Like walking into a landscape painting

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Azores islands: Like walking into a landscape painting

March 23, 2022, 10:35 am

Last modified: March 23, 2022, 10:59 am

The first place we went to visit was a pineapple farm. Long ago, sailors brought the tropical fruit here from Venezuela. The guide showed us different greenhouses full of different aged pineapples and even a pineapple liquor.

We witnessed the beautiful Furnas Lake from a distance and while we were enjoying the view, we saw clouds rolling on the horizon and within the span of minutes, the mighty lakes and roads were all hidden by the ensuing mist.

After this, we drove for a while towards Furnas city along the shore and found sunlight again.

Here, we tried the water from several hot springs and they tasted really different due to the minerals present in them.

Locals shared with us how they sometimes cook with the natural heat coming from the springs, especially chicken and corn. However, in the days of their ancestors, it was more necessity than custom.

This small city looks straight out of a fairy tale, as it is often hidden in smoke. Other than the unpleasant smell of sulphur, it was quite an adventure to explore the springs and see the trace of chemicals on the roads.

Ponta Delgada, where we stayed, is the capital of this island and the city with the highest population in the whole archipelago. Each afternoon, we took pleasant walks on cobblestoned roads around the city centre.

This city has a few museums, one Synagogue and a local art gallery, peppered with wonderful seafood restaurants. The local delicacies include parrot fish and king fish.

Visiting the Porto Formosa tea plantation was a great experience for us. They not only produce tea but have also preserved the heritage of tea production on this island from the days of yore.

It has an organized museum that showcases several varieties of tea. It felt unreal to sip tea on its terrace overlooking the sleepy blue Atlantic.

We visited several other scenic places and did some hiking. We even managed to see the green fountain of youth but could not visit the famous lagoon of Sete Cidades due to the weather.

The Ribeira Grande (a municipality in São Miguel) did impress us with its beaches of giant waves and natural scenery.

The whole island of São Miguel looks like a perfect painting of a landscape and we met people from different countries such as Germany, England and the USA who moved here to live in peace for the rest of their lives. Many of them have homestay businesses and suggested we do the same!

Hills and Valleys of São Miguel archipelago

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Hills and Valleys of São Miguel archipelago

Hills and Valleys of São Miguel archipelago

Although I am not sure about living and doing business in Azores, I am sure I want to revisit this magical place!

How to go there

You could fly to Lisbon or Porto of Portugal first, and then take a flight to Azores. There are no direct flights to Portugal from Dhaka.

Turkish Airlines

Dhaka-Lisbon-Dhaka: Tk150,000 approx.

Emirates

Dhaka-Lisbon-Dhaka: Tk165,000 approx.

RyanAir

Lisbon-Ponta Delgada-Lisbon: Tk3,000 approx.

Where to stay

Terra Nostra Garden Hotel

Part of the historic Terra Nostra Garden, the hotel is situated in the perfect spot to enjoy some of the island of São Miguel’s natural geothermal wonders.

Price: Tk17,000 per night approx.

Casa Hintze Ribeiro

One of Ponta Delgada’s few boutique-style properties, Casa Hintze Ribeiro brings together chic interior design and an excellent array of facilities, with the added convenience of self-catering accommodation.

Price: Tk6,500 approx.

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