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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Claus

Why is the Azores Archipelago such an Interesting Holiday and Sailing Destination?

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

The Azores are often called the Hawaii of the Atlantic Ocean: Volcanic and tremendous green. Waterfalls, volcanic lakes, overwhelming vegetation, hot water springs etc.

The Azores Archipelago

The Azores, which belong to Portugal, are 9 islands divided in 3 groups: The Western, Central and Eastern Islands.

Exept for one island (Santa Maria in the Eastern Group of Islands), all islands are volcanic and the group is lying on a Tripple Junction of Tectonic Plates: The American, the European and the African Plate. The Azores are on the Mid Atlantic ridge connecting other Volcanic Islands: The Canaries, Madeira in the South and Iceland in the North.

Volcan Mount Pico on Pico Island is not only the highest mounain (2350 meter) of the Azores but of also the highest mountain of Portugal. Mount Pico is a dormant volcano with its last eruption in 1720 and is a natural reserve since 1972.

Green, Green and more Green

There is only one definition about most of the Azores Islands: the nature is overwhelming and the variety of vegetation of plants, flowers and trees is immense.

From vast meadows to tropical forests, from huge crater lakes to sulphuric ponds and hot water tubs.

When visiting the Azores, never forget your hiking gear as the trials are often steep and narrow.

If you are looking for eco-tourism, the Azores is your ultimate destination

The Azores High (Pressure System)

When you live in Europe, the weather forecasts often say: our weather is under the influence of the Azores High which generally means good weather in Europe, certainly in winter periods. The Azores High pushes bad weather coming from the West Atlantic more to the North resulting in stable weather in Europe.

This said, the Azores have a very stable climate pattern with temperatures between 17 C (winter) and 26 C (Summer) which makes it ideal for an active holiday. Now, the Azores can only be that green because there is also a lot of rain, especially during the winter period. Even during the summer, having a couple of daily showers is quite normal.

Sailing in the Azores

Sailing between the Azores Islands is Atlantic Sailing which is quite different from sailing in the Mediterranean. The Atlantic offers more pleasant sailing with long waves. The Med has often short steep waves with many specific wind conditions.

The islands in the Central group of Islands (Pico, Sao Jorge, Terceira, Faial and Graciosa) are all within visible range and sailing between the islands is done during day trips.

Sailing from the Eastern to the Central Islands is a passage of about 85 Nm and is a long day passage starting early in the morning.

As the Western Islands (Flores and Corvo) are not only to far away but have also no marina facilities, those islands are not covered in our Azores Sailing program

How much time must I plan to Sail the Azores?

Being on a sailing boat offers the flexibility to visit the islands without taking a short flight. In our planning, we normally sail one day and the other day to visit the islands.

AzoresSailing offers as a standard a 6 Day/7 Nights and a 10 Day/11 Nights program.

The 6 day program is done in the Central Islands: Pico, Terceira, Sao Jorge, Graciosa and Faial) Our departure and arrival is the Marina of Faial. When arriving in Ponta Delgada, you take a connection flight to Faial.

The 10 day program starts or arrives from/in Ponta Delgada and includes a passage between San Miguel island and Terceira Island. The departure/arrival is the Marina of Faial.

Most clients plan some extra days to visit the Island of San Miguel just after their arrival or just before they fly back.

Based on previous, the mimimum time to plan your sailing holiday is between 10 and 14 days.

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