If you are planning a trip to the Azores, you may be wondering where to stay. There are a total of nine islands in this Portuguese archipelago, each offering something different. And on each of those islands, each region is unique as well. I have just recently finished a month-long stay on the largest island of São Miguel. You are in for a real treat if you have never been before. This island is so beautiful and magical. I have never been anywhere before that is so beautiful in nature. While I stayed in an Airbnb, there are plenty of great Azores Sao Miguel hotels as well. In this guide, I’ll show you the best place to stay in the Azores on São Miguel island. You’ll learn where to stay in Sao Miguel Azores as well as the best Azores Sao Miguel hotels. Let’s get into it!
The Best Place to Stay in the Azores-Casa Da Belavista
So, I’m sure that everyone always thinks that their Airbnb is the best. But let me tell you, the Airbnb I stayed at on Sao Miguel is probably the best place to stay in the Azores. And let me tell you why. If you’ve ever wanted to feel completely relaxed by views of the ocean, rolling hills, cows, and quaint villages, this is the perfect Airbnb for you. I stayed here for exactly one month, and it is one of my favorite that I’ve ever stayed at. And I have stayed in a lot of Airbnbs. The house itself is beautiful, with a pool and hot tub. I visited during the winter, so I only used the hot tub. I can only imagine during the summer that this is most definitely the best place to stay in the Azores.
The house is located in the parish of Lomba da Fazenda and is just about as far east on the island as you can possibly be. You will be pretty far away from the main town of Ponta Delgada and some attractions, but I believe it is worth the drive. If you are only coming for a short trip, this may not be the best place to stay in the Azores because of how far away it is. But if you want a relaxing vacation to unwind and forget about your troubles, this home is magical. I will include the link to the Airbnb below. I am not affiliated with them, nor do I make any commission. It is just a great place and my top recommendation on where to stay in Sao Miguel Azores.
Where to Stay in Sao Miguel Azores
I loved where I ended up staying for many reasons. While I was on the island, I only stayed in one part of Sao Miguel. But you can be sure that I have driven through every single neighborhood and region of the island. You may end up enjoying something different from where you stay. Also, the best area to stay depends on the type of trip you are taking. If you are here for a short trip, it may be wiser to stay closer to the main attractions. So, keep in mind that these are all my personal opinions on the best place to stay in the Azores.
If I were to come back to Sao Miguel and stay somewhere new, I would stay in Furnas. This town is set at the bottom of a volcanic crater. There is so much to do in Furnas from hot springs, gorgeous parks, hiking, and excellent hotels and restaurants. The town itself is walkable with lots of local charm. There are some good groceries store and everything you would need for your stay. But the main draw of Furnas is being so close to all of the top things to do on the island. You will be a bit isolated from the rest of the island, but you can get around Furnas easily.
If you’ve read any of my previous Azores content, you’ll know that visiting the hot springs is at the top of my list. Well, there are plenty of hot springs in Furnas. Not to mention some of the most beautiful hotels on the island. There are some great hikes, one of the top being at Grena national park. You will be a little far away from other attractions, but there is so much to do here that you won’t get bored. Furnas is definitely the best place to stay in the Azores.
The easternmost town on São Miguel is Nordeste and is one of the best areas to stay on the Azores, in my opinion. Some people reading this may be surprised by that, but it is a really great area. It is about a 45-minute drive from the airport and the main city, but it’s quiet and relaxing. I stayed in Lomba da Fazenda’s small parish in the Nordeste area. You will most definitely need a car rental because it is far away. But honestly, most of the best things to do on the island are on this side anyway. Some of the best hikes and outdoor activities are on the island’s east side. At least in my personal opinion. Nordeste should definitely be a top contender when deciding where to stay in Sao Miguel Azores.
Located inside the crater of an old volcano is the picturesque town of Sete Cidades. This town is one of the most unique and best place to stay in the Azores. You are literally inside what was once a volcano. The town itself is charming with gorgeous buildings, a huge church, and two lakes with a waterfront park. If you are looking for where to stay in Sao Miguel Azores, which is beautiful and right in the action, then Sete Cidades might be an excellent option! One of the most popular things to do in Sao Miguel is visiting Sete Cidades and hiking around the crater’s rim. If you stay in Sete Cidades or near it, you will be right near all of the top tourist destinations on the island. There are lots of Airbnbs and some nice hotels in this area. Over the summer, there are even places to stay directly on the lake, which is incredible.
Ponta Delgada is the capital and largest town on the island of Sao Miguel. The airport is here. There’s a built up waterfront with shops, cafes and restaurants. More people live in Ponta Delgada than anywhere else on the island. You will find shopping malls as well as the large scale grocery stores. While Ponta Delgada may not be the best place to stay in the Azores, it is incredibly convenient to be centrally located. If you stay outside of Ponta Delgada, you won’t have access to all the restaurants and amenities that downtown has to offer. The city itself is not super big. You can pretty much walk the entire downtown area in just a few hours. I only visited Ponta Delgada a few times during my month long stay. It is definitely worth a visit though. If you’re looking for where to stay in Sao Miguel Azores that is the easiest, Ponta Delgada may be just for you.
