Azores: 20 Travel Tips To Know Before You Go


Heading to Azores? Here’s all you need to know BEFORE going. Follow these Azores travel tips (made by me, a local) for a safe and worry-free trip, while understanding the local culture a bit better.

Boasting a plethora of natural landscapes and wonders, delicious foods and lots of outdoor sports and activities, the 9 islands of Azores have been one of Europe’s best-kept secrets.

Now that the Azores are becoming more popular people come for me – a homeland child – for all kinds of advice. Food, sights, logistics, lifestyle and even what to pack.

Well, it’s all in here. These are the top tips and things you need to know before traveling to the Azores.

Azores travel tips & things to know beforehand

azores travel tips things to know before trip azores waterfalls
Hello Nature!

1There are 9 islands.

There are 9 islands in Azores, divided into three groups. The Western Group is comprised of Flores and Corvo. The Central Group has Terceira, Graciosa, Faial, São Jorge, and Pico. Finally, Santa Maria and São Miguel make the Eastern Group.

Each island can be quite different from its neighbor in terms of landscape, culture, outdoor activities, and traditions. Get a sense of what you can see and do in each island before deciding your itinerary.

2It’s NOT a party destination.

Don’t expect partying hard in the Azores.

Simply put, if you’re seeking a destination for a stag party, huge Ibiza-like nightclubs or fancy “dress-to-impress” cocktail bars, this is NOT the place for you.

The Azores are in essence a remote and tranquil destination, and locals are extremely proud of that. Call us boring, but generally speaking, we simply don’t care about big parties and clubs or the latest trends in fashion. I’m not a fan of clubs/discos myself, it’s not in my genes!

Of course, there are small unpretentious clubs, bars, and pubs where people meet up. Sometimes even on the street. Those are great places to have a peek into the local culture. Visiting the Azores is all about unwinding and switching to a mindset of enjoying the little things in life.

hot springs sao miguel azores

Top hotels in AzoresPre-filtered list of hotels with top reviews and location with parking and free WiFi included.

3The weather is unpredictable.

azores travel tips things to know before trip azores lakes weather
I am pretty sure the weather in Azores is bipolar.

If I had a penny for every time someones ask me a question “How will the weather be in *insert random date*?” I’d be disgustingly rich.

The thing is: no one knows. The Azores are remotely located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean which causes the weather to be truly unstable.

Any Azorean knows the weather can change dramatically at any minute. I went to school every single day with an umbrella in my backpack, even in the shiniest and brightest of the days. A clear blue sky in the morning and a storm in the afternoon is pretty common.

This unpredictability might be a bit inconvenient, but also adds a pinch of charm and fun to it. You never know what you’ll find which makes the whole experience more… real. Just take that into account while packing and make sure you follow the Spot Azores app to check the weather real-time.

4There are signs of volcanic activity everywhere.

azores volcanic thermal pools
Human soup.

The Azores are considered to be the European Hawaii and for sure the volcanic activity is a big reason behind it. Yet another way to see nature in its purest form.

You can find some volcanic activity manifestations all around:

  • The dark black sand of all beaches in Azores.
  • The geysers in Furnas Valley where hot steam literally comes from deep under the ground. You can actually taste food cooked underground.
  • The Capelinhos volcano in Faial where you can literally walk on the apocalyptic lava remains of a recent eruption (the closest you’ll have to walking on the moon!).
  • thermal springs where you can enjoy the heat of Mother Earth on a “human soup” experience.

5Bathing in thermal springs is a must-do!

azores travel tips things to know before trip azores hotsprings
Yap, those are warm waters in the middle of a somehow pre-historic forest. HOW FREAKING COOL IS THAT?

Even though the Azores are blessed with a warm current, the wild Atlantic can still be cold. The good news is that there are warm waters where you can have a delightful swim in.

Natural thermal pools are common in São Miguel island. Places like Poça Dona Beija, Caldeira Velha or Terra Nostra are iron-enriched and surrounded by wild forest of palms and conifers. A surreal landscape perfect to relax after a long day of sightseeing.

Pro tip: pick the most gloomy day of your trip to go to hot springs. Warm water feels better when it’s cold and rainy outside.

azores hot springs

Hot springs in São Miguel

The best places to enjoy a mineral-enriched bath in São Miguel island. Includes important tips for a safe swim.

6It’s the place to try new outdoor activities.

From hiking to horse riding on land, diving to world-class whale-watching in the sea or paragliding in the air, there are loads of outdoor activities you can do in the Azores.

Since you’re already in a cool place, you should make sure you also do cool stuff to go with it, right? Dare to try new things! In São Miguel, I recommend going with a company like Picos de Aventura, they have a wide range of expeditions and tours to choose from.

Outdoor activities to do in the Azores 🌲

Here’s a comprehensive list of the activities you can do in the islands:

  • Hiking: Doing one of the dozens of official hiking trails in the islands is a must. The most challenging one is climbing Pico Mountain, the highest mountain in Portugal (2,351m).
  • Canyoning: Waterfalls surrounded by lush green forest are the ideal place to give this a try.
  • Whale Watching: The Azores are a top-notch whale-watching destination. Choose the best time to go to increase the chances of seeing more species. Pico is the best place to see these amazing creatures.
  • Horse Riding: There are private companies who arrange tailored horse-riding tours around lakes and other beautiful landscapes.
  • Paragliding: Flies over the volcanic craters of Furnas and Sete Cidades in São Miguel island are now becoming popular.
  • Kayaking: In most of the major lakes in São Miguel – except for Lagoa do Fogo, a natural reserve – you can now rent kayaks. Sea kayaking is available across almost all islands.
  • Sailing: Any tour agency or private skipper is able to arrange you sailing tours.
  • Diving: The potential of the Azores is almost endless in terms of diving spots. Some of the best experiences are the Rosais reef (São Jorge), the whale sharks in Santa Maria and the Angra do Heroísmo bay (Terceira). There are also some shipwrecks sites in Graciosa and São Miguel.
  • Swimming with dolphins: This has been recently found to stress out the animals too much and some companies are already not offering this tour. Avoid.
  • Surfing: The wild Atlantic ocean allows for fine surfable waves so it’s no surprise one of the stages of the World Surf League is held in Ribeira Grande in São Miguel island.

Book your place in the Azores ASAP for the best deal!

I’ve made your life easier and you can start your search with my pre-selection of the hotels/guesthouses/villas in the Azores. This list only includes the top-rated reviewed hotels in the islands, with WiFi included.

7There are plenty of dope crater lakes all around.

It’s like someone set the saturation of your sight to the max level.

If there’s a ranking of the reasons to visit the Azores, this will most likely be #1. There is an impressive collection of lakes in the islands, of all shapes, altitudes and accessibility levels. I can assure you being there is a sensory overload and the views will take your breath away.

There is even better news. You can at least hike around most of them which is by itself highly promising in terms of views photo opportunities!

