Bradt's Azores guidebook is the only comprehensive guidebook to the nine-island archipelago, a nature-lovers' wilderness perched at the western extremity of Europe in the mid-Atlantic, and one of the best places in the world for whale watching. This new edition continues to provide the strong geological and botanical information that is so integral to the islands and essential for all nature lovers, but it also has an expanded focus taking in the land- and sea-based activities which have become a significant part of the Azores tourism offering in the past few years. Also included is all of the practical information needed to make the most of these new opportunities, plus a full update on the accommodation upgrades that have taken place in recent times to cater for the influx of new visitors.
The Azores has strong links with the USA, with a healthy diaspora, and a shared history through emigration and whaling. An increasing number of visitors from the USA are choosing to visit.
Green, and with a mild climate throughout the year thanks to the Gulf Stream, each island has its own attractions and identity. Safe and welcoming, the islands are drawing in a whole new group of visitors, mainly from Europe and the USA, attracted by the diversity of outdoor activities, easier accessibility and improvements to the visitor infrastructure. The Azores volcanic origin make for a rugged, diverse landscape, a suitable backdrop for excellent walking, mountain-biking and canyoning, while whale-watching, kayaking, windsurfing and fishing provide off-shore opportunities for independent travelers and adventurous families alike.
The islands' 500 year history is well-documented in a host of museums, allowing visitors to learn about the fluctuating fortunes and strategic importance of the archipelago across the centuries. Attractive architecture, carefully preserved festivals, three islands with UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status, an interesting range of flora and many botanical gardens are all covered in this guide.
David Sayers is a horticulturist who studied at Kew and overseas, and has spent a lifetime exploring the world for plants. Abandoning gardening after 20 years and graduating in social sciences, he worked in social policy and corporate planning, at the same time using annual leave to lead adventure/botanical holidays to the Himalayas for Thomas Cook and others. In 1982 he formed a company specializing in botanical and garden travel and for 26 years arranged and led tours worldwide. In 1984, he offered the Azores for the first time and led the first ever tour group to climb Pico and to visit São Jorge, Flores and Corvo. He now writes on botanical travel.
Murray Stewart is an experienced guidebook updater and something of an island and archipelago specialist having updated Bradt's guidebook on Cape Verde , another mid-Atlantic destination. He is a keen walker and has a passion for wildlife and the outdoors in general. He speaks five languages, including some Portuguese.