Monday, 1 September 2014


You probably heard of Atlantis an island kingdom mentioned in Plato’s work. Controversy abounds around the real versus mythical nature of this island. Atlantis is one of the biggest mysteries in world history and literature.

What’s this to do with Portugal?... Well some say the Azores are the lost Atlantis… of course some others say Atlantis is now underwater and closer to the Bahamas, and still others that it never really existed. Those trying to push the Azores theory argue based on the location, its natural setting, and more recently even tried to use some underwater vestiges as extra evidence. Regardless of the real truth, the Azores and their pure untouched vegetation are a magical destination.

An archipelago with nine islands, the Azores are the result of a cultural melting pot which cooked over many centuries. Here you can see dolphins and whales flirting in a boundless ocean. In fact, the Azores are currently one of the world’s largest whale sanctuaries. You can spot more than 20 different types of cetaceans... that’s a third of the total number of existing species! Diving is another exciting activity available in the Azores. Day or night, sand or rock, caves or shipwrecks, you chose which diving experience you want… or you can also bring it down a notch and enjoy some calmer snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters around the islands. Finally if you want to pay homepage to those courageous whale hunters, the Azores are a world top destination for big-game fishing. The Azores are known among others for its large quantities of bluefin tuna and enormous blue and white marlins.

The Azores are much more than its surrounding water though. Of volcanic origin, its islands display blue and green lakes, deep green pastures, extinct volcanic craters, and rare plant species. One of its islands, Pico Island, is classified as World Heritage and boasts the highest mountain in Portugal (“Pico”). With its pristine vegetation, Mount Pico is home to some of the best views and hikes in the world. The volcanic origin of its islands also allows for some unique food experiences. In the Azores you can cook underground using the heat from special holes on the ground called “fumarolas”. Finally, other experiences include horseback riding, hiking, golfing, canyoning, bird watching, surfing and paragliding.

Whatever brought these nine islands together, made sure each of them kept its own identity. When you visit the Azores, make sure to save time to visit as many as possible. You’ll understand why being Atlantis or not is irrelevant, and how magical places still exist just a few hours away from Europe’s mainland.

Don’t wait until Atlantis disappears again: visit the Azores!

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