Guildford Travel Club Presents

Portugal’s 23 Atlantic Islands

29th January 2019

Ian Coates


These four archipelagos are linked by their Portuguese heritage but have taken different routes to prosperity. The Azores and Madeira are very much part of Europe, whereas the islands of Cape Verde and Sao Tome have followed their African heritage. Each is striving to create a niche in which to prosper.

It’s almost universally agreed the Portuguese were prolific travellers and explorers. They opened trade routes along the west coast of Africa, across the Atlantic and deep into Asia. Their first major discovery was Madeira, which is probably one of the best-known islands in the world. But there are a further 22 islands waiting to be explored, most of which hide behind a cloud of obscurity; occasionally mentioned, but seldom visited.

Ian Coates, MD of Archipelago Choice, has walked, climbed, cycled and worked all over the world. But 20 years ago, thanks to his wife, Sarah he discovered the magical Azores islands and was hooked. Together they set up a travel company and have slowly been visiting Portuguese islands and promoting their charms to a wider world.

For more information on Ian take a look at his travel company website.

Pico de Antónia, Santiago, Cape Verde
Festival time in São Tomé
Looking down to the Paúl Valley on Santo Antão, Cape Verde
Seta Cidades, São Miguel, Azores
Well protected vines, Pico, Azores