local experience wherever you travel in the Azores.
Don’t expect to find everything you need at a market or shop within a moment’s notice, because the rough ocean and unpredictable weather can affect delivery dates. It’s all part of what makes this European archipelago so charming.
Maybe you’ve been to the Bahamas, Hawaii or Costa Rica. Google images of the lush, subtropical Azores islands may imply that you’re headed someplace similar. One of the biggest perks of traveling to the Azores is that you’re not traveling to a place loaded with tour buses and time share offers. The Azores offer a serenity that can’t be found in many of the world’s most popular tropical destinations. You’re guaranteed to have moments of complete silence on the trails and chances to dip into a natural pool beneath a waterfall without another soul in sight.
This is a place where dinner reservations aren’t required and wildlife is abundant. We recommend that you book your trip and start packing your bags before anything changes.