The Azores were considered the most beautiful place in the world by Belgian Dutch edition of National Geographic Traveller, in a list of 20 places to vacation or conduct business in 2016.
The Azores are highlighted by its sustainability, which means that visitors to the islands hold a contact harmony with nature in its purest form.
The Azores has landed on the ‘Global Top 100 Sustainable Destinations’ list, and were recognized as the most sustainable tourist destination in Europe – achieving a score of 8.9 out of 10 possible points. The ‘Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100’ was launched this year to celebrate the management the efforts of the most sustainable destinations on Earth. The list was determined by social media and a selection of 30 international sustainable tourism experts, and is an initiative create by four organisations; TravelMole.com, VISION on Sustainable Tourism, Tourism Totem, and Green Destinations. Green Destinations is the orginisation responsible for the selection process.
QualityCoast is today’s largest programme for the international certification of sustainable destinations. The programme is composed of a renowned jury from the Coastal & Marine Union – EUCC, who have unanimously decided to award the Azores the most important QualityCoast prize, being it the first time a destination achieves the platinum award.
This award was purposely created to recognise not only quality standards related to marine life, nature and coastal areas, but also quality standards regarding identity, culture and society, which may affect the experience of tourists visiting the region.
The goal of QualityCoast is to promote sustainable, economical and high quality destinations. Therefore, tourists can feel safe about their choice of destination when taking this international certification programme into account.
The QualityCoast Platinum Award once again recognises and stresses the good environmental and sustainability practices carried out in the Azores, which are in fact increasingly recognised at international level, as well as the Region’s investment in environmental preservation.
The North-American online magazine Family Travel elects the Azores as one of the top nine destinations for spring break. The magazine, dedicated to family trips, deems the Azores as one of the most affordable European destinations and highlights the average temperature (20ºC in April). Family Travel also mentions several family activities to be experienced in the archipelago, namely whale watching, hiking or biking, as well as visiting gardens, forts, and museums. The supply is extensive, especially since there are nine islands to choose from.
The Azores are one of the 25 destinations to go in 2013 according to the largest English-written travel guide publisher, which recently announced its 2013 Go List.
Fodor´s Travel Intelligence describes the Azores as a “lush, volcanic archipelago”, and its nine islands as having their own fascinating identity. According to Fodor’s, the Azores are also “renowned for world-class whale watching, hot mineral springs, and quaint seaside towns”. As regards the advantages of visiting the Azores, the publisher highlights the price of cozy hotels and outstanding seafood, deeming it as “well within budget”. Another aspect stressed by Fodor’s Travel Intelligence is the water temperature, which is very inviting all year long given the influence of the Gulf Stream.
Fodor’s Go List 2013 is available online: http://www.fodors.com/go-list/2013/
The renowned British newspaper The Guardian elected Santa Maria Island as one of the 20 best bargain beach destinations for 2013. This Azorean island was selected for the peacefulness it brings to those who visit it, as well as for its magnificent landscapes and beaches.
National Geographic Traveler acknowledged the Azores as one of the 50 best tours to take in Europe of a Lifetime in 2012. According to Margaret Loftus, the archipelago of the Azores, in the middle of the North Atlantic, "has long overshadowed the inland wonders of waterfalls, extinct volcanoes, elusive birds (like the Azorean bullfinch), and geysers and fumaroles". Definitely a place to visit.