The archipelago of the Islands is a great example of Mother Nature’s great power. It is an archipelago of nine extinct volcanoes in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The nature on these islands is amazing and so different from what most of us are used to seeing in the Mediterranean scrub and along the coast.
The Azores are rough, green, and full of surprises. Each of the nine islands that make up the archipelago is unique in some way, and some plant and flower species are found nowhere else in the world. On the other hand, some animal species have never been able to take root on the islands. All of the islands have in common the colorful hydrangea bushes that grow along the roads and decorate them with such precious gems.
Santa Barbara Beach
Let’s start our trip by visiting Santa Bárbara Beach on So Miguel, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Azores and a paradise for people who love water sports. It is one of the largest beaches on all the islands. It has golden sand and is where the wind blows in a good direction.
Because of this, it is the best beach in the Azores for surfers. Its size means enough space for a run-up to catch the perfect wave. It also means that, even though it is a popular spot, there are never too many people, making it hard to relax and enjoy the beauty of lying in the sun in peace.
Santa Barbara isn’t set up, but showers, bathrooms, bars, and restaurants are right before the beach. You can eat lunch or dinner with a view of the ocean in restaurants, and in the evenings, you can often find DJ sets, parties, and live music.
Caloura is a beautiful fishing village on the island of So Miguel. The beach is a great example of the beautiful natural pools common on So Miguel and the other islands in the archipelago. Caloura Beach is, by itself, encircled by lush green plants and small white houses. The water is a deep turquoise color, and not far from the shore is a natural pool that looks like a clear blue eye in the ocean.
It is just outside of the town of Angra do Heroismo. Even though it is an artificial beach, it fits in with the rest of the landscape: a block of white concrete makes the path down to the water smooth and easy, in contrast to the rough rocks all around. Near the shore, the sea turns dark aquamarine and turquoise, but farther out, where the water is deep, it turns a dark blue.
Fajã Grande Beach
Now, we’re going to the most western part of not only the Azores but all of Europe. The island of Flores is a very interesting place. It is so far away from other places that it is home to animals that can only be seen there.
Praia da Faj Grande is the most beautiful of all of them. It is set among the volcanic rocks of the island of Flores and looks like a real pearl. With the green hills behind it and the turquoise water lapping at its feet, it could be a beach from the movie “Wonder Woman,” which came out recently.
Vila Franca Beach
Let’s return to So Miguel and jump into the water at the most beautiful spot on the island. This island is one kilometer from the coast of So Miguel, near the town of Vila Franca do Campo, and it has many interesting things. First, it looks like a half-submerged crater from a volcano that is no longer active.
Second, it is a nature reserve, so you can see many sea species, including much tropical fish. The finest thing to do is take a boat to the small island of Vila Franca and snorkel around it. The water is beautiful, but what takes your final breaths is seeing how the sides of this old volcano drop into the ocean.
Porto Pim Beach
Let’s take a quick vacation to the island of Faial to relax on one of the rare white-sand beaches and throughout the Azores archipelago. We’re talking about Porto Pim, which has an old fishing village and a beautiful beach. If the name sounds familiar, you probably like good books. After visiting the Azores, Antonio Tabucchi wrote The Woman of Porto Pim, a collection of short stories that start with places and people he met.
The beach at Almoxarife has black sand, which is different from the beach at Porto Pim, which has white sand. On the black beach of Almoxarife, you can relax, sunbathe, and swim in a unique volcanic setting.
You can also get a great view of Pico Mountain, which is on the same name and just a few hours by ship from Faial. Near Almoxarife Beach, there is an intriguing museum where you can see a large and unique collection of old items made from whalebones. Whales are always in the water in this area, so it makes sense that they would be there.
Imagine how beautiful it could be to walk on the beach, where your feet, still white from the city winter, remain out against the deep black sand. To your left is the deep blue, intense ocean, and to your right are two large rocks that rise from the depths like strange volcanic monoliths.
This is the view from Mosteiros, one of the best beaches with black sand in Europe, on the island of So Miguel. Those of you who are more active can go for a swim to the two stones off the beach. This is a great place to snorkel differently.
Canto d’ Areia Beach
Let’s land on Corvo Island to end our trip. The only beach with sand on the island is Canto da Areia Beach. The rest of the island comprises rough volcanic rocks and high cliffs. This beach is unique because its sand is like dust. It is created up of tiny pieces of volcanic debris and shells that have been crushed.