Santa Maria attracts divers from all over the world due to its temperate climate, crystal clear waters, high visibility and its strategic location at the doorstep of the natural reserve of Formigas and Dollabarat bank, a rock formation northeast of the island that is considered by many as the best diving location in Europe. Santa Maria is a small island, but it’s packed with many unique sights that are well worth a visit, such as the Barreiro da Faneca - the Red Desert of the Azores, São Lourenço Bay, Praia Formosa, Cascata do Aveiro and the iconic Gonçalo Velho lighthouse.
São Miguel Island is the geothermal spot of the Atlantic, meaning you can find warm water to swim in year-round in one of the natural spas and hot springs inland or tucked along the rocky coast. Get lost discovering the unique beauty of Sete Cidades, Lagoa do Fogo, Furnas and a ton of hidden gems, as you venture through roads filled with hydrangeas and discover a little piece of paradise in every corner.
Welcome to the Azores wine country! Characterized by black volcanic soil, Pico Island is covered with basalt (lava rock) lined vineyards that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Full of Instagram-worthy spots and plenty of wineries to visit, a guided tour of the vineyards and a drink at one of Portugal’s most famous wine bars - Cella Bar, are mandatory! For trekking enthusiasts, a lifetime adventure climbing the country’s highest mountain standing tall at 2,351m (7,713ft) awaits you.
São Jorge may be small, but its scenery is dramatic, shouldered with mountains that tumble into deep ravines, rocky cliffs, crater lakes and characteristic fajãs (plains formed by lava flow). Don’t skip the Fajã da Caldeira do Santo Cristo, the Fajã dos Cubres and Poça Simão Dias in Fajã do Ouvidor for one of the best natural pools in the Azores. Of course, no visit to São Jorge is complete without a stop at the island’s cheese factory where they produce the famed Queijo São Jorge, a robust, aged cheese characterized by its spicy, tangy flavor.