Sete Cidades, Azores (Shutterstock)
Article Words : Graeme Green | 28 November

5 things I wish I’d known about the Azores

This wild Atlantic archipelago is a hot spot for diving, whale watching and walking – but heed this advice before you travel...

1. Make flexible plans

The weather can change quickly on these mid-Atlantic islands. It’s good to be flexible and be ready to reschedule excursions and whale trips if conditions demand it. If taking internal flights between islands, allow for some 'wriggle room' – especially when planning your trip back to Sao Miguel for your flight home.

2. Take a solid pair of boots

The steps inside Algar do Carvao are wet and the island’s higher hills can be quite boggy, so a good waterproof pair of walking boots will come in handy. The islands are warm and sunny most of the time, but rain can come in quickly – so it’s worth packing a good waterproof jacket and trousers, especially for hiking or cycling.

3. Get up early for whales

Whale-spotting boats go out twice or more per day, but locals recommend going in the morning for the best sightings.

San Miguel, Azores (Shutterstock)
San Miguel, Azores (Shutterstock)

4. Take your wetsuit

The Atlantic waters around the island are on the nippy side. If you’re planning to dive or spend a lot of time snorkelling and you have your own long or short wetsuit, it’s worth taking it with you. Dive companies also hire gear.

5. Get geared up for the Darwin Trail

This cycling route comes highly recommended. A pair of padded cycling shorts make cycling the kilometres of the Darwin Trail much more comfy. You’ll be out in the sun all day, so bring suncream, sunglasses and a large refillable water bottle.

Main image: Sete Cidades, Azores (Shutterstock)