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Atlantic Islands Bucket List

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Portugal’s Garden Island

The Azores

A Volcanic Wonderland

Island Wildlife and Nature

The Azores

Wildlife and Volcano Exploration

The Azores

A Volcanic Island Short Break

Island Exploration

Landscapes forged by fire

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Whale watching

The whale watching opportunities in the Azores are something we can’t stress enough, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Both the BBC and National Geographic have visited here for that very reason, and you could have your own Attenborough-esque adventure as you look for blue, fin and humpback whales among others!

Madeira’s waters also share the same great viewing potential with an array of different species found here including sperm whales and short-finned pilot whales.

Dolphin swimming

By making use of the dolphin’s natural curiosity whilst respecting its intelligence, swimming with wild dolphins is a more attainable experience than you might think. What’s more, knowing that the animal has chosen to come to you and witnessing how it moves through its natural habitat while you are the visitor, is both humbling and exciting.

Madeira is known as one of the best places in Europe to swim with wild dolphins and so we offer the chance to snorkel alongside these magnificent animals in our Island Wildlife and Nature holiday.

You won’t miss out on this bucket list experience if you choose to go to the Azores either. There are plenty of wild dolphin swimming opportunities here too, with many different species passing through the surrounding waters.

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Volcanic exploration

Lava flows and volcanic eruptions from years gone by have shaped the spectacular landscapes of both the Azores and Madeira. They have created a fascinating and invigorating outdoor playground.

In the Azores for example, you’ll make use of the dormant volcano craters in Sete Cidades as you cycle around and, kayak over, two crater lakes.

In Madeira, you can visit the lava sea pools of Porto Moniz. As the sea washes in, a swimming spot is naturally created for you to relax and enjoy the coastal views.

Botanical gardens and once-in-a-lifetime vantage points

Madeira’s famed botanical gardens are a must-see during any visit here. Indeed, the island has been described as ‘Portugal’s Garden Island’ and there are few better ways to enjoy the sub-tropical climate than by walking amongst the varied plant life.

Venturing out of the gardens, the plants continue to thrive, particularly when you take to the traditional walking routes known as Levadas. Found all over Madeira, they are irrigation channels which connect the mountain tops to the villages below. Many provide great walking routes as the paths snake their way around the island and often lead to outstanding lookout points. During our holidays, we feature some truly fascinating trails to show off the magnificent island views.

The views are not to be missed in the Azores either. For example, our trips could take you via jeep to see the shimmering ‘Lake of Fire’, a crater lake with multiple vantage points and hiking options. Or you could enjoy a relaxed trip to visit a vineyard so spectacular, it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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