Tuesday 28 January 2020

5 Reasons to Book a Family Activity Holiday to the Azores.


Off to the west of mainland Portugal lies a collection of nine volcanic islands, collectively known as the Azores.  They are not as popular yet with tourists as other areas in the country but they offer a unique charm and so many exciting activities for families and the more I read about the area, the more I want to pack a suitcase and hop on a plane!

Here are 5 reasons I want to plan a family holiday to the Azores.

1) The islands have such outstanding natural beauty , each one bright green and bursting with fauna.  The natural parks including the magnificent Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park look breathtaking but it is the volcanoes that can be seen in places like Furnas and the caves and tunnels of lava that would attract my children who are incredibly fascinated by these things.  You can walk through Gruta do Carvão the longest lava tunnel on the islands.  The Azores boast some beautiful tall mountains and you can visit the black sand beaches

2) Being built on volcanic land, the Azores have hot springs across the islands and their mineral rich waters are perfect for taking a dip in.  For more water filled adventures you can go lagoon snorkelling at the Vila Franca Islet which sounds incredible and you can't forget the Atlantic Waters that surround the islands and are well known for the possibilities of spotting dolphins and whales.  Seeing a dolphin in the wild is something I would love to do one day and family activity holidays to the Azores tend to include the opportunity to do this, maybe even snorkelling alongside them!  Whilst we are talking about the water based reasons to visit the islands, you can't forget Caldeira Velha waterfall in Caldeiraes national park which you can go for a swim in!  My children are drawn to water (as am I) and a holiday filled with so many possibilities would be wonderful.

Credit : Futurismo Azores Adventure

3) When we plan our travels we try to avoid places that are too busy when we can.  The children all love the opportunity to make friends and chat to other people but we don't like to be too crowded and cramped and the Azores are so much quieter as a tourist destination than the Algarve and other well known parts of Portugal.  The uniqueness of this experience is definitely a big draw for us as we love to discover new places together.

4) Nobody can get bored on an adventure holiday and the number of experiences available in this area is extraordinary.  From snorkelling with dolphins, to walking through lava tunnels and exploring the black sandy beaches of Santa Barbara, no two days would be the same and there is bound to be something amazing for each member of the family.  Other activities possible on a family activity holiday to the Azores include jeep tours, botanical gardens, viewing the oldest remaining tea plantation and factory in Europe and visiting a pineapple farm. I love the idea of really getting to explore and know an area and there are plenty of opportunities to try the local cuisine which is very important when visiting somewhere new!

Credit : Futurismo Azores Adventure

5) I love to know the history of where I am visiting and everything about the Azores is fascinating.  The geographical history of how the islands were formed is really interesting and the way the islands became home to the current inhabitants is something I want to read more about.  The islands got more popular over time and the waves of immigration mean the area is rich in culture and cuisine.  Originally they sent some sheep out to get the ground ready for people and it slowly built up over many, many years.

The Azores area is full of excitement and adventure and I think it would make a wonderful destination to visit as a family.  It is definitely going on our travel bucket list for in a few years time when the little ones are old enough to keep up with it all! The temperatures are great with little variation throughout the year and not too hot that it gets uncomfortable  and the area is full of merged cultures as people have settled on the islands at different times and from different areas.

Have you visited the Azores?

Credit : Futurismo Azores Adventure

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