What a GEM of an island!!!! Seriously, I haven't experienced such beauty, such vibrancy, such love and light as I did in Sao Miguel! I had heard mention of the Azores before, but had no idea where it was until my boyfriend told me all about it on our first date! His ancestors were from there and the connection he felt while spending six weeks there last year was so strong that he couldn't wait to go back! Luckily I got to come along a few weeks ago just to see what was so special about this place that he held so dear to his heart!
The Azores are made up of 9 archipelago islands off the coast of Portugal. It's climate is moderate, ranging from 50-75 degrees fahrenheit ~the winter being its coldest, rainiest season. Since we weren't there during it's peak season, I can only imagine just how much better it could possibly be once everything is in bloom, and the temperature is a bit warmer!
The Azores are known for their agriculture, dairy farming, livestock ranching, fishing and tourism. Everything is so fresh, so local, and super sustainable! It's clean, efficient and has a wonderful feng shui energy to it! The people are so friendly, warm and welcoming. It's very safe and easy to get around!
My favorite highlights from the trip (also my favorite question to ask people) are as follows:
I LOVED the craftsmanship seen in all the architecture! That European modern minimalism is prevalent and so inspiring!
The farmland! OMG it's soooo beautiful and perfectly planned out ~ you can see where the cows eat the grass, so you know you're eating the best beef out there! It hasn't traveled far, it's lived in THE most beautiful place, and eats organic grass, not gmo corn! Not to mention, the BEST cheeses come from them, and you better believe I ate their fresh cheese and homemade bread on the daily!;)
I just really loved the warm people. They're so sweet! They take such pride in serving and sharing their food and culture with us! We could learn a thing or two from them! We had two different people offer to drive us somewhere, we had men sending us wine and chocolates from across a restaurant, and we had people happy to help us find the farmers market! Just a few examples of the generosity of spirit!
The views are THE BEST I've experienced in this world so far! Just incredibly breathtaking around each corner.
We went on some amazing hikes!
We soaked in some natural hot springs during the day and at night!
The FOOD. OMG the Food! The fish stews, the homemade bread, the fresh cheeses, the steaks, the pastries, wines and teas were the best I've had anywhere! And so inexpensive for the amount they serve!
That's the other thing, the island isn't about making money, rather it's about community and service. Such an evolved place!
From the flights and the amazing meals they served us (who would have thought plane food could be so good!?), to the scooter we got around on, the whole journey was magical! I was so blessed to be there and share in that experience with my boyfriend, my love! It was a special gift indeed!
To think that this gem exists just 5 hours on a nonstop flight from Boston is incredible! I highly recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys the great outdoors, european culture and good food!
Now I have the bug to get to Lisbon and the mainland! And next time, we'll be sure to check out the other islands that were highly recommended to us~ Flores, Terceira, and Santa Maria!
Til then, I'll have to brush up on my portuguese!
Bon dia! ;)