When people think about Portugal, the first thing that comes to mind is the sun, sand, and sardines. But one part of Portugal has often been overlooked: The Azores islands.

Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, this archipelago comprises nine volcanic islands roughly 1,000 miles from Lisbon — making it feel like a world away from mainland Europe (and its nickname as “the Western Islands”).

And if you’re looking for a place to escape it all, this paradise should be on your bucket list.

How to get to the Azores

There are flights from Lisbon and departures from Porto to the Azores. Most flights go to Ponta Delgada on So Miguel. However, several other islands are also serviced directly. The Azores islands are becoming more popular, as seen by increased direct flights from neighboring nations.

There are direct flights from Boston and New York in the United States, Toronto in Canada, and several other destinations in the United Kingdom and continental Europe.

Azores Islands: Important Facts!

azores islands

The Azores are a group of nine volcanic islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The archipelago is scattered over a large area and consists of three main groups (central islands): São Miguel island (the largest island), Santa Maria, Pico island, and Terceira island.

The Azores are an autonomous region of Portugal but have their language (Portuguese) and culture. About 250,000 people live on these islands, with only about 50 percent speaking English as their first language.

The Azores are a group of nine islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, more than 1,000 miles from Lisbon, Portugal. They’re a perfect travel destination for anyone who wants to escape it all. But you can get there by plane or boat!

Which Is The Best Time to Visit the Islands?

The weather in the Azores is notoriously unpredictable. Four seasons may be experienced in a single day. The Azores are best visited in the spring and summer.

In June, it is usually cloudy with a few sunny days. The natural swimming waters were still a little chilly. If you like swimming, you may want to wait until summer.


Azores Islands: What Are They Known For?

The archipelago is also known as the Western Islands because they sit on the same tectonic plate as North America’s East Coast. The Azores are part of a larger group of islands called the Macaronesian Islands, including Madeira, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, and others between Europe and Africa.

The ultimate way to explore the Azores islands is by experiencing them live! Look at our “Ponta Delgada Walking Tour” and book your experience now!


Choosing Your Base Island in the Azores: Exploring the Diversity of Paradise

The Azores archipelago, a hidden gem in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, comprises nine distinct islands, each with its own personality, natural wonders, and cultural treasures. Choosing the right base island is crucial to tailoring your Azores experience to your preferences. Let’s take a closer look at these islands and their unique features to help you make an informed decision.

 São Miguel: The Green Oasis


São Miguel, often referred to as “The Green Island,” is the largest and most diverse in the archipelago. It’s a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

  • Attractions: Explore the stunning Sete Cidades crater lakes, soak in the thermal hot springs of Furnas, and hike the breathtaking trails of Lagoa do Fogo.
  • Activities: Enjoy whale watching, dolphin spotting, diving, and kayaking. The island also offers great surfing spots.

São Miguel Food & Wine

Ponta Delgada Walking Tour: Discover Ponta Delgada’s culinary and historic gems on this guided Ponta Delgada walking tour with an experienced local guide! Join us now!

Ponta Delgada wine tour: Embark on a Ponta Delgada wine tour and explore the best of the city’s culinary and historic gems with an experienced local guide. Book your seat now!

Terceira: Where History Meets Adventure

Terceira Island food tours

Terceira, the third-largest island, is a blend of history, culture, and outdoor activities.

  • Attractions: Discover the UNESCO-listed city of Angra do Heroísmo, known for its colorful architecture. Visit the impressive Algar do Carvão volcanic vent and explore mysterious lava tubes.
  • Activities: Take part in bullfighting events, a unique cultural experience. Hiking, caving, and horseback riding are popular here.

Terceira Food & Wine

Terceira Island Food Tour: Terceira Island Food Tours is an exciting way to explore Terceira Island. Guests take a journey through the beautiful Portuguese archipelago to discover the local culture and savor the flavor of Terceira Island’s traditional cuisine.

Angra do Heroísmo Gastronomic Route: Enjoy a full day in Portugal with our Terceira island food tasting tour. If you are a food lover, you will love this unique experience.

Pico: Majestic Landscapes and Whales

Pico azores islands

Pico is dominated by its eponymous volcano, the highest peak in Portugal. It’s a paradise for those captivated by dramatic landscapes and marine life.

  • Attractions: Ascend Pico Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views. The island is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its unique vineyard culture.
  • Activities: Embark on whale-watching tours, explore lava tubes, and indulge in wine tasting.

