This year, consider travelling off the beaten path. Take a break from Miami and New York and fasten your seatbelt for the ride of a lifetime. Ever heard of Azores, Portugal? You have now. And now you have zero excuse not to fly there—and try these bucket list worthy activities everyone should experience at least once (or maybe 10 times). Portugal, the Azores is a group of nine beautiful European volcanic islands located 1,360km from the mainland in the North Atlantic. And this is one trip you won’t have to look for activities to keep you busy.

Besides the stunning terrain, there is so much wonderfulness (is that a word?) everywhere you look. Days bring so much more than just another beach to veg out on—although yes, you can do that, too. This godly place has attractions that are so fun, and so enriching, you won’t have imagined they were even possible. And here they are.

5 Bucket List Worthy Adventures in the Azores, Portugal 

1. Drink volcanic wine

Dream Vacation: Seriously Fun Stuff to Do in the Azores, PortugalIndulge in a glass of wine made from vines grown on the lava fields of Pico—the second largest island in the Azores and home of the largest mountain peak in Portugal. The wine made from grapes grown in a UNESCO classified World Heritage site is called Pico Verdehlo and was enjoyed by royalty in Europe for centuries.


2. Get up close to 20 types of cetaceans

Take a Zodiac to the middle of the crystal clear Atlantic while 27 different types of cetaceans swim and sing around you.


The Azores is one of the top places in the world for whale and dolphin watching and most touring companies will refund you if none are spotted during the tour.

3. Cook dinner in an active volcano

Dream Vacation: Seriously Fun Stuff to Do in the Azores, PortugalWatch your tour guide cook a pot of cozido nas caldeiras—a traditional Azorian stew of local meats and vegetables that’s boiled in volcanic cooking holes in Furnas Lake, São Miguel.


The perfect cozido nas caldeiras takes 7 hours to make. Once complete, enjoy your meal at the stunning Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, nominated by the World Travel Awards as the best boutique hotel in Europe, with a glass of local wine and impeccable views.


4. Hike to the Lake of Fire

Take an 8-mile scenic hiking trail to the Lagoa Do Fogo, the Lake of FireDuring the 4.5 hour trek, you’ll take in incredible views of Vila Franca.


It’s an islet that was formed by the crater of an old underwater volcano and hosts the annual Red Bull Cliff Diving world championship.


5. Relax in a thermal spa

Dream Vacation: Seriously Fun Stuff to Do in the Azores, PortugalThe geothermal springs of Termas do Carapacho in Graciosa—one of the smallest of the 9 islands in the Azores—oscillate between 35º C and 40º C and have healing characteristics known to treat skin imperfections.


The 4391 residents of Graciosa believe in a slow and easy pace of life and have maintained an atmosphere of calm isolation.

For more fun and fab info, visit the Azores Tourism site.

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