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Opening up the senses of visitors to the Azores and a simple tip to ensure more sustainable tourism!

Scientific studies have proven what we all suspected: being in nature has a profound impact on our brains, emotions and behaviour. It reduces anxiety, feelings of sadness and stress and increases attention span, creativity and the ability to connect with ourselves and others.

The Azores have long been a nature destination, where people who visit it want to breathe in the fresh air of the islands, feel the plants touching their bodies as they walk, take a dip in the deepest Atlantic, taste the delicacies of the islands with an authentic, homemade flavour. Slow down, get off the beaten track, get out of the frenetic routine.

Visitors are usually very keen to do this because it’s a faraway destination, which often involves more than one stopover and where there’s also the risk that your suitcases won’t arrive on the same flight, or that it will rain on the day you had planned to do something outside. For these and other reasons, visitors need to bring a flexible mindset with them, as they will certainly have to reformulate and readjust their plans. These different factors mean that those who visit the Azores know exactly where they want to go. It means that they have done their homework beforehand and are aware of how fragile but also captivating the environment of the islands is, where nature, the differentiating factor of the Azore’s destination, has to be taken care of by all who visit. Lifestyle, and consequently tourism, flow at a different, slower, more conscious pace, which makes it possible to fully connect with the experiences lived.

For those thinking of coming on holiday to the Azores, here’s a tip. Packing is probably the hardest part of organising a trip to the mid-Atlantic. You’ll have to include at least one item of clothing from each season… and yes, you may have to wear them all on the same day. But the tip is about the reusable water bottle, which is part of the Azores kit. You’ll need to have one in your luggage, as there are drinking water fountains in almost every corner of the Azores’ rural parishes (always check the condition of the water before drinking it, it’s a great excuse to chat with the locals!).

This way, you’ll reduce your plastic consumption and have the opportunity to taste the different waters of the islands – all advantages! On Sundays, these fountains are the scene of queues of people who believe in the properties and/or purity of these waters and gather to fill up their jugs for the month.

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