The best lakes in Azores islands 🏞

  • Lagoa das Sete Cidades – São Miguel
  • Lagoa do Fogo – São Miguel
  • Lagoa das Furnas – São Miguel
  • Lagoa do Capitão – Pico
  • Lagoa Negra & Comprida – Flores
  • Poço Ribeira do Ferreiro/Lagoa dos Patos – Flores
  • Caldeirão – Corvo

8Mother Nature is in charge.

Uma foto publicada por BRUN🌎 (@bruno_mb) a

This is the most important thing you need to take away from this article. Being back in touch with nature is one of the strong selling points of a trip to the islands. Everyone knows that before stepping their feet there (if you don’t, well… it might be more clear now).

What is not immediately visible is why the Azores have managed to keep their stunning lakes, cliffs, meadows as beautiful for so long. And it all comes down to respect by Mother Nature. She’s in charge.

Locals have a deep respect for nature and for the ocean in particular. Sustainability and eco-friendly are big words in the islands!

Do the same. Have this on the back of your mind when you’re out there. Always put trash on the bins – especially plastic and cigarette buns! – and don’t be loud. Loud noises disturb animals (to be fair, some humans too) and the overall harmony of the place.

9Pick the islands to visit with logistics in mind.

One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is which islands to visit in the Azores. There are 9 very different islands to choose from and the logistics do matter a lot, so make sure you come up with an Azores itinerary that makes sense for you.

A trip to São Miguel island alone gives you a good grasp of the Azores, but you might feel tempted to add in a few more islands. If you do, study the logistics and check prices and schedules of planes and ferries beforehand.

I’ve made an overview of each island and created some sample itineraries for 1,2 and 3 weeks in Azores in the article below. 👇

hot springs sao miguel azores

Which islands to visit in Azores?

Advice and planning tips to pick an efficient travel itinerary around the islands.

10Traveling between islands is not easy. Nor cheap.

azores travel tips ferries route map inter island connections
Inter-island ferry connections in Azores. Source: Atlântico Line.

The Azores are remote and relatively small islands and unfortunately public transportation is not their strongest point so getting around the islands is tricky.

I’ve done some sample Azores itineraries, but for inter-island connections you have only two options.

Option 1 is flying. Sadly, SATA/Azores Airlines is the only airline doing inter-island flights and with no competition, the prices can be expensive.

If you’re considering ferries (Option 2), the reference company is Atlântico Line. Take into account these journeys can be long though. The trip from São Miguel to Santa Maria alone (the two islands on the Eastern Group) takes at least 3 hours! See more details for the ferries in Azores in the section below.

My personal suggestion is to always fly between islands of different groups – Western, Central and Eastern – and to consider the ferry only for short trips in inter-grouping islands (e.g. Faial to Pico or Corvo to Flores).

Whatever you do, leave the exploration of the island you’re flying OUT back home for last. This will avoid any problems with journey cancellations which are pretty common due to due to rapidly changing weather and sea conditions in North Atlantic.

Ferries in Azores ⛴

Although there are some sub-companies operating inter-island ferries in Azores, they all belong to the same parent company: Atlântico Line. It provides a full service (including vehicles) between all the 9 islands.

Check Atlântico Line‘s schedule page for detailed info, but this is what you can expect:

    • Eastern Group – São Miguel and Santa Maria

Only available during summer months. You can make your reservation directly with Atlântico Line. The trip takes roughly 3 hours.

    • Central Group – São Jorge, Pico and Faial

The service runs several times a day the entire year and given the proximity of the islands, it’s very reliable. You can book with Atlântico Line or Transmaçor.

    • Western Group – Flores and Corvo

Atlantico Line runs the only ferry to Flores. There is a very small ferry that runs between Flores and Corvo it may hold 10-15 passengers.

11Get your own wheels.

Another logistics problem to solve: getting around inside each island. Taxis can be expensive and private guides even worse (if you’re going for these options, make sure you negotiate a price before!). The network of buses between the main towns is not frequent and doesn’t get you anywhere close to the main sights anyway.

In face of this catastrophic scenario, I HIGHLY recommend getting your own wheels, preferably renting a car. Even in São Miguel, there have been days with such high demand in summer with virtually NO cars available to rent. Zero.

I’d book the car rental as soon as you book your flights.

12It’s always tea o’clock.

azores travel tips things to know before trip azores tea estate
Who’s up for some organic tea?

Did you know the Azores are the only region in Europe where tea is cultivated? The tea estates in the island of São Miguel have been producing organic black, green, and orange pekoe teas since 1883.

Make sure you stop by either Gorreana or Porto Formoso. Getting insights on the way everything works is an original experience and there is even a hiking trail through the tea fields. Plus, the little tea boxes make great gifts for people back home!

Book your place in the Azores ASAP for the best deal!

I’ve made your life easier and you can start your search with my pre-selection of the hotels/guesthouses/villas in the Azores. This list only includes the top-rated reviewed hotels in the islands, with WiFi included.

hot springs sao miguel azores

Top hotels in AzoresPre-filtered list of hotels with top reviews and location with parking and free WiFi included.

13Get used to a different kind of beaches.

azores travel tips things to know before trip azores volcanic dark sands
A different kind of beach, hun?

Even though the weather might feel almost tropical, don’t expect postcard-worthy beaches with soft white sand you’re used seeing on Instagram.

The beaches in Azores are of volcanic origin, which means dark sand – a greyish, almost black color – which sadly takes away a bit of the visibility of the water. Also count with wilder, and with rougher waves, which makes beaches incredible character-enriched landscapes.

The Gulf stream raises the sea temperature in Azores up to a tolerable 23-24 degrees Celsius during summer time (only 14-16 degrees during winter). Pretty good considering we’re talking about the North Atlantic.

azores beaches

Beaches in Azores
The best Azores beaches plus important tips before you go for an ocean swim.

14Your budget won’t get hurt.

You know how much I like value-for-money destinations, where your budget can go a long way. There’s no worse feeling than paying an awful amount of money and don’t get a somewhat rewarding experience in return.

Well, I can assure you nothing of that will happen in the Azores. While they are still slightly more expensive than mainland Portugal – insularity comes with a price! – food and accommodation are still cheap compared to other destinations

It’s possible to travel to Azores with a budget of less than $100 a day, including accommodation, food, and transportation. To give you a better idea, these are some of the prices you can expect.

Prices of things in Azores (as per 2023)

ItemPrice in Azores
Dinner for two + Bottle of wine (inexpensive restaurant)From 40€
Espresso coffeeFrom 0,70€
Bottle of local beer (inexpensive bar)From 1€
Whale-Watching Tour (3 hours)From 65€
Private Double Room (per night, high-season)From 80€

15Pack smart.

Dress code is relaxed and practical everywhere in the islands. Very important tip when packing to the Azores: bring comfortable clothes and shoes.

During summertime, it can get quite hot but it’s a good idea to always carry a light jacket with you. Especially if you’re hiking. Shorts are a good idea, even for rainy days as legs dry faster than any fabric. Flip flops, however, are NOT a good shout. They are poor choices both on the muddy, slippery surfaces of trails/lakes as well as on the cobblestones of the major cities.