Vila Franca do Campo
The town of Vila Franca do Campo is located about 20 minutes from the airport and has many benefits to staying here. The town itself is very quaint but is somewhat centrally located. You are positioned in a good location on the island to get to pretty much everything within a reasonable time. Also, if you are looking to go whale watching, the best tours leave from Vila Franca do Campo. You can view my entire whale watching in Azores guide here if interested. In addition to the whale watching, here you’ll also find the must-visit Nossa Senhoura Chapel. This beautiful chapel is situated on the top of the hill overlooking the entire town of Vila Franca do Campo. Definitely one of the best place to stay in the Azores!
Lomba da Fazenda
And finally, I have to mention the town where I stayed, Lomba da Fazenda. This town is located on the easternmost part of the island and is incredibly isolated. The town itself is nothing to brag about, but I enjoyed the area’s tranquility and how quiet it is. There are a few good grocery stores in the area, and you are close to some of the best hiking on the entire island. Also, you are close to Nordeste, which has some restaurants and a beautiful lighthouse. Consider Lomba da Fazenda when figuring out where to stay in Sao Miguel Azores!
Best Azores Sao Miguel Hotels
Along with Airbnb rentals, there are many great Azores Sao Miguel hotels. Depending on how long you plan to stay, a hotel may be a better option than Airbnb. I always suggest that if you plan to stay anywhere for more than seven days to consider Airbnb. This is because you will have a kitchen to prepare some meals. While it is nice to go out to dinner most times when you’re on vacation, sometimes it’s nice to relax at your place. While I only stayed in the Airbnb on my trip, I did visit several hotels for drinks or dinner. You should definitely consider these when finding the best place to stay in the Azores for your vacation. Keep in mind that there are many more Azores Sao Miguel hotels. These are simply the only Azores Sao Miguel hotels I have visited and can recommend.
- Furnas Boutique Hotel Thermal & Spa-This beautiful hotel is located in Furnas and is one of the best Azores Sao Miguel hotels. The hotel has an attached restaurant that I’ve eaten at several times, and it was delicious. The interior of the hotel is very eclectic and fancy. The hotel’s grounds are immaculate, with some private gardens and even hot springs running through the grounds—definitely one of the best places to stay in the Azores for a hotel option.
- Terra Nostra Garden Hotel: This Azores Sao Miguel hotel is so fabulous. It is located inside the Terra Nostra Garden and thermal hot springs. The hotel itself is very high-end and beautiful. There is a restaurant with fantastic food and a bar that serves some of the best cocktails on the island. The highlight of this hotel is that you get exclusive access to the Terra Nostra hot springs after the day guests have left. Day guests have to leave by 5 pm, and then it is only for the hotel guests. I can imagine having the hot springs to yourself is magical.
Tips on Finding the Best Place to Stay in the Azores
- No Central Air/Heating-Many homes in the Azores do not have central air or heating. The Airbnb I stayed in only had a fireplace for heat, and that seemed pretty typical for the area. And in the summertime, many places do not have air conditioning. I’m sure there are places you can find with heating/air conditioning, but just be sure to ask before booking.
- Old Homes/New Homes-Deciding on where to stay in Sao Miguel Azores, you’ll have lots of both old and new homes. Just keep in mind that if you stay in an older home, there may be moisture issues in the walls. Due to the high humidity in the Azores, this can cause mold problems. I personally have really bad allergies when it comes to mold and I definitely noticed staying in an older home. I’m sure a newer home with a more modern build wouldn’t have these same issues.
- Farther from Town, Less to Do-The main city on Sao Miguel is Ponta Delgada. Here you’ll find all modern amenities like nice restaurants, big grocery stores, and departments stores. The farther you get away from Ponta Delgada, the less of these you’ll find. You will find smaller grocery stores and mini marts, but if you are looking for a large supermarket those are near Ponta Delgada. I still think it’s worth staying away from the city though. It just means you have to drive in every now and then for your basic essentials.
- Small Winding Roads vs Highways-The infrastructure on the Azores is amazing with new highways and well maintained roads. Just keep in mind that while on a map something may look close, it may be down a long winding road that will take twice as long to get to as you may think. Along the north of the island there is a new major highway that connects to most of the villages. But to go down into the small villages takes much longer. Just something to keep in mind when finding where to stay in Sao Miguel Azores.
Conclusion for Where to Stay in Sao Miguel Azores
Hopefully, this guide has helped you decide where to stay in Sao Miguel Azores. As you can see, there are lots of excellent areas to stay in the Azores. And this guide is only about one of the islands. Imagine how amazing the other eight islands are as well. No matter where you decide to stay on the island, you will have a fantastic trip. The Azores are such a unique area with so much to see and do. No matter what time of year you decide to visit, there is always lots to enjoy. The landscape is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, and I’m sure you will agree.
I genuinely hope that you found this ”Best place to stay in the Azores” guide helpful for your next vacation. Whether you choose one of these Azores Sao Miguel hotels or an Airbnb, hopefully this helped you. Again these are only my personal opinions so take everything with a grain of salt. If you found this travel guide helpful, please consider sharing it with your friends and fellow travelers. Be sure to check out the rest of my travel content on the Azores. If you end up going, let me know in the comments where you think is the best place to stay in the Azores.
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