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Madeira and Azores: Two of the most sustainable destinations in the world

Madeira and Azores have volcanic origins. However, this does not mean that the archipelagos have the same characteristics.

Madeira and Azores Archipelagos: Two of the most sustainable destinations in the world

Madeira promotes several activities that focus on sustainability, preservation, natural and cultural enhancement. Madeira promotes various activities that focus on sustainability, preservation, natural and cultural valorization. In this way, it manages to cover several tourist activities and maintains its traditional customs.

Among the highlights of Madeira are Ponta de São Lourenço, the Desertas Islands, the Selvagens Islands, Rocha do Navio and Garaju. All are Madeira Nature Reserves. Garaju is one of the places that promotes some of the best diving activities.

The Azores also have some highlights, such as São Miguel and its lakes, Santa Maria and its fossils, the caves of Terceira, the cones of Graciosa, the fajãs of São Jorge, the Pico Mountain, the Capelinhos volcano in Faial, the waterfalls of Ilha das Flores and the Caldeirão do Corvo.

Some of the ecotourism activities promoted on the islands of Madeira and the Azores are hiking, observation of fauna and flora, diving with dolphins, water sports, among others.

Madeira Archipelago

The Madeira archipelago is also an example in relation to animal protection. One of the animals most at risk of extinction in Portugal, the monk seal, continues to be preserved on the island.

The Laurissilva Forest stands out for its extension and richness. With more than 15 thousand hectares on the island, it has been a World Heritage Site since 1991. It also has a very characteristic biodiversity, with a very endemic fauna, especially birds.

Find out more about Madeira.

Azores archipelago

The Azores are rich in biodiversity and geodiversity. It is one of the best destinations for ecotourism in Portugal.

Its islands are home to several species of birds, such as terns, wood pigeons, blackbirds and others. In Serra da Tronqueira, in São Miguel, the Azores bullfinch (priôlo in Portuguese) has a special protection status, due to its rarity. And also, the bats, which are the only mammals native to these islands.

Madeira and Azores have great aquatic diversity, such as dolphins, whales, crustaceans, molluscs and fish. On the flora of the Azores, the Azores juniper, heather, laurel, whitewood, Frangula azorica (sanguinho) and other native species stand out. Among the large trees, the cryptomeria, the araucaria and the metrosidero, which are important for the Azorean landscape, stand out.

Find out more about the Azores islands.

What to do when traveling to Madeira and the Azores?

Madeira and Azores have a huge variety of ecotourism activities. On trips to Madeira and the Azores, depending on the travel model and tourist expectations, it will be possible to find activities such as:

  • Snorkeling and Diving
  • Canoeing
  • bird watching
  • Sport fishing
  • Horse riding
  • Hiking
  • bike tours
  • Whale and dolphin watching
  • Various water sports

Why look for ecotourism activities in Madeira and Azores islands

Whether in Madeira or the Azores, the variety of flora and fauna, natural parks and forest reserves show that both destinations are quite complete in terms of nature. They are well-preserved places with many ecotourism activities. Therefore, they are considered sanctuaries of biodiversity and two of the best destinations for ecotourism in the world.

Bianca Pinheiro

Bianca Pinheiro


Graduated in Tourism from Universidade Anhembi Morumbi in São Paulo, Bianca Pinheiro did an exchange program in Gold Coast, Australia, when she was 18 years old. Since then, she fell in love with getting to know different cultures and new countries.

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This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)