"Azores Islands Cruise" Top 5 Page for this destination Região Autónoma dos Açores by JessieLang

Região Autónoma dos Açores Travel Guide: 730 reviews and 2,768 photos

We spent a week in the Azores, living on the Polar Star (a 100-passenger converted icebreaker) and visiting different islands each day. We only got to go ashore on 6 of them, because windy conditions made landings unsafe on Sao Jorge, Santa Maria and Corvo.

This was a special trip for me, as some of my ancestors came from the Azores, and I always wanted to know more about these islands. The scenery is stunning, and I love the unique architecture.

While cruising around a small islet on the coast of Graciosa, Ilhéu de Paixo, we saw some Portuguese Man O’ War. Hannah, the head guide, was running our Zodiac—she spotted bubbles in the water, we went closer, and there they were!

The common name comes from a Portuguese war ship type of the 15th and 16th century, which had triangular sails similar in outline to the bladder of the Portuguese Man O' War.

They are not jellyfish. In fact, a Portuguese Man O' War is not a single animal, but rather a colony of four different kinds of tiny, highly specialized ones working together. Hannah was really brave and picked one up for us to see the whole thing up close, although she made sure she stayed away from the tentacles.

My tips for things to see and do on the islands are listed on my pages for the individual islands or cities.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Spectacular scenery, beautiful architecture
  • Cons:Some islands can be difficult to reach
  • In a nutshell:If you've seen one, you HAVEN"T seen them all
  • Last visit to Região Autónoma dos Açores: Apr 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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