Mystic and peaceful Furnas valley and its namesake village and lake are located about 30 minutes from Ponta Delgada. In Furnas you can eat the famous meat and vegetables dish, "Cozido", cooked in concrete silos dug into the sulfurous hot grounds around Furnas Lake. When visiting Furnas, we suggest the Hotel Terra Nostra Garden, a three star hotel located right at the entrance to Park Terra Nostra one of the top botanical gardens in Europe. Terra Nostra garden was the brainchild of Thomas Hickling the US consul general stationed in São Miguel. The park was open in 1780 and features thousand of botanical samples from as far as Asia as well as a very large natural swimming pool fed by naturally heated water with high iron content. If you rather stay in the countryside suggest Furnas Lake Village, a wonderful four star nature-set accommodation located close to the lake. Geysers and hot springs make this area a top destination for volcanologists. For nature lovers, Furnas valley offers some of the greatest walking trails in São Miguel.
Pico is the second biggest Azorean island and its mountain the highest in Portugal. Visitors to Pico usually enjoy outdoors activities such as hicking, swimming, motoquad, donkey rides, whale watching, swimming among dolphins and many others. Besides its world famous mountain, Pico is known for its wine, ocean activities, whale museums and “Gruta da Torre”, one of the longest underground lava tubes in Europe. Travelers enjoy staying in nature hotels such as Aldeia da Fonte in Silveira and Adegas do Pico in Prainha, quaint and modern apart-hotel such as Baia da Barca in Madalena or any other type of accommodations that are sprinkled throughout the island. Many visitors combine a visit to Pico as part of a tour that includes other islands in the Azores such as São Miguel, Flores and Faial. One thing is certain, Pico is unique and unforgettable.
Flores is home to numerous waterfalls and nine wonderful lakes offering the visitor beautiful and relaxing surroundings. A full day excursion will take you to all the local points of interest so not to miss what this delightful island has to offer. In Flores you can experience and live the local traditional life by staying at Aldeia Cuada, a group of rural houses with ocean view and where tranquility is queen. If you’re looking to relax in the modern comfort of a more contemporary lodging, Hotel das Flores is recommended, with its view of the ocean and Corvo island. When in Flores, take advantage of a short ferry ride to visit Corvo the smallest island of the archipelago. In Corvo you can spend your day at leisure, and if staying overnight the family run, quaint in Guest House Comodore is recommended. Flores is also one of the best places for underwater free and scuba diving as well as other ocean activities.
Cetaceans are the darlings of the Azorean seas with their elegance of movements and playful demeanor. Pico, Faial and São Miguel are islands where one can find organized and professional whale watching outings and embark on an unforgettable adventure. Guides will provide historic perspective from the dependency on the trade of whale hunting to feed families, which ceased in 1984, until the declaration of a protected species which led to the understanding and activities related to ensuring the well being of the species. The highest concentration of cetaceans in these waters occurs between the months of June and September, where they come to breed or to play in the Azores warmer waters. Whale watching and swimming with dolphins in their own habitat is an unforgettable adventure and a 3 hour trip is all it takes. Don’t forget to visit the whale museums in Pico and Faial for they do provide a great timeline tying the past and the present of our interface with these wonderful creatures.
The Capelinhos volcano erupted in 1957 in one of the most pristine areas of Faial island. Nearby, the Interpretative Center of Capelinhos is a must visit where the expert interpretation of the event's timeline is exposed and described. A quaint place to stay and a sought after lodging is Casas d’Arramada, a set of traditional country townhouses surrounded by the “Caldeira” (a crater with 2 km diameter), the volcano and the ocean. Horta city with its strong and historic connections with the sea, offers a unique experience via a stay at Pousada de Santa Cruz, a centuries old fort witness to numerous sea battles. The Pousadas is strategically positioned at the water front, by the harbor, with a magnificent view of Pico Mountain. Peter Café an obligatory point of encounter for all yachtsmen crossing the Atlantic, as well as at the famous yacht-full marina, are places very much worth visiting. A full day excursion takes you around the island where you can learn the history and savor the scenery. Diving, fishing, whale watching are all activities worth considering when in Faial.
