‘Europe’s Hawaii’ is beautiful but the islands don’t get many tourists

Dreaming of going on holiday? A breathtaking set of islands in Portugal could be the perfect destination.

The Azores islands have a subtropical climate and their lush green landscapes have earned them the name ‘Europe’s Hawaii’.

A set of nine volcanic islands off the western coast of Portugal, the Azores deserve far more attention.

Each island has a colour assigned to it based on its characteristics. The largest island, Sao Miguel, is known as the green one due to its lush mountainsides and rolling pastures.

So what is there to do in the Azores?

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The Azores is an incredible destination for hiking and tourists will enjoy spectacular volcanic landscapes, breathtaking coastal views and lush greenery on a trek.

On Terceira Island, tourists can hike to the top of Monte Brasil, a volcano overlooking the city of Angra do Heroismo.

A tourist ‘TheTravellingGingerbread’ wrote on Tripadvisor: “Monte Brasil is an active army fort with beautiful views.”

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An ideal destination for wildlife fans, the Azores is home to more than two dozen species of whale. Boat trips offer almost guaranteed sightings. The islands’ waters are also home to dolphins with three resident species.

Tourists who want to switch off might want to take a dip in one of the islands’ thermal springs which are said to have healing powers.

Wine fans could visit one of the islands’ UNESCO protected vineyards and sample its delights. Sao Miguel is also home to tea plantations.

While Britons will be able to get classic Portuguese dishes on the islands and amazing seafood, there’s one local delicacy that shouldn’t be missed. Cozido das Furnas is a meaty stew that’s actually cooked in geothermal springs.

The Azores has a mild climate and temperatures rarely drop below 14 degrees or rise above 25 degrees. The best time to visit the islands is between April and September and this is also when tourists have the most chance of seeing whales.

There are direct flights to Ponta Delgada on the largest Azores islands, Sao Miguel. Check out options on Skyscanner.

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