Lagoa Do Fogo,
Drop in on the Azores on your way to Europe this summer.
The nine islands that make up the archipelago of the Azores used to be one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. Lush and green despite being made up of 1,766 volcanoes, this autonomous region within the Portuguese state has made great gains since the 1970s, when it was still a relatively poor fishing outpost. Island life in the Azores teems with opportunities for visitors to sail, dive, go deep-sea fishing and explore more than 120 geotourism sites—everything from volcanic caves and ravines to hot springs. The whale-watching is phenomenal, as the Azores is one of the world’s largest whale sanctuaries, boasting visits from 20 different kinds of whales. The best time to go is really August and September when the rain is down, and both the air and ocean temperatures are high. Check out flights from Toronto or Montreal to Ponta Delgada via SATA airlines at sata.pt.