While temperatures in winter are not unbearable, the number of rainy days is high. And oh boy, when wind and rain combine, it can get really ugly. A rain jacket will be your best friend.

Apart from these, make sure your phone has a good case protecting it and of course… bring a good camera! A DSLR camera – like my super compact one – or a waterproof GoPro would be ideal.

Packing checklist for Azores 👕

  • Light rain jacket
  • Hiking shoes (or at least ones with good grip)
  • Camera(s) – an action camera like a GoPro and a DSLR camera is a good combo
  • Small backpack/daypack
  • Old swimwear and towel – the thermal springs can leave unremovable light orange stains
  • Water filter bottle (to avoid buying plastic bottles)
  • Travel adapter plug
  • Power bank – there are no plugs in the wild

Check other 20 ideas of travel items to pack.

what to pack azores islands

Geeky Explorer Travel Shop

Make sure you have all the gear for safe and worry-free travels.

16The food (specially the meat) is delicious.

things to know before travel azores travel tips
Fresh goat cheese with Azorean pepper jam and peanuts. Served in a banana leaf.

Food in Portugal is of great quality and actually one of the main reasons to visit. Based on a healthy Mediterranean diet, food comes in generous portions with a low price tag.

The Azores are no exception. Heck I’ve dedicated an entire post to food in São Miguel alone!

Perhaps the most typical food is Cozido das Furnas (Furnas Stew), cooked underground with volcanic steam (!) in São Miguel. For sure it’s a novelty which you have to try out, but I personally there are way more delicious things to eat in the islands. A great example: alcatra, typical from Terceira island.

From typical Queijadas to the iconic Azorean pineapple, there is a wide range of local delicacies. And then there’s the meat. The bife (steak) in Azores is tender and juicy like I’ve never tasted anywhere else. It’s so good I stopped eating red meat elsewhere.

17A bit of Portuguese can go a long way.

Locals – me included – appreciate if you make the effort to speak some basic words of Portuguese. It is not that hard to learn and in return, it can guarantee you some extra detailed tips or at the very least, a smile. 🙂

Basic Portuguese words and expressions 🗣

  • 🗣 Hello Olá (Olah)
  • 🗣 Good Morning Bom dia (Bom[ng] deeya)
  • 🗣 Good Night Boa noite (Boa noite)
  • 🗣 See you tomorrowAté amanhã (Atay aman[ng]yah)
  • 🗣 Thank youObrigado (males) or Obrigada (females) (Obrigahdu)
  • 🗣 YesSim (sim)
  • 🗣 NoNão (now-uh)
  • 🗣 Excuse me/SorryDesculpe (des kuw pe)

Do locals speak English in Azores?

English is widely spoken in the islands, especially with younger generations. You may find older generations struggling a bit more, they may feel more comfortable with some Spanish or French.

18Adapt to local infrastructure.

Azores review
Real review of Flores island on TripAdvisor. Someone didn’t do their research or had the wrong expectations.

Visiting remote islands in a remote archipelago means that often you won’t find some of the things you’re used back home. No big malls for shopping sprees, no fancy restaurants for premium dining, or no clubs or bars for a Saturday party.

Even though the largest island São Miguel has a very decent infrastructure system of roads, shops or restaurants, other islands may not that prepared. That won’t make us feel unhappy though. Quite the opposite, actually.

The whole point of taking vacations – especially to a place like Azores – is to disconnect the routine and connect back with nature. Adapt, respect the local culture, try to learn from it, and enjoy your trip. Even if the WiFi signal is not as strong as you’d wish for.

19Practice slow travel.

I’ve helped many people plan their trips and BY FAR the #1 mistake I see is a rushed itinerary. People want to squeeze in the highest number of islands possible in the lowest number of days. That won’t be cheap, practical, or even relaxing.

The whole point of a trip to the Azores is not to tick things off a bucket list, but rather take all that nature has to give you in between. Enjoy those little detours, take a breather to chill down by a lakeshore, or plan a full day to go an adventurous hiking trail. Less is definitely more in the Azores.

20Get there before mass tourism does.

azores travel tips things to know before trip azores tea estate
This view just for yourself is unvaluable.

A few years ago when I told I was from the Azores islands hardly anyone had heard of them. They could hardly pinpoint them on the map. There was no hype on websites or social media either.

Now everything is different. Several airlines are flying to Azores now. Tourism is increasing every year (21% in 2018 alone!). In a sense, I feel we have been (re-)discovered.

For now, islands in the Azores are far from being spoiled by mass tourism. Don’t worry. But quite honestly, the danger is pretty much real long-term. So the sooner you visit, the better. While you can still enjoy the silence, breathe in beautiful landscapes and taking a picture without waiting in a queue.

Planning a trip to Azores by yourself

Booking your flight

If you are not from the US or simply not into vacation packages, you’re better off by booking your flight independently.

As a rule of thumb, flights to Azores are considerably cheaper from Porto, Lisbon or London. Ponta Delgada airport has the highest number of flight connections. Check this page for more info.

Booking a hotel

For hotels, you can start off with this pre-filtered list of hotels, guesthouses and villas in Azores. Or explore the hotels in Azores:

Booking a car

Taxis and tours can be costly and public transportation is not reliable. Also local guides take away the fun factor. If you ask me, the best way to get around in Azores is definitely by renting a car.

Plus, an island road trip will add a sense of adventure to make your trip truly memorable!

Azores Flight + Hotel + Transfers Deals

I usually don’t use travel agencies to book holidays. They end up being more expensive in 99% of the times. Yet I have to make an exception for Azores Getaways because I really think they have some pretty good prices for a flight + hotel + transfers packages to the Azores – starting at 599USD!

Plus, you can customize your package by combining 2 or 3 islands to your itinerary, which is awesome:

I particularly recommend using Azores Getaways if you are flying from the United States and don’t have much time to plan your holidays.

The highest peak in Portugal, in Pico island.

The Sustainability of Azores

Sometimes I think people think I’m bragging too much about my home islands. Oh the Azores this and Azores that, so full of himself. No, I’m not bragging. The islands are really beautiful – I’d say surreal even – destination.

But please also be aware that the islands are NOT a party or beach islands destination like Ibiza or Mykonos and they need special care when visiting. More than anything, they’re vulnerable and highly dependent on a fragile balance between sustainability and mass tourism.

For many years, the Azores was considered a forgotten garden in the middle of the ocean. They might not be forgotten or hidden anymore, but we all – locals and visitors – have a shared responsibility for keeping them a garden. Forever.

⚠ Keep Azores beautiful

The islands have been consecutively named one of the top sustainable destinations worldwide. Don’t help spoil what has been unspoiled nature for centuries. When you’re in the islands, please try to minimize your impact at all times.

