Written by Bradt Travel Guides
The Azores are Europe’s best-kept secret: verdant, tranquil, diverse, exquisitely beautiful, always welcoming. Further south and close to the African coast lies Madeira, Portugal’s more familiar Atlantic island; sunnier and with less rain and cloud but considerably more developed for tourism, and famous for its wellpromoted flowers and gardens. One needs to take the Azores at their own speed. Old-World courtesy prevails, a reminder of the many tiny niceties of life that have been sacrificed to the exigencies of faster lifestyles.