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gibraltar , madeira or Azores

hello,
We have 6 days this august and wondering which two of the above we should do ? We enjoy short easy hikes and sandy warm water beaches . I realize all 3 are lovely but if we can only do two , any suggestions most welcome .
thanks in advance
Mary

Posted by
3994 posts

These days, Gibraltar is tacky and with the Spanish regularly blocking its entrance as they claim sovereignty, I would avoid this as the surrounding Spanish coast is better. With only 6 days, I would just do one of the options personally as both are long flights from the European mainland. Both offer different things and it depends on your own preferences.

The weather will be a similar temperature in both other locations, but on average Madeira is drier in August - 14% chance of rain vs 37% in the Azores.

Posted by
984 posts

Crumbs! Three days in Gibraltar. How did you come up with this odd idea for comparison?

There are fine walks with the levadas on Madeira. Whether you are up to them with your definition of 'short easy' I would not know. There is little in the way of sandy beaches.

Azores no comment, never been, never researched.

I also suggest you stick with one destination, if this is six days only, you are going exhaust a near third in travel.

Posted by
379 posts

Madeira lacks sandy beaches, but the nearby Porto Santo has plenty (it's a 15 minute flight or a relatively short ferry ride away).

Posted by
409 posts

Hi Mary,
For my time and money, I would pick either Azores or Madeira. There is more then enough at either destination for 1 week. I have been to both, but Azores is my specialty! Even with these two destinations, there are many differences. I suggest you look over my earlier posts regarding both/each of them.

Madeira is very touristy and cost more, whereas Azores, specifically the islands I know well Sao Miguel and Santa Maria, are less so! I feel (Azores) they are very authentic to their history and culture. Also, I love seeing animals all over the Azores islands, and you will see very few animals in Madeira. I learned that Madeira is too steep to let animals graze, the Azorean islands are mainly rolling hills which allow grazing. Madeira has great walks/hikes, and the Azores as well. Beaches...hands down the Azores! Quaint villages...Azores. Ability to mingle with the locals Rick Steves style...Azores. Easier on the wallet...Azores! Amazing natural landscapes...both, but I feel more so for Azores. Easier driving around the islands...Azores. Madeira has some incredibly steep mountains and windy roads, lesser so in Azores, which makes driving a bit hairy and scary.

I hope this helps you make a decision. There are many more insights I could offer regarding either Azores and Madeira, but I think this is a good start. If you have more questions, let me know. I would youtube the destinations and check out the websites I recommend in my earlier postings to see what interests you...then go from there.

Late August in Santa Maria has the Mare de Augusto if you are into music: http://santamariaazores.net/web/category/associacoes/mare_agosto/#.VO4LiIY8KnN. There are also Ralley races there as well and local feasts in August.

Good luck!!!

Posted by
1157 posts

With only 6 days you should pick either Madeira or Azores. You don't have time to visit more than one.