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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!
Portugal's Silver Coast, or "Costa de Prata" is a spectacular stretch of coastal ancient towns, breathtaking beaches, and rugged coastline, hugging the Atlantic Ocean, on Portugal's western side. By many expats, this is one of the most desirable places to live in Portugal, together with Lisbon and Algarve. The region remains largely unknown and therefore untouched by tourism, which means that visitors can bask in the extraordinary sand of "silver." Clean beaches, water sports activities and world-class golf courses make this a popular destination to be explored by holidaymakers.The silver coast is wilder and untouched, with far less development than the crowded southern Algarve. It is also a popular destination for surfers, and beaches such as Peniche and Nazaré are always busy with tourists from northern Europe.Living by the beach is good and even better in São Martinho do Porto. Just one hour north of Lisbon and close by some of Portugal’s best waves, beaches and golf courses, Bay Shore is the luxury oceanfront development that is capturing the attention of those who seek a nice place to live by the sea, those who dream of a second home at the beach and also investors looking forward to a great opportunity!
Cascais is considered a coastal resort area in Portugal, located just west of Lisbon. A traditional fishing town that has grown in popularity by tourists and is widely known for its sandy beaches, busy marina, abundant seafood restaurants, and relaxing atmosphere. Historically, the town of Cascais was made as a popular seaside destination in the 1870s when King Luis I of Portugal and his Royal court made the seaside fishing town it's summer residence. The town showcases beautiful renaissance architectural sights dating back to the 17th century, such as the Palácio dos Condes de Castro Guimarães, Palacete Seixas, Casa Lencastre, or Casa de Santa Maria. The coastline of Cascais is home to about 17 beaches to delight in, the most popular destinations being Guincho Beach and Carcavelos Beach, where most surfers are drawn to due to amazing waves! Cascais is the perfect place to get away from the big city, whether it be a weekend escape, or an upcoming property investment by the seaside. 5 Reasons to Buy Property in Cascais
Located in western Lisbon, Belém is famous as a museum district, as it is home to many of Portugal’s notable monuments such as The Belém Tower, The Jeronimos Monastery and the Bélem Palace (which is the current official residence of the country’s president). Originally, Belém was the location of Lisbon's shipyards and docks, and from here departed the 15th century voyages that discovered sea routes to India, East Africa and Brazil. This rich heritage is still shown in Belém through extravagant buildings funded by the vast wealth that flowed into Portugal from the newly discovered colonies. For visitors, Belém is one of the finest areas of Lisbon, as it offers outstanding tourist attractions, informative museums and magnificent views.
Santos is an elegant neighbourhood located in the Estrela parish. In the 18th century, it was home to mansions of the upper-classes, just as the Lapa neighbourhood. In this period, the nobility and the bourgeoisie chose these areas to settle in. Nowadays, many of the palaces are hotels, embassies or museums. Rua das Janelas Verdes is the street that mostly lives up to this heritage. It is home to one of Portugal's most important national museums - the National Museum of Ancient Art (MNAA) - located in a magnificent palace. Santos has also been assuming itself as the design district of Lisbon, hosting well-known décor stores, such as Paris-Sete, AR interiores, Re-Use, Roche Bobois, galleries, museums and artists' cooperatives. The district was officially branded as the Design District of Lisbon in 2005. Besides its artistic role, Santos also takes part in the political life of the country. It is home to the parliament of Portugal, hosting the emblematic Assembly of the Republic building.
Beja is located in the southern region of continental Portugal and is believed to have been founded around 400 b.c. by an ancient cell of celts that occupied most territories south of the Tagus river, such as the Alentejo and Setúbal regions. After being a part of the Roman Empire for 600 years and a part of the Arabic Caliphate for 400 years until 1162, the year in which the Christians took the city from Muslim occupation, Beja is now the county’s capital. The city remained small for the next centuries, although heavily destroyed by the Napoleonic invasions. From the 20th century onwards, some economic development was put in place with the building of new schools, judicial and commercial installations, including the new Beja International Airport in 2011.
The Lisbon South Bay area comprises three districts: Almada, Seixal and Barreiro. These three are known for their close historic connection to the Tagus River. From the ancient industries in Barreiro that fed the naval expeditions to África and Índia in the 16th century, to the amazing long sandy beaches of Caparica, Lisbon South Bay welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists in summertime and surfers all through the year. Seixal, the district between Almada and Barreiro, was where Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, built his expedition ships with the help of his brother and father. The Tagus river’s presence greatly affects the region’s economy and the professions that the locals choose. In this sense, this region saw a surge of professions like fishermen, sailors, millers, caulkers, ax carpenters, which, for years, constituted the main way of life of the populations.
Intendente is a lively, fashionable neighbourhood that has been evolving significantly in the past years. Despite its central location, the neighbourhood has languished for years, with many of its old buildings falling into ruins. However, the area has seen huge improvements, and property prices, as well as the ethnic neighbourhoods, have been the reasons why many people are looking to buy property in Intendente. Located within the Arroios parish which was crowned as the trendiest neighbourhood in the world by Timeout, Intendente gets its name from Praça do Intendente, a funny-shaped square just a street away from Avenida Almirante Reis. This area is seen as a faithful portrait of Nova Lisboa, where cultures and trends blend in.Intendente is ideal for students and young professionals, thanks to the abundance of co-working spaces, cafés, and brunch locations. The region is laid-back while also having a vibrant nightlife, which many consider being the best of both worlds. There are also a number of interesting projects coming into life here, which will enable companies galore to further develop their small businesses.
The city of Portimão, formerly known Vila Nova de Portimão, is situated in the district of Faro, in the Algarve region of southern Portugal; exploring this old fishing and shipbuilding town will be a breeze to experience. The city offers plenty of leisure activities, historical monuments, beautiful landscapes, and immense sunshine! Depending on what you wish to do, there is an activity for all, from adventure and watersports that are vastly popular in the Algarve region, to full relaxation activities such as shopping, light sightseeing, and indulging in the delicious, and fresh seafood and fish cuisine, the city of Portimão has to offer.You will be bound to love the area of Portimão, whether it be for a weekend escape in the sunny Algarve or settling down in this coastal region of Portugal permanently!
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