The Azores as a travel destination
The Azores are an increasingly popular tourist destination. They offer an immense variety of plants and animals, versatile weather, and are a paradise for hikers.
There are daily flights to the islands, which have replaced the regular ferry connection to the mainland. The individual islands can be reached by ship or plane, primarily in the summer.
Whale watching is a particular highlight for visitors, and whales can often be seen right from the beach. Over twenty different whale species have been observed in the waters before the Azores. Dolphins also enjoy the waters around the nine islands, which are kept relatively warm by the Gulf Stream. There are many island companies for whale watching who have committed to the international guidelines for ethical whale watching. Visitors have a real chance to see whales because the boats are directed to actual sightings from shore. Many beaches have tall observation towers, from which whale hunters were directed in the past.
Golfers also enjoy the archipelago. The sport is popular in Portugal and lawns don't need artificial watering thanks to the favorable climate of the Azores. Some golf courses promise fun without any waiting times. So-called "rural golf" is played with one or two clubs and the goals are marked by chalk circles with flags instead of holes.