Azores
Best months:
November to February

Azores

Portugal
LAST UPDATED 11/02/2008
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introduction

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Jean-Pierre Demailly: Azores flag, 26 January 2006

The Azores is a Portuguese archipelago about 1,500 km from Lisbon and about 3,900 km. The two westernmost Azorean islands (Flores and Corvo) actually lie on the North American plate. Tourism is one of the main industries The Azores' focus on, along with cattle raising for milk and meat, and fishing.

The 9 major Azorean islands and the 8 small ones extend for over 600 km and lie in a NW-SE direction. All of the islands have volcanic origins. The Azores actually have some of the tallest mountains on the planet, as measured from their base at the bottom of the ocean.

surfing

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Angrense: Mt Pico, Azores; 2005

If Atlantis ever existed, many people theorise that it would have been in the vicinity of the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries. Some go further and state that these islands are merely the tops of the mountain chains of the now lost continent. Whatever the answer, the Azores are truly a unique surfing destination. European culture and buildings with powerful surf regularly arriving on the north coast year round.

Sao Miguel is generally considered to be the superior island in the chain due to it’s uninterrupted access to north and western swells, but the island of Santa Maria just to the east enjoys siilar conditions and is a real uncharted gem. It’s abit of a double edged sword being further north as a n island chain in the Atlantic.  The northerly swells are more regular and consistent but quality can sometimes be a problem when those same swells arrive with 30 knots of blearghhh behind them. Semi protected spots on the west coast such as Mosteiros on Sao Miguel can be a real holiday saviour in these conditions.

where to stay

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Luissilveira: A├žores, Portugal, 27 May 2007

If you have relatives in the Azores, the best idea would be to stay with them!

However, if you do not know anyone from the island, you have a few options. The selection of accommodations is not that great. Most of the resorts would be mid range hotels and there is not a wide selection of bed and breakfasts or holiday houses. 

One highly recommended place is a coastal inn in Pico called Aldeje da Fonte.

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