Leave nothing but footprints everywhere you go and be aware of any activities causing visual and noise pollution. This includes avoiding playing loud music on phones and obviously taking ALL the trash with you until you find a bin – especially plastic!

Thank you for keeping my home green and beautiful. 💚

Useful Resources

More articles about the Azores

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  1. Thank you for your time and wisdom! I am thinking about traveling by bike packing or at least would love to ride daily on the trip and f possible road, gravel or trails. Your thoughts??

  2. Was wondering about cost of staying in a villa compared to a hotel. Any reccomendations? A villa, I think, would allow for a more cultural experience having to shop for food, etc. Any thoughts?

    1. Different trip experience for sure – it allow you to be more in touch with the day-to-day of locals, specially if you venture out to smaller villages
      and settlements. Personally I love the idea, but each to its own I guess I’d also say it also depends on how much time you’ve got to cook, etc.

  3. Anyone made this trip from Hawaii?
    It seems daunting and from the looks of it adds an extra layer of difficulty in traveling to the Azores.

    Been looking into this a bit lately. Seems incredibly expensive with long layovers. Anyone have any tips or experience?

  4. Perfect articles to help me plan our trip to the Azores this year. This is a bit off topic but I’ve heard that there are a lot of stray animals and animals kept chained outside ‘guarding’ the house on the islands?

  5. Bom Dia!
    Would love a list of critically acclaimed Azorean writers, or award-winning book, or literary fiction set in the Azores.

  6. Thank you for the great tips, you sure know and love your islands! I wonder if you can help us find a nice, quiet and (somewhat) remote house for three months in Sao Miguel – to relax, work and travel…, between March and June 2022. We looked in many websites and apps, so far without success… of course we’re happy to pay for the assistance 🙂

  7. A fantastic site about the Azores! Your dedication and love for your islands shines through. I had heard of them but didn’t have a clue where they were or what they were about. They are now on my itinerary list (prob 2023).
    Thank you – Conor Nolan (Ireland)

  8. I have small shiba inu……here in Cascais life is made difficult with adog. Who is it in the Azores?

  9. I’m confused. You talk about travel between the islands and how it’s difficult…but, it seems also the ferries run certain months of the year? Which months are those?

    1. Number 10 on the above list has more information about ferries.
      Basically it depends on which islands you’re traveling from/to.

      In 2020, there’s even less routes than usual due to the COVID pandemic.

  10. Hi I am planning to visit Azores in October 2020. I am a solo traveller. I would love to enjoys beaches ,hiking and cave walks. Which island should I prefer as I want to spend 7 days. What should be my budget for 7 days excluding flights. Can you please let me know a ball point figure? Also I don’t know to drive so any other alternative?

    1. I encourage to read Which island to visit in Azores – only you can decide which island is more appealing 🙂

      In terms of budget, that really depends on your travel style: where you eat, where you stay, the tours you take, etc. 70-90 euros/day is the bare minimum I’d say.

      Public transportation is poor in the islands, and doesn’t get to the best sights, so I really recommend getting your own wheels somehow.

  11. My brother and I are planning a trip there soon. Our grandfather is from Pico, but came to the US in the 1920s. Do you have any idea where I could find records? I’ve been trying to at least find baptism records, but I’m wondering if they’re in a church somewhere. We are wanting to see where he is from and maybe if genealogy is well documented find some distant relatives! A lot of his family stayed. Thanks for your help. Article was awesome!

  12. Hi Bruno
    Thank you for your amazing effort in providing us with so much information, and giving us a good idea on what to look forward to.
    We have a trip booked for the first week of June 2020. However it looks like the Azores will still be closed of for those of us from outside Portugal due to the Corona-virus crisis. We still have not had any definite answer but I fear we will have to delay our trip by a year. What do you think?

    Meantime we will enjoy your photographs!

    1. Thank you Bob.
      The islands are not closed, they are enforcing preventive measures (e.g. you need to test negative at arrival and 5-6 days after) but I personally don’t think this is the time to travel abroad.

  13. I’m from the Azores. Was adopted and want to go back to visit. But you didn’t say much about tercira.

  14. Love the Azores, have wonderful memories, Have been there several times, people are very friendly and helpful. Looking forward go going again.

  15. Hi Bruno!
    Extremely helpful current info! I am planning to visit around end of February. I’m expecting mild temps, 15-20C, not hot, but not cold. Concerned about rain though. Thinking about Sao Miguel and maybe 2 others. Sounds like not going to be hot enough to chill at the beaches or be a warm beach vacay?? Thanks!

    1. Well, all depends on your resilience, but I would definitely not count with warm beach. Keep in mind 15C in Azores are deceiving because of the humidity, it feels colder.

      if your goal is to go for the beach around this time, I suggest looking into Cape Verde or Canary Islands.

  16. This a great collection of travel tips, Keep inspiring People like me 🙂 (link removed)

  17. Hi Bruno,

    first of all – your blog is amazing and full of really useful advice. When I found it – it was like treasure for me 🙂
    But, I would like to ask for your advice.
    Me and my friend are planning to visit Azores in late May 2020 (from May 19 to May 28).
    We are planning to fly from Porto to Terceira and from Terceira to take ferry and visit Sao Miguel and get back from Sao Migel to Lisbon.
    I had downloaded the AtlanticoLine for ferry schedules, but it’s somehow tricky to understand whether ferries are operating on May? Maybe you know from your experience? 🙂

    Greetings from Lithuania!

    1. Thanks Gintare.
      It’s indeed tricky because Terceira-Sao Miguel route operates only on summer time. This year (2019) it started on the 23rd May, as far as I know they didn’t release the operating dates for 2020 yet. I suggest booking a flight.

  18. Hi Bruno:

    Solo GWM traveler here from Washington DC will be in Sao Miguel Oct 12-16. Mostly unplugged, mixed frugal/splurge type DIY adventurous traveler. Looking forward to it (go away hurricane) immensely. Much gratitude for the Azores articles. Your love of your home shows!
    1. In general, are the hiking options ones that do not have the availability to file a hiking plan with local authorities? Always something to be aware of when off the beaten path solo.
    2. What is the island like on a Sunday? Meaning are some/many attractions or restaurants closed?
    3. Are there any gay friendly bars in Ponta Delgada? I don’t expect Lisbon-style nightlife (that is not my scene anyways) but the option to meet some locals for low key conversation and a beer/wine is always nice.

    1. First of all GWM?

      1. Usually hikes in Azores are freestyle and there’s no need to advise authorities (a notable exception is climbing Mount Pico). Check my hiking in Azores article for more info.
      2. Some shops are closed, but plenty of restaurants open, especially in larger towns.
      3. No. Some of the more hip and stylish places naturally attract some gay people though.

  19. Very informative and thorough site. Thank you.

    I was wondering San Miguel would be suitable for a winter sun vacation?
    What weather is normal during February and March?


    1. Define “normal” please?
      It’s some of the coldest months of the year for Azores (12-18C), but all is relative. If you’re coming from Russia, it’s excellent. If you’re coming from Malta it’ll be awful.

