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Azores

The archipelago of the Azores is an autonomous region of Portugal. This group of islands of the Atlantic Ocean is an ultra peripheral area of the European Union.

Latest census data reports just over a quarter of a million residents live on these islands but with a diaspora of more than two million living overseas, primarily in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and mainland Europe. In the Channel Islands they have for long formed a substantial minority so that public phoneboxes feature dialling instructions in the Azores dialect.

Regions

The Azores consist primarily of 9 main islands:

  • Corvo
  • Faial
  • Flores
  • Graciosa
  • Pico
  • São Jorge (Azores)
  • São Miguel, with the main airport (Ponta Delgada Airport IATA: PDL)
  • Santa Maria
  • Terceira

Understand

These nine volcanic islands are situated in the northern Atlantic, about 1,500 km (950 mi) from the western edge of the Iberian Peninsula and about 3,900 km (2,400 mi) from North America. Seismic activity, though rare, still occurs on occasion.

Climate

The archipelago is spread out in the area between 37° N and the parallels of latitude that pass through the Lisbon area (38° 43' / 38° 55' N), giving it generally a tepid, oceanic, subtropical climate, with mild annual oscillations. Daily maximum temperatures usually range between 15°C (59°F) and 25°C (77°F). The average annual rainfall increases from east to west, and it ranges from 700 to 1600 annual millimetres on average, reaching 6300 millimetres on Mount Pico, the highest Portuguese mountain at 2351 metres. The Azores high, an area of high atmospheric pressure, is named after the islands.

You should be warned, if what you are searching is a beach holiday with plenty of sun, the Azores are not right for you. However, if going to the beach is just one of the activities you will do, it should be just perfect. Climate in the Azores can vary during the day from bright sunny, to rainy and back to sunny.

Talk

The official language in Azores is Portuguese. On most of the nine islands, the variety of Portuguese spoken is very similar to standard European Portuguese. The primary exception is the local "Micaelense" dialect spoken by many of the inhabitants of the largest island, São Miguel, very unlike the Portuguese spoken in the mainland. Even people from mainland Portugal and the other Azorean islands find it difficult to understand "Micaelense". Otherwise, most people involved with tourism speak at least enough English to communicate with English-speaking tourists.

Get in

By plane

The main entry point is Ponta Delgada Airport (IATA: PDL)—also called João Paulo II Airport—on the island of São Miguel. There is unlimited free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal areas.

Major carriers serving Ponta Delgada Airport include:

  • Azores Express (US tel: 800-762-9995, Portugal: +351 296 209 748) connects New England with the Azores, mainly on the Boston-Funchal route. The carrier is part of the SATA Group, which connects the Azores with mainland Europe.
  • SATA Azores is both an airline and a tour operator locally based on the Azores. It connects the Azores with major European hubs like London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris; Gran Canaria, and several other European destinations.
  • TAP Portugal's flag carrier, also has direct flights from Lisbon to the islands of Funchal, Terceira, Fayal and Pico. The airlines also flies between Porto and Terceira islands.
  • Air Berlin offers flights from Germany (mainly Düsseldorf and Nuremberg).
  • Easyjet connects Lisbon to the most populous island of São Miguel three times a week for €50 and up.
  • Ryanair

By boat

Several cruise lines make Ponta Delgada a waypoint when journeying across the Atlantic. Some cruise ships spend a day at the port, often as they reposition themselves between cruising Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

The marina at Ponta Delgada also welcomes many yachts and private boats from around the world that make São Miguel a port of call along their trans-Atlantic travels.

Get around

By plane

São Miguel is the main hub, but you can fly direct to Terceira, Pico, and Faial from Lisbon.

If you have limited time in São Miguel and want to visit the other islands, do not take the ferry as it takes too long. Travel by plane instead.

By boat

Ferries between the islands are available, and particularly useful in the central group (Terceira, Graciosa, Sao Jorge, Pico, and Fayal).

The Azores is a great place for boating island to island and even town to town. Almost every town is on the shore and most have ports.

One of the best known sailing ports in the world is Horta, on Faial Island. There is a large and fully equipped marina that has catered for many famous boats and regattas. The marina is ideally placed in downtown Horta.

Other islands have marinas, like Terceira and São Miguel. Even when a marina is not present many of the larger villages have a harbour suitable for mooring a yacht.

Small motor yacht may be chartered to get from island to island, particularly in the summertime on Terceira island.

By car

In each island, it's best to rent a car. These being volcanic islands, in many places the terrain is steep and rugged. The roads wind around very steep hillsides.

By bus

On most islands there are bus services, crossing the main villages. On the smaller islands, however, the buses may have only a few runs per day or none at all on certain days (Sundays, holidays).

By taxi

Taxis are centrally regulated throughout the islands so visitors pay the same rate as locals. In São Miguel (2015), it costs about 10€ between the two ends of Ponta Delgada; out of town trips are 20-30€ or 40-50€ to the farthest parts of the island.

By bicycle

Cycling around the islands is possible if you are in great shape, and don't mind a lot of hill climbing.

See

See the Regions section above for points of interest in each island.

Itineraries

São Miguel and other islands

  1. Start in São Miguel Island
  2. From Ponta Delgada (in São Miguel), fly to Faial. Do a whale watching tour.
  3. Take the boat to Pico Island. Do a whale watching tour. Climb Pico mountain if you are in good shape.
  4. Take the channel boat to São Jorge Island. Fly to Terceira Island.

Do

Many activities and sights are accessible only through private tour companies. Half-day and all-day tours start at 50-60€ and can cost upward of 100€. The tours are generally very high quality and worth it.

You can hike on every island but it's best in Flores, Sao Jorge and Sao Miguel.

  • Whale and dolphin watching. Every town with a marina offers whale watching. They take you out on small boats and often get you within ten yards of the whale. Futurismo is a recommended provider for whale watching tours.
  • Velvet Adventure Sailing. Spend time sailing between the islands and exploring what each one has to offer. The boat moors in sheltered marinas or anchors in secluded bays.
  • Off-road mountain bike circuits
  • Moto 4 Rides
  • Bird Watching
  • Donkey Rides
  • Fishing
  • Sport Fishing
  • Ferry
  • Yachting
  • Rental Bike, riding bike is a great way to get to know the islands.
  • Guided Tours
  • Volcano Climbing at Pico island
  • Hiking

Buy

Money

The euro (€) is the currency of the Azores.

Shopping

Handcraft from all the islands is very good.

The Azores is the only place in Europe that produces tea.

Eat

There is a "meat and potatoes" mentality when it comes to the cuisine and vegetables can sometimes be hard to come by.

Fresh fish and local grass-fed beef are very good. One of the main dishes is Bife à Regional, a steak with a delicious local sauce.

Sao Jorge island is famous for its cheese and must be tried. Fresh pineapple from Sao Miguel island is unbelievably good.

Drink

Sagres and Super Bock are the best Portuguese beers you can find on the island. Especial is the local beer and it is very good.

You can also ask for local sodas "Kima" and "Laranjada".

Sleep

Stay safe

There is very little crime in the Azores. What little crime exists is mostly drug related. There are no reports of crimes against tourists.

Go next

Flights within other islands, plus Madeira/Funchal (FNC), Lisbon/Lisboa (LIS), Porto/Oporto (OPO).

Azores (Bradt Travel Guide Azores)

David Sayers

Bradt's Azores guidebook is the only comprehensive guidebook to the nine-island archipelago, a nature-lovers' wilderness perched at the western extremity of Europe in the mid-Atlantic, and one of the best places in the world for whale watching. This new edition continues to provide the strong geological and botanical information that is so integral to the islands and essential for all nature lovers, but it also has an expanded focus taking in the land- and sea-based activities which have become a significant part of the Azores tourism offering in the past few years. Also included is all of the practical information needed to make the most of these new opportunities, plus a full update on the accommodation upgrades that have taken place in recent times to cater for the influx of new visitors. The Azores has strong links with the USA, with a healthy diaspora, and a shared history through emigration and whaling. An increasing number of visitors from the USA are choosing to visit. Green, and with a mild climate throughout the year thanks to the Gulf Stream, each island has its own attractions and identity. Safe and welcoming, the islands are drawing in a whole new group of visitors, mainly from Europe and the USA, attracted by the diversity of outdoor activities, easier accessibility and improvements to the visitor infrastructure. The Azores volcanic origin make for a rugged, diverse landscape, a suitable backdrop for excellent walking, mountain-biking and canyoning, while whale-watching, kayaking, windsurfing and fishing provide off-shore opportunities for independent travelers and adventurous families alike. The islands' 500 year history is well-documented in a host of museums, allowing visitors to learn about the fluctuating fortunes and strategic importance of the archipelago across the centuries. Attractive architecture, carefully preserved festivals, three islands with UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status, an interesting range of flora and many botanical gardens are all covered in this guide.

