Let’s face it… The Azores is small when compared with other archipelagos but nonetheless, it’s almost impossible to visit all 9 islands in one single holiday trip!
Therefore, our idea was to come up with some suggestions on what might be a well spent 7-day holiday trip to the Azores.
Our selection of islands for the 10-day Holiday Trip
- Sao Jorge Island, 3 days
- Terceira Island, 3 days
- Graciosa Island, 2 days
- Santa Maria, 2 days
3 days in Sao Jorge, the island of trekking
Located in the central part of the Azores, San Jorge is the perfect destination for all those tourists who like direct contact with nature. Practicing trekking is a real treat because you will not find highways, hundreds of trails and routes, apart from its open spaces with spectacular views.
The island has just ten thousand inhabitants who have preferred to be located near Acantalidaos and the central plain overlooking the sea. The two most important cities are Velas and Calheta, to the south. They have ancient churches, palaces, and stately mansions.
In addition, the first one has a picturesque fishing port and old constructions such as the churches of San Jorge and Nossa Senhora da Conceiçâo, the town hall and the old wall. The peak of Esperanza, with its 3484 ft (1,052 meters) of height, is the highest of the island, from where you can see the rest of central islands.
3 days in Terceira Island, a World Heritage Site
The island of Terceira, in the archipelago of the Azores, is part of UNESCO’s “Patrimony of Humanity” or World Heritage, appointed in 1983 and was the first World Heritage Site in Portugal along with the Convent of Christ in Tomar and the Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon.
Terceira is famous for its natural diversity and has been a prominent center of international trade on the route to the Indies. Its capital is the city of Angra do Heroismo. It has several kilometers of old walls that protect a hill crowned with the fortress of San Juan Bautista.
You must know the Bettencourt baroque Palace and Capitans Generals Palace (Palácio dos Capitães-Generais), in addition to its cathedral and other churches of the 17th and 18th-centuries.
Inland, the passage is rugged and suitable to excursions in nature reserves that make up the Serra do Cume. The largest crater is the Caldeira de Guilherme Moniz of about 9,2 miles (15 kilometers) in diameter. Next to this Caldeira there are others that form the very center of the island. It is also spectacular to view the plains that are divided by walls of black stone that contrast with the arid volcanic lands.
In Algar do Carvão there are caves that boost more than 320ft (100 mt) of depth where you can see exquisite stalactites and stalagmites. Other caves of up to 2,5 miles (4 kilometers) in length can be found in Balcões, Agulhas, and Natal. There are about forty caves ready to be discovered although under the supervision of experts.
2 days in Graciosa, the unknown island of the Azores
The island of Graciosa is the most unknown of the archipelago of the Azores. It is the least populated with only five thousand inhabitants whose main activity is fishing. Many of its products, mainly algae and all kinds of seafood, are intended for export. In addition, local handicrafts and handmade embroidery and fabrics enjoy an excellent reputation.
To enjoy spectacular views you have to climb to the peak of the Caldeira and to treat diseases of the skin and bones, it is very advisable to enjoy the hot springs of Carapacho.En the center are dominated by low hills and craters of extinct volcanoes Find active geysers.
The capital is Santa Cruz da Graciosa where it is possible to taste a good wine and brandy of local elaboration. The points that a tourist can not miss is the Ethnographic House and the beautiful 16th and 18th-century churches, Santo Cristo and Cruz de Barra, Manueline style.
2 days in Santa Maria, the Azores yellow island
Santa Maria is known as the “yellow island”. Of all the islands of the archipelago of the Azores, this is the sunniest island and the one with the best beaches surrounded by beautiful desolate places. It is the southernmost of the islands and the geologists consider that it is the oldest and the only one that does not have a volcanic origin.
The most important city is Porto, considered the first human settlement in the Azores. In its old town, you can still see the chapel Nossa Senhora dos Anjos, which was visited by Christopher Columbus and his crew on their journey to discover America.
On the island, you also have to visit the Pico Alto and Sâo Lourenço Resort, a coastal area with a beautiful beach and natural pools. There are other beaches such as Praia, Santo Espírito, Porto or Sao Pedro are excellent for water sports.
One thing is sure, there’s lot to see in the Azores!!!