Terceira is known for its capital Angra do Heroísmo, an UNESCO world heritage town, as well as the famous Sanjoaninas festivities held every June. An island with such rich past offers choices of excursions such as one spent visiting the magnificent mystic cave of Algar do Carvão, savoring a traditional lunch to sample the regional meat dish Alcatra, and taking in the islands green landscape. The Quinta das Mercês, a manor house built in the XVIII century, is perfectly molded into the idyllic background of Monte Brasil, beautiful gardens, and the ocean. Here you can spend your days walking and relaxing among nature. If you prefer the freedom of a hotel with a beach at a walking distance, try the popular Atlântida Mar Hotel. Alternatively you may chose to combine a tranquil ocean view and stay close to the Angra do Heroísmo by staying at the four star Hotel Terceira Mar. The Sanjoaninas, running of the bulls, Praia festivities, and music festivals, among others, make Terceira a popular choice and sought after destination.
Let yourself fall in love with the wonderfully green golf courses of São Miguel e Terceira. Stages for international tournaments, the 18 and 36 hole courses allow golfers to have moments of pure bliss. In São Miguel, one can chose from two courses: Batalha and Furnas. Azores.com and Hotel Bahia Palace have combined efforts to bring you excellent value packages that include hotel, rental car, and green fees. These unique programs are geared towards those wanting the excitement of golf while relaxing on arguably the best beach in São Miguel. In Terceira you may stay at Hotel Terceira Mar in Angra do Heroísmo or Hotel Atlântida do Mar in Praia da Vitoria, inaugurated in 2011. If you’re holiday is limited in days, you may chose to play in just one island or one course and take advantage of 5 and 7 day packages. All courses are delighted to welcome beginners. If requested, lessons can be arranged as well as equipment. Why not come to São Miguel or Terceira to begin or continue your golf passion?
BE AWARE of low cost offers and “guaranteed low cost” websites. We have noticed a higher degree of activity in the deception meter in Azores. Here's what you should know:
Most low cost/guaranteed low cost sites do not include all basic and necessary taxes when you book. These are circulation tax, government taxes and basic PAI and CDW insurance. Some don’t offer unlimited Km/miles. When you arrive at the counter you’re usually greeted with a surprise price. Azores.com prices include all of the above. The ones not included are disclosed.
Many sites do not include government taxes such as VAT/IVA. Booking fees are usually tagged on at the end. Breakfast is also often absent from the prices. Azores.com prices include ALL taxes and fees, and breakfast is included in basically 100% of our hotels and some manors and rustic houses. Any exceptions, such as rustic and some manor houses are clearly disclosed in our policies up front.
In this section we compiled some answers to frequently asked questions
Ferry from Lisbon - There is no ferry boat service from Lisbon. It is a 2 hour trip by jet plane.
Distance between islands - It takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 90 minutes to travel by small plane between islands. It takes from a few to several hours by ferry.
SATA and Azores Express - SATA is the flagship airlines of the Azorean government. SATA International owns Azores Express. Azores Express is SATA's North American subsidiary.
5 star hotels - There is only one. Angra Marina Hotel in Terceira island.
Resort hotels - The only hotel with a semblance of a resort is the Hotel Bahia Palace in São Miguel. There are no resorts in Azores.
Best time to visit - Every time is a good time to visit. However the islands weather is traditionally better between April and September.
Cruise ships - Several world renowned companies use the Azores as port of call. None originate or end in the Azores.
Money – Currency is the Euro. ATM machines are widely available. Your debit card works if it is tied to Visa or Mastercard.
Language – The official language of Azores is Portuguese.
We recommend our visitors the gathering of some basic information:Cash - Euro is the local currency and you should bring a small amount for your first needs. Documents - Passport is a must, a visa is no required. Valid drivers licenses issued by your country or state are accepted.
Emergency phone numbers - Provide a phone number to your Travel Agent and lodging in case of emergency.
Other information – Provide other information that can be useful during your trip, such as food allergies and physical conditions.
