Personalized trips to the Azores
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Travelers love kimkim

"Kimkim is the perfect solution for independent travelers who are too busy to plan it all themselves" - Gayle R., traveled with kimkim in October 2019

Introducing the Azores

Dormant volcanoes, lush vegetation, great hikes, and dramatic views are attracting a fast-growing number of travelers to this archipelago of 9 volcanic islands in the North Atlantic.

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.

the Azores Travel Insights

Hike around the caldera at Sete Cidades
Map of Azores Adventure: Best of São Miguel - 7 Days
Azores Adventure: Best of São Miguel - 7 Days

São Miguel is the biggest of the 9 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 though hiking, cycling, and off-roading expeditions—with plenty of time to relax in natural hot pools and beaches along the way.

Sete Cidades in São Miguel Island
Map of Island Hopping in the Azores : São Miguel, Faial, Pico & Terceira - 15 Days
Island Hopping in the Azores : São Miguel, Faial, Pico & Terceira - 15 Days

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.

Sunset over the coastline of Terceira
Map of Self-Drive Azores Adventure: São Miguel & Terceira - 8 Days
Self-Drive Azores Adventure: São Miguel & Terceira - 8 Days

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.

the Azores Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
the Azores map: Azores Adventure: Best of São Miguel - 7 Days
Azores Adventure: Best of São Miguel - 7 Days
View article
the Azores map: Azores Trip - São Miguel, Faial, Pico and Terceira with relaxation days - 15 Days
Azores Trip - São Miguel, Faial, Pico and Terceira with relaxation days - 15 Days
View article
the Azores map: Self-Drive Azores Adventure: São Miguel & Terceira - 8 Days
Self-Drive Azores Adventure: São Miguel & Terceira - 8 Days
View article

Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel agents with a passion for the Azores
Travel specialist Beatriz De Pablo Rocha
active 3 days ago

Beatriz De Pablo Rocha

The combination of the two places where I grew up (Madrid and a small village in Badajoz, Extremadura) has made me a passionate traveler almost from birth. Unknown destinations visited by travelers...

read more...
Travel specialist Karin Eckhard
active 1 day ago

Karin Eckhard

Although born and raised in New Hampshire, USA, I have had the fortune to live in places as diverse as Vail, Colorado; Salzburg, Austria; London, a small village in England and Madrid, Spain has...

read more...
Travel specialist Tiago Filipe
active 23 hours ago

Tiago Filipe

I've always traveled extensively with my family and from a very early age developed a strong taste for it. Portuguese were once sailors and discoverers and I like to think of myself as one too: a...

read more...
Travel specialist Marta Trzeciakowska
active 1 day ago

Marta Trzeciakowska

From a very young age, I have grown up in an international environment since my parents moved to Spain from Poland. This meant that every year we traveled across Europe to visit our family and...

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Related Destinations

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Why travelers love kimkim

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Seller of Travel Registration number: CST #2136279-40.
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Trip Reviews for the Azores

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim

Sao Miguel and Lisbon
the Azores | Sep 1 - Sep 12, 2022

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Patricia M.
Altoona, IA | Reviewed on Sep 19, 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

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, through our other guides, that some of her information was inaccurate.

Our second guide, Paulo, was very kind while we hiked to the top of the caldera to see Fire Lake. What was not part of the description of this hike is that there are NO restroom facilities and the hike, although labeled "medium" difficulty, was probably only medium for mountain goats. The hike took us approximately 8 hours and covered over 22,000 steps, up a very high mountain (hill) and down the other side. It was worth the hike because the scenery was breathtaking, but became increasingly more uncomfortable because of the lack of facilities. I've never learned to "go in the woods" so that wasn't really an option, and because there were so many other hikers, privacy would have been difficult to find.

Our third guide, Gary, did a really masterful job of driving us into a caldera and hiking us around the lake at the bottom. This hike was the day after we summited our equivalent of Mt Everest, so by the end, we were done and asked Gary to bring the car and pick us up, which he happily agreed to do. We got a very good history of the island and more accurate information. All the cows are not milked by hand but rather with moveable milking machines. I do not recommend booking two hikes back to back as we did, and therefore had little time to recover.

My horseback ride was primarily through residential neighborhoods and the forest was really just overgrown, abandoned land, so not like the forests we saw in the other places we went. Also, the path we took was very littered, which was disappointing, as most of the island we saw was really clean.

The blooming hydrangeas and yellow ginger lilies all over the island were so unexpected.

Our trouble began when we left the Azores and went to Lisbon. The hotel we were booked into, Hotel Mundial, is surrounded by homeless people and the air smelled like urine. My view was of a very old building that looked like a crack house. We found a much better hotel, closer to the water, and moved, which was a pain, but totally worth relocating to a much lovelier and safer part of town where the air smelled sweet. We had to do this on our own because we were told that other hotels were $700 euro per night; we paid $200 euro at the Pastano CR7, which we found while waiting on our tuk-tuk tour, guided by Dominic. I would skip this if I go back. The streets are exceedingly bumpy and the ride uncomfortable. We got only a small bit of history.

Our very best tour was with a different Paulo who took us to Sintra and Cascais. He was so knowledgeable about the country, history, and political changes and made the whole day so worthwhile. He was our very best guide for the entire trip, and he should be requested as a guide if possible.

