The Azore Islands, off the coast of Portugal, are "The Last Great Adventure." This is no exaggeration. There are countless hiking trails as well as ancient cobblestone streets. Not to mention, over time, the people developed their own island lifestyle as evidenced in their food, customs, and traditions.
The Azoreans embody the farm-to-table movement. Not because they think it's hip or trendy, but because the island's focus is agriculture. Whether it's fresh cheese, original pepper sauces, or fish fresh from the Atlantic, the food will not disappoint. The island of Sao Miguel is a delightful place to spend your time. Nine islands make up the Azores, and Sao Miguel is the biggest and most inhabited. That being said, there are miles of untouched land. Volunteers maintain the public areas and gardens which appear manicured and well-kept. These same volunteers around the island also take care of the population of feral, but sweet, cats that roam everywhere.
Sao Miguel is the main island of the Azores. First of all, the culture is deeply in touch with the environment. Also, towns encourage recycling, restaurants and businesses compost, and they never strip the island of what makes it beautiful and unique. The capital, Ponta Delgada, has everything you want and need, but nothing excessive. The people show hospitality at every turn and consistently demonstrate an infectious joie de vivre. Everyone is family on the island, plus there's not a tourist trap anywhere.
Sao Miguel is a gem in the middle of the Atlantic. It's seemingly untouched from the hustle and bustle that plagues similar island destinations. The Azores have endured French, Spanish, and Portuguese conquests in history and still, the people embody authenticity, inclusion, and generosity.
With SATA Airlines offering direct flights to Sao Miguel from Boston, there's almost no excuse to not visit. The Azores make you feel at home, while still feeling exotic. Once you arrive, catch a inter-island flight to one of the other islands for a more secluded experience.