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The Azores are nine unspoilt islands and are the most western part of Europe. They show off all sorts of natural features, including waterfalls, semi-tropical flora, volcanic craters and boiling geysers.

This fascinating archipelago attracts tourists who appreciate peace and quiet amid stunning surroundings, as well as the opportunity to partake in more active pursuits. Whale-watching, cycling, diving and sailing are popular pastimes here. Wide open panoramas are filled with colourful vegetation and can stretch for miles without human disturbance, so hikers and nature-lovers will be in paradise on an Azores holiday.

A typical example of the Azores Islands’ innate splendour is Lagoa do Fogo, or the Lagoon of Fire. This is a crater lake in the centre of the largest and most popular island, Sao Miguel. It is surrounded by a white sand beach and is protected from development by the government.

Hundreds of years ago, the group of islands would have served as a port for ships returning to Europe from the newly discovered Orient and Americas. Beautiful palaces, churches and citadels are to be found throughout the cluster of islands and are enchanting reminders of its rich past.

Flight duration to Azores: 3.5 hours

Time difference: +1 hour