Hotel tips: Our favorite 16 hotels in the Azores

A nature lover's paradise: the nine islands of the Azores are volcanic, with shimmering green crater lakes, dense cloud forests and a rich floral world from hydrangeas to orchids. Portugal's highest mountain, Pico, is imposing, and the many hot springs and natural swimming pools are relaxing. In the sea you can swim with whales and dolphins. The main island, São Miguel, has colonial buildings and hotels. Pineapples grow here, and it is the only place in Europe where tea is still grown.