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traveling the azores

Traveling the Azores Sao Miguel-Travel Guide to Azores Sao Miguel Island

If you are planning a trip traveling the Azores, then this is the perfect guide for you. I have written many different blog articles on the autonomous region of the Azores. Still, this travel guide to Azores Sao Miguel will cover everything you need to know before your trip. I recently finished spending an entire month in the Azores and loved every minute. The Azores are some of the most beautiful islands in the world. These islands are an extraordinary part of the world. You will truly feel so at peace and relaxed when you are here. In this travel guide to Azores Sao Miguel, I’ll go over the top things to do, where to stay, eat, and more information. Check out my full Azores content for more in-depth information on each topic. This all-in-one guide is to help you plan for traveling the Azores Sao Miguel. Let’s get into it!

Where is Azores located?

Where is Azores? If you are planning on traveling the Azores, most people’s first question to you will be,” where is Azores?”. The autonomous region of the Azores is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, roughly 1,000 miles from the coast of mainland Portugal. It is also approximately 2,400 miles from the coast of North America. These islands are so remote that the ”Where is Azores” slogan is a funny part of their tourism. You’ll find lots of tourist merchandise with the saying ”Where the f%#& is the Azores” because most people don’t even know where.

There are a total of nine islands in the Azores, with Sao Miguel island being the largest and most inhabited. While similar in the landscape, each island has something different to offer, whether huge waterfalls, small boating villages or volcanic rock. The convenience of where is Azores located makes these islands a perfect place to visit if you are flying between Europe and North America. With it being only a four-hour flight from Boston and Lisbon, the Azores are a perfect halfway point for a long layover.

Travel Guide to Azores

In this travel guide to Azores, I will be going over everything you need to know for your trip. The amount of time you decide to visit these islands is obviously up to you. I personally suggest allowing at least a week, since there is so much to see and do. If you plan on island hopping, I recommend even more than a week. Any outdoor enthusiast is sure to love these islands, as most activities are centered around the outdoors. You won’t find as many cultural experiences here, just connecting with mother nature. Enjoy this travel guide to Azores Sao Miguel island!

Best Things to do On the Azores Sao Miguel

the azores sao miguel
Hiking Sete Cidades on Sao Miguel, Azores

If you are planning on traveling the Azores, you may be wondering what things to do on the islands. Since this travel guide to Azores is only about the Azores Sao Miguel island, I will only be going over the best things to do here. There are many other things to do as well on the other eight islands. So be sure to look into that as well. I wrote a full, detailed blog post on what to do on this island. For the purpose of this travel guide to Azores, here is a quick list of some of the top things to do:

Top things to do on Sao Miguel Island
  1. Hike– Hiking is one of the best activities on any of the islands. Due to the fantastic climate of mild summers and temperate winters, there is never a bad time to hike here. There are amazing hiking trails all over the island with some of the most gorgeous vistas you’ll ever see.
  2. Visit a Hot Spring– Due to the volcanic activity of these islands, there are many thermal hot springs. These pools of warm water are naturally heated by the earths core and contain special minerals that are good for your skin. It is also one of the most relaxing experiences. Checkout my full guide Azores hot springs guide for more!
  3. Whale Watching– The Azores are one of the best places on the planet for whale watching. During certain times of the year you can see all different species of whales and dolphins. I also wrote a full Azores whale watching guide here.
  4. Enjoy the many Viewpoints– There are many viewpoints all over the island for you to enjoy the many vistas. Some are small parklets while some are larger viewpoints. You could honestly spend your entire trip just looking at the amazing views.
  5. Waterfalls– You will find many beautiful waterfalls on the island. Some of the waterfalls are huge and something out of a fairytale. If you visit during the warmer months, you should definitely swim under the waterfalls.
  6. Tea Plantations– The Azores are the only region in Europe to grow tea. You can visit the plantations for a tour and a tasting.
  7. Visit the many Parks– There are many amazing parks all over the island. Some national parks with great hiking and also some small parks for an afternoon stroll.

Book fun things to do in the Azores on Expedia!

Checkout my “Top Things to do on the Azores Sao Miguel Guide” here for a detailed guide.

