A few years ago if you have asked us about the Azores we would have looked at you with a surprise and asked: “Where is that?”And believe us, as a well-traveled couple, we thought we had at least heard of most places on this earth. It turned out that we had never heard of the Portuguese Islands in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. What?
Nowadays people travel more than ever and thanks to travel bloggers and social media they are looking for new less known destinations that aren’t overrun by tourists yet. The Azores is one of them and we recommend you to hurry up and go now before that changes.
The Azores Islands are an autonomous region of Portugal and are the Atlantic’s ocean best-kept secret. Some referred to it as the Hawaii of Europe. They are a group of nine islands who truly define the meaning of an untouched paradise. Dramatic volcanic landscapes, small charming villages, unspoiled nature, vivid green meadows and turquoise lakes are some of the many reasons why this place is the ultimate utopia.
São Miguel, with the capital Ponta Delgada, is the biggest and the most visited island of all. It is only a two-hour flight from Lisbon and here you can indulge in the beauty that Mother Nature has created. You will be in an awe-inspiring state of mine from the moment you arrive.
Why you should visit the Azores?
The straightforward answer will be this; it is unquestionably beautiful and mind-blowing! We were absolutely amazed that you could drive 20-30 minutes in any direction and find crater lakes, hot springs, dramatic coastal lines and endless shades of blue water contrasting with the green flora. Not only this but the roads are covered with the most beautiful hydrangeas and did we mention that there are very few tourists?
If that was not enough to convince you yet, here’s our summary.
Location. Getting there is not as difficult as you may think. The best way is to fly directly to Ponta Delgada. There are many direct flights from North America, including from Boston, Oakland, Toronto, and Montreal. Flights from Europe are more frequent and with more options. Some of the airlines that fly to the Azores are Air Berlin, Tap Portugal, Ryanair, EasyJet, Azores Airlines and Primera Air.
Best time to visit. The weather there reminds us of Iceland, not that cold but unpredictable and ever-changing. As the locals say, you may experience four seasons in one day. All thought it could be rainy, windy and sunny all in one day the best time to visit is definitely the summer.
Getting around. São Miguel is best explored by car. It’s relatively a small island and you can drive around in less than a day. Renting a car is easy and affordable and driving around feels very safe and it’s absolutely beautiful. Another thing we love is that there’s no traffic at all. We rented the best Airbnb in Lagoa and we must say the location couldn’t have been more convenient.
It’s very Affordable. Considering that it’s Europe, we found it affordable visiting the Azores. Staying at an Airbnb and buying groceries was the way to cut cost. What’s expensive is traveling between the Islands, so we just stayed and explored São Miguel.
Spectacular views. This was probably our favorite part. Every day we were astonished by the volcanic landscapes, waterfalls and peaceful vibes that envelop the island.
Here’s the list of our top favorite place to not miss in São Miguel, Azores.
Lagoa do Fogo.
Praia de Santa Barbara.
Chapel of Nossa Senhora das vitórias and Lagoa das Furnas.
Ribeira dos Caldeirões waterfall.
Ponta do Cintrão.