The Azores has welcomed Ocean travellers and sailors for centuries. Most yachts stop in the Azores on their way across the Atlantic. Although hundreds of yachts call every year, very few of them cruise around the islands. With their secluded bays, uncrowded anchorages and protected harbours, the Azores are still waiting to be discovered as a cruising destination in their own right. Yachting facilities are concentrated in the 4 main ports: Horta, Ponta Delgada, Angra do Heroismo and Praia da Vitoria. The majority of the yachts stop in Horta (island of Faial), one of the perennially favourite places of long-distance sailors.
The Azores are Portuguese, and there are 9 islands in 3 distinct groups – all volcanic with ancient Caldera craters. Only Pico still has an original cone over 2351m high. From June – October the weather is dominated by the Azores High. Summer temperatures typically reach 23 degrees centigrade. Evenings are cooler than the Caribbean. The shorelines are often steep cliffs and the vegetation is lush with much tropical fruit as well as fresh dairy products.
Blue water sailing around the Azores
The Eastern Atlantic Islands of The Azores, lies at just far enough north to catch the prevailing SW wind and carry sailing ships towards Europe and the English Channel. Thus they have been a staging posts for square rig sailors and yachtsmen through the centuries, these mountainous island landfalls with lush vegetation are a welcome reward on our 10-14 day ocean passages.
There is more to becoming a blue water sailor than swapping oilskins for shorts, but a winter suntan certainly helps. Ocean sailors happily adapt to a watch routine and the constant motion of the ship day and night. Experience all the ships moods from glassy calms to white capped swells launching flying fish from crest to crest.