What’s Happening in the Azores in 2015?
There are plenty of exciting events taking place in one of the hottest island destinations for 2015, the undiscovered subtropical archipelago of the Azores – just three and a half hours away from London.
Discover exhilarating cliff diving, paragliding, surfing, sailing, fishing and volcano running events in Blockbuster-worthy scenery, as well as natural events such as the Blue Whale migration and cultural festivals of ‘street art’, native cuisine served by Michelin-star chefs, traditional jazz music, a car rally, and whaling and religious history.
|Blue Whale Migration – March and April 2015March and April are the peak months for spotting these incredible mammals from the islands of Sao Miguel, Pico and Faial. At 30 metres long and weighing an impressive 170 tonnes, you will be amazed by their grace as they cut through the ocean making their way from the warm waters of the south, where breeding occurs, to the colder waters of the north to feed. www.visitazores.com|
|Holy Ghost Festival – April and May 2015The Holy Ghost Festival is the most important religious festival in the Azores and takes place in April and May, beginning after Easter and ending on Holy Trinity Sunday. Beautiful processions pass through towns and villages where bread, meat and wine are distributed among the needy. Celebrations include flags, drums, singing and fireworks. The traditional “Holy Ghost Soups”, which consist of vegetable and meat stock poured over wheat bread, are often served. www.visitazores.com|
|Azores Trail Run (volcano super-marathon) – 30 May 2015Following the success of the first ‘Azores Trail Run’ event 0n Faial Island this year, the exhilarating running and walking festival is set to return in 2015. Participants will run a distance greater than a marathon over protected landscapes, volcanic craters or beautiful coastline along one of the Azores’ many sustainable hiking trails. www.azorestrailrun.com|
|Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series – June 2015In June 2015 professional cliff divers from around the world will gather to participate in the International Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Taking place at the colossal cliffs of Vila Franca do Campo on the island of Sao Miguel, brave competitors will take the plunge from 27 metres. The exact dates for the event are yet to be announced. www.redbullcliffdiving.com|
|European Rally Championship – 4 to 6 June 2015The 2015 SATA Rallye Azores, part of the European Rally Championships (ERC), will see an estimated 30,000 spectators gather for the exhilarating rally demonstration on the streets of Sao Miguel’s largest city, Ponta Delgada. Sao Miguel, with its stunning coastline, volcanoes and verdant river valleys, will make a stunning backdrop to this high octane spectacular. www.satarallyeacores.com|
|10 Fest (Michelin-star culinary festival) – 18 to 27 June 2015Food lovers are in for a treat as Sao Miguel Island hosts 10 Fest Azores, one of Portugal’s largest food festivals. Acclaimed and Michelin Star chefs from around the world will travel to the festival to create their interpretations of modern Azorean cuisine. Now in its fifth year, the culinary event will take place at Anfiteatro, a stylish restaurant and cookery school for aspiring local chefs in Ponta Delgada Marina. www.efth.com.pt|
|Sanjoaninas Festival – 19 to 28 June 2015This lively festival will see an array of musical performances, colourful parades and games take over the UNESCO-listed city of Angra do Heroismo on Terceira Island. The festivities begin with an opening procession and march of the queen, then continue for several days, encompassing cultural, recreational, and sporting activities. www.visitazores.com|
|Walk & Talk (street art festival) – 17 July to 2 August 2015From 17 July to 2 August 2015, Sao Miguel Island will host the Walk & Talk public art festival. Designed to inspire artistic talent in the Azores, artists at the festival will create impressive installations and ‘street art’ using the local buildings and unique volcanic landscapes of the island. Special events include exhibitions, workshops, lectures and demonstrations. www.walktalkazores.org/en|
|Semana do Mar (Sea Week) – 2 to 9 August 2015To be in the thick of the action during Semana do Mar head to the picturesque Marina of Horta on Faial Island from 2 to 9 August 2015. The festival of the sea will see all types of sea craft depart the marina, with sails fluttering and filling the channel between Faial and Pico. Activities include whale boat races, folklore groups and concerts. www.visitazores.com|
|Azores Paragliding Festival – 19 to 23 August 2015This exhilarating festival is ideal for adventure lovers. See enthusiastic pilots compete for the top spot by taking off from the great heights of volcanoes and mountains at various spots across Sao Miguel Island. Pilots will soar above expansive lakes and subtropical landscapes. www.visitazores.com|
|Semana dos Baleeiros (Whaler’s Week) – 24 to 30 August 2015Semana dos Baleeiros, a traditional festival in the seaside town of Lajes on Pico Island, remembers the history of the islands’ whalers and whales – over 30 years after the last commercial whaling factory closed in the islands. As well as the religious celebrations, there are musical performances, traditional shows, and sporting activities which take place around the whaling museum. www.visitazores.com|
|SATA Azores Pro Surfing Championships – September 2015The SATA Airlines Azores Pro Surfing Championship is the archipelago’s prime surfing event, attracting international surfers from around the world. The competition will take place in September from Santa Barbara beach on Sao Miguel Island. The islands are popular with surfers because of the impressive waves offered by the Atlantic, with large ground and wind swells reaching up to an impressive 15 feet. Exact dates of the championships are yet to be confirmed.www.aspworldtour.com|
|Big Game Fishing Tournament – September 2015The annual Big Game Fishing Tournament, which takes place in the waters surrounding the islands of Faial, Pico and Sao Jorge, will see anglers from around the world compete in national teams. Known for its underwater wildlife, the record for the world’s largest Blue Marlin was achieved in the Azores. Other Big Game fish such as White Marlin and species of tuna can also be found here. Exact dates of the tournament are yet to be confirmed. www.biggamefishing.visitazores.com|
|Angra Jazz Festival – 1 to 3 October 2015The Angra Jazz Festival takes place at the beginning of October annually in the UNESCO-listed city of Angro do Heroismo in Terceira Island. The festival celebrates the island’s great jazz artists, featuring several performances from the city’s auditorium. www.angrajazz.com|
Travellers can visit the Azores in 2015 with a number of operators including Sunvil Discovery (020 8758 4722, www.sunvil.co.uk), which offers a seven-night stay at Hotel Talisman on a Bed & Breakfast basis in Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island starting from £640 per person (based on two sharing). The price includes direct scheduled flights from London Gatwick with SATA International (sata.pt) and airport transfers.
18 December 2014
Sata International (Sata.pt) will launch seasonal weekly direct flights to Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island from London Gatwick every Saturday from April to October 2015.
The nine islands of the Azores are in the middle of the North Atlantic and belong to Portugal. They can be reached by direct flight from the UK in less than four hours from April – October, or via Lisbon year round. These volcanic islands are renowned for their craters, beautiful lakes, stunning sea, thermal pools and mountain vistas, their impressive flora and fauna and marine life. The islands have played a hugely important part in European maritime history, due to their strategically significant position as the westernmost point of Europe.
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