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from just £599 per person.

Azores Cruises

Legend has it the Azores are the true site of the ‘lost empire’ of Atlantis and it’s not difficult to see why. This Portuguese enclave is made up of nine diminutive islands, each with their own personality and unique attractions.

 Pummelled by the turbulent waters of the Atlantic, the Azores is a country where verdant volcanic peaks plunge down into jade-tinted lakes. Around 850 miles from the mainland, its remoteness has shielded it from mass tourism, but this is part of the archipelago’s appeal and any visit feels very special.  

The topography of the Azores – towering mountains, calderas, volcanic sand beaches, waterfalls, lakes, primeval forest and rolling green hills – means geotourism is very popular here. If you prefer history, the islands’ rich heritage makes for a fascinating stopover on your Azores cruise.

Top 5 interesting facts

  • The Azores are some of the world’s tallest mountains, submerged.
  • Monks planted vineyards as soon as they arrived in the 15th century.
  • The official colours of Portugal are blue and white.
  • There are no indigenous people on the Azores.
  • There are twice as many cows as people on the Azores.
 

Highlights

Culture

The biggest of the Azores is São Miguel and its capital, Ponta Delgada, is the islands’ principal harbour. This pretty city is home to a well-respected university, a thriving cultural scene and stunning Iberian architecture, especially the stylish monochrome facades and stately architecture of Ponta Delgada’s many churches.

Eating out here is great value, as the Azores’ remoteness means the majority of produce is locally grown. Indulge in a selection of Portuguese petiscos (think tapas) or try the national dish cozido, a hearty stew cooked underground by the heat of a dormant volcano. The Azores is a prolific wine-producing region, so a glass or two is a must.    

Capital scenery

One of the smallest islands, Fayal, is home to Horta, its capital. You’ll be treated to some incredible scenery here too, from sheltered bays to hidden coves. Perhaps most impressively though, it’s home to Caldera, a huge volcanic crater.

 

Landscapes

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Nature rules supreme in the Azores. Vistas reminiscent of fairytale kingdoms dominate São Miguel, reputed to be the most beautiful of the Azores. 

One of the natural wonders of Portugal is found on the western tip of the island. The Lagoa das Sete Cidades (or ‘Lagoon of the Seven Cities’) is an otherworldly place – a huge volcanic crater filled with water to form two lakes linked by a small strait. The lakes are ecologically completely different and even reflect light differently, hence their names Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde. Visitors can cross the small bridge between the lakes and hike the caldera for stunning views of the surrounding area. 

In Furnas, a pretty town in the east of São Miguel, the Terra Nostra Botanical Gardens feature a restorative thermal lake and hot springs. There are over 600 different species of camellias and 300 different species of palm here. 

 

Ports in the country

 

Cruises visiting Azores

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