  20. How does one mail postcards on Sao Miguel? Is there an alternative to the post office? Thanks!

    1. What do you mean?
      As far as I know, any mail item has to go through a normal post office. There’s plenty of them in São Miguel.

  21. Muito obrigada por um artigo super completo e pormenorizado sobre a maravilha que são os Açores.
    Esse artigo /guia é super completo para quem quer visitar e ter noção daquilo que o espera.
    Seja Wi-Fi lento, ou ATMs reduzidos, etc etc .
    O meu avô paterno é das Flores , não o conheci mas até agora ainda não tive a oportunidade de visitar e descobrir esse paraíso.
    Resido na Inglaterra e tenho planos de visitar as ilhas este ano ainda ou para o ano sem falta.
    Deve ser destino porque assistia ao programa da RTP1 hoje que está a ser filmado nos Açores e fiquei com mais vontade de visitar e conhecer.

    And not you are not bragging about Azores, it’s truly amazing and should be keep unspoilt as it is! We can only talk about what is truly good and elevate our beautiful country always.

    Obrigada ,
    Marcela Fontes

  22. Hello, we (couple) are travelling to Azores in August. We were thinking of renting scooter for travelling around an island. Is it good idea or do you recommend car? Thanks a lot for answer. Lea

    1. That will depend on the island you’re visiting.
      Flores? Sure, it works.
      São Miguel? Doable, but too big to rent a scooter, IMHO.

  23. Hi Bruno, I shall be travelling to Sao Miguel for 9 days with my son 19th till 27th July. Is it possible to take a ferry from Sao Miguel to Pico? Would a days’ trip be enough – would it be a good idea? We just want to have a good feel about visiting Pico. Also, can one actually be lucky enough to watch dolphins with the ferry ride? I still need to read a lot in advance before we leave for our holiday – but your tips are very helpful ☺. Thanks a lot!

    1. Plus: we plan to go for the whale watching trip anyways…I hope we’re lucky to spot a few of these wonderful sea beauties…

    2. It’s possible to take a ferry to Pico but it’s not direct, check the routes on Atlântico Line. DEFINITELY not a day trip, please allow 2-3 full days there. As for dolphins, you may or may not, they’re around but who knows when they decide to show up 😛

  24. Hi Bruno, I’ve always wanted to go to Azores and now is finally my time. So thank you for this pretty useful overview before we go. You also mentioned in the article some adventures which I really want to try, I found the site called and everything looks pretty amazing and responsible to the environment. Do you have any experience with this company? Thank you.
    xx Jojo

    1. I don’t know this company, sorry.
      All my tips are for an almost 100% independent travel, with no tours.

  25. Hi Bruno,
    Your site is wonderful and very helpful! I am visiting the Azores in Sept (a dream trip!), but I am having trouble understanding how the inter-island connecting flights through SATA works. I contacted SATA’s customer service but I still didn’t understand their answer. I am flying round-trip to Lisbon from NYC, then to PDL for 4 days, Pico for 3 days and Terceira for 3 days. I thought the flight from Terceira back to Lisbon qualified but SATA said no. Any inside perspective would be appreciated. Thanks so much!

    1. Interconnecting flights are a system to compensate the islands more poorly connected and thus, are only eligible for islands who do NOT have a direct connection with the mainland. You’re flying to PDL and coming back from Terceira directly to Lisbon, so there’s no free flight.

  26. Hi Bruno,
    I am so happy to have found your site; great information! We are coming to the Azores this June. Adventure-nature-culture-loving family of 4 (my kids are 6 & 7). We have 9 days. I was going to spend the entire time in Sao Miguel, but move hotels to get a little mix-up and some different “feels” (Santa Barbara Eco Hotel and then moving to Furnace Villa Lakes; possibly ending in the Azore Hotel before we leave for a night-ish.) However, I have found that the festival of SanJoanias falls during the time we will be visiting. The kids would probably like a parade and some festival action to mix in with our nature activities. I can book the Tereira Mar hotel for two nights (June 26th-28th). Is it worth the travel time, extra airfare (ferry looks really LONG) and logistical stuff to hop over there? I would take out the furnace hotel stay… Thanks in advance! Appreciate your local input 🙂
    Best, Jen

    1. **Furnas (excuse my spelling! took me longer to google how to spell these destinations, then the actual writing of the post 😉 ) thanks again.

    2. Sanjoaninas are a big party – one of the largest in Azores – and definitely fun, lively, and vibrant. Could be interesting to add it to your itinerary, but I guess only you can decide if it’s worth the extra hassle or not. Check planes too.

  27. Hey Bruno –
    Just want to say thank you!
    Your information is definitely helps people to know the island better, make me REALLY wanna visit the islands someday. p.s. your article is fun to read, keep it up!

  28. Good morning sir.
    I was wondering, are you experiencing a plague of drones? Do I need to bring a shotgun? Please tell me this is regulated…

    1. Portuguese law allows drones in Azores up to 120m, except in areas confined to airports. There have been some drones flying around, but nothing overwhelming.

  29. We are going to San Manuel in May. We will have our two kids, 1 & 2 years old. I would LOVE to do whale watching but am hesitant with the littles. Do you have recommendations on perhaps a larger-ish boat that isn’t too speedy? Or would renting a private boat be an option?

    1. The island is called São Miguel.
      Companies have larger and smaller boats, pretty sure there’s one big enough suited for little kids.

  30. Hello Bruno,
    We wish to come in Azores in September. I am looking for a nice luxury place to stay. What do you suggest ? I want to pamper my self ! 🙂 Thanks !

  31. Hey there! After weeks and weeks of eyeing it, my wife and I are coming over on Saturday for a four day first trip!! (I work for an airline so can be pretty spontaneous…so why not!) Anyway, we can’t wait. Seriously, though, this is a really inspiring site/blog you’ve put together and I appreciate that you posted the heartfelt guidance for first timers. Anyway, I have this feeling I am going to fall in love with Sao Miguel. I’ll make sure comment here on our successful pursuit of the itinerary when we return next week!

  32. Dear Bruno, We are planning to come to Sao Miguel end of March. Would you know the best place to go whale watching ? either in Sao Miguel or Pico ? thanks 😀

  33. Worried about the treatment of dogs on the islands…anybody have any comments/experiences good or bad?

    1. What can I say – it’s not the best place to go in terms of animal rights, but definitely not the worst either.

  34. Hi, I found you blog excellent, very informative, key issues, thanks!
    I visited Ponte Delgada back in 2008 in November for a short business trip. I would like to repeat it for a longer trip. What would you say about traveling to Azores in second half of March? Blanka

    1. Expect rainy days, mild temperatures and it’s the start of whale-watching peak season. Flowers blooming too.

  35. Hi Bruce, my husband and I are planning to visit Portugal in October. If we were to only visit one Azore island which would you suggest? We would most likely be flying from Lisbon. We love nature, hiking, cycling and good food. I know you mentioned that it is best to have your own transportation. What is driving like there? Narrow roads? Aggressive drivers? traffic? Neither of us enjoy driving.

