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The 9 Most Stunning Beaches on the Azores

With nine different islands, this Portuguese archipelago has plenty of coastlines to offer. The beaches of these volcanic islands have everything from black, red, and golden sand, to natural pools formed by lava rocks.

In partnership with Delta Air Lines

The unspoiled nature of the Azores is what draws visitors to this magical, autonomous region of Portugal. Situated 1,360km from the West Coast of Portugal, the volcanos, lakes, waterfalls, and luxuriant green landscape draw visitors to the Azores, but the Atlantic is never far from sight and visitors will be constantly reminded of the ocean’s presence.

While not typically thought of as a beach vacation destination, the coastline of the Azores is not to be overlooked. The beaches here have character, solitude, and incredible backdrops no matter which way you look.

Delta Air Lines operates a direct service to the Azores from NYC, opening the door to a European island vacation in under six hours from the States.

Here are the 9 most stunning beaches on the Azores:

1. Natural Pool (Mosteiros, São Miguel)

These pools are the perfect atypical “beach” to visit while you’re on the islands… just make sure you have sneakers to walk on the volcanic rocks and use the ladders to descend into these blissful, natural pools.

2. Praia de Santa Barbara (Ribeira Grande, São Miguel)

Depending on the waves, this beach can be the ultimate surf (or surf watching!) spot. Black volcanic sands and deep blue water create a uniquely beautiful ambiance made even better by a cold beer from the beach cafe.

3. Porto Pim Bay (Horta, Faial)

Porto Pim is 5-10 minutes from the center of Horta and its famous harbor and it offers stunning panoramic views from its black sand. It’s a Blue Flag beach with a lifeguard area, showers, and restaurants/cafes.

4. Mosteiros Beach (Mosteiros, São Miguel)

One of the more dramatic sections of coastline on the Azores, Mosteiros is most recognizable by its huge black volcanic rocks jutting out from the sea.

5. Praia Formosa (Vila do Porto, Santa Maria)

Long, clean, and on the less-populated island of Santa Maria, Praia Formosa is a Blue Flag beach with a charming eatery.

6. Praia do Almoxarife (Horta, Faial)

At Praia do Almoxarife, gray volcanic sands offer a direct view of Pico Volcano across the water. This beach in Horta is generally less crowded than Porto Pim Bay and has easy ocean access along with a calm, natural pool surrounded by lava rocks.

7. Islet of Vila Franca do Campo (São Miguel)

Located off the coast of São Miguel, this beach is small but incredibly special. It’s located on the inside rim of an ancient, submerged volcanic crater. The lake inside is connected to the sea by a small opening and the entire Islet is a protected Nature Reserve.

8. Piscinas do Carapacho (Carpacho, Graciosa)

The bright blue water of these natural pools is enclosed by black lava rocks, creating both a picturesque and relaxing day at the beach. Nearby, Carpacho’s thermal spas are accessible for a small fee.

9. Praia do Barro Vermelho (Santa Cruz, Graciosa)

This beach on Graciosa is home to the only red sand on the island. It’s nearby to the famous black and white striped lighthouse of Graciosa.

To recap, the 10 most beautiful beaches in the Azores are:

1. Natural Pool (Mosteiros)
2. Praia de Santa Barbara (Ribeira Grande)
3. Porto Pim Bay (Horta)
4. Mosteiros Beach (Mosteiros)
5. Praia Formosa (Vila do Porto)
6. Praia do Almoxarife (Horta)
7. Islet of Vila Franca do Campo (São Miguel)
8. Piscinas do Carapacho (Carpacho)
9. Praia do Barro Vermelho (Santa Cruz)