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[VIDEO] Azores 2016

2016/10/16

Nebyť mojej kamošky Domi, nič by nebolo. Spiatočné letenky z Kodane na Azory v business class za asi 100 eur, na ktoré mi poslala na Nový rok odkaz, nešlo nekúpiť. Aj keď som sa trochu bála, že nám zrušia let (lebo to sa pri error fare občas stáva), alebo že budú Azory presne ako online diskusie varujú a teda miesto pre turistických junkies, bez civilizácie, len vy a divá príroda. Už som v duchu balila do kufra trvanlivé potraviny a lieky na každý neduh, ktorý by ma mohol v divočine potenciálne postihnúť. Ale ako to už u mňa býva zvykom, panika pre nič - za nič, Azory boli pohodička!

KAM ÍSŤ

Najviac atrakcií aj komfortnosti ponúka hlavný ostrov Sao Miguel. Pre skutočné Azory so všetkými výkyvmi počasia, sopkami, piesočnými búrkami a brodením sa džungľou bez jasne značených turistických trás zaskočte radšej na tie susedné. A požičajte si auto! Väčšina osrovov sa dá prejsť sa jediný deň krížom krážom a túto možnosť často ozaj využijete. Lebo keď sa pritrafí na jednom pobreží hmla hustá ako mlieko, na opačnej strane vás zaručene čaká slnkom zaliatý Miradouro, Piscina alebo niečo také (dočítate sa nižšie)

Ideálna 'základná stanica' sa ukázal byť ostrov Pico, ktorý sám ponúka pekné miesta a je len krátkou cestou trajektom vzdialený od ostrova Faial a Sao Jorge.


Pri lete z Pica späť na Sao Miguel sa dá zastaviť na ostrove Terceira, ale navzdory pár názorom na internete, že sa jedná o najkrajší azorský ostrov, až tak uchvátení sme neboli.

Turisticky najobľúbenejši Sao Miguel je super voľba, pokiaľ mierite na Azory na týždeň alebo kratšie. Menšie traily a výlety, kúpanie v teplých prameňoch i v mori, ale aj (konečne) socializácia v meste. Som viac mestský človek a Ponta Delgada mi po týždni na tých dobrodružnejších ostrovoch pripadala so všetkými tými reštauráciami skoro ako veľkomesto. Aj keď nič nechutí tak dobre ako žemľa s nátierkou na konci dlhej túry.



PÁR KONKRÉTNYCH TIPOV

Pico
⁃ prírodné kúpalisko (Piscina) so šmýkalkou Zona Balnear da Poca das Mujas na južnom pobreží
⁃ a Porto Das Baixas tiež na južnom pobreží
⁃ Piscina do Cais na severnom pobreží v meste Sao Roque do Pico

Faial
⁃ výhľad Monte da Guia
⁃ sopka Caldeira
⁃ maják Farol dos Capelinhos a jeho okolie

Sao Jorge
⁃ národný park
⁃ Miraduro da Vigia da Baleia pri majáku Farol Da Ponta Dos Rosais (vraj pekný výhľad, my sme toho moc nevideli)
⁃ Miradouro da Faja do Ouvidor ako súčasť trailu džungľou na juhu ostrova
⁃ Faja das Almas piscina
Sao Miguel
⁃ termálne pramene Poca da Dona Beija vo Furnase
⁃ vonkajší teplý bazén so záhradou v Hoteli Terra Nostra tiež vo Furnase (nezabudnite na Miradouro do Pico de Ferro, keď už budete vo Furnase) ⁃ a do tretice park s termálnymi prameňmi (a vodopádom) Caldeira Velha
⁃ národný park s jazerom Lagoa do Fogo, v ktorom sa dá aj kúpať
⁃ výhľady Vista do Rei v Sete Cidades, kde sa dá okolo jazera požičať si bicykel alebo kanoe, Miradouro do Escalvado, Miradouro de Santa Iria ⁃ prírodné kúpalisko Piscina Naturais de Mosteiros
⁃ obľúbená pláž neďaleko Ponta Delgada Praia do Populo
⁃ plávanie s delfínmi s Futurismom (majú pobočku aj na Picu a ak počasie nevyjde, nenájdete deflíny a nezaplávete si s nimi, vezmú vás zadarmo opať)
⁃ jediné čajové plantáže v Európe Chá Porto Formoso
⁃ miniostrov Illhéu De Vila Franca Do Campo ideálna na šnorchlovanie, kde sa môžete sami dojakakovať (my sme mali kajak cez Mariosup rental vo Vila Franca do Campo)



