Photo: DJ Struntz

Situated some 850 miles west of Portugal (and 1200 miles SE of Newfoundland), the Azores represent something of a last frontier in European surfing.

For decades kept reasonably hush hush by locals and regular Portuguese trippers, in recent years the WQS Prime event has helped open the surf world at large’s eyes to the islands’ credentials.

Not as sunny as the Canaries - and thus nowhere near as toursity - while offering a fair bit more variety and lots more beachbreak than Madeira, The Azores have a bit of everything; old world charm, rural Portuguese feel with raw Atlantic juice.

If it’s adventure, a bit of the unknown, a step off the beaten track, an Azores trip has your name written all over it.

Surf Consistency: 7 Wave Variety: 5

Climate: 6 Budget: 7 Radness: 7

Ideally, the anticyclone bearing its name (the Azores High) keeps lows far enough away to keep conditions clean, while the swell window is wide, wide open.

Have a look at ‘em on a map… they’re as close as you’re gonna get to being in the middle of the Atlantic without doing a yacht crossing.

Reckon they cop much swell…?