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