Sustainable Tourism in the Azores
Sustainable tourism is thriving in the Azores and this week I’m going to tell you about some amazing experiences on the Portuguese archipelago.
Sustainable tourism is becoming increasingly popular with travelers hungry for unfamiliar places to explore in the knowledge that their travels aren’t damaging the places they visit. The Azores. one such off the beaten track location, described by the Lonely Planet as Europe’s secret islands of adventure, it’s an Eco Travel paradise! You only have to briefly research the Azores to see the volume of activities for every adventurer amongst us, with a vast selection of awards to match!
850 miles of the Portuguese coast, the Azores are home to a vast array of mountains of all sizes, peaceful blue and green lakes, even a volcano all allow for a range of trekking and exploration opportunities. This led to the Azores being described as Europe’s alternative to Hawaii, enough said? In my opinion, you can’t beat finding a natural paradise before the extreme mass tourist gets involved, however with efforts made in sustainable tourism the Azores should hopefully keep providing an awesome experience, for everyone!
Lost in the deep Atlantic Ocean, the Azores have slowly developed through both tourism and agriculture, with recent development in tourism allowing for regular flights from Europe giving international attention to these enchanted islands.
If mountains, lakes and beautiful panoramic views aren’t your thing…wait why are you here? Let me rephrase if you’re passionate about culture, music and fine foods check out Santa Maria and São Miguel, however the of course main reason you should wish to visit the Azores is the vast quality and quantity of nature and exploration opportunities to dive into. Made up of 9 islands, all of which have different qualities that are well worth the visit, you’re only problem may be never wanting to leave?
The Azores was named the No.1 most sustainable tourism destination in 2014 by the GSTR which came from their current practice in energy use and agricultural farming, further supported by the environmentally conscious travelers that head there. In an area which is still in development, it is vital as a tourist to ensure that the development is done sustainably. YOU as a tourist make that difference, think of all the places that have now been tainted with a bad reputation for rapid development!
Anyway, back to the Azores, Mt Pico, the highest mountain in Portugal and the Setes Cidades 12km circuit around fairy-tale esque lakes are two of many inland activities you can take part in whilst visiting. However, the fact the Azores are surrounded by vast ocean means there is even more reason to visit!
For a chance to make the most of these beautiful oceans why not check out;
Volunteering is a great option to give back to the location you are visiting, something which is growing rapidly and EcoCompanion have a Whale conservation and research volunteer project available to support the protection of whale and dolphin in their natural habitat. If something a bit more adventurous is calling you, why not try Eco-Diving in which you’ll gain certification for diving and even better, give back to the local environment ensuring you’ll be able to go plenty of times in the future.