The Azores

A European Hawaii

It may not be a secret, but this archipelago of idyllic islands is far enough off the beaten path to feel like a discovery. Peaceful and easy-going, the region offers a dramatic landscape of verdant valleys and crater lakes, sleepy villages and smouldering mud pots. On Sao Miguel, the largest of the islands, you can explore the 200-year-old garden paradise of Terra Nostra Park or take a therapeutic dip in the warm iron water of the Caldiera Velha waterfalls. Along your journey enjoy a gentle backdrop of brightly-coloured fishing boats, whitewashed buildings and turquoise waters.