São Miguel is the biggest of the nine islands that compose the Azores archipelago, and you'll spend a week getting to know its lakes, towns, and geothermal calderas on this guided tour. From your base in beautiful Ponta Delgada, discover the island's highlights and hidden gems through hiking, cycling, and off-roading expeditions—with plenty of time to relax in natural hot pools and beaches along the way.
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Best time to visit
While the Azores can be visited year-round, the climate is best from March to October, with the peak summer months (July and August) attracting the biggest crowds. March to June are best for watching dolphins and whales.
Things to do
Adventure seekers and families alike visit the Azores for world-class whale watching, hiking, and mountain biking on trails with sweeping views, canoeing in volcanic lakes, and canyoning through beautiful waterfalls. To recharge after these adventures, enjoy food cooked in the ground using the energy of volcanoes, stroll through romantic gardens and enjoy a nice glass of Azorean wine by the ocean.
How to get to the Azores
With many direct flights from Europe (2 - 5 hour flights depending on where you fly from) and an increasing number of direct flights from the US (only 4 hours from Boston) the Azores are easy to reach.
Seven or eight days is an ideal amount of time to spend in the Azores. Travelers with only a week to explore the Portuguese archipelago can focus their time on the island of São Miguel, adding on a trip to Terceira for whale watching if they have an extra day or two. Those with two weeks to spare can opt for a more comprehensive trip around the Azores, exploring four of its islands, or integrating an Azores excursion into a larger Portugal trip, including Lisbon and the Duoro Valley.
Explore the volcanic landscapes of the Azores on this 15-day self-driving tour that highlights four of the Portuguese archipelago's islands. Start in São Miguel, where you'll kayak across crater lakes and try stew made with geothermal heat. Then, hop between Faial, Pico, and Terceira to hike dormant volcanoes, explore deep magma chambers, and swim in natural pools made of solidified lava.
The volcanic landscape of the Azores archipelago is a nature lover's paradise. Begin on São Miguel, which is a hot spot of geothermal activity. Dip in thermal springs, kayak across a lagoon, and eat stew cooked from the heat of rocks before flying to the smaller but equally lush island of Terceira nearby. Marvel at Terceira's brightly colored buildings, relax on its epic lava formations, and get lost in the fog of its ancient laurel forest.
April marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring in the Azores, making it an ideal time to visit if you're looking to hike, whale watch, and soak in the hot springs. Expect a mix of sunny days in the 60s (Fahrenheit), with the occasional rain shower and cloudy day. Accommodation prices are still lower than in the busy summer months, and activities and businesses on the western islands of Flores and Corvo are beginning to open up.
With spring just around the corner and the winter rains easing, March is a beautiful time to visit the Azores. Pleasant temperatures are ideal for hiking, and cooler evenings are perfect for relaxing in São Miguel's natural hot springs. Wildlife lovers will have the chance to spot migrating whales and resident dolphins, and cheaper accommodations are great for budget-conscious travelers.
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Sao Miguel and Lisbon
Sep 1 - Sep 12, 2022
Our trip was very well planned and Sao Miguel Island is much more beautiful than expected. The hotel view was so calming and delightful and the staff was eager to please. However, by the third day, we escaped the breakfast buffet as it was too crowded and the food became boring a repetitious. I may never eat scrambled eggs again.
Our first tour guide was Natasha who took us off-road to see the blue and green lakes at the top of the crater. She was very informative, but we later learned,... read more
Everything went well the canyoning was a very...
Aug 1 - Aug 5, 2022
Everything went well the canyoning was a very good and the best experience , the whale watching was not so good as the boat got broken in middle of ocean and needed to wait for 40 min for someone to tow the boat back which took more than an hour , the boat was basic and old compared to the other boat you see in the marina doing the same service
I hope this helps thanks a lot read more
Trip to the Azores
Sep 9 - Sep 15, 2018
Very happy with all activities booked by the specialist (note they work for one specific company, and all activities are booked through them). Had a great time, all guides were extremely knowledgeable and friendly. However logistical aspect could be improved.
Prior to arriving on the island the only information received about timing and where to meet was that someone from the company would pick us up from the airport. He then told us what time to be ready the next day, only to find out our... read more