Considered the “Hawaii of Europe” at 900 to 1,200 miles (1,400-2,000km) west of the Iberian Peninsula, the Azores are a hidden Atlantic oasis. Uninhabited until the 15th century, this far-flung archipelago was created by volcanic eruptions and is as mountainous as it is geologically diverse — its quiet beaches only disturbed by the sounds of whales and dolphins.

We recommend hiking to the above sea-level lake of Lagoa das Furnas, visiting the ornate chapel of Nossa Senhora das Vitórias, or travelling through the Japanese cedar lined roads of São Miguel. Or, you can even head below the surface and scuba to see rays, turtles, and moray eels in the bay, marlin and tuna along the peaks of submerged volcanoes and underwater cliffs, and the many shipwrecks that line the seafloor.  

Pico do Refúgio, art, hotel, boutique, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal
Azores , Portugal

Pico do Refúgio

Artsy modernism melts within aged tea plantation walls perched upon a verdant hilltop – a house of uninterrupted rural life where Azorean beauty bursts from the terracotta architecture and the scents of wild coastal nature clean the air.

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A Scottish landscape of rural nature, in Kingussie, near Killiehuntly boutique Hotel

Top 10 small design hotels lost in Mother Nature

Be prepared to put your visual settings on WOW – each of these little style nuggets has a location that will remain in your thoughts for an eternity (well, until you return home that is...)

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Ever been to the Azores?

The tiny hilltop Pico do Refúgio on the lush volcanic island of Sâo Miguel in the Azores plays host to a creative palette of art, design and heaps of nature.

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