There are several ways to get around from island to island and inside each one.
At this point, you should be enjoying your holidays and the best way to do it is planning in advance. Short of that here are some common sense things to keep in mind.
Travelling with your kids can be a pleasant way to spend some quality time as a family and at the same time experiment different types of lodgings which takes you away from hotels requiring multiple separate rooms. It is a great opportunity to experience traditional rural houses and apart-hotels enjoying the culture and saving some money...for college.
Many of our customers and visitors come to the Azores to walk and trek. Backpacking is an enjoyable way to explore nature and walking around town. With that in mind and because Azores is a humid destination (although not equatorial humid) we recommend you:
The Azores archipelago is characterized by a tepid, oceanic, subtropical climate, with mild annual temperatures oscillating from 15°C (59 °F) to 27°C (80°F). Statistically the driest month is July and the wettest November. Average annual mean relative humidity is 76%. Frost is non-existent. The ocean water temperature in Azores range from 17°C (63°F) in the winter to 25°C (77° F) in the summer. The average annual rainfall increases from east to west, with annual precipitation of 958 mm (37.7 in) or 80 mm (3.1 in) per month.
Light clothes, with one or two sweater or jacket pieces for the cooler days or nights, are enough all year round. In the winter slightly warmer clothing may be necessary. It is better to bring along a light raincoat, however, as there are sometimes showers followed at once by sunshine.
The Azores are free of exotic or tropical diseases or any other unusual condition. No vaccinations are recommended or imposed as well as any other kind of precaution. However we strongly recommend you:
Hospitals and Health Centers - Ponta Delgada, Angra and Horta hospitals are full service health centers ready to deal with any major casualty. Other hospitals and health centers are present in every island which can help with any health concern except for serious sickness or major trauma. Evacuation services to major hospitals are made via air by local emergency response teams.
New country. It's advisable to have some cash in the local currency for the first couple days.
We won't leave you on your own! It is our firm belief that there should always be a face behind a reservation, to help you in your journey to and through a beautiful foreign land such as the Azores islands. With that in mind we put together this section to answer any questions you may have about with whom you're embarking in a journey. In addition this section attempts to answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs) raised by our site visitors.
Please visit our testimonials page and find out why Azores.com has acquired a reputation of being the top Azores site on the Web. Click here to browse the testimonials page.
The price you see is listed is the price you pay. Azores.com does not charge booking fees and all taxes are included in the price. Every travel product and service in this site has a booking form for reservation or quotation purposes. Our cancellation policies are generous where you may cancel in some cases up to 24 hours from arrival. Many products such as multi-island or multi-destination require feedback from our travel Associates where your request for reservation is essentially a request for quotation. Note that in hotel, car and services, your credit card information is required to make and hold your reservation. Credit card information is sent via 128 bit encryption and certified safe transactions. For information how we take this matters very seriously please visit our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Statement pages.
Our Customers arrive from all over the globe, from South Africa to China, Russia to Brasil. The top 20 traveler countries of origins are depicted above. We welcome and are delighted to help all those in search of a piece of paradise.
Azores.com motto is "Powered by Humans". Although we feature an online booking engine to give our customers an efficient and rapid way to book, we make sure that behind every online reservation there is an Associate ready o help.
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Citizens from the following regions and countries don't need a Visa for entering Portugal: European Community, Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Israel, Korea (Rep. of), Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela.
Passports must be valid for up to six months (depending on your nationality) and are required by all, except by European Union nationals and nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Norway and Switzerland holding valid national ID cards. British, Australian, Canadian, American and Japanese need a valid passport.
Although it is not obligatory to have a return ticket, it is advisable to have one because, if you don't, you may have to prove sufficient means of financial support to return.
Azoreans have a centuries long tradition of emigration to as far away as Japan and Brazil. However the great majority of emigrants chose the United States and Canada. In some instances Azoreans changed and adapted their last names to the new reality of the land they embraced. If you are visiting with the main objective of searching for your roots we recommend you do a fairly detailed amount of home work before starting your research. The following are very useful: