Naturally rich in its history, beauty and culture, the Portuguese islands, Açores, are a hidden gem in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. These 9 Volcanic islands, each one unique and different, are a small territory 1,600 km away from mainland Portugal (Europe) and 2,454 km from Canada (North America). From Santa Maria, the first island to be found, to Corvo, the smallest of the archipelago, theres a 600 km stretch. Although its location is far from mainland, around 2h to Lisbon by plane, they are in a very strategic place as its between America, Europe and Africa, becoming a point of connection within them.
With a Maritime Temperate Climate, the temperature is very linear all year round which is very pleasant due to the mild atmosphere. The colorful scenario in these islands are a clear result of this weather influence, that makes every season a good one to visit yes! No off-season in the Azores. If you are lucky enough, you can experience the 4 seasons in one day, which will enhance your holidays. This is the main reason for the massive and virgin vegetation that can be found in hidden spots throughout these mystical islands.
With a lot of protected landscapes areas and parks, the Azorean fauna and flora are well preserved and are worth a visit. Great destination for adventurers, but also unforgettable experiences seekers, with different options of holidays: canyoning, scuba diving, horse riding, sailing, whale watching, swimming with dolphins or manta rays. If none of these seem appealing, the relaxing spots are also frequent which will allow to disconnect and just enjoy being isolated from the big city set-up.
Usually, the connection to the Azores is via Lisbon or Porto, two of the most important cities of Portugal mainland. Since there is a rising interest in travelling to these volcanic islands, the international connections are expanding every year. The Azores are closer not only to the Europe mainland, but also to America and Canada, with direct flights from main capitals. Although some of these flights are seasonal, there are daily connections from Lisbon and Porto to São Miguel and Terceira Island, which easily connects to the other islands. Either with Sata Internacional, TAP or Ryanair, these international companies are an extremely important tool to link the Azores to the world.
Once you get here the connection between the islands is very smoothly done by airplane, where there are regular flights with Sata Azores Airlines.
Its possible to travel between the triangle islands (Pico, Faial and São Jorge) and Flores and Corvo by ferry. This is a great option for the island-hopping lovers.
It will be a great way to explore these islands as it allows you to stop and wonder the nature for as long as you want. With an almost none-existing traffic, the distances between places are quite small, which helps you go around the island very easily. The rent a car services are available in 8 islands exception of Corvo so be ready to explore and drive around the archipelago. In São Miguel Island you can book a hybrid car as a much eco-friendly choice. It has a lighter environmental impact and you wont have to worry about the refuel.
Want to know more about these mysterious islands? Book with us a tour with certificated guides and enjoy the relaxation of an excursion. Discover the best spots of Azores while soaking in all the knowledge guides have to offer.
The bus services run in the Azores, but its most use is by locals. If looking for a taxi, keep in mind that they may not accept credit card.
With a Maritime Temperate Climate, the weather in the Azores is mild all year round which makes it constant in terms of temperature during the 4 seasons. Its the perfect destination for those who cant travel during summer, but still want a summer like vacations. Although the best time is always depending on each ones type of holidays, below is how the weather is like by seasons:
Summer - Slightly higher temperatures than usual (around 26°C), this is a great time for sea activities as whale watching, coasteering or sailing. For those whose ideal vacations are spending the day outside, activities such as rural experiences, climbing Pico mountain, hiking or canyoning is a great option.
Spring - With lots of flowered streets, this time of the year is filled with sunny days and a warmer weather. The rain is a bit more frequent, but its enjoyable as its part of the mystic place you are travelling to where everything is fueled by nature. Good season if visiting to see whales, as its the best time to see migrating species.
Autumn - The summer like temperatures last until late November, making this time of the year perfect for trekking as its less busy and you can just contemplate the Azorean landscapes being almost completely alone. Its also the best time for birdwatching as the migrating species are travelling to the azores. Perfect timing for the natural thermal outdoor baths that are 45 º, for relaxing and enjoying being in the nature.
Winter - The Azores are a great spot for those who want to escape very low temperatures and bad winters. The regular temperature feel is 12º, so it never reaches negative temperatures. Consequence? The nature continues to blossom, and you can still do outdoor activities and enjoy being outside. Hiking is great option if feeling like being more active. If going for a more calming day, the thermal waters are always a good option as they are perfect for the winter breeze.
First time in the Azores? Here are some tips and what you must know before going:
For someone who likes to learn and be with the locals when travelling, here are some basic words in Portuguese to help on a regular trip: