WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE VISITING THE AZORES.
Congratulations! If you are reading this article, it means that you found the Azorean Archipelago on the map - and believe me, still not many are aware of this Portuguese Paradise in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!
But what you should consider before coming here? There are already some beliefs on the internet regarding the Azores which, in my humble opinion, are limiting the spectrum of possibilities which are actually awaiting you here! Let's read on, find out what is true and get properly prepared for your next trip!
This article was created together with the Team of the Out of the Blue Hostel. Have a look at their website to check this truly beautiful place and don't hesitate to book a stay there if you are travelling to São Miguel island!
Time of the year vs. weather
It is said that in the Azores rains all the time and because of that it's worth visiting only during the summer time. Well, indeed it rains but it's not like a rain which we have in continental Europe or America, where when we wake up in the morning and grey clouds cover all the sky, it stays like that throughout the whole day.
Here, in the Azores, the weather changes during the day. A few times! You can wake up with a beautiful sunrise, in the midday feel a 20-minute shower, sunbathe in the afternoon and admire breathtaking sunset with gorgeous colours reflecting on plentiful, differently shaped clouds. Moreover, if you are being "caught" by rain in one part of the island, most probably after a 10-minute drive you will find it too hot to handle due to the full sun exposure! That's why you need to be prepared for every conditions every day and that's why those islands are so unique!
More about the weather conditions and times of the year to visit the Azores you can find on the Out of the Blue blog page – it's a must to read for everyone planning to come here!
What to do?
The possibilities are literally endless. The Azores are a perfect place for all activities connected with nature: hiking, climbing, cycling, whale and dolphin watching are just at the beginning of the list! You can easily fill in your "itinerary" with countless, stunning experiences so reconsider coming for much longer than just a weekend.
Depending on the island you decide to visit, you can go more adventurous with canyoing, coasteering, kayaking and even diving with blue sharks! The Azores are also a perfect place for surfers: both if you are just at the beginning of your journey as well as if you are an experienced surfer. And if you are looking for more "calm" ways to spend your time, bird watching and snorkelling are a great choice.
Go through other articles posted here to find what specifically you can do on other islands and if you have already decided to visit the biggest island, São Miguel, check the blog post with recommendations prepared by Out of the Blue Hostel.
Coming to the Azores
Since the Azorean Archipelago is located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, there are two ways to get here: by plane or by boat. For those of you who value time, the trip from continental Portugal takes just 2 hours and from Canada or United States around 6 hours.
Find out more about connections here and check if you can travel directly from your home!
Accommodation & moving around the islands
From my experience I noticed that many Travellers decide to book different places around the islands during their whole stay, being afraid not to drive too much back and forth... however here the islands are really small, even on the biggest one, São Miguel, it takes up to 1 hour, 1,5 hour to get to the most remote parts of it. This means that you can easily reach the whole island, regardless which you are visiting, from the same accommodation place.
Another important thing to consider is that you cannot plan your stay day by day. Due to the weather, which as you already learned changes during the day, you just don't plan to see this on Monday, that on Tuesday, because you may end up chasing rain clouds ;) All the islands have webcams distributed in the most important sites and, what I recommend, simply check the current conditions on the island before going anywhere.
This means it's more reasonable to choose just one accommodation for your whole stay, every morning check webcams and in this way plan your stay on a daily basis. Prepare a list of places worth visiting and let the magic happen when you are here. Thank to it you can also feel the island vibe – we do not plan here, we act on the spot!
On the all islands the easiest is to move by car – there are many car rental companies (the number depends on the island) and most of them are visible on popular car rental search engines. I personally would be just careful when booking with international companies which cooperate with local rentals since sometimes there are some communication issues which result in last-minute cancellations (or no reservations at all).
You can also try to move by public buses but those mostly connect towns and cities, not viewpoints or hiking trails and don't run often. If you don't want to rent a car (or there are no cars left to rent since you are coming during the summer time – yes, this happens every year!), check local tour companies which will not only take you to the most famous spots but also thanks to a tour guide you will learn about local history and... city legends!
After over 10 years of travelling around Europe finally I found my place. Now I am thrilled to share with you my new home and invite you on this paradise journey.
MADE WITH LOVE IN THE AZORES
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