Angra do Heroísmo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a delightful city where we step back in time an era long past. Angra was the first settlement in the Azores to receive city status, in 1534, and remains one of the finest examples of Renaissance town planning. Its snug harbour is protected by a volcanic cone which made Angra a major staging point during the 16th to 18th centuries, for ships bringing the wealth of the New World colonies to Europe.
But if you are visiting the Azores for hiking and nature, the best islands are without a doubt Flores and Sao Jorge because of their dramatic fajés, vertical coastlines, lush mountains, and scenery.
São Miguel’s booming whale industry has thankfully been replaced by whale viewing, and today the Azores is considered one of the top whale-watching destinations in the world, attracting 25 species of whales and dolphins year-round. Much like their balmy annual temperatures, the whale-watching opportunities in the Azores are excellent year-round, but travel between February and April to catch a glimpse of the humpback or blue whales which migrate through the area.
A coastal hike from Candelaria to Magalena reveals a area with a unique technique of viniculture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk through vineyards surrounded by stone walls made of black lava and admire the views over the ocean and Pico volcano.