Bradt's Azores is the only comprehensive guidebook to the nine-island archipelago, a nature-lovers' wilderness perched at the western extremity of Europe in the mid-Atlantic, and one of the best places in the world for whale watching. Thanks to the experience of expert botanist and author David Sayers, and the ongoing involvement of author Murray Stewart, the book retains a depth of knowledge about flora and fauna and continues to provide the strong geological and botanical information that is so integral to getting to know the islands. This new edition has been thoroughly updated and also has an expanded focus taking in the land- and sea-based activities which have become a significant part of Azores attractions in the past few years.
In Bradt's Azores, full background and practical information is complemented by a region-by-region breakdown and nine chapters - one per island - to provide all the details needed for a successful visit. There are also 29 maps and separate sections on language and the islands' flora. This new edition includes details of Ponta Delgada's new 5-star hotels and Santa Maria's new round-island walk, plus a full update on the accommodation upgrades that have taken place in recent times. Information about new waymarked walks is also covered, plus new bike-hire and whale-watching companies.
The Azores attract geologists, bird-watchers, whale-watchers and anyone who loves nature in all its forms. Mountaineers can head to Pico island to climb Portugal's highest peak. The Azores' volcanic origins make for a rugged, diverse landscape, a suitable backdrop for excellent walking, mountain-biking or canyoning.
A geological curiosity, a nature-lover's paradise and - more recently - a mid-Atlantic adventure playground, the Azores have become increasingly accessible in recent years. Despite the increase in visitor numbers, though, they retain an authenticity, a genuineness which in most places remains true to its roots.
Safe and welcoming, the islands are drawing in a whole new group of visitors, mainly from Europe and the USA, attracted by the diversity of outdoor activities, easier accessibility and improvements to the visitor infrastructure.