The Azores

 

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The Azores are a group of 9 emerald islands situated in the Atlantic Ocean halfway between North America and Europe.  Warmed by the Gulf Stream the islands enjoy a temperate maritime climate with the temperature rarely dropping below 14 degrees in the winter.  We can expect an average temperature for April of 16 degrees.
The volcanic formation of the islands has endowed them with a spectacular natural beauty. Vast craters nurturing glistening blue lakes, sheer black cliffs falling into the ocean, lush rolling valleys, rugged mountains and hot mineral springs and geysers combine to form a truly diverse scenery found nowhere else in the world. The climate is temperate, which ensures an abundance of flowers strewn across hedgerows and fields throughout the summer season, and the deep greens of the lush grasslands contrast markedly with dark volcanic stone walls and neat whitewashed houses.
Because of their remote location, the traditional lifestyle of the Azores, outside the main towns, has remained virtually unchanged. The population stands at just under 250,000, architecture is typically Portuguese and the towns contain many elegant buildings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There is hardly any industry apart from agriculture and fishing and pollution is unknown. The pace of life is slow and tourism in its infancy.

There is plenty of birdlife and wildlife for us to observe.  Sperm Wales, Short finned pilot whales and a host of dolphin species are most commonly found in these waters

Join us as we spend time sailing between the islands and exploring what each one has to offer.  We will moor in sheltered marinas or anchor in secluded bays at some of the following islands depending on the weather

1  San Miguel – famous for the spectacular volcanic crater Sete Cidades.  It contains two lakes, one emerald and the other turquoise, the combined effect is stunning

2  Terceira – built in the 16th century, the city of Andra do Heroismo has  recently achieved World heritage status.  Its old streets highlight the citys fine architectural heritage as well as the churches, places and fortress that once defended the city from pirates

3 Graciosa – this small island is famous for its beauty and the white foam of the surrounding sea. There are many vineyards which produce both white and red wine

4  Sao Jorge – The walks in Sao Jorge are not to be missed.  With beautiful landscapes and towns that support traditional crafts.  Sao Jorge is known for its cheese and you occasionally see small dairies. 

5  Pico – the island is dominated by the spectacular volcanic peak of the same name towering some 7000 feet above sea level.  There are two museums that outline the history of whaling in Pico.  Pico has one of the recommended coastlines for whale watching.

6  Faial – known as the blue island because of the abundance of hydrangeas.  The port of Horta is well known amongst yachtsmen as a popular resting stop when on passage between Caribbean and Europe.  The harbour wall is extrememly colourful as it has become the tradition for visiting yachts to leave a picture on the wall before departing.

We will return to the Azores in April 2011.  Please register for our newsletter to receive the dates when they are available

 

 


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