    1. I’m Bruno 🙂

      I added this section in the post today. Definitely São Miguel, it has the most things to do and see. Roads are generally in good shape, very curvy and sometimes narrow. I don’t think we’re particularly aggressive drivers. Parking can be a problem in downtown Ponta Delgada.

  36. Spent time in Azores with the Air Force. Beautiful country. I asked about getting a bike while I was there but told the winds were so strong and frequent few people rode them. People in military bought cars when they arrived and sold for a HIGHER price when they left. Always wanted to return , maybe I still will, to enjoy islands and people more.

    1. I don’t think winds are the reason people don’t bike. It’s more a combo of 1) lack of bike lanes 2) strong car-based culture 3) long-distances involved (at least in São Miguel).

  37. Bruno thank you for your comprehensive guide to the azores.
    We are a family of 5. We homeschool our 3 children and are excited to have made a decision to travel to the Azores in Feb.
    We are thinking of going for 3 months to allow ourselves proper time to explore.
    This country seems to be amazing and we are very much into sustainability, looking after the planet and respect to all living things.
    My one concern is that we may feel isolated and that my entrepreneurial husband may not find enough “excitement/ stimulus” and the children, as they are homeschooled, may not find enough children to play with. ( we come from a large homeschool network in Norfolk UK).
    I look forward to hearing your insightful words.
    Thank you

    1. Well, it all depends on what you’re looking for but Azores are by definition remote and chilled islands, so if you’re looking for “excitement” it’s definitely not your travel destination.

      You may find some other children to play with yours, but I’d recommend you to connect with other parents too to open up to new friendships. Homeschooling is almost non-existent in Portugal so most children will be at school during weekdays.

  38. Thank you for all the helpful tips. I have friends that visit the Azores annually and their breathtaking pictures and stories have inspired me to put it as my next travel destination. In many of my travels I’ve rented a good bicycle. I’m not a hard core cyclist, but an enthusiast who likes to explore by bike when I can. Are the islands bike friendly and are their places to rent good quality bikes?
    Thank you.

    1. Don’t expect bike lanes in most places. The smaller islands are bike friendly because roads are in good shape and there’s little traffic, but biking around São Miguel, for instance, can be problematic.

      Plenty of places where you can find good quality bikes.

  39. What would you suggest as a Christmas present for a mother of three and their father who is going there on Christmas Eve as a Christmas present- say €50 worth

  40. Hi Bruno!

    Thank you for taking the time to write about your beautiful home islands 🙂 Those tips were all very helpful! My boyfriend and I are traveling from Budapest and would love to road trip to Lisboa, but were wondering if there was a car ferry that could transport us and our car to the islands?

    Thanks so much in advance!!

    1. Hey! There are no ferries between Lisbon and Azores, I’m afraid.
      You’ll have to make two separate rentals.

      Have a great trip!

  41. These tips are very helpful and insightful. Thank you for this amazing and interesting post to read and to reflect. Glad I have found your blog!

  42. Hey, thank you so much for all this information! I’m planning a trip from the US and your blog has been the most helpful. I’m currently looking into airfare – do you happen to know the avg flight prices for Boston > Azores flights? Thank you in advance.

  43. Hi Bruno, great website! So nice that you provide so much information about these beautiful islands. Very useful! I still have a small question though. I was wondering whether it is necessary to plan ferry trips in advance? Me and my brother are planning to visit Pico from Sept 15 to 24 2018, and planning to visit Sao Jorge and Faial for 2 days each with the ferry from Pico with our rental car we arranged for the whole period. If you believe the ferries are likely to be fully booked in that period we will book the ferry in advance but if you believe this is not the case, we may not plan it ahead in order to be a bit more flexible. Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance! Greetings from Holland. Best, Joris

    1. Thanks for your kind words and good question!
      Considering it will be summertime, I’d recommend booking ferries in advance – it’s extra peace of mind too. I don’t predict it will sell out, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  44. Hi Bruno! How are you? Greetings from NYC. I’m planning on visiting Azores this month. I totally want to bring a drone and good camera gear. Do you have time to meet up?

  45. I wish to surprise my wife and take her to the Azores. Her family long ago is from there in San Miguel. We live in Madeira Beach Florida outside of the Tampa area. We wish to travel for 7 to 10 days and see all the wonderful sites throughout the islands. We wish perhaps to have a preset in ternary and all travel, hotel, transportation and agenda pinned down, making it a assured success. Please help. You are the experts not us. Thank you. Would late December of 2018 or Early to middle of January be a good time for our trip? I could surprise her at Christmas

    1. This blog intends to help 100% independent travelers, hence I’m not a travel agency so can’t make any bookings or reservations for you.

      Between December and January there isn’t much difference – I would count with some rainy and chilly days.

  46. I thinking about going there in July 2019. It all sounds good. I assume the best way to get there is via Lisbon. Is it expensive?

  47. Hey!

    I am going to be in Sao Miguel for 6 nights in August. I know it is not the best time of year for whale watching, but is it still likely to spot them? I am interested in going on a tour, but do not just want to see dolphins.. Is it better to see them in the morning or evening?

    I am probably taking a PADI diving certification whilst on the island, which will take 4 half days. Considering whale watching and ilheu de vilafranca do campo are half day activities.. what do you recommend I do on my ONLY full day on the island? DAY 1 of your blog?

    Thanks a lot!


    1. No one can guarantee you’ll only see whales… You may be lucky and see some, but you might also just see dolphins (or none).

      Definitely spend a day in Sete Cidades or considering you have an action packed itinerary, Lagoa do Fogo + relax in Caldeira Velha.

  48. Dear Bruno,
    thanks for your valuable information. I am trying to evaluate if it is affordable for my family, two adults+1 4 years old toddler, two weeks in August (11-26). I have many questions, but the main one is: is it possible to rent a car in Faial airport and take it to other islands (from a preliminary search I made It seems not possible) and alternatively, assuming to rent a different car on each island ( not so easy or convenient), is it possible to rent a car in different spots other than at the airport (e.g. port?) do you have a reference site for doing this? or is there an alternative way to shortly visit the islands, daily tours are affordable? Many thanks, Giorgia

    1. By default, you should drop the car in the island you rent it from. If there’s any rent a car allowing inter-island rentals at the moment, I’m sure the fee will be high.

      Where you rent a car depends on the island, some it will be just at the airport, others have different spots around. Daily tours will be always more expensive, I recommend making your own journey.

