Our favourites of the nine islands that make up this intriguing archipelago are São Miguel and Pico. São Miguel manages to combine both a thriving foodie culture and bustling University City with awe inspiring wilderness. No trip would be complete without a tour of the capital, Ponta Delgada, exploring and sampling a variety of typical and delicious tapas dishes.
The main attraction of The Azores, however, is its wild beauty and to truly take it in it is necessary to venture into the wild. São Miguel offers a plethora of activities, from all day canyoning trips to Jeep tours around the island and rock climbing, or channelling your inner Bond and taking a boat out to crater pools. The islands' position at the meeting point of the Eurasian, African and North American tectonic plates make it a hive of geological activity. Even the least geologically minded will be in awe at the hot springs, bubbling molten clay and rugged coastlines.
Pico, with its distinctive wine culture, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unique and world famous wines come about thanks to the terroir; vines grow on volcanic soil and are protected from the Atlantic winds and rain by basalt walls. More than just a giant vineyard, Pico Mountain, which stands at 7700ft, is the tallest mountain in Portugal and in 2012 was voted one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. For hikers it offers some truly spectacular options, promising the most unbelievable views across the other islands, an incredible sunset, and the chance to see dolphins and even whales. The islands secret lagoons and caves can be revealed to you in an all day tour, and of course there are plenty of wine tastings on offer.