Welcome to one of the most photogenic destination in the world, the Azores!
Emerald Green Lakes! Colorful Azaleas! Volcanic Craters! As I discovered years ago, we live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure ready for exploring. The Azores is no different.
It’s impossible to forget the Azores – a paradise just a short hop from Boston and a few skips from Lisbon, Portugal. The Azores, situated mid-Atlantic, is made up of 9 breathtaking volcanic islands, three of which I had the pleasure of visiting: São Miguel “The Green Island”, Pico “The Mountain Island”, and Faial “The Blue Island.”
The Azores took me where textbooks and television couldn’t. I stumbled onto unexpected, beautifully cultivated land; experienced unpredictable moments with nature; and met some really great people along the way. Every day started a new journey. Each sunrise gave that lingering feeling that you’re about to experience something remarkable and each destination enhances the mentality that you’re on vacation for an infinite amount of time. I love that!
Location: North Atlantic Ocean – 4.5 hours from Boston via SATA International and approx. 2 hours from Lisbon.
International Airport: Ponta Delgada (PDL)
Time Zone: AZOST
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Weather: Azorean weather is changeable! You can easily experience three seasons in one day. Overall, the Azores experiences mild temperatures throughout the year ranging from 50 to 80 degrees F (11 to 26 degrees Celsius) and will vary by island.
THE GREEN ISLAND
São Miguel is the largest and most populated island on the Azores. Home of the capital city, Ponta Delgada, São Miguel offers a blend of beautiful lakes, rolling hills, and sandy beaches perfectly paired with nice restaurants, bars, ocean front cafes, and a modern marina. There’s tons to cover – Ponta Delgada, Sete Cidades, Lagoa do Fogo, Furnas, Nordeste and everything inbetween.
Arrange your tours with Amazing Tours – these guys are great and will ensure you do not miss a single thing São Miguel has to offer!
Note: The below Sao Miguel itinerary will take 2 full days (ending around 5PM, enough time to nap and enjoy the night out).
SAO MIGUEL POINTS OF INTEREST
Natural Swimming Pool
Evening Lounge courtesy of LS Catamaran – 2 hours of drinks and local treats under the stars of São Miguel.
LAGOA DE SANTIAGO
LAGOA DAS EMPADADAS
LAGOA DO CANARIO
LAGOA DO FOGO
CALDEIRA VELHA HOT SPRINGS
SANTA BARBARA BEACH
PICO DA BARROSA
SALTO DO CABRITO
Drinking sparkling water from the side of a volcano
The famous local dish Cozido is cooked right here inside the volcano craters
SANTA IRÍA VIEWPOINT
TEA FACTORY GORREANA
PICO DO FERRO/VALLEY OF FURNAS
FURNAS HOT SPRINGS
PONTA DO SOSSEGO (NORDESTE)
RIBEIRA DOS CALDEIROES (NORDESTE)
THE MOUNTAIN ISLAND
Pico Island, quite the opposite from São Miguel, quickly became one of my favorite island due to it’s laid back vibe and divine mixture of lava rocks and vegetation. It’s the ideal place to trek, hike, bird watch, and cruise through valleys on moto-quad bikes, hence the name “The Mountain Island.” Pico can be reached easily by a 40 minute plane ride from Ponta Delgada via SATA International. Be ready to experience tranquility on ever corner.
PICO ISLAND POINTS OF INTEREST
HIKING PICO MOUNTAIN
GRUTA DAS TORRES (VOLCANO CAVE HIKE)
THE BLUE ISLAND
Faial Island is third most populous island with São Miguel and Pico placing first and second respectively. It’s the perfect blend of historic charms throughout the island’s countryside and modern marvels along the waterfront marina. Faial is the perfect day trip from Pico Island, easily accessible by a 30 minute ferry ride for a meager 7 euros. It’s well worth the visit.
FAIAL POINTS OF INTEREST
HORTA VILLAGE & MARINA
OCEAN EYE TOURS
Ocean Eye offers glass bottom boat tours along the coast of Faial and Pico exposing Azores beautiful marine life.
The Azores Islands were never on my radar or travel “to do” list. If there’s one thing I’ve realized it’s that my travel bucket list always has room for revisions. Nine islands, one journey, and a million experiences – no two days will ever be the same on the Azores! Until next time, cheers to the Vagabonding Life!