Away from the Algarve, out in the Atlantic, the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are big on nature and small on crowds. The summits of huge underwater islands, they offer very different experiences if you’re a fan of the great outdoors.
There is a rare wild beauty on the Azores, with black-sand beaches on dramatic basalt coastlines, but it’s cooler here with unpredictable weather. Some 600 miles south-east, the region of Madeira is much more developed but is still rugged, is hotter and sunnier, and its island of Porto Santo comes with a divine sandy beach.
These glorious destinations are expected to be given the green light by the Government this month for quarantine-free travel, and will make for wonderful holidays through the summer and into autumn. Here is a taster of some of the most mouth-watering and creative holidays on offer.
THE VOLCANIC AZORES ARE HOT STUFF FOR INTREPID EXPLORERS
Hotspots: The crater of Sete Cidades on the island of Sao Miguel is three miles in diameter and filled with blue and emerald-coloured waters
The stunning Lagoa das Furnas (Lake Fumas) on Sao Miguel, which is the largest island in the Azores
It feels as if you’re walking through the pages of a geography book on these nine farming isles which straddle the continental plates of North America, Africa and Eurasia…