  49. Hi Bruno, fantastic information on your website. I’m wanting a ferry from Horta to Madalena on 25 August 2018 but there only appears to be a service running from Horta (going the long route) to Sao Roque on that date. I’m stuck with my dates. Wondering if there is an alternative for a direct service Horta-Madalena other than flying? Something that can be arranged locally, perhaps? Thanks a million. Love your work!! Sue

    1. I suggest contacting Atlantico Line directly and ask away.
      The alternative would be to ask around locally, but you should be there for that…

  50. Hi Bruno, our car hire man in Portugal suggested we visit The Azores (his homeland) and after a bit of research, we are hooked and plan on visiting next spring (2019) for about 3 weeks. We enjoy walking and seeing the scenery, we are not interested in nightlife. We are thinking Sao Miguel, Sao Jorge and Terceira in May/June. May we ask your advice on these choices and is there anything else you would suggest please. Thank you in advance and also for this very helpful website.

    1. Hi Yvonne,

      I think that is a very reasonable and exciting itinerary. Maybe 3 weeks is too much for only 3 islands but if you plan to relax and chill, the more the better.

  51. Hello, we will travel to Azores in June for 9 days. We plan to stay only on Terceira (flight Lisbon – Terceira – Lisbon) . Is too many days for Terceira? Should we visit some other island(which one) ? All webs talking only about San Miguel and I have really problem to find information about some interesting places on Terceira. And one more question, Is possible to camping (we would like to sleep in tent for a few nights) ? Thanks

    1. Personally I feel it’s too long but all depends on your plans and goals for the trip. 😉
      yes, check camping parks – wild camping is ILLEGAL in Portugal.

  52. Seems that you are mostly taking about St Michael and forgot about the other islands, especially Terceira, were all the good stuff happens and people are friendliest and like to have party’s all summer long. And let’s not forget the only volcano in the world , we’re you can visit.

    1. That’s why they call it 8 islands and one amusement park.

    2. Thanks for your input.

      I’m talking about Azores in general in this article. Plus, not everyone is into partying “all sumer long”, and come for natural attractions instead – in that department, everyone would agree there are other islands much more worth it.

      PS: Pretty sure that’s not the only volcano you can visit in the world, have a look at Thrihnukagigur.

  53. Hi, Bruno, I decided to book a flight to Ponta Delgada in early July by myself. No one wants to visit the Azores with me so I will have to do it myself. I do not want to drive. I already have my Air BnB reserved. The problem I am finding, though, is that it is almost impossible to get a tour for myself. The tour companies many times will not book just one ticket. And private drivers simply don’t answer. Any advice for me? I really, really want to see Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo.

    1. Did you try day tours available on I’ve used them while traveling in other countries and they worked out great.

    2. Not sure which companies did you book, but I’m sure if you join a group tour they will be happy to accept you. I recommend Picos de Aventura.

  54. Hi Bruno,
    I just discovered the Azores and have decided to do a trip in August! If I only have two weeks, which islands do you recommend and for how long each? I definitely want to include Flores in there.

  55. Thanks so much for this website – really helpful and interesting information.

    My girlfriend and I will be in the Azores June 1-10, 2018. Given that amount of time, would you suggest that we stay in São Miguel the whole time, or perhaps split up the trip and stay at another island – or two? We love hiking, swimming, biking, exploring, eating/drinking – and even parasailing. So, there’s nothing we won’t try/do.

    Are there any particular accommodations/locations that you recommend? We’d love to have our own place, and we’re hoping to find a nice spot in the mountains for some of the time and another place on the coast for the other half of our time there. A studio or apartment would be best – rather than a traditional hotel.

    Thanks so much for your suggestions!

    1. With 10 days, you can do 2 islands. Maybe 3 is too much, but São Miguel-Pico-Faial is perfectly doable. 🙂

      I’d check the area of Ribeira Grande for a place next to the sea and Sete Cidades or even Furnas for a spot in the mountains. Good luck!

  56. So looking forward to going to the Azores esp San Miguel ~ my grandparents came to Rhode Island from there John Pacheco Corvello and Cecelia SousaCorvello☮️

  57. Can you easily book excursions when you get to the Azores and what sort of price and package are there?

  58. Hi Bruno,

    We have booked to come in early August for 2 weeks (my fiance and myself). We are looking at visiting Pico, San Jorge & Terceira alongside Sao Miguel.
    We are planning on making our ways to Pico by ferry and flying back from Pico to San Miguel for the last 4-5 days (and hopefully following your itinerary). Would you reccomend this/ how long at each island? Also would it be worth spending the extra to fly the first leg from Sao Miguel to Terceira in your opinion?
    Thank you!

    1. I think you have a balanced itinerary. 4/5 days Sao Miguel, 2/3 days Pico, 2/3 days Sao Jorge and 2 days Terceira is just fine.

  59. Is it a safe place to visit? Is there anything I should know if I decide to travel there?

  60. Hi Bruno! My husband and I are going to the Azores for 6 nights in early January. We’ll be on Sao Miguel and staying at the Furnas Boutique hotel. What other island should we visit, given the time of year and our short-ish stay? We like seeing local cultures, talking to strangers, and beautiful views (but we’re not ambitious hikers). Thanks so much for any advice?

  61. The author forgot to mention our summer months, our ocean, our delicious fish, our religious festivals, and bullfights. The best food in the Azores is not meat or beef is fish. We have the best FISH in the world around those islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Water activities like fishing, deep sea fishing, scuba diving are becoming very popular. Traveling by boat around the islands during the summer is not that expensive

    1. Thank you for your suggestions.

      – I mention a lot about the delicious fish on my blog. Fish is great throughout the entire country and not really “specially great” in the islands, with the exception of some species like tuna. Also the most unique dishes you can have in the islands are meat-based (Alcatra and Cozido das Furnas).
      – I do not support bullfights or any kind of animal cruelty. I respect them, but not support them so don’t feel the need to advertise them in any way.
      – Traveling by boat to other islands may not be expensive, but it’s time consuming. Hence it’s not “easy” to get around as I mention on the article.

      Although I talk about them in other articles, I will look into incorporating the religious festivals into this one. Thanks again for the feedback!

  62. thank you so much for your tips and link! I’m trying to plan my holydays in Azores since a couple of years but never really been successful! now I hope it will be the right time

  63. Wow, my sister is going and I am jealous…I’ll have to get to your homeland soon. Thanks!

  64. Azores is a place which I have always dreamt of going.It is very close to the nature and a worth place to tranquilize our soul.Thank you for sharing this article as it proved very informational to me.Next month I am planning a trip there.

  65. Hi,

    It’s coming to the end of the year and I still have vacation time to use. I want to go somewhere nature destination and this seems like the spot. However I’m thinking of going early December. We’re planning on hiking and seeing nature. Do you think it’s a bad idea to go during Dec?


    1. I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to come to Azores. Temperatures are mild – rarely dropping below 8-10 degree Celsius and you can even get lucky and get some sunny days.

      That said, I would count with rain and wind and pack accordingly. But it’s definitely doable: it’s cool, but not freezing cold to be outside.

  66. This is a great post! You shared a lot of helpful tips. I’d add that you need to pack carefully – to accommodate the changing weather and also so your luggage fits in a smart car!

    1. Thanks Kristen, these are very valid tips regarding packing, it’s very important to be flexible in your clothing.

      I had to remove the link as I don’t accept URLs in the comments.

