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a Azores Property?
Are you looking for
a Azores Property?
Considered the westernmost point of Europe, the Azores is an archipelago of 9 volcanic islands in the blue immensity of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is worldwide recognized for its scenery of natural beauty, blessed with stunning landscapes of lakes, green meadows, volcanos, geysers and hot thermal waters. It is also funnily known for having a massive herd of cows, being commonly said by locals that the Azores have more cows than people.
The Azores is also characterized for its picturesque towns, full of colourful character and cobbled squares that bring the Renaissance and Discoveries period back in time.
The world’s recognition of the immeasurable value of the Azores dates back decades ago. In 1983, UNESCO named the Historical Centre of Angra do Heroismo, in the island of Terceira, as World Heritage, and, in 2004, the Landscape of Pico Island Vineyard Culture, in the island of Pico.
The first references to the island’s settlement date back to the 14th century. Under the command of Prince Henry, the Navigator, the Azores were discovered by the Portuguese, that claimed their rights over it. The active settlement only started later and was shared between the Portuguese and the Flemish over two centuries. It is even said that the particular Azorean accent has its roots in the French language.
Fun Fact: the Azores is the only place in Europe that grows green tea!
Located on the west coast of Portugal, the capital of Lisbon offers the perfect lifestyle for anyone looking to live in a city but to also experience the relaxation of spending a day at the beach. This historic city offers plenty to see and do, some of the top restaurants and bars in Europe and so much more! Lisbon is easily accessible by air (Lisbon Portela Airport), train and car from all major cities in and around Europe.
The most notable attraction in Avenida da Liberdade is Avenida da Liberdade itself. This boulevard, built in the 19th century in the style of the Champs-Elysees in Paris, is the main avenue of the city. It runs north for a 1.6 km, from Restauradores Square to Marquês de Pombal Square, and is more than 90m wide. An elegant avenue with fountains, café tables shaded by trees, as well as a cobblestone pavement decorated with unique patterns. A few of the original mansions have been preserved, and many are outstanding from an architectural standpoint. In this avenue, there is also a monument to homage the Heroes of the Great War, a tribute to the 50 000 Portuguese soldiers who fought in World War I. This is also the site of the city's grander hotels and designer shops, including names like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Tods, Burberry, Hugo Boss, Miu Miu, among others. Top things to do in Avenida da Liberdade
Boasting medieval castles, cobblestone villages, breath-taking cities and golden beaches, Portugal is located in south west Europe and is the oldest state on the Iberian Peninsula. There’s a lot to experience and explore here and is also an ideal place to call home. Investing in Portugal real estate offers you the chance to live a life of luxury in a location that provides some of the best sights in the world. With the sun shining and the number of things to do here, you’re sure to fall in love with everything that Portugal has to offer. No matter where in Portugal you’d be looking to relocate to, Portugal Homes can help you find the abode of your dreams. From stunning villas on the coast to homely apartments in the city centre, we have a wide range of properties available for sale and for rent. We also offer an array of commercial properties, covering all aspects of Portugal real estate.
Oeiras is a municipality in the western part of the Lisbon metropolitan area, a sub-region of Greater Lisbon in continental Portugal. Oeiras is part of the urban agglomeration and it is also 16km from the capital. This region is an important economic hub, being one of the most highly developed municipalities in both Portugal and Europe!
Located on the coast, about 36 kilometres west of Faro, Albufeira is synonymous with tourism and features some of southern Portugal's best beaches. The region was once a fishing village, and it still holds something of its classic character. A labyrinth of steep, narrow streets lined with whitewashed houses and fishermen's cottages leading down to the astonishing beaches is what the town of Albufeira looks like. The city's original Arabic name, Al-Buhera means "castle on the sea" and there are some beautiful Moorish arches in the towers. Modern Albufeira is, nonetheless, the Algarve's tourism capital, a thriving centre with hotels, restaurants and stores.
Covilhã is one of the main urban centres of the historical Beira Interior region. Lying right next to Serra da Estrela, this "city mountain" offers magnificent scenery of natural beauty and it is a paradise for those fond of hiking, camping, mountain climbing and skiing. The city is known for its textile industry, which dates back centuries ago - wool production began among the Jewish community that settled there in the Middle Ages. The river streams, Carpinteira and Goldra, provide excellent conditions for the wool industry activities. Covilhã is the main wool production centre in the country, which made the region earn the mane of "Portuguese Manchester". Along with its historical heritage, the city presents one of the broadest and most diversified urban art collections in the world, as well as first-class hotels, restaurants and sports facilities.
Guarda is the capital city of the County to which it borrows its name. The entire region is marked by granite, by the contrasting mountain climate and by its pure, cold air that allows for the curing and manufacture of high-quality smoked meats and cheeses. After the Roman Empire period, followed periods of occupation by the Visigoths, later by the kingdom of Asturias and also by the Islamic civilizations. Only after the Portuguese reconquest process was it confirmed the importance of the city and the region. The event that clearly marked the birth of the Portuguese Language happened here in Guarda, when a Galician troubadour wrote a song in Portuguese for his beloved lady, in 1189. It is well connected to major Portuguese cities such as Porto and Aveiro by the A25 highway and to Lisbon by the A23 highway. The good geographical position and accessibilities make Guarda an excellent place for the storage and transport of goods from Portugal to the rest of Europe (and vice versa). In this sense, private entities together with the City Council created the Platform Business Initiative Logistics (PLIE), which is a cross-border platform that seeks to boost the regional economy and attract industrial flows and investments.
Campo de Ourique is a central parish of Lisbon formed by several residential neighbourhoods and sits in the heart of the city, between Amoreiras, Estrela and Prazeres. The neighbourhood of Campo de Ourique, from which this parish draws its name is a residential neighbourhood with a very strong and historic vocation for commerce. It’s a lively neighbourhood, although recognised by many as the most peaceful neighbourhood in Lisbon and also the one that has the best quality of life - setting itself apart from other Lisbon neighbourhoods highly reliant on big commercial surfaces, such as shopping centres. It's easy to navigate the grid pattern of Campo de Ourique's streets, accessed by nearby highways and several bus routes. This residential neighbourhood has been a trade centre for centuries, while still remaining a peaceful district. Commercial diversity mixes some of the most respected traditional shops with newer, modern brands. Decorators and designers flock here to shop. Its pace is as fast on weekdays as it is on weekends, as families stroll along the inviting streets while children play in the many gardens, and ladies head to the Mass dressed to perfection. Residents take great pride in maintaining their homes, while visitors are reluctant to leave.
On Terceira Island, the World Heritage town of Angra do Heroísmo is steeped in history. It has served as Portugal’s capital twice, even so for brief moments. In the 15th and 16th centuries, during the Discoveries period, it was an important port of call of the Indies and fleets coming from Africa. The ships laden with gold, silver, and spices brought prosperity to the city at the time, which led to the construction of splendid palaces and elegant streets full of colourful buildings and churches.
Angra presents its history with grace and elegance through its colorful streets, that contrast with Atlantic’s bright and peaceful light. There are also plenty of buildings with beautiful façades across the town, being the most emblematic ones: Igreja do Santíssimo Salvador da Sé (Cathedral), Igreja da Misericórdia (Church), MAH – Museum of Anga do Heroísmo and Palácio dos Capitães Generais (Palace).
Other landmarks of the city are the dark walls of the powerful fortress - Fortaleza de São João Batista - and the monuments, which have been cherishing art treasures for centuries.
The prominent Monte Brazil is also one of the main attractions here. It consists of the remnants of a volcano covered with an extensive green area, where you can have a beautiful view over the glimmering sea horizon.
In Pico Island, there is a mountain that emerges from the sea, with vineyards planted in black lava fields. It is the highest mountain in Portugal, 7713 ft above sea level, which is more than twice the elevation of any other peak in the Azores.
Mount Pico is a volcano that stands out on the island’s scenery! Its cone of lava inside its main crater is constantly venting steam, showing off its volcanic nature. The climb to the top is one of the most sought-after activities to do in the Azores, as the view at the highest point is breathtaking. Although the trekking can be tough, it is rewarded to arrive and see all the unique panoramic views which, on a cloudless day, praise you with the additional perk of a glimpse of Graciosa and Terceira islands, also part of the central islands group.
Pico Mountain is located in Pico Island, a mineral-rich lava soil area with a hot, dry climate. The island has been experiencing a surge in grape growth over the last decades, especially of the Verdelho type. Hence, the extensive fields form the unique “Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture”, elected World Heritage by UNESCO in 2004.
The iconic Lagoa das Sete Cidades - Lagoon of the Seven Cities - is a twin lake formed in the crater of an inactive volcano in São Miguel Island. Named one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal, the view you get of this lagoon along its footpaths packed with delicate French Hydrangeas is absolutely astonishing and stands out from the rest of the views in the Azores archipelago. In fact, for being one of the landmarks in the Azores, Lagoa das Sete Cidadades was classified as Protected Landscape of the Rede Natura 2000.
The Lagoon is composed of blue and green lakes, connected by a narrow strait, that jointly flows into a single natural water reservoir, the largest one in the Azores. There is a legend associated with the explanation of the existence of two different colours within the same lagoon. It says that the lagoon owes its colours to the tears of the young and beautiful Princess Antília and her true lover. One day, the daughter of the king of this Azorean land was taking a walk through the fields and met a shepherd whom she fell deeply in love with. Her father wanted her to marry a prince, forbidding the princess from seeing the shepherd again but still conceded her a final meeting with him. On this farewell day, the princess, with her blue eyes, and the shepherd, with his green eyes, cried so much that they ended up creating the two lakes - the blue and green.
Giving its incredible natural beauty, the Azores have a huge amount of outdoor sports and activities to do. There are plenty of options for you to enjoy nature to the fullest and even get a bit of a sense of adventure.
The rich fauna of the archipelago offers a wide range of activities. Whale and dolphin watching is a very popular attraction since these marine mammals can be easily spotted in the area. The variety of bird species this island hosts is also incredible, making bird watching a practice that can be done in all of the Azores islands. You may find a large number of migratory birds coming from America and Euroasia.
Another main attraction to animal lovers is scuba diving. In the Azores, there is a diverse underwater fauna that spans tiny invertebrates to huge pelagic fish and marine mammals.
If you are not so keen on animals, there are plenty of other options. Hiking is an often practice in all islands, living up to all the sightseeing footpaths the islands comprise. The Azores is also a good spot for surfing, mainly São Miguel, which hosts the World Surf League in Ribeira Grande beach. Azorean beaches are also good spots for snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, and much more.
There is also a venture offer for real adrenaline enthusiasts. In the Azores, you have the unique chance of flying over the volcanic craters in Furnas island or the Lagoa das Sete Cidades, in São Miguel. Over the last years, the island of São Miguel has become a hotspot for paragliders worldwide.
Furnas is located on the island of São Miguel, at a 50 km distance from Ponta Delgada. It is gifted with its volcanic phenomena, which can be seen through the hot springs, thermal pools, and geysers.
On the eastern side of the town, is where the volcanic phenomena are mostly alive. Here you can find the steaming geysers and the hot springs – so-called fumaroles – throwing therapeutic mud and mineral water used for today’s modern spa therapies. The largest and nosiest hot spring of the island is called Caldeira de Pêro Botelho. Caldeira de Polme is equally fascinating, as it often tends to expel out large clouds of grey dust.
The hot springs on the lake’s northern shores are also a place where locals come to cook a typical Portuguese dish named cozido – a rich meat and vegetable stew boiled underground in a huge pot for five to seven hours. This is a local practice that has been enduring for generations.
In Faial, you can find the most colourful marina in the world. Horta Marine is a beautiful area filled with moored yachts and a beautiful exhibition of paintings on the marina walls, made by the visiting sailors. This tradition carried out for generations turned the marina into an open-air art gallery.
It is the 4th most visited marine in the world, being an almost mandatory stopover for sailboats traveling from the Caribbean towards the Mediterranean. The marine is also a meeting point for many international boat races.
In the marine, you can also find the mythical Peter Café Sport. It is a multi-faceted place, being not only a sailors’ bar, but also a post office, a currency exchange office, a scrimshaw museum, and, above all, a place where you are welcomed for a restful moment during your stopover.
Ponta Delgada is the economic capital of the Autonomous Region of the Azores in Portugal. It is located in São Miguel, the biggest and most populated island in the Azores.
The city started by being a small fishing village, that eventually became the main port of São Miguel Island. The town began to grow and, during the 17th and 18th centuries, the churches, convents, and houses were built forming the emblematic historical centre.
Nowadays, Ponta Delgada is a city with a rich economic and social life. It embodies a rich history of over five centuries with the typical cosmopolitanism of a city and the peacefulness of Azorean life.
Nearby São Miguel Island, there is a small volcanic islet, around 500 meters away from the coast, which was formed as a result of the crater of an ancient submerged volcano. It is considered one of the main tourist attractions of the São Miguel island, especially since one of the stages of the Red Bull Cliff Diving was held there.
Classified as a Nature Reserve, the walls of the islet’s crater are covered with endemic vegetation, having a natural pool in the midst of it, with an almost perfect circular shape that is linked to the sea through a narrow channel. This natural pool is excellent for swimming and snorkeling. The small opening of the pool faces the coast of the São Miguel island, which prevents the bustling sea waves from entering and helps to keep the water warmer than outside. There is also a lovely beach on the islet, great for sunbathing and spending the day.
If you're looking to invest in Portuguese property, you've come to the right place. The property market in Portugal continues to go from strength to strength, with now being a great time to purchase home here. European buyers flock here every year, but the Golden Visa scheme allows people from further afield to get their hands on Portugal real estate. This gives overseas buyers the right to live, work and study anywhere within the European Union.
Transport in between the islandsÂ
If you are planning on island-hopping around the Azores, it is recommended to do it by plane. SATA/Azores Airline is the only airline that caters to inter-island flights in the Azores. There is also the option of taking the ferry. This ferry service is called AtlÃ¢ntico Line and it only operates between the central and western groups of the islands. Usually, traveling by ferry is only recommended for short trips (e.g. Faial to Pico or Corvo to Flores), as the currents and waves can be rough on some days.
Getting around the Azores
There are bus routes covering the whole area of the main towns of the major islands, however, buses are not 100% reliable, as they donâ€™t stop by so often. Additionally, these routes were mainly designed for local transportation, so they rarely get to the best points of interest.Â Â
Taxis and Uber are easily spotted dotted around the island but can get a little expensive, especially on bigger islands such as SÃ£o Miguel. On the other hand, car rentals are available on all the islands and are usually cheaper. They are frequently used among tourists and usually the preferable way to get around on the various islands.
Markets in the Azores are great places to shop, either for fresh, local foods or for unique gifts and souvenirs. Each island has its abundance of market stalls; you are bound to find one on a walk around the area, especially on Sundays.Â
If you would like more mainstream and high-street retailers, then Parque AtlÃ¢ntico is the best place for you. Located in Ponta Delgada, SÃ£o Miguel Island, this shopping mall holds 104 different stores and a giant supermarket.
Every island in the Azores has commercial airports, but only 4 islands have flights to mainland Portugal and 2 of them operate international flights as well. Joao Paulo II Airport (PDL) in SÃ£o Miguel Island has regular daily connections to Porto and Lisbon, as well as flights to the United States, Spain, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, amongst others.
Lajes Airport (teR) on Terceira island has daily connections to Porto and Lisbon, but also international flights to the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands.
Pico Airport (PIX) on Pico island and Horta Airport (HOR) on Faial island only have direct flights to Lisbon.
The weather on the islands is usually warm. The summers (from April to September) are quite hot and dry whilst the winters (between October and March) can be quite cool but never very cold, as the temperatures usually never drop below 10Â°C. Rainfall happens very often throughout the whole year, and the weather can be very unpredictable, being a common saying that, in the Azores, you have all seasons in one day.
Restaurants & Bars
It is not just the astonishing landscapes of the Azores that make your trip or relocation worth your while. The archipelagoâ€™s flavours are absolutely delightful.
As expected, fish is a common dish across these islands. Some specialties are Chicharros which is fried mackerel, often accompanied by rice and vegetables, and Caldeirada de Peixe, which is a fish stew. However, if you donâ€™t like or eat fish, there are plenty of other options. Cozido and bife Ã Alcides are other Azorean dishes much appreciated. With literally hundreds of bars and restaurants scattered around the Azoresâ€™ islands, it is difficult to choose where to go. Here are some of our recommendations:
Vale das Furnas
AssociaÃ§Ã£o AgrÃcola de SÃ£o Miguel
Azorean beaches are a true landscape dream of volcanic origin. With soft, warm sand and beautiful blue waters, there are 40 beaches in the Azores distinguished with the European blue flag for their environmental and quality standards.
Here we highlight the best 5 sandy beaches in the Azores:
Santa BÃ¡rbara, near Ponta Delgada, in SÃ£o Miguel Island, is the most prominent dark sandy beach on the island, home to one of the stages of the World Surf League;
Praia do Porto Pim is a pristine beach located on the southernmost point of Faial island;
Praia Formosa is a golden sand beach with rocky cliffs in the backdrop, located on Santa Maria island;
FajÃ£ da Caldeira de Santo Cristo is a sacred beach for bodyboarders and surfers located in SÃ£o Jorge
Praia da Riviera is located on Terceira island and it is popular for its bird colonies, giving it a wild feel
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