In dire need of some relaxation, but not sure you're ready for a no-phones-buddhist-retreat? The Azores islands could be the perfect middle ground.

Situated 950 miles off the coast of Portugal, in the middle of the North Atlantic, getting there may sound too much like hard work — but if you're flying from the U.S. it's actually easier than you think. Azores Airlines actually offers direct flights from Boston to the Azores' largest island, São Miguel in just over four and a half hours. From there, you can access the other eight islands — the newest of which, Pico, erupted from the ocean less than 300,000 years ago.

The most popular spa town is Furnas, which is located at the base of São Miguel’s crater. Having been a  popular destination among travelers since the late 1700s, it now features a 30-acre botanical park in its center, as tons of mineral water pools and a stunning garden full of native and non-native flora. Tempted? Well you'd better visit before too many people hear about it.

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