  67. Thank you so much for this useful info, I have found a great deal with Travel Azores from Toronto. 9 nights, 3 islands, starting March 22 2018! Can’t wait! I will definitely ask for itinerary advice for hiking…

  68. Thank you for so much useful information. I am looking for a place to go maybe during the month of February. My son surfs, is it too cold there during that time?

    1. Well that would depend on what’s too cold for you… Temperatures rarely drop below 7-8 degree Celsius even in the peak of winter, but I would expect rain and wind and hope for some sunny days.

      For surfing I’d be more concerned with the stormy weather and potentially unsafe currents – unless we’re talking about an expert 😉

  69. Very good experienced advice.
    We discovered Pico four years ago, been here every September since.
    Same place, self catering, is like my holiday home now.
    I personally recommend very high Acores, is unique and not tourist modified so far.
    Next year we’re going in June

    1. Thank you for the validation! 🙂

      Even for Azorean standards, São Miguel is getting too touristy already so Pico is a great choice, amazing contrasts, beautiful landscapes!

  70. Hi! Thanks for all the useful tips! I’m considering going solo to the Azores in December, but I barely found information about the Azores in Winter. What will it be like? Will the ferries and the experiences (ex. whale-watching, paragliding, diving etc..) stopped operating in December?

    1. You definitely should expect less activity in winter time. The ferries in the Triangle islands (Faial, São Jorge, Pico) are still operating, but the other lines will NOT.

      I think the whale-watching tours are still active, but cancellations due to bad weather are more often. It’s not the best time of the year to go on this tour either, as the migration routes of the whales pass in Azores between April-October.

  71. Hello, thanks for all the information. I am thinking about making a trip to the islands early October with my wife and two children 3 and 7 years old, they are adventurous and travel well. How long do you recommend staying for? We were planning on spending 3 weeks in Portugal Algarve until we found these islands, how long is too long?

    1. It really depends on many islands you want to visit. I’d say at least 4/5 days for São Miguel alone. If you want to go somewhere else, i’d add 2 days per island.

  72. Hi Bruno! Thanks for your tips! Planning on going solo to Azores in October and seeing Sao Miguel, Terceira and Pico with possibly a day ferry trip to Faial. Any suggestions for a solo female traveler? I was thinking of renting a car maybe one day on each island to keep the budget in check but noticed you said I might need to book in advance? Is that true for mid-October too you think? Any other advice is appreciated!

    1. In mid October it should be fine, it’s in the peak summer months that rental companies run out of vehicles.

  73. Hi! Great guide, it was very helpful! I am thinking of visiting Sao Miguel in October. Do you still think I should rent a car even if only visiting this one island? As I am going to be short of turning 25, I’m scared the prices will be pretty high!

    1. Yes, I do, otherwise you’ll be missing out on the best places and/or spending too much time in public transport.

  74. We’re considering heading to the Azores in 2018 – everything I’m seeing says the weather is variable, but March into April can be miserable. What’s your take on visiting during different times of the year?

    1. I’ve been in March in São Miguel and got a bit of everything: but mostly sunny clear days. Definitely wouldn’t say is “miserable”.

      Check this page for more weather info.

  75. 8 of us are headed to the islands in July (4 sisters of an Azorean mother, husband of one sister, 2 school age girls and one 16 years-old, yes, we are family)–is it possible to rent a car that fits 8 people? Also, in tribute of our mother, we plan on visiting Sao Jorge where she was born, Terceira where she met our father, and Sao Miguel because it’s a can’t miss island. Any tips on car rental, places to stay and or inter-island travel to keep costs down?

    1. Yes, there are some vans who fit everyone. Not many, so I’d advise to book quickly.

      I have a full São Miguel itinerary on my website, give it a look. As to keeping costs down, the best way is to go by boat, but this mean spending 6-10 hours in a boat connection (São Miguel to either São Jorge or Terceira).

  76. Visiting for 2 wks with Azores Getaway to Faial, Terciera, Sao Miguel & Pico (last 2 wks of May)
    Renting a car on each island (day tour on Pico)
    Availability of maps, tourist destinations, & itinerary? Easy to navigate around?
    Can’t wait to discover the Azores…sounds like our kind of place!
    I ♥️ Islands

    1. We downloaded google maps for offline use while on the islands and it worked perfectly … just like google maps works at home (but without data since it’s on your phones harddrive, temporarily). Hope that helps!

  77. I am interested in traveling to the Azores in July of 2018 and I have some questions. I would be flying from Boston and was thinking of flying into PDL (spending 4/5 nights)and out of TER (spending 1 night) to avoid having to go back to PDL. I was interested in also spending a couple of nights in Flores and Pico but I’m having some trouble routing myself using the inter island flights. I definitely want to go whale watching and do some hiking. Thank you for any input.

    1. Check Azores Airlines website, they’re the only ones with inter-island flights at the moment.

  78. Hi Bruno,
    Thanks for all the great tips. My Moms’ family, on both sides, is from the Azores. The family names are Azevedo and Alves. I’ve been told S. Jorge, Pico and Faial were the islands of origin. I’m planning my first trip to the Azores for this summer and would like to hear some feedback concerning these three islands. Of course, I want to see and experience some family history. However, I also want to maximize my trip for as many points of interest as possible. I would like to hear your suggestions. Thanks!

    1. These are the “Triangle” islands are worth a visit. Pico and São Jorge are larger and have more stuff to do, Faial is smaller. I will be in Pico for the first time this summer too!

  79. What are the grocery stores like in Furnas? We usually eat most of our lunches out but dinners at our hotel or rental house. Do the stores have a good selection of beer and wine?

    1. There are some small supermarkets where you can buy a bit of everything. There’s beer and wine, but not a huge selection.

  80. Thanks for all the great info. We are going to Terceira next week! We booked through Azores Getaways so I hope it will be good. What should be on our must see list? We did book a whale watching trip and a hiking tour but not a car. Should we get a car?

    1. Don’t miss Biscoitos viewpoint! Well it depends how long you’re staying for many days: if so, I would get a car.

  81. We are traveling for the first time the middle off June so looking forward to visiting your island, coming from an island myself newfoundland I do have and apreciate for the layback life style..soo excited

  82. Hi Bruno, great guide, thanks. Can you tell me where that wonderful path that you put on instagram is please?

  83. Hi, Bruno. Thanks for this helpful info. Do you suggest renting an SUV as opposed to a smaller car for some of the rougher terrain I’ve read about? In particular, some of the descents to the beaches via road? Also can you recommend a car rental company?

  84. We are off to Horta on 10th January. Really looking forward to it. Thanks for all the info, Bruno.
    Happy New Year to you and all your followers 🙂

  85. We are planning on visiting the Azores, mainly Faial where my husband is originally from, in Sept, 2017. We’ll be making more definite plans later in the new year. Loved reading all this information about the Azores. Can’t wait to visit.