Sumary of 10 of the best things to do in the Azores:
- Beaches, swimming, dolphin- and whale-watchingA natural ocean swimming pool, Poça dos Frades, in Velas, São Jorge.
- Swimming “pools” dot the shoreline of all the islands: sometimes ladders hang on the edge of rocks, some can be accessed directly from the shore, and others are in little harbours.
- Take the spectacular walk from Fajã dos Cubres to Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo, the only place on the archipelago where clams are grown (it’s also a magnet for body boarders and surfers).
- Photograph: Mauricio Abreu/AlamyThe holy spirit (or holy ghost) festivals are the primary annual event for Azoreans, 90% of whom are Catholic.
- They centre around impérios (empires) – small shrines to the holy spirit – highly decorated and maintained with care.