These Secret Portuguese Islands Should Be On Your Bucketlist

The Azores should be on your bucket list. These islands off the coast of Portugal are the hidden gem of the Atlantic. The Azores have picturesque nature, once in a life time activities, and delicious cuisine.
The beauty of the Azores is immense! Photo: Arran Rice | Earth Curious

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What’s on your bucket list? A trip to Paris? Maybe some karaoke in Tokyo? What about the Azores of Portugal? That’s right! You heard it here first… The Azores islands of Portugal should be top of your bucket list. 

You might be thinking, “Why the Azores?!” Well, these pristine volcanic islands have remained under the radar of most travelers due to their remote location. Expect breathtaking views of nature, exciting activities, and delectable cuisine. 

The island São Miguel, the Azores. Photo: Arran Rice | Earth Curious

The Nature

Nature is one of the most captivating aspects of the Azores. The islands sometimes get called the ‘Hawaii’ of Europe due to the impressive waterfalls, volcanic lakes, and bright blue crystalline coastlines. 

The locals and tourism industry of the Azores are committed to sustainable practices to maintain the marine ecosystems and preserve the land. This has led them to become one of the most sustainable destinations in the entire world! 

The island São Miguel, the Azores. Photo: Arran Rice | Earth Curious

The Azores are home to Portugal’s Largest mountain, Mount Pico. Don’t miss the hike to the top, then make your way to the vineyards at the mountains’ base and unwind with a copo de vinho ( glass of wine). 

Another must-see is the Furnas Valley on São Miguel Island, known for its hot springs. Relax in thermal baths there any time of year. The islands’ natural beauty is so diverse and magical that you might just think you have stumbled into Narnia or Pandora. But don’t worry, in this world the locals are friendly and welcoming.

The Furnas hot springs. Photo: Arran Rice | Earth Curious

The activities 

There’s so much to do on the Azores islands. Avid hikers can find countless trails meandering through the mountains. Adrenaline junkies can head to the beaches ideal for kite surfing and paragliding.

Wildlife enthusiasts get to go whale watching during the months of April and May. Those who love water activities will find craters around the islands that make for incredible snorkeling spots to experience the diverse marine life. It might sound like a cliche, but you name it, the Azores have got it!

The Azores are perfect for Whale watching. Photo: Arran Rice | Earth Curious

The Food

Similar to the rest of Portugal, the cuisine is an experience in itself. The food of the Azores is outstanding and as fresh as it comes. 

One of their most popular dishes is called Cozida das Furnas, which is a meat stew made in a large pot that has pork, beef, sausage and vegetables. But it’s not the ingredients that make this dish so special; it’s how they prepare it. The pots are cooked by the underground steam from the hot springs! 

Molluscs can be found clinging to the rocks surrounding the islands and the locals prepare these molluscs by tossing them on the grill and lathering them in a hot butter sauce that’s mixed with pepper, garlic, and lime. We bet your mouth is watering just thinking about it! 


The picturesque Azores are bound to leave you speechless. So, update that bucket list of yours and hop on a plane. It won’t be long before more jet-setters discover the paradise awaiting them in the Atlantic ocean.


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