If your looking for your next summer destination that is filled with fun in the sun and great culture then the Azores islands are for you. These beautiful 9 islands, located off the coast of Portugal are a nature lovers paradise. The summer ranges from mid June until about Mid September and is on average between 20-30 degrees celsius. The beautiful blue sky dives into the majestic blue ocean, while all the colors of the season surround you, on these mysterious islands. It is as if time stands still here, and you just admire your surrounding while the warm atlantic breeze blows by. Here with a population of just over 240,000 people dispursed over 9 islands is a great place to come and experience a world of culture. The summer months are filled with local and religious festivals where all the locals take part in decorating the streets with flowers for the celebration and procession of the local patron saint of the town. This is a great time to take part in local auctions of fresh baked goods, fruits and vegetables from local farmers etc. There is always good music and great local food available with many activities for kids and adults. These are special islands in the sense that they are not large tourist destinations and the population thrives by living in a eco-friendly manner. The preservation of the culture and natural beauty has always been an important part of the Azorean culture, where a delicate balance between tourism and preservation is met. The beaches are small stone, or dark sand beaches here in the Azores, except on the island of Santa Maria where they have white sands beaches. The majority of the tourism takes place on 3 islands, Sao Miguel, Terceira and Faial which received 90% of tourists. That leaves the other 6 islands receiving just under 10% of visitors to the region. That is a shame as each island in the Azores has a unique charm to it and all have great flora and fauna worth exploring. The regional airline is making it easier for travelers to explore all islands in the Azores with an Island hopper pass where you can pay a set rate and explore all 9 islands by plane for the duration you decide to purchase. A great idea, and will sure make it easier for visitors to explore the deep caves, laurel forests or montain tops of some of the Atlantic’s most unique islands. The summer is the busiest time of the year with constant flights and cruise ships landing daily in the Azores. It is no wonder the regional government has put a cap on the maximum amount of hotel rooms allowed on the islands to prevent over expanding and destroying the very essence that makes the Azores so magical. The island of Sao Miguel has all the luxuries of a modern-day European capital with the benefits of small town living.The coffee shops and restaurants are open late during the summer months and the streets are always filled with tourists and locals in Ponta Delgada until late. Unlike in North America the bars don’t close at 2am here even though they stop serving alchool at that point. Many bars and clubs are open until 5am for those late night party goers. The islands are known for the lack of any major crime and only petty crimes seem to exist here, with no reports of anything involving tourists. Unlocked car doors, or wallets left out in plain reach are often targets of small time petty thieves and although it is not a problem in the Azores, it is always good to be cautious and avoid the possibility by locking your car etc. There are dozens upon dozens of small town and big city festivals and concerts all summer long in the Azores and is one of the main reasons many younger generations are coming during the summer to explore the popular music festivals. The hot air balloon festival, paragliding, medieval festival, white party, casino night and countless celebrations in all the towns and villages make this a fun place to be in the summer. It is a perfect spot to come for a week or two and explore the wonders of this volcanic paradise and its unique eco-system.