Azores: Car Tours and Walks (Sunflower Landscapes)

Andreas Stieglitz

The Azores, nine islands in the Atlantic halfway between the Old World and the New, rise above sea level from a depth of several thousand metres. They are all volcanic in origin and all are covered in this guide.Key features:30 main walks, with many variations21 picnic suggestions, ideal as very short walks1:50,000 topo maps5 car tours 3 on São Miguel and 1 each on Faial and Terceira2 fold-out touring maps showing walk locations ideal for planningplans of Ponta Delgada (São Miguel), Horta (Faial) and Angra do Heroísmo (Terceira)public transport informationonline update serviceThe Azores are not the remains of the legendary continent of Atlantis, which is said to have sunk in the ocean once upon a time. Nonetheless, there is an aura of mystery about this lush green archipelago. It is a paradise for lovers of natural landscapes.There are awe-inspiring mountains (like Pico, the highest in Portugal), peaceful valleys with exotic plants, enchanting lakes of stunning beauty amidst extinct volcanic craters, charming hill country with fields and meadows, spectacular hydrangea hedges criss-crossing the landscape, and magnificent coasts lined by picturesque villages and historical towns.The best months for walking in the Azores are May to October.This guide is part of the Landscapes Series, with 50 destinations dubbed the blue Bibles by the Sunday Times and chosen by readers of Which? as one of the four top travel guide series (from a field of 18).

Azores 2017 : 20 Cool Things to do during your Trip to Azores: Top 20 Local Places You Can't Miss! (Travel Guide Azores - Portugal )

Top20 Travel Guide

Are You Ready to Take Off to Azores?Welcome to the best Azores Travel Guide made by locals! Plan an unforgettable vacation with this best-selling Local Travel Guide reference that shows you where to go, how to get there, and what you need to know before you begin your adventure in Azores. This book will give you an insight of the best places and most unique places to see where you will mingle with the locals and get to see and do the activities as one of them. What You'll Find Inside...♥20 Unique activities to enjoy your Trip♥Where to eat in town♥Where to go Shopping♥Best Parks & Views♥Where to Grab a Drink ♥Locals Favourite Places ♥ Much, much more! Azores is a city steeped in cultural and historical riches, offering some of the world's finest dining, sport, shopping and landscapes. Be inspired to visit by the brand new Insight Local’s Guide, a concise, compact guide to this iconic destination that combines lively text with the best insights from Locals to highlight the best that the city has to offer.It took lots of time to incorporate the tips and hacks that ended up shaping this travel guide! And now, we are willing to share those 20 Top Activities with you! We will tell you where you should go, eat, sleep, and of course, party! We know you won't just settle for average boring travel guides! We know you are looking for something better; something unique that will truly help you down the road: a book with real life tips, recommendations, useful travel hacks and data... everything you may need in your trip. You've just found what you were looking for! We will help you simplify your path, showing you exactly where the best places are. ♥ Download Your Copy Right Now! ♥Just Scroll to the top of the page and select the Buy Button. TAGS: travel to Azores , travel guide Azores, adventure in Azores, trip to Azores, Portugal, Azores hotels, Azores markets, Portugal guide, holidays in Azores, day trip to Azores, Azores Portugal, things to do in Azores, Azores map, Azores lonely planet, Azores , Azores trip,Portugal, Visit Portugal, Azores Portugal

Azores 25 Secrets - The Locals Travel Guide For Your Trip to Azores (Açores - Portugal): Skip the tourist traps and explore like a local : Where to Go, Eat & Party in Azores ( Açores - Portugal)

