The Azores

Mark and David's verdict
We don't quite understand why the Azores aren't better known. These stunning Atlantic islands are crammed with natural wonders and boast superb beaches, volcanic lakes and some of the best whale and dolphin sightings in Europe. Local hotels are full of character, the food is great and there are direct flights from Gatwick. Oh, and the weather sparkles year round.

Recommended tour operator: Sunvil Discovery

Sunvil Discovery says

These nine volcanic islands nestled in the mid-Atlantic never fail to surprise and delight the Sunvil team. Since beginning our Azorean programme in 1990, we have seen the islands grow and develop into a diverse and sustainable tourism destination that enjoys an abundance of sites of natural heritage, protected marine wildlife and more.

  • Great for nature
  • Island hopping option
  • Whale watching

For the nature lover and outdoor enthusiast, the Azores are unrivalled in Europe. There is so much to discover – lush rolling hills peppered with wild flowers, sparkling crater lakes, volcanic deserts and towering cliffs, blue flag beaches, prolific marine life and nature reserves.

Year-round activities abound – take a walk in the countryside, scuba dive or snorkel in the ocean, kayak, cycle or try canyoning on the coastline for example.

Whale- and dolphin-watching in the Azores is guaranteed to blow you away. With sightings of 24 species of whales and dolphins, the Azoreans place great importance on the conservation of these majestic creatures; all excursion providers are required to adhere to a code of conduct. To watch whales breach and dolphins swim playfully alongside your boat is breathtaking.

Each island in the Azores archipelago is unique both in terms of its landscape, atmosphere and traditions. At Sunvil, each member of our specialist team has visited the islands so we can use our first-hand experiences to advise and to tailor-make your holiday.

We offer a number of independent island-hopping holidays. International flights direct from Gatwick, inter-island flights, ferries, some sight seeing and accommodation in our choice of charming Azorean hotels and traditional Quintas are included in the price.

This one week Three Island Tour is a great introduction to the archipelago. You’ll stay on Sao Miguel, Terceira and Sao Jorge.

The Azores Grand Tour takes in five islands in two weeks. From a crater lake and baroque church to vineyards and waterfalls, it’s a fabulous fortnight with a mix of free time and guided tours.

If you’re passionate about cetaceans, check out our one week whale watching holiday, based on Sao Miguel. We offer this holiday year-round but the main season is between April and October.

We also offer walking and cycling holidays in the Azores and we have some great suggestions for family holidays too. Fly via Lisbon from a range of UK airports and we can add on a city break in Portugal’s capital too.

Find out more about the Azores and our full range of suggested holiday itineraries.

Note: All the travel companies featured on this site are personally recommended by our editors. Companies pay us a flat annual fee, which funds the upkeep of our site, so we can keep it current and reliable. See more about how we work.

Before you book

Travel restrictions have been lifted by the UK, but some other countries still have measures in place. Check the latest government travel advice.