Cono Pico, Azores
Pin This
Open Media Gallery

Cono Pico, Azores

© Creative Commons / AiresAlmeida

Azores Travel Guide

Key Facts

2,333 sq km (900 sq miles).


245,766 (INE value 2015).

Population density

105.3 per sq km.


São Miguel: Ponta Delgada; Faial: Horta; Terceira: Angra do Heroísmo.


A Portguese autonomous region since 1976.

Head of state

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa since 2016.

Head of government

President Vasco Cordeiro since 2012.


220/110 volts AC, 50Hz. European plugs with two round pins are standard.

For more than 500 years, the Azores, an archipelago of nine widely dispersed islands floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, have remained almost completely unspoiled and largely unvisited, mainly on account of their remoteness.

Volcanic in origin, these dramatic islands are pitted with deep craters, filled with shimmering lakes and covered with lush vegetation. Geysers and health-giving sulphur springs abound. For outdoorsy types, they are a joy to discover.

In contrast to the Azores Islands’ natural beauty are the large tracts of arable farmland, which are peppered with tiny settlements of whitewashed houses. Here you will see gently sloping hillsides planted with vineyards and fruit trees that are tended to by the archipelago’s hardy inhabitants.

Coastlines in the Azores tend to be rugged and somewhat forbidding – this is not exactly a beach destination – but there are plenty of bays and rocky inlets for swimming and sunbathing. Watersports are widely available, with a particular emphasis on scuba-diving, whale watching and yachting.

The Azores Islands are, sadly, a secret no more. Improved air links with Portugal, which claims sovereignty over the archipelago, and the rest of Europe are bringing more adventure-seeking tourists to the islands. Not that an increase in visitor numbers will diminish the charms of this destination, whose natural wonders tempt many back for a return trip.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.