55 Secrets

25 Secrets you’d never find out about AZORES!Welcome to the most Complete AZORES Travel Guide for Tourists made by locals! Here Is a Preview of What You'll Learn Inside...♥25 Unique activities to do when you are in town♥Best places to eat in town♥Best local Markets♥Best Parks and Good Views♥Best Museums♥Best Bars ♥Best things to do in Azores - Portugal♥ Much, much more!* * *FREE GIFT INSIDE * * * If you are heading to the wonderful islands of Azores anytime soon this book will give you an insight of the best places and most unique places to see where you will mingle with the locals and get to see and do the activities as one of them.We have prepared a unique BUCKET LIST with the 25 most unique experiences you can have in Azores – Portugal Most people don't even take the time to prepare themselves in advance, and just wish for the best once they have arrived! Most people aren't aware of some of the most amazing places Azores can offer... And it'd be such a pity to miss them! That's precisely why we desperately need the RIGHT travel guide first. Don’t arrive to Azores (Portugal) and follow the crowds of Tourists. With this exclusive travel guide made by locals you will be finding about the places that don’t come on Lonely Planets or are listed on Trip Advisor where thousands of tourists head daily. It took lots of time to incorporate the tips and hacks that ended up shaping this travel guide! And now, we are willing to share those secrets with you! We will tell you where you should go, eat, sleep, and of course, party! We know you won't just settle for average boring travel guides! We know you are looking for something better; something unique that will truly help you down the road: a book with real life tips, recommendations, useful travel hacks and data... everything you may need in your trip. You've just found what you were looking for! Our goal is simple. we will give you a complete and detailed Bucket list with MAPS to all the locations to make sure you won’t get lost in the amazing islands of Azores transforming your trip into absolutely amazing experience. We will help you simplify your path, showing you exactly where the best places are. ♥ Download Your Copy Right Now! ♥Just Scroll to the top of the page and select the Buy Button. TAGS: travel, travel guide Azores, adventure in Azores , trip to Azores , Açores , Azores hotels, Azores market, Azores guide, holidays in Azores, day trip to Azores, Azores Portugal, Azores islands, things to do in Azores, Azores map

Michelin Green Guide Portugal Madeira The Azores (Green Guide/Michelin)

Michelin

The updated Green Guide Portugal, Madeira and The Azores opens the door to discovering the delights of this sunny country, from remote fortress villages and beautiful sandy beaches crouched below ochre cliffs, to fascinating UNESCO cities and busy island resorts. Rely on Michelin's renowned star-ratings system when deciding on where to go and what to see and do. Color photos, detailed maps and recommendations for hotels and restaurants complete the picture for a memorable visit.

Hidden Gems of PORTUGAL - Locals Complete Travel Guide for Portugal: 5 TRAVEL Guides in 1 : Porto , Lisbon, Algarve, Madeira, Azores

