Head outdoors in Portugal


In association with: Visit Portugal

Nature and sustainability go hand in hand in the Azores

If your clients are looking for a destination that prioritises sustainable tourism, then look no further than Portugal, which has endless options for eco-conscious travellers and is a certified sustainable destination by the Global Council for Sustainable Tourism.

The Azores archipelago offers incredible outdoor experiences, just a four-hour flight away, with multiple direct weekly flights from London this summer.

Formigas e Dollabarat, Azores_Credit ©Nuno Sa-VisitAzores

Natural wonders

The Azores’ volcanic past has shaped the islands, and its diverse nature and landscapes – think verdant forests, towering waterfalls, caves, and craters – are perfect for eco-friendly exploration.

On São Miguel Island, the Azores’ largest, the northern coast hides tea plantations unique to Europe and windswept beaches, while at its heart are natural hot springs for unwinding off-grid.

Hikers can trek to the summit of Pico Mountain on Pico Island, or venture to Corvo Island, a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, to take in some of the Azores’ most striking scenery.

Visitors can catch a wave at renowned surfing spots, try mountain biking and canyoning, or get active with kayaking, scuba diving and birdwatching excursions.

Surrounded by the Atlantic, the Azores is home to more than 20 species of whales and dolphins that can be seen on boat trips around many of the islands, while the small boats and island conservation projects help to ensure these species continue to thrive.

Sete Cidades Trail, Azores_Credit - Veraçor (1)

Eat and drink local

Just like in mainland Portugal, the Azores’ gastronomy is remarkable. Local farms practise organic agriculture, and the 550-year-old Unesco-listed vineyards on Pico Island demonstrate how locals created a thriving wine scene using volcanic soil.

On São Jorge, visitors can also sample the island’s famous São Jorge cheese, first produced more than 500 years ago and still made today in three working factories. And to taste fresh Azores pineapples, visitors should head to São Miguel, to visit some of the 6,000 plantations that dot the islands.

Summer flights

Reaching the Azores is simple this summer with regular weekly flights to Ponta Delgada with Ryanair until October, and twice-weekly flights from June until September with SATA. British Airways will also offer weekly routes to Ponta Delgada between July and September.

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PICTURES: Publiçor Turismo Azores; VisitAzores/Nuno Sa; Turismo dos Açores/Veraçor

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