When: May/June for whale watching.
Why: Stunningly green scenery, volcanic caldeiras or craters, Peter’s Café on Faial island, which was voted the World’s Best Sailors’ Bar, and wildlife.
The Azores are a nine-island archipelago which sit on the Gulf Stream and are on the North Atlantic migratory route for sperm and other types of whales. You can take a trip in a small boat and get close, but not too close, to the denizens of the deep. Watch mums and babies and see dolphins swimming and playing alongside the boat. The Azores is also one of the few places you can actually swim with wild dolphins, so don’t forget your wet suit.
Getting there: Emirates flies to Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel island, via Dubai and Lisbon, for around BD360 return. You will need to boat hop between islands and there’s a wide range of accommodation from budget and boutique to four stars plus.