55 Secrets

5 Guides in 1 - SUPER PORTUGAL PACKAGE DEAL !Welcome to the most Complete Portugal Travel Guide for Tourists made by locals! In this Book you will find 5 Full Books♥55 Secrets Porto♥55 Secrets Lisbon♥55 Secrets Algarve♥25 Secrets Madeira♥25 Secrets AzoresHere Is a Preview of What You'll Learn Inside for each destination...♥Lots of Unique activities to do when you are in town♥Best places to eat in town♥Best local Markets♥Best Parks and Good Views♥Best Museums♥Best Bars ♥Best things to do all over Portugal♥ Much, much more!* * *FREE GIFT INSIDE : 5 Books * * * If you are heading to the wonderful country of Portugal anytime soon this book will give you an insight of the best places and most unique places to see where you will mingle with the locals and get to see and do the activities as one of them.We have prepared FIVE unique BUCKET LISTS with the most unique experiences you can have in Portugal Most people don't even take the time to prepare themselves in advance, and just wish for the best once they have arrived! Most people aren't aware of some of the most amazing places Portugal can offer... And it'd be such a pity to miss them! That's precisely why we desperately need the RIGHT travel guide first. Don’t arrive to Portugal and follow the crowds of Tourists. With this exclusive travel guide made by locals you will be finding about the places that don’t come on Lonely Planet’s or are listed on Trip Advisor where thousands of tourists head daily. It took lots of time to incorporate the tips and hacks that ended up shaping this travel guide! And now, we are willing to share those secrets with you! We will tell you where you should go, eat, sleep, and of course, party! We know you won't just settle for average boring travel guides! We know you are looking for something better; something unique that will truly help you down the road: a book with real life tips, recommendations, useful travel hacks and data... everything you may need in your trip. You've just found what you were looking for! Our goal is simple. we will give you a complete and detailed Bucket list with MAPS to all the locations to make sure you won’t get lost in this 5 top destinations in Portugal transforming your trip into absolutely amazing experience. We will help you simplify your path, showing you exactly where the best places are. ♥ Download Your Copy Right Now! ♥Just Scroll to the top of the page and select the Buy Button. ♥ 5 Amazing Guides in 1 ♥TAGS: travel to Portugal, travel guide Portugal, adventure in Portugal , trip to Portugal , Portugal hotels, Portugal market, guide, holidays in Portugal, day trip to Portugal, Portugal, things to do in Portugal, Portugal map, Portugal lonely planet, cristiano Ronaldo, its always sunny in Portugal, Portugal trip, Portugal guide, visit Portugal, Porto, Madeira, Algarve, Lisbon, Azores, Porto travel guide, Lisbon Travel Guide, Madeira Travel Guide, Azores travel Guide, Algarve Travel Guide, sintra Portugal, fatima Portugal

Azores (Bradt Travel Guide)

David Sayers

The Azores are verdant, tranquil, diverse, exquisitely beautiful and always welcoming.  These nine green islands are the embodiment of old-world charm and include an elegant capital, remote villages, glittering blue coastlines and spectacular volcanic landscapes.  This is the only guide in English that provides details of travel and activities alongside in-depth background information. This new edition features new adventure activities such and newly opened gardens. With this guide visitors can visit Europe's only tea plantations or step into the hot springs and gurgling mud pools of Furnas.

Azores Travel Guide

Alex K Fisher

Washed by the ever-changing Atlantic Ocean, there’s freshness here, a sense of innocence and peace which enchants the traveller attracted by the unspoilt charm of these enchanting islands, and prompts escapist dreams when he return to 'civilization'.The Azores Islands lies in the Atlantic Ocean on the same latitude as both Lisbon and Washington. There are nine islands in the Azores archipelago, plus the rocky shoals and sandbanks. The Azores Islands are a gentle paradise of green fields bordered with hydrangeas, hillsides covered in azaleas, forested slopes rising above a colourful patchwork of fields, blue lagoons nestling in high volcanic craters.

Exercise normal security precautions

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Crime

The crime rate is low in the Azores and petty crime such as theft and pickpocketing is uncommon.

In some areas, streets may be poorly lit and deserted at night. Be vigilant and avoid walking alone after dark.

Beaches and water activities

While beaches are generally considered safe, do not leave your personal belongings unattended.

During the summer months, deaths by drowning have occurred on beaches and in swimming pools. Take warning flags on beaches seriously. The Maritime Police have the authority to fine bathers who disobey the lifeguard’s warning flags. Don’t swim at beaches that link to/from rivers, as the water currents can be very strong. Don’t dive into unknown water as hidden rocks or shallow depths can cause serious injury or death.

In the fall and winter months, be cautious when walking along beaches close to the water’s edge as waves can be very unpredictable in size and come onto shore further than expected with strong undertows. Do not visit beaches or coastal areas during periods of severe weather warnings.  Exercise caution and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Look out for signs warning of cliff erosion. Falling rocks are a hazard and the authorities can fine those who ignore warning signs.

In marine areas, coral, jellyfish and other ocean life found along reefs can poison, sting, or cause infection if touched or stepped on. Ask local authorities about the presence of such species and whether they are dangerous.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Western Europe, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis, and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.


Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Canada and Portugal are signatories to the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Portugal to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Portuguese authorities.

Driving laws

An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Climate

Severe windstorms occasionally occur. Severe rainstorms occur and can cause flooding and landslides, resulting in damage to infrastructure, and hampering the provision of essential services. For up-to-date information on the situation, visit the Portuguese Civil Protection Agency website.