We all know companies relying on tourism are facing many challenges. In spite of the new recommendations, it's still possible to travel in a safe way. At My Bookpack we make sure to give you all the tips and information you need to spend a great time away from home!
Açores and Madeira are at the top of our list when it comes to travelling during the pandemic and below we'll tell you why.
Açores and Madeira are a safe bet
Both Açores and Madeira have taken early measures to contain the spread of COVID19 and they're amongst the safest destinations in Europe. In fact, Madeira was elected the European Safest Christmas Destination for 2020. You can read all about it here.
In spite of the decrease of international tourism, both archipelagos are welcoming travellers from many destinations ensuring all the appropriate measures are followed. Before heading to any of these islands you have to be tested and the tests are paid by the local government, which contributes to locals and tourists feeling safe and taken care of.
Açores and Madeira have an incredible natural heritage
When we think about travelling now the best option is being outdoors and away from the crowds. These Portuguese archipelagos are hard to beat when it comes to natural scenery and the landscapes are quite different from the ones we find in mainland Portugal. Plus nowadays silence is a given and it invites you to spend some time immersed in the purest of nature.
It is astonishing how all the natural elements are present: earth, which is mostly covered by green pastures and luxurious forests; fire, since the islands were formed as a consequente of big volcanic explosions; water all around, from the ocean to the lagoons and beautiful waterfalls; pure and fresh air; and the space that holds them all together. In Açores and Madeira Mother Nature is impressive and it really makes us feel a tiny piece of the truly important picture.
The islands are a playground for sport fans and outdoor lovers
Staying active is important and the islands of Açores and Madeira are great for fans of the big outdoors and those looking for a sporty break.
One of the best ways to explore the islands is hiking and there are fascinating hiking trails in each and every one of them. But if walking isn't your thing there are MTB trails, lagoons with calm waters perfect for SUP, rivers streams that can be explored doing canyoning and even paragliding if you crave for a bird's eye view.
Apart from the endless options in land, the ocean that surrounds the islands is bursting with marine life and it's also a joy to discover through sports. Surfing, kayaking, sailing, snorkeling and diving are some of the water sports you can find in both archipelagos.
Gastronomy in the islands is surprising
Some dishes are similar to the ones you can find in the continent, but others are quite unique and surprising even for a Portuguese.
In Açores there are many options for both meat and fish lovers, but also great choices for vegetarians and vegans. The soils are rich and even coffee and tea are grown in some islands. If we had to choose a dish, we'd go for pineapple with black pudding as an appetiser and seared tuna as a main. And a glass of wine from Pico with a chunck of cheese from São Jorge!
Madeira has a tropical climate, which explains the abundance of exotic fruits. Bananas and passion fruit are our favourites, and combined they're used to make a local sauce. Black swordfish fillets and beef skewers are a staple in Madeira Island and they're both delicious. When it comes to drinks, poncha - a strong drink made with sugar cane spirit, honey and lemon juice - and Madeira wine are the heroes.
People from Açores and Madeira are welcoming
The perfect greeting card for these islands are, without a shred of doubt, the locals. The açorianos and the madeirenses are very friendly and welcoming, which makes a trip to the islands an experience without any flaws.
The decrease in the number of tourists visiting Açores and Madeira has had a big impact on the local economy and the lives of many local people. In order to allure visitors in and increase revenue, all the pieces of the tourism puzzle are now cheaper: flights, accommodation, restaurants, activities, experiences... Now is a great time to visit these archipelagos, not only to help them survive these troubled times, but also because there's really no excuse not to include them on your bucket list!
Get in touch if you want a personalized trip to explore Açores or Madeira.