The cardiovascular system ensures the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to all cells, tissues, and organs. Under extended exposure to reduced oxygen levels, cells are able to survive through the transcriptional activation of a series of genes that participate in angiogenesis, glucose metabolism, and cell proliferation. The oxygen-sensitive transcriptional activator HIF-1 (hypoxia-inducible factor-1) is a key transcriptional mediator of the response to hypoxic conditions. The HIF-1 pathway was found to be a master regulator of angiogenesis. Whether the process is physiological or pathological, HIF-1 seems to participate in vasculature formation by synergistic correlations with other proangiogenic factors such as VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), PlGF (placental growth factor), or angiopoietins. Considering the important contributions of HIF-1 in angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, it should be considered a promising target for treating ischaemic diseases or cancer. In this review, we discuss the roles of HIF-1 in both physiological/pathophysiological angiogenesis and potential strategies for clinical therapy.