Faial: The Blue Island

Faial island

Faial is renowned for its vibrant marina, blue hydrangea fields, and connection to transatlantic sailors.

  • Attractions: Visit Horta Marina, adorned with colorful paintings left by sailors. Don’t miss the Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre.
  • Activities: Sailing, yachting, and diving are popular. Faial is a hub for those traversing the Atlantic.

Santa Maria: The Sun Island

Santa Maria island - Azores

Santa Maria is the sunniest island, offering gorgeous beaches and a relaxing atmosphere.

  • Attractions: Enjoy the golden sands of Praia Formosa and explore the vineyards. Don’t miss the Alto do Morro viewpoint.
  • Activities: Relax on stunning beaches, go snorkeling, and take leisurely walks.

Graciosa: Calm and Charming


Graciosa, with its serene beauty, is perfect for those seeking tranquility.

  • Attractions: Explore the Furna do Enxofre lava tube and admire the Caldeira, a massive volcanic crater.
  • Activities: Enjoy serene hiking trails, relax in thermal baths, and explore charming villages.

Explore all food tours in Azores islands 

São Jorge: The Dragon Island

Known for its long and narrow shape resembling a dragon, São Jorge offers dramatic coastal landscapes.

  • Attractions: Visit Fajãs, flat areas formed by lava, and enjoy panoramic views from the Velas viewpoint.
  • Activities: Hiking along the challenging trails that traverse the island’s ridges is a must.

Flores: Nature’s Canvas

flores island

Flores is a haven for nature lovers, with its lush landscapes and countless waterfalls.

  • Attractions: Discover the enchanting waterfalls of Fajãzinha, visit the Rocha dos Bordões rock formations, and explore the Lagoa Funda and Lagoa Comprida lakes.
  • Activities: Explore hiking trails through forests and cliffs, and be captivated by the island’s unique flora.

Corvo: The Smallest Jewel

Corvo island

Corvo, the smallest island, offers an intimate experience with untouched landscapes.

  • Attractions: Visit the Caldeirão, a volcanic crater, and the charming village of Vila do Corvo.
  • Activities: Enjoy birdwatching, hiking, and soaking in the tranquility of this secluded island.

By understanding the distinct characteristics of each island, you can tailor your Azores adventure to align with your interests and preferences. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventurer, or simply seeking relaxation, the Azores archipelago has the perfect base island waiting for you to explore and enjoy.

With Which Place Is It Similar?

If you’re familiar with Hawaii or Florida, you’ll feel right at home on the Azores Islands. The islands are covered in tropical fruits, flowers, and plants that make them feel similar to an island vacation in Hawaii or Florida. With many of the same tropical fruits, flowers, and plants.

One More For Your Bucket List!

But that’s one reason why visiting this remote spot should be on your bucket list. The Azores are also popular with divers, hikers, and surfers.

Birdwatchers will love their chance to see thousands of species from across Europe and North America, including many seabirds that nest only here.

What’s In Addition?

The Azores are home to some of the most amazing beaches in Europe and one of the best diving spots in the world, but there’s also plenty to do during your visit.

In addition to having some of the most amazing beaches in Europe and being home to one of the best diving spots in the world, there’s plenty to do during your visit.

The islands are home to one of the best diving spots in Europe: Underwater caves, colorful corals, and marine life make this an unforgettable experience!

Where Could You Stay In the Azores Islands?

There are several hotels in the Azores, from high-end hotels to eco-friendly accommodations to tiny boutique motels. We indicate where we stayed on each island in this itinerary.

The following is a list of the greatest locations in the Azores. If you want to stay in an Airbnb, see our example Airbnb page, where we list the top Airbnb on the island.

There are lots of things to do in this part of Portugal

The Azores are known for their beaches, diving, and hiking. But what about fishing? The islands have some of the best fishing spots in the world! You can go deep-sea fishing or try your hand at catching some fresh sardines on land.

There are also plenty of places to see wildlife on these islands. You might see dolphins swimming by or even whales if you’re lucky!


And that’s just the beginning. If you’re looking for an adventure, you can go on a whale-watching tour or ride a boat through the volcanic crater lakes.

If history is more your thing, there are plenty of historical sites to visit. Including some ruins left behind by the Romans who lived here centuries ago!

And if all else fails (which it won’t), take advantage of this beautiful place by just lounging around on one of those beaches we mentioned earlier…

Before you leave, another lifetime Azores experience is our following wine tour!

Ponta Delgada wine tour – Azores Cheese & Wine