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       Welcome to the Azores 


The Azores is an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and North America.

The Azores islands are divided into 3 groups:  the Eastern group with, Santa Maria and São Miguel; the Central group with, Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial; the Western group with, Flores and  Corvo.

Getting to the Azores, International Airline is SATA that operates several daily flights from Lisbon and Oporto in mainland Portugal to Ponta Delgada (São Miguel Island), and runs interconnecting flights between the islands.

The approximate flight time from Portugal mainland to São Miguel - Ponta Delgada is about 2 hours.

Climate. In the Azores the temperatures are very well balanced, benefit from a temperate, maritime climate with mild winters. The wettest winter day can be interrupted by a beautiful couple of hours of sunshine. 

The average temperatures vary from 11 to 25 degrees Celsius depending on the time of year.

Sea temperatures are also mild and vary from 17°C (63°F) in winter to a pleasant 23°C (73°F) during summer months.

Required clothing: Mid-season clothes are best; the temperatures are mild at all times of the year. 

 Flora and Fauna. The flora of the Azores is one of the most interesting in Europe. About sixty plants are unique to the Azores such as: Cedar, Scotch Heather, Heath, Wild Berry, "Pau Branco", Laurel tree, "Tamujo".

  The Azores, rich in the number of species which nature has provided, are also home to many variations of common species which have changed and evolved into entirely different subspecies.

In the year 1870, the plantation of tea in the island of São Miguel began, and also of the pineapples in greenhouses. Theres is still the Chinese bamboo, the "erstrelícias", the camelia, hibiscus, azaleas and, of course, the emblematic flower of the Azores: the Hortência.

Legend has it that the name "Azores" was given to the erers, who as the "Azore" birds of prey that abounded here. It seems that what these discoverers had taken for "Azores" were actually eagles.

Since the Azores is a natural stopover place between North America and Europe for migrating birds, the Islands have been enriched by some of these feathered creatures. The Priolo, also known as the Azores Bullfinch is a bird long thought to be extinct, but it has been found in a habitat of the Azores Island of São Miguel.

The waterways around the Azores are one of the richest fish grounds of the Atlantic Ocean.The Azores offer one of the best habitats in the world for marine mammals with more than 20 identified species.

 Five centuries of History and tales. Islands of the Azores were found in 1427 by Diogo Silves. If the discovery of the Azores happened by chance, the same cannot be said for its colonization and this is because, with its geo-strategical position, these islands were necessary for the central government of  the country, for  three reasons: to produce cereals; as a support base for crossings, returning from South America and India: a logistical support to navigation - port of call, convoys, shelter, refreshments, hospital, repairs...

The first settlers were natives of the eastern provinces of Portugal. Following them, came the Flemish settlers.

The wheat crops assumed, right from the start, one of the most important activities in the Azores, and continued as such until the 16 century.

The Azores offered an ideal port of anchorage for adventurous expeditions in the uncertain waters of the atlantic. The sea of the Azores have always been infested by pirates and corsairs, who cast panic among the isolated settlements. A large number of fortresses, reminds us today of that era of terror.

The bold spirit of the azorean people, together with the important strategical position of the archipelago, led the Azores to take a position of great in the history of the world.

Emigration. For social and economical reasons,the emigration of the azorean to America, was (and still) a reality. It was the North Americans, themselves that urges azorean emigration to their country. It all started around 1765, time of the first arrival to the Azores , especially Faial and Pico of the american whalers. 15 years later, the archipelago already suplied them with experienced crew, the whalers of the land. 

This paint "Os imigrantes (The emigrants)" is from Domingos Rebelo, one of the most known pictures. 

 Relegious manifestations. The azorean are very religious and mostly catholic. GOD is presence in all acts of azorean life.

There are, in the Azores, two great religious manifestations: one, institutional, governed and directed by an ecclesiastical hierarchy, ostentations and public, manifestation; the other popular, spontaneous and profane. 

Procession of Holly Christ of Miracles, the most touching religious manifestation of the Azores.  During  this religious festivity thousands of lights light up Ponta Delgada.

São Miguel piligrims. An old tradition that consist of walking around the island for the seven weeks of Lent, as a sign of penitence. The piligrims are groups of men who stop in every churh and chapel to pray.


 Its geographical situation, its climate and the enormous riches in terms of natural resources explains the variety of the azorean meat and a variety of appetizing and delicious, mouth watering regional sweets.

For instance: "Cozido das Furnas) from São Miguel (meat,sausages and vegetables, kale, cabbage, carrots, potatoes-cooked from the internal heat of the earth, in places where the geothermism manifests at the surface).

Whale watching. 

The Azores is considered the best destination for the Whale watching in the World.

The archipelago of the Azores is an important sighting area for numerous species of cetaceans.

The distribution of marine predators is directly connected to the abundance  and localization of prey. In the archipelago of the Azores, we can find 24 species of cetaceans.

In the geginning of spring and towards the end of October, we can sight some baleen whales, such as the Blue Whale, the Mink Whale, the Sei Whale , the Humpback Whale and the Fin Whale , being the last one the most sighted of them all.

Of all the species of dolphins sighted in the Azores, the most sighted are the Common Dolphin, the Bottlenose Dolphin, the Spotted Dolphin and the Risso´s. Most of the year we can sight the Common Dolphin.

The Sperm Whale is one of the largest cetaceans currntly in existence, and the largest of the toothed whales reaching 18 to 20 meters in lenght. Females and calves live in reproduction groups of 20 to 25 individuals. These cetaceans feed specially on large squids.

Each  cetacean observation in the Azores becomes a journey full of surprises.

From the 81 species identified worldwide, 24 have been confirmed as sighted in Azorean waters.

Whale watching activity in the Azores has experienced a quick growth. Therefore, more and more specialized businesses have been developing in this area, as the number of people looking for this experience grows.

Sperm whale has become the tourist symbol of the Azores.