Where to Stay on the Azores Sao Miguel

the azores sao miguel
My Airbnb Casa Da Belavista in Lomba da Fazenda on Sao Miguel, Azores

There are many different areas on the island to stay in, each with its own benefits. When visiting the Azores Sao Miguel, you will fly into the capital Ponta Delgada. From downtown, you will be able to get lots of tours to take you all around the island for all the activities. Many people stay in Ponta Delgada because of the convenience. If you are traveling the Azores for only a few days, this may be a good option for you. If you are like me and prefer to do your own thing, it is best to rent a car and be in the countryside. Ponta Delgada is lovely and has its benefits, but I think that the Azores’ magic is in the countryside.

Find a great deal on a hotel in the Azores on Expedia!

Along with many hotel options, some of the best places to stay are Airbnbs. You can get an entire house for a reasonable rate and have a relaxing place to come back to after a day of hiking or activities. I personally always stay in an Airbnb so that I can have a kitchen for cooking, but I always stay in locations for much longer. I wrote an entire blog post about the best areas to stay in the Azores Sao Miguel island and why.

Checkout my “Where to Stay in Sao Miguel Azores Guide” here for a detailed guide.

The Best Island of the Azores for You-Which Azores Island to Visit

travel guide to azores
Flores Island

When I was traveling the Azores, I stayed only on one island: the biggest island of Sao Miguel. Many people come to this island only, but there are eight others to visit. So which is the best island of the Azores for your trip? Remember, I have only personally been to one of these, but I have done lots of research on all the islands before going. I did a lot of research for this travel guide to Azores and want to share what I’ve learned about these islands. This way, you can make an informed decision on which Azores island to visit for your trip.

  1. Sao Miguel Island– My obvious choice for the best island of the Azores is going to be Sao Miguel because that is the island I stayed on. But other than that, if you want a great taste of what this area has to offer all in one, then Sao Miguel is a great option. It is a very large island with lots of things to do so you won’t ever get bored. The Azores Sao Miguel island gives you pretty much a general sense of what it is to be in this area of the world.
  2. Flores Island– If you are looking for some of the most beautiful landscapes and waterfalls you’ve ever seen, then Flores may be the best island of the Azores for your visit. The islands name, meaning flowers, comes from this incredibly beautiful natural setting. This small island is home to around 4,000 people so it is much quieter than the larger Sao Miguel.
  3. Pico Island– Boasting the highest peak in Portugal is Pico Island. This volcanic island is perfect if you love hiking. Scale the tallest peak in the Azores with a sunrise hike to get some of the most gorgeous views of your life. The island itself is covered in black volcanic soil and is home to around 15,000 people.

Rent a Car in the Azores

travel guide to azores

You definitely need to rent a car in the Azores. No matter which island you are on, you will definitely need a car. While talking about the Azores Sao Miguel island, it is a huge island. It can take an hour to drive from one end to the other. While you can probably take tour buses around the island, it is much easier if you rent a car in the Azores. And good news, renting a car is cheaper here than pretty much anywhere else I’ve ever been. For the entire month of February, I was able to get a car rental for around €380. That’s a great price, especially if you come from the United States, where you can spend that much for just a weekly rental.

To find the best deals to rent a car in the Azores, I suggest using DiscoverCars. They always have some of the best prices compared to other services. It’s important to shop around for the best price, though. Click the affiliate link below to find the best deals to rent a car in the Azores:

Find a great deal to rent a car in the Azores at Discover Cars!

Flying to Azores from the United States

the azores sao miguel

Whether you are coming from the United States or Europe, flying to Azores is an enjoyable flight due to its proximity. If you are coming from the United States, the only direct flight to the islands is from Boston. It’s only about a four-hour flight, though, enjoyable. You can also fly to the Azores by flying into Lisbon first, but this takes much longer. I highly suggest flying from Boston, depending on where you are coming from. We flew with SATA Azores Airways, and it was a quick and pleasant flight. I can’t speak about flying from Europe, but it is a reasonably short flight as well.

Find a great deal for flying to Azores on Expedia!

