Holidays on the Atlantic islands - Azores and Madeira
Dreaming of having a holiday on an island is very close to the idea of paradise, and for those who have this motivation in mind when it comes to deciding, the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are destinations not to be missed.
600 years after being discovered by the Portuguese, the archipelago of Madeira continues to amaze people who visit it. It has consistently been ranked the best island destination by the World Travel Awards (Worlds Leading Island Destination since 2015, a fact justified by its characteristics and its first-rate tourism services.
The year-round mild temperature, the natural beauty, the luxuriant vegetation of Madeira and the extensive beaches of golden sand of Porto Santo are great attractions that let you enjoy many outdoor activities.
Go for nature walks along the levadas, visit an ancient laurissilva [laurel] forest that is a World Heritage Site, learn about the cultural heritage, enjoy the sun and sea on the beaches and in natural pools, play golf or take part in health and wellness programmes - these are some of the options that make for a perfect holiday.
Throughout the year, there are some events that are also opportunities to enjoy the cuisine and see Madeira in festive mood: the Carnival parades, the Flower Festival, the Atlantic Festival and, above all, the end-of-year fireworks display which takes place across the island and is best seen from the sea; this show is greatly appreciated by visitors from around the world.
Find out more about Madeira and Porto Santo
Between the American and European continents, in middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the archipelago of the Azores is the ideal destination if you are looking for a haven where nature is still in a pure state and in perfect harmony.
Appreciated for their geodiversity, protected marine wildlife and for having four islands that belong to the world's biosphere reserve network, the Azores islands are in the Top 100 most sustainable destinations in the world and have been regarded as one of the 10 leading destinations for good sustainability practices.
There are 9 islands of volcanic origin, with a stunning landscape at every turn, as the first Portuguese who discovered these Atlantic islands surely found. A history going back centuries, with a unique heritage such as the Pico Island vineyards and the city of Angra do Heroísmo, both recognized by UNESCO.
Discover natural waterfalls and lagoons in ancient volcano craters, bathe in the hot water springs [caldeiras], take a boat trip to watch dolphins and whales, wander along the network of nature trails, or climb above the clouds to the top of Pico, the highest mountain in Portugal. These are some of the wonderful experiences that await you in the Azores.
Find out more about the Azores