Azores, Paperback - David Sayers
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Description Bradt's Azores is the only comprehensive guidebook to the nine-island archipelago, a nature-lovers' wilderness perched at the western extremity of Europe in the mid-Atlantic, and one of the best places in the world for whale watching. Thanks to the experience of expert botanist and author David Sayers, and the ongoing involvement of author Murray Stewart, the book retains a depth of knowledge about flora and fauna and continues to provide the strong geological and botanical information that is so integral to getting to know the islands. This new edition has been thoroughly updated and also has an expanded focus taking in the land- and sea-based activities which have become a significant part of Azores attractions in the past few years.In Bradt's Azores, full background and practical information is complemented by a region-by-region breakdown and nine chapters - one per island - to provide all the details needed for a successful visit. There are also 29 maps and separate sections on language and the islands' flora. This new edition includes details of Ponta Delgada's new 5-star hotels and Santa Maria's new round-island walk, plus a full update on the accommodation upgrades that have taken place in recent times. Information about new waymarked walks is also covered, plus new bike-hire and whale-watching companies.Safe and welcoming, the islands attract geologists, bird-watchers, whale-watchers and anyone who loves nature in all its forms. Mountaineers head to Pico to climb Portugal's highest peak, while the diverse landscape makes a suitable backdrop for excellent walking, mountain-biking or canyoning. A geological curiosity, nature-lover's paradise and, more recently, mid-Atlantic adventure playground, the Azores have become increasingly accessible in recent years, notably with more flights arriving direct from North America and an increasing number of visitors arriving on cruise ships. Despite the increase in visitor numbers, though, the islands retain an authenticity, a genuineness which in most places remains true to its roots. About the Author Horticulturist and author David Sayers ran a travel company for 26 years and in 1984 pioneered the first ever walking/botanical tour to the Azores. He has been going back ever since and has led many tours, sharing his enthusiasm for the life of all nine islands. Over the years it has been a journey of constant discovery, finding new walks, new eateries, new interests as the islands have gradually joined the modern world without losing their native charm. Empathy for these isolated islands brought requests to help restore several of Săo Miguel's historic gardens, which are now visitor 'must sees'. After a lifetime of worldwide travel, the Azores remain his favourite destination. While David has continued to lend his considerable expertise and knowledge to the writing of this new edition, general authorship has rested with Murray Stewart. While working on the previous edition of this guide, he spent some months visiting the Azores, and for this edition he has returned once more. A keen walker, he has fully enjoyed the numerous excellent hikes on all nine Azorean islands, crossing landscapes sculpted by years of volcanic activity. One of his keenest memories was offshore, spotting fin, blue and pilot whales in one magical morning off Ponta Delgada. 'I love the islands' authenticity' he says, which remains intact despite increasing visitors numbers. Murray is an experienced guidebook updater and author with a passion for wildlife and the outdoors in general. He speaks five languages, including some Portuguese, and in 2016 won the British Guild of Travel Writers' Award for Best Travel Guide for the first edition of Bradt's Basque Country and Navarre.