Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Go green in the Azores
Archipelago named Europe's best coastal sustainable destination
The Azores Islands have two trump cards when vying with Ireland in creating luminous shades of green. While Ireland boasts more than 40 shades of green, only in the Azores is there a shade of soft reflected green visible in the large crater lake aptly named Green Lake.
There is also a distinctive and lovely hue of bright sunshine green on the leaves of the young tea plants growing in the fields on San Miguel's tea farms.
And it is not only the colour green that makes the Azores a winner but also its place in the Green Tourism industry. It recently topped the polls once again as the best European coastal sustainable holiday destination.
This prestigious award recognizes the efforts that contribute to sustainable tourism while maintaining local identity, natural and cultural heritage, scenic beauty and the very important clean environment.
Spend any time on the Azores and it quickly becomes evident just how well deserving this award is for the local tourism industry.
It recognizes all the hard work that goes into developing a successful and profitable tourist industry while keeping the environment as a priority.
Supporting this cause by planning a holiday in the Azores will keep the industry growing and keep the awareness of this important movement in the forefront of travel.
Planning a trip to the Azores takes only a few easy steps. The best place to start is at www.visitazores.com, which provides a complete list of travel options, including accommodation choices. If you enjoy the outdoors, you will enjoy the Azores.
Picos de Aventura (www.picosdeaventura.com) is an adventure company located on the main island of San Miguel that offers awe-inspiring land- and sea-exploration programs. Sea activities include the opportunity to do some mega-whale watching with more than 24 species of whales living in this part of the ocean.
Majestic sperm whales and short-finned pilot whales can be seen all year-round.
It's also the ideal place for participants to experience the thrill of spending a few hours swimming among wild dolphins in ocean water.
Land options are highlighted with the exhilarating programs of adventure canyoning and the chance to experience a day of hiking or cycling through a variety of lush landscapes and along volcanic trails.
Adventure canyoning is an exciting sport that combines hiking, climbing, descending cliffs, crossing rivers, swimming and even sliding down waterfalls. No wonder it is considered to be the complete sport.
Sacred Rides (www.sacredrides.com) has an exciting program catering to skilled mountain bikers and all-mountain free riders. Participants are promised their tour will include many adventures such as riding like hell down ancient fisherman trails and rappelling down vertiginous falls.
Local accommodation is listed with the Association for Tourism in Rural Areas (www.casasacorianas.com).
Homes shown on this site provide guests with a chance to enjoy accommodation that respects the historical architecture while providing modern amenities and transportation options. Some of the homes listed offer a chance for guests to participate in rural chores such as winemaking or harvesting.
SATA offers regular air service between Toronto and Ponta Delgada on the main island of San Miguel.
Passengers can find prices and flight schedules, including connecting flights with WestJet, at www.sata.pt.
-- Postmedia News
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 17, 2013 E3
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