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10 Best Things To Do In The Azores (Adventures & Relaxation)


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Myrle Wenger


The Azores, an archipelago in the North Atlantic, is a hidden gem for both adventurers and relaxation seekers. With its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and abundance of outdoor activities, the Azores offers something for everyone.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure, you won’t be disappointed. From hiking along volcanic cliffs to diving into crystal-clear waters, the Azores is a playground for thrill-seekers. Or perhaps you prefer a more tranquil escape? The Azores also boasts serene beaches, natural hot springs, and lush botanical gardens where you can unwind and recharge.

In this article, we’ll explore the 10 best things to do in the Azores, combining thrilling adventures and peaceful relaxation. Whether you’re an avid explorer or simply seek a peaceful retreat, the Azores will enchant you with its natural beauty and warm hospitality.

Explore the Stunning Landscapes of São Miguel

São Miguel, the largest island in the Azores, is a paradise for nature lovers. With its jaw-dropping vistas of volcanic lakes, lush green fields, and dramatic coastlines, it offers endless opportunities for exploration. Take a hike to Sete Cidades, a twin lake with contrasting colors, or visit the hot springs in Furnas for a relaxing soak. Don’t miss the stunning viewpoints like Miradouro da Boca do Inferno, where you can admire the panoramic views of the island.

Dive into the Azure Waters at Santa Maria

Known as the “Sun Island,” Santa Maria is a haven for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. Experience the crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life as you dive or snorkel in the warm Atlantic Ocean. The Praia Formosa beach is a popular spot for sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking. Don’t forget to explore the underwater caves and shipwrecks that dot the coastline, providing a unique diving experience.

Unwind in the Natural Pools of Pico

Pico Island is famous for its natural lava rock pools, known as “piscinas naturais.” These pools, formed by volcanic eruptions, offer a tranquil setting for relaxation and swimming. Enjoy the therapeutic effects of the mineral-rich waters while marveling at the rugged beauty of the coastline. After a refreshing dip, take a stroll through the vineyards and taste the unique wines produced on the island.

Embark on a Whale Watching Adventure in Faial

The Azores are one of the best places in the world for whale watching, and Faial Island is a prime spot to witness these majestic creatures up close. Hop on a boat tour and sail the Atlantic Ocean in search of dolphins, sperm whales, and the iconic blue whale. The Azores marine ecosystem is home to over 20 different species of cetaceans, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Visit the Enchanting Fairy-tale Village of Flores

Flores Island is a hidden gem in the Azores, known for its picturesque landscapes and charming villages. Explore the fairy-tale-like village of Fajãzinha, with its colorful houses nestled between lush green hills. Take a leisurely walk along the stunning waterfall-laden hiking trails and experience the tranquility that the island offers. Flores is a true paradise for those seeking peace and serenity.

Soak in the Natural Hot Springs of Terceira

Terceira Island is home to unique natural hot springs, known as “Caldeiras.” These thermal waters are rich in minerals and offer a soothing bath experience. Enjoy the healing properties of the hot springs while surrounded by beautiful landscapes. Terceira is also known for its vibrant festivals and bullfighting traditions, so make sure to immerse yourself in the local culture during your visit.

Hike to the Top of Mount Pico

Mount Pico, the highest peak in Portugal, offers breathtaking views and a challenging hiking experience. Embark on the ascent to the summit and witness the stunning landscapes unfold as you reach the top. The hike may be challenging, but the rewarding views of the surrounding islands and the Atlantic Ocean are well worth the effort. Make sure to check weather conditions before attempting the hike.

Explore the Underground Caves in Graciosa

Graciosa Island is home to a unique network of lava caves, providing an adventurous experience for spelunking enthusiasts. Discover the fascinating underground formations, stalactites, and stalagmites as you navigate through the caves. The Furna do Enxofre, a volcanic cave with a lake in its depths, is a must-see attraction on the island. Exploring the underground wonders of Graciosa is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Indulge in Water Sports at São Jorge

São Jorge Island is a paradise for thrill-seekers and water sports enthusiasts. Challenge yourself with activities like kayaking, surfing, and paddleboarding along the stunning coastline. The island’s steep cliffs and rugged terrain also offer excellent opportunities for rock climbing and canyoning. Get your adrenaline pumping while enjoying the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Discover the Unique Culture in Horta

Horta, located on Faial Island, is a vibrant town known for its rich maritime history and colorful street art. Take a stroll along the marina filled with sailboats from around the world and visit the iconic Peter Café Sport, a famous meeting point for sailors. Explore the charming streets adorned with vibrant murals and soak in the lively atmosphere. Don’t miss out on tasting the local delicacies and experiencing the Azorean hospitality.


In conclusion, the Azores offer a diverse range of experiences, catering to both adventure enthusiasts and those seeking relaxation. From thrilling outdoor activities to tranquil natural beauty, this archipelago has something for everyone.Embark on an unforgettable adventure by exploring the stunning hiking trails, diving into the clear blue waters, or even taking a scenic helicopter ride over the volcanic landscapes. For those seeking relaxation, indulge in the Azorean hot springs, unwind on the pristine beaches, or simply enjoy the laid-back island vibes.With its unspoiled natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and welcoming locals, the Azores truly offer a unique and captivating destination. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a leisure seeker, this hidden gem in the Atlantic Ocean promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you longing to return.So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the 10 best things to do in the Azores!


1. When is the best time to visit the Azores?

The Azores are a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) when the weather is mild and there are fewer tourists.

2. How do I get to the Azores?

You can reach the Azores by flying into one of the major airports in Ponta Delgada, Terceira, or Horta. There are direct flights from various European cities, as well as connections from North America.

3. Are there any visa requirements for visiting the Azores?

If you are a citizen of the European Union, the United States, Canada, or several other countries, you do not need a visa to visit the Azores for stays up to 90 days. However, it’s always best to check the latest visa requirements before traveling.

4. What are some must-visit islands in the Azores?

While all the islands have their unique charm, some must-visit islands in the Azores include São Miguel, Terceira, Pico, and Faial. Each offers a distinct landscape and a range of activities to enjoy.

5. Is it safe to swim in the Azorean waters?

Yes, it is safe to swim in the Azorean waters, but it’s always important to adhere to safety guidelines and be aware of the current conditions. The beaches with lifeguards are the safest option for swimming.