The 6 most beautiful islands in Portugal

Portugal’s islands are the perfect destination for an unforgettable beach holiday, because they take you to remote places where tranquillity and fun merge with the wonder of magnificent natural landscapes.

Discover the unforgettable ocean scenery of the Azores, with their exotic atmospheres and the most enchanting beaches you can imagine. Madeira will surprise you with its colours and small towns rich in history and flavours. Don’t miss Portugal’s most beautiful neighbouring islands, to the south of the beautiful Algarve region.

Madeira is rightly known as the Garden of the Atlantic, a true wonder in the middle of the Ocean, just over an hour’s flight from Lisbon. With its enchanting and sometimes wild landscapes, its renowned and brilliant beaches, the island is one of Europe’s most popular summer holiday destinations. Your days by the sea will be pleasantly interspersed with activities of all kinds. You can discover poignant landscapes with an excursion to Ponta de São Lourenço, sample the famous local wine in the picturesque old town and visit the kaleidoscopic terraces of the botanical gardens.

São Miguel
The island of São Miguel is the largest in the Azores archipelago and is rich in attractions and points of interest. The entire island is a perfect backdrop for your excursions, between immense green expanses and mountainous and hilly vistas. Its beautiful beaches of volcanic sand offer postcard-perfect images and invite you to dive into the calm ocean waves. The city of Ponta Delgada, as well as the small villages of Nordeste and Caloura, will captivate you with their colours and flavours and the vitality of the locals. Don’t miss a visit to Lago Verde (Green Lake) and Lago Azure (Blue Lake), connected by a romantic bridge, at Sete Cidades.

Terceira is probably the most fun destination for visitors to the Azores. Like São Miguel, it has very good accommodation and road organisation, but probably adds that extra touch in terms of events, folklore and party spirit. Obviously, like any other island in the archipelago, the highlight is the natural landscape. Here, your trekking appetite will be rewarded by unrepeatable descents into the mouths of extinct volcanoes and beaches that tempt you to surf or sail, such as Praia da Vitoria.

Santa Maria
Small and close to the island of São Miguel, the island of Santa Maria is a festival of colours that will always give you new sensations. From the multicoloured houses of Vila do Porto, to the characteristic red earthen expanses of the Barreiros, the scenery here is an incessant interplay of hues, which inevitably flows into the turquoise of the Atlantic. Enjoy the view from the summit of Pico Alto and discover the wonders of nature with an excursion to Pedreira do Campo, where marine fossils on high ground tell of the ancient origins of this volcanic island.

Pico, São Jorge and Faial
These three islands form the central part of the Azores archipelago and are easily accessible from Terceira. Pico has its main attraction in Montanha do Pico, the highest point of the archipelago and an ideal destination for an excursion. The cellars of the local vineyards await you with their fine bottles of fruity wines. Faial, the blue island, is ideal for nature excursions and will surprise you with the characteristic murals of Horta. In São Jorge you can indulge in the pleasures of good food, including seafood specialities and local cheeses.

Algarve Islands
Who says you have to cross the ocean to spend your holiday on the Portuguese islands? In the south of the country, off the coast of the Algarve, there are beautiful islands with beautiful sandy beaches, less frequented by mass tourism and a favourite destination for surfers and other summer sports enthusiasts. The islands of Armona and Tavira, in particular, are a perfect destination for pure relaxation holidays, just minutes away from the mainland.