Portugal and the Azores -- Coming 2022

Travellers in the know consider Portugal to be one of the best European destinations. Personally, from a travel and landscape photographer's perspective, it is not hard to understand why. With the diversity of landscapes, rugged coastline, and relatively small size, Portugal is easy to take in, especially when one sets out on a self-drive tour.

When most people think of Portugal, the Algarve comes to mind with its red-cliffed coastline and idyllic whitewashed Moorish villages dotted with lattice chimneys and orange groves. 

However, don't overlook Porto. Porto is Portugal's second-biggest city and is very different from Lisbon's capital. Porto is unpretentious and unashamedly commercial, stubbornly clinging to a slightly time-worn way of life.

The Azores, with its nine tiny black lava atolls rising from the depths of the mid-Atlantic, has been described as the Hawaii of Europe. The reasons are not hard to see. Their breathtaking natural landscapes are truly wonderful.

On São Miguel, the green island, you'll experience crater lake-fed waterfalls tumbling down basalt cliffs, rivulets coursing down rain-forest covered hills, and lush green pastures dotted with cows. The Azores are landscape photographers' and gardeners' dreams. The other islands cross a spectrum of biomes. Tiny Santa Maria is an island of fine white-sand beaches. Terceira, the heart of the archipelago first settled in 1450, is a wild and hilly island with many walking and hiking trails. Much of Terceira is a nature reserve with a patchwork of small farms and stonewalls. Another island is Faial. It is close to the tectonic divide between the European and North American plates. Many consider Faial the westernmost point in Europe (from a geophysical perspective).