The Azores archipelago is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, 1000 miles west of Portugal. It is the only land between America and Europe. From the Azores we have three weeks of sailing the ocean on our way to Stavanger in Norway. Here we will meet the international Tall Ship fleet and race them to Harlingen! Experience the Tall Ship Races on a square rigger!
The nine Portuguese islands, dominated by a volcanic mountain range, offer a rare and unspoiled natural beauty. There are meadows filled with the scent of wild herbs and vivid, colourful flowers line the roads. It is quite the perfect setting to relax. The Azores are also a perfect place to watch whales and different species of dolphins.
Horta is the capital city of the Island Faial, also called Ilha Azul (blue island). The blooming Hydrangea are found everywhere on the island, creating a blue see of flowers in June and July. Horta has a popular marina for sailing vessels that are on a transatlantic voyage. Horta's renowned marina amongst sailors has become an open-air gallery of colourful painted murals by sailing crew before departing on their next voyage.
Stavanger is a city in the northwest region of Norway and is the capital city of the Rogaland county. Stavanger has been a relatively small city for quite some time, but expanded in the 19th century when the city profited from the fisheries and shipping industries. Only after 1969, when the first oil field was discovered in the North Sea, Stavanger became the centre of the oil industry. The region became one of the most important players of the Norwegian economy and European oil industry.
In Stavanger the charm of a small city is combined with metropolitan liveliness. Stavanger is a university city and received the price of European cultural city of 2008. The old center of Stavanger offers Europe’s best preserved wooden house settlement, consisting of more than 170 white wooden little houses. A bit north from the city begins the Lysefjord, described as one of the most beautiful fjords of the country. The famous rock Preikestolen is part of the Lysefjord.