Traveling the Azores Sao Miguel General Information

When to Visit Azores-Best Time to Travel to Azores

The best time to travel to Azores is in the springtime, but the islands are enjoyable any time of the year. I say the spring is best for when to visit Azores because the weather is warmer without being hot, and it is before the peak tourism season. The summer is the busiest tourist season. I visited in the winter during the entire month of February, though and it was wonderful. The weather was chilly but never super cold, and the island was tranquil. If you are coming to the island just for whale watching, then spring is definitely the best time to travel to Azores. My next trip will definitely be planned for the springtime. You’ll see the biggest diversity of whales this time of year. But no matter your decision of when to visit Azores, you will definitely have a fantastic time. 

The Azores Climate

The Azores climate is typically very mild and temperate. With temperatures year-round averaging in the ’60s-’70s F, the climate is one of the most appealing things about the Azores. I visited in the winter and found the weather to be perfectly lovely. The islands are situated in a very interesting part of the world. The trade winds are constantly flowing through the Azores, keeping the climate moist and temperate. While the islands are as far north as some very cold parts of Europe, the Azores has never gotten cold enough to have frost in the history of recorded temperatures. For this reason, the Azores is home to some of the lushest and most diverse plant life on Earth. 

Be aware though, the weather on the Azores Sao Miguel can change very drastically. For this reason, they have created a cell phone app called SpotAzores. With this app, you can see live footage of the weather conditions all over the islands. If you are traveling the Azores, you will definitely want to download the app. So before you get in the car to drive to the other side of the island, be sure to check the app first. Just because it is sunny in Ponta Delgada doesn’t mean it might not be raining in Furnas. Follow this link here to get the SpotAzores app

The Azores Currency

The currency in the Azores is the Euro, just like mainland Portugal. The Azores are part of Portugal which is a part of EU. The exchange rate for the Euro is always changing like most currency. You can find the most up to date exchange rate for your currency to Euro on most search engines.

Cost of Living in the Azores

The cost of living in the Azores is very affordable compared to many regions of Western Europe. Everything from rent, groceries, restaurants and more are considerably more affordable than other regions of Western Europe. Portugal in general is regarded as one of the most affordable countries in Western Europe and the cost of living in the Azores definitely reflects that. I was honestly surprised at just how affordable things are in the Azores considering they are in the middle of the ocean. Remote islands typically have a much higher cost of living because of the cost to import everything. Honestly, the cost of living in the Azores was some of the most affordable of anywhere I have traveled, not including southeast Asia. If you are traveling the Azores on a budget, you will certainly have lots of options. Some examples of the average cost of living in the Azores Sao Miguel include:

  • Average Cost of living in the Azores in 2022-
    • Espresso/Coffee: €1.50
    • Meal at a Casual Restaurant: €7-13
    • Meal at a Nice Sit Down Restaurant: €17-25
    • Local Beer: €1.10
    • Rent for 1 bedroom Apartment Average: €700/montH

Language of Azores

The language of Azores is Portuguese because it is a part of Portugal. But rest assured most people speak English and are very friendly to speak with you. I never encountered anyone that didn’t speak English. Unlike some countries where the locals refuse to speak English with you, the locals here are very kind and friendly. It is always a good idea to learn some of the local language wherever you are traveling though just to be courteous. So before traveling the Azores, brush up on some quick greetings.

Traveling the Azores Sao Miguel Conclusion

Parque Terra Nostra in Furnas on Sao Miguel, Azores

In conclusion, no matter how you are traveling the Azores Sao Miguel island you are sure to have a fantastic trip. And keep in mind that there are still eight other islands to visit as well. I have been to many places in the world and very few have touched my heart like the Azores. The beautiful landscapes, flowing waterfalls, thermal hot springs, and slow pace of life allow you to forget about your troubles and exist in nature. Out of all the places I’ve been to in the world, which is a lot, the Azores are at the top of my list for places I most definitely will be returning to. If you are still hesitant about booking a trip traveling the Azores, this is your sign to book your trip. I promise you that you will love it!

I genuinely hope that this travel guide to Azores has been informative and helpful for planning your trip. If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider sharing it with your friends and fellow travelers. Also, if you end up visiting the Azores, please let me know in the comments below what your favorite part of the trip was. Please consider joining my email list to be notified every time I post new travel content if you enjoyed my content. I publish travel guides, travel tips, how-to guides, and much more! Also, be sure to follow me on social media to stay up to date with all my travels! Thank you so much for visiting my blog!

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