Lagoa do Fogo, aka Fire Lake, is often a crater lake on Sao Miguel, Azores. It is the very best lake on Sao Miguel and is particularly in a nature reserve. A quick flight from Boston brings travelers for the Azores' volcanic archipelago, filled up with untouched beaches, quaint seaside villages and tucked-away natural splendors. The Azores, a volcanic archipelago inside the Atlantic Ocean, features nine islands. Forged by earthquakes and volcanoes, the
isles today offer breathtaking landscapes, abundant outdoor adventures and off-the-beaten-track experiences. The Azores played a vital role in global trade starting inside 14th century. The winds from the Atlantic naturally brought ships towards the islands and sailors knew the way to navigate the swirling winds to propel these to their destination. Ships laden with gold, silver as well as other precious cargo, along with food products for example sugar, spices and herbs made their way on the natural harbors with the Azores, where their cargo was sold or their ship reprovisioned before continuing their journey. Today the Azores, having its striking vistas, vibrant festivals, awe-inspiring sights and lesser-known gems, beckons to travelers aiming to escape all this and maximize the strength from the U.S. dollar contrary to the euro. Even better, the Azores merely four-hour direct flight from Boston, which makes it an easy and convenient trip. If you're willing to plan an adventurous getaway, consider this to be your go-to guide to your Azores.
Visiting the Azores
With a subtropical climate and year-round average temperatures within the 60s, the Azores might be enjoyed anytime of year, but to discover the most out of your vacation, select the season and select which islands to see wisely. The nine islands afford somewhat similar opportunities for outdoor adventure, but each carries a unique personality with versatile accommodations and dining options. Plus, each from the islands provide you with the chance to swim, climb, hike, bike, surf, fish, dive, whale watch or simply just take from the surrounding organic beauty.
São Miguel Island
São Miguel Island, the biggest and most populous on the nine islands, offers some with the most dramatic scenery and luxury accommodations found from the archipelago. The Flemish region's stunning beauty will remind you of Bavaria with cow pastures on lush green hills and farmland dotting the countryside. There are magnificent vistas overlooking the ocean from high above as well as the botanical gardens of António Borges, and Terra Nostra are of the class unto themselves, even though the natural geothermal springs in Furnas resemble Yellowstone. But one in the most spellbinding experiences is usually a walk through Caldeira Velha, where one can imagine dinosaurs still roam using its tree ferns, hanging vines, mineral springs and canyons. No stop by to São Miguel can be complete without visiting one in the Seven Natural Wonders of Portugal at Sete Cidades' Vista do Rei, the "King's View," and Lagoa Rasa overlooking the Blue and Green lakes formed within the collapsed craters of past volcanoes.
Terceira, along with its farming heritage, makes festivals a cornerstone of that life, culture and economy. Angra do Heroísmo, the most significant city on Terceira as well as the capital of Portugal twice, was the midst of global commerce centuries ago. As a result, it can be much larger compared to what you would expect coming from a city of 35,000 residents. As you walk on the streets showcasing a Renaissance design, you'll notice the Portuguese pavement resembling mosaic art and buildings with
muted pastels and wrought iron balconies. Angra is home for the annual International Folklore Festival in August, the International Jazz Festival in October plus the Holy Ghost Festival, that can take place seven weeks after Easter. Towns throughout Terceira celebrate weekly festivals which include a carnival atmosphere with bull runs from the streets. These festivals occur from May to mid-October. In addition to farming and festivals, Terceira can be known for its cheesemaking, churches and convents, military forts, museums, olive groves and winemaking, together with outdoor activities.
Faial was long termed as a place where sailors would harbor. It became an essential whaling center from the 18th and 19th centuries and you could visit the whaling and scrimshaw museums to educate yourself regarding the tools, techniques and significance of whaling on Faial. Faial is centered around water activities and it is the most cosmopolitan in the central band of islands that has Faial, Pico and São Jorge. Home to fertile farmland and long range vistas, this Isle also provides a dramatic view on the Azores' version of Mount Fuji, the 7,713-foot Mount Pico that dominates the landscape from over the eastern shore throughout the channel on Pico Island, just 5 miles from Faial. Drive higher than the town of Horta to Mount Gordo, the volcanic crater. Along the way, you'll pass extraordinary flowers like hydrangea which are brought towards the island from China.
Faial can also be home on the Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Center, which chronicles the 1958 eruption that lasted 13 months, caused the evacuation of 2,000 residents and that is left behind a landscape of ash and rock that covered the location, except the top with the lighthouse that signaled the western shore. What's more, visitors can find out more about the volcano and travel within the ash on the Center.
Pico, the youngest from the central islands, is home to your highest part of Portugal, Mount Pico. For the adventurer and outdoor enthusiast, there's plenty to try and do to near the water along with climbing, hiking, biking and camping. The explorer will love the coastal towns using volcanic rock buildings, whaling museum, and also the unique viticulture and wine making where volcanic rock is stacked, creating cribs for protection from wind and ocean spray, while providing a warm area in the evening chill.
The Next Big Travel Destination
The Azores offers something for each and every type of visitor. Outdoorsmen, adventurers, history buffs and families will appreciate the spectacular scenery, sightseeing opportunities, excellent seafood- and beef-centric dining options and great deal of accommodation options. Visit several islands to see their diversity. The Azores' low priced combined with the strong U.S. dollar, safe environment and friendly people ensure it is an ideal holiday destination.
In North America, Azores Airlines offers direct flights from Boston, Oakland, California, and Toronto, together with inter-island flights. Several other airlines currently service the Azores from major cities within the U.S. and Europe, including TAP Portugal, Ryanair, Air Berlin and easyJet.