KDE JESŤ

Rotas - megavýborná vegetariánska reštaurácia v Ponta Deldaga. Boli sme tam asi 2x, zakaždým vynikajúce - od predjedla až po dezert. A čapujú azorské pivo Especial, ktoré inde nenajdete. (Bez rezervácie žiadna šanca.)
A Tasca - najlepšia rybárska reštaurácia široko ďaleko, každý deň iné fish of the day, teda čerstvo ulovené rybky. Aj tu sme boli 2x. A pozor, do oboch týchto reštík je potrebná rezervácia, mávajú plno.
Restaurante Caldeiras & Vulcoes vo Furnase - aj tu sme boli 2x :D ale z prvého zeleninového rizota som bola ovela nadšenejšia ako z toho druhého. Kvalita je teda nestála, no aj tak si toto miesto pamätám ako celkom highlight. (to prvé rizoto bolo vážne vynikajúce)

Mimo Sao Miguel sme nenatrafili na reštauráciu, ktorú by som mohla odporučiť, nieto na miesto kde podávajú dobrú kávu, nebodaj brunch. Zásoby z domu a obstojné potraviny v Lajes na juhu Pica to zakaždým istili.



AZORY sú neopísateľne zaujímavé a spajajú atmosféru vulkanického Islandu s obrovským prírodným bohatstvom, s prímorskou Andalúziou s jej malebnými uličkami a reštauráciami. Okej, preháňam, od Andalúzie ma Ponta Delgada na míle ďaleko, ale stále na Azoroch nájdete toho veľa - sopky, prírodné termálne pramene, vodopády, nádherné výhľady, kúpanie v mori, šnorchlovanie, kajaky, bicykle a aj výstup na najvyššiu horu Portugalska Pico, kam sme sa my (ja) neodhodlali.
Nothing would have happened, if it were not for my friend Dominika. It was her who gave us a tip to check the extra cheap business class return tickets from Copenhagen to Azores for about 100 Euros. It was an opportunity we could not miss, so we ended up flying to Azores this July. I was a bit afraid that our tickets will be cancelled (as it sometimes happens with error fares) and Azores will turn out to be a hiking-junkie paradise without any signs of civilization like avocado sandwich brunches or cafe latte. I imagined myself packing all sorts of supplies like canned food and pills for every imaginable disease we could catch.
However, as usual, it was just me freaking out, Azores were just fine.

WHERE TO GO

It's the Sao Miguel island which provides the highest level of services and also many sights. However, if you want to experience more adventurous side of Azores, full of weather swings, volcanoes, sandstorms and hacking your way through the jungle, I recommend visiting other islands, too. The best way to explore the islands, especially if you are short on time, is to rent a car (or hire a taxi driver/guide in 1 person). Most of the islands are quite small so you can get to the other side of the island in an hour or two, which is very convenient if one side is covered in thick fog or clouds, the other can still be full of sunny miraduros, piscinas and praias.

We decided to use the Pico island as our base camp for the first leg of our trip. It is situated in the middle of the central group of Azores with an easy ferry connection to Faial and Sao Jorge islands.



On our way back to Sao Miguel, where we spent the second part of our trip, we stopped by on Terceira, as it is almost along the way. Despite some online opinions praising Terceria as the most beautiful of the Azores islands, we were not particularly charmed.

The most touristy island-- Sao Miguel --is probably the best choice if you can only spend (less than) a week on Azores. Nice shorter hiking trails, bathing in thermal springs, lakes or the sea, but also a bit of social life in the city, Sao Miguel provides it all. I'm a bit of an urban person myself, so after spending a week on the smaller islands, Ponta Delgada, having all the cafes and restaurants, looked as a true metropolis to me. Although it's true that nothing tastes better than a bun with a buttery spread at the end of a long hike.


A FEW HIGHLIGHTS

Pico island
⁃ Natural swimming pool with sea water (piscina) and a restaurant nearby, called Zona Balnear da Poca das Mujas on the south coast was a nice ending to the Calheta do Nesquim trail. There are a lot of nice picturesque villages along the coast, we liked Porto Das Baixas on the south and Sao Roque do Pico with Piscina do Cais on the north side of the island.

Faial
⁃ A very nice viewpoint overlooking the Horta town called Monte da Guia
Caldeira -- you can take a nice hike around the crater with great views, especially if Pico is visible.
Farol dos Capelinhos lighthouse and its surroundings. Nice museum mapping the recent volcanic eruption, great nearby piscina.

Sao Jorge
⁃ Extraordinary island with great trails towards villages with hardly any road access. We wanted to enjoy the great views from Miraduro da Vigia da Baleia near the Farol Da Ponta Dos Rosais lighthouse, but due to the heavy fog we could barely see a cow 3 meters from us peacefully chewing the green green grass. We got lucky on the other side of the island with great view from Miradouro da Faja do Ouvidor during our jungle hike on the north side of the island.
⁃ A nice bathing at Faja das Almas piscina.
⁃ Lots of trails are very fresh, since you can smell mint growing like weed in a lot of places.

Sao Miguel
⁃ You can find great thermal springs in Furnas: visit Poca da Dona Beija for a bit more natural feeling or Terra Nostra Hotel's thermal pool for something fancier (with a nice garden). Perhaps the most spectacular, though, is a thermal spring with a waterfall at Caldeira Velha not far from Fogo lake.
⁃ A national park around the Fogo lake is also a great hiking place and there are a couple of beaches around the Fogo lake, which is a bit more chilly than the thermal pools, but certainly worth to take a dip in, since it feels like swimming in a tarn.
⁃ Perhaps the most popular viewpoints are situated around the Sete Cidades (e.g. Vista do Rei), a double lake in the crater with a village in between. You can rent bikes or canoes near the lakes and take a tour around the crater, too.
⁃ Maybe it was the weather, but we somehow liked the viewpoints around the Furnas lake (especially Miradouro do Pico de Ferro) a bit more than the Sete Cidades ones.
⁃ There are viewpoints almost everywhere, we also visited Miradouro do Escalvado and Miradouro de Santa Iria.
⁃ Great natural swimming pools and beaches around Mosteiros, but you can find nice beaches also near Ponta Delgada, e.g. Praia do Populo.
Swimming with dolphins (we used Futurismo, first tried on Pico island, but saw almost no dolphins, so we got another chance on Sao Miguel for free). ⁃ The only tea plantations in Europe Chá Porto Formoso
⁃ A tiny island Illhéu De Vila Franca Do Campo ideal for snorkeling. We rented kayaks from Mariosup kayak rental and got there by ourselves, but you can also take a boat from Vila Franca do Campo.




WHERE TO EAT

Rotas - ubergood vegetarian place in Ponta Delgada. We went twice and the food was delicious. Appetizer, main course, dessert, local beer Especial, everything was very good. During the season, there is no chance to get here without a reservation.
A tasca - best fish restaurant we tried. Fresh fish of the dia, grilled every day. We also visited this one twice. Again, a reservation in advance is a must.
Restaurante Caldeiras & Vulcoes vo Furnase - a bit uneven, but can be a pleasant surprise. Great risotto and meat. They can also prepare a local speciality - dish slowly cooked by the thermal steams (but you have to order at least 24hours in advance).

There is no other place outside of San Miguel that I would particularly recommend. No brunch or coffee places, just lots of places full of Magnums and pastry shops.



AZORY are a true gem hidden in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. A little bit like Hawaii (where I've never been), a little bit like Iceland. Great scenery, hiking trails, volcanoes, thermal springs, waterfalls. On top of that, you also get an ocean where you can actually swim, snorkel and kayak. You can even climb the highest peak of Portugal (Pico mountain, of course), which we skipped.. But we thoroughly enjoyed the trip nonetheless. In the end, it's not about the peaks. It's about the experience and the journey #motivationalposter #instantquote.










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3 komentáre

  1. Ach, na tovje fotky by som mohla pozerať od rána do večera. A video? Lovely, lovely, lovely :-) Ozaj, napadlo mi, či by si sem tam nechcela zaradiť aj nejaké tipy pre nadšencov do fotenia, mohlo by to byť zaujímavé a užitočné. Každopádne, skvelý report a keď sa tam náhodou budem niekedy chystať, určite sa zastavím na tomto mieste kuknúť na tvoje tipy :-)

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  2. krásne fotky, super video! vďaka tebe a tomuto článku pridávam Azory do "Places to go" zoznamu :)

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  3. Krásné fotky a super video <3 toč víc, jde ti to a krásně to pak poskládáš i s hudbou a tak celkově

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