The rest of our trip was uneventful and restful and we were picked up timely for our trips to our next destinations. I felt that we received a very good value and overall, we had a wonderful trip and learned many things that we will take with us as we plan our next excursion.

Thank you, Bea, and the rest of the KimKim team for making this a vacation we'll remember and talk about for years to come.

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Marina Atlântico
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel

The view of the harbor each evening was so relaxing. This is a well-located hotel and very busy.

Authenticity & Character
It is really a tourist hotel with many busloads of people arriving daily.
Location
the view
Staff
Very accommodating.
Cleanliness & Comfort
My room was both clean and comfortable.
Hotel Mundial
Lisboa

We changed hotels because this one was impossible to stay in. The neighborhood is surrounded by homeless people who must use the gutters as their toilets, because the air around the hotel smell like urine, and worse. Also, the neighborhood it is in seems to be very shabby and run down. I would never recommend this hotel to anyone who has had experience with better equipped and more modern facilities. I think the in-room hair dryer was an original model from last century, probably from the 1970's.

Authenticity & Character
Not sure what authenticity it's striving for but it only succeeds as a run-down has been. If that's the goal then it wins.
Location
It isn't close to shopping or the water.
Staff
The only people who seemed interested in us were the managers when we checked out and couldn't understand why. They should stay at probably any other hotel of equal ranking and then they'd know why we left.
Cleanliness & Comfort
I don't know how Lisbon is addressing their homeless problem so can't comment on how that could be improved, but the hotel could start with a total remodel, including the hair dryers. Really? It looked like a vacuum cleaner.
Activity Reviews
Private Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
Lisbon

This was my favorite part of the trip; the guide was amazing in his knowledge of the country and was very friendly.

Quality of Experience
For the most part, very well planned.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Arrived exactly on time, every time.
Guided Excursion to The Furnas Valley
São Miguel Island

This area was so unexpected in its beauty. We could have been in Colorado.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Hiking Experience in Lagoa do Fogo
São Miguel Island

This hike is rated medium on the difficulty scale, but it isn't or wasn't for me. It was very difficult and parts of the hike are straight up which means other parts are straight down. This is not a hike for people who are not in good shape and have little hiking experience. Sticks would have made this much better, but they weren't suggested. Our guide, who does the hike, probably weekly, didn't break a sweat, but we were exhausted and exhilarated when we finished. The views from the top were worth the trouble. He explained that the government determines the difficulty scale, and I know I would never do a hike they deem difficult. I can't even imagine what that would be like.

Quality of Experience
Food
Our guide was nice to bring us lunches and water and we had a nice picnic near the lake.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Beatriz De Pablo Rocha
Beatriz
Beatriz De Pablo Rocha
Local specialist in Madrid | Reviewed on Sep 19, 2022

Hi Pat! Thank you so much for your detailed feedback about your trip regarding your guides and hotels, all the information will definitely help us to keep improving each day as it is what we always strive for. As you mentioned, the Azores is a beautiful place mostly because the islands keep their natural environment almost untouched and that's the reason why you won't find any facilities in the mountains, as that would damage the protected areas. About Lisbon, thank you again for all the... read more

Hi Pat! Thank you so much for your detailed feedback about your trip regarding your guides and hotels, all the information will definitely help us to keep improving each day as it is what we always strive for. As you mentioned, the Azores is a beautiful place mostly because the islands keep their natural environment almost untouched and that's the reason why you won't find any facilities in the mountains, as that would damage the protected areas. About Lisbon, thank you again for all the information and I'm glad you enjoyed the recommended hotel that was still available for your last-minute change (the price I gave you was total per room, not per night). I'm glad you enjoyed your trip and thank you so much again for letting us help you to organize it. Best regards! Bea

Everything went well the canyoning was a very...
the Azores | Aug 1 - Aug 5, 2022

M
Majid A.
the United Arab Emirates | Reviewed on Aug 08, 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

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

Hotel Review
Octant Ponta Delgada
Ponta Delgada
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
Epic Adventure Canyoning
São Miguel Island

The staff was amazing they really were great and was the best we had in Azores

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Marina Courtaut
Marina
Marina Courtaut
Local specialist in Madrid | Reviewed on Aug 08, 2022

Thank you very much Majid for taking the time to do the review! I will pass your words on to all the team as your feedback will help us to continue improving in the future. I am sorry to hear the boat broke while doing the whale-watching excursion. It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your trip to Portugal! Warmest regards, Marina.

Trip to the Azores
the Azores | Sep 9 - Sep 15, 2018

Justin
Justin S.
Bloomfield Hills, MI | Reviewed on Oct 01, 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

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 guide assumed we were meeting in a different location. No one called or reached out to us until I called them 30 min after our original meeting time, which resulted in them sending the guide to a hotel we were not at. Two more calls later, we were finally on our way an hour later.

So overall very happy with our trip, but would recommend future travelers ensure you push to receive an a detailed itinerary from the guide service before arriving that includes the departure time each day, and where to meet. Additionally, make sure you have access to a phone that works in case something goes wrong, and they have your number.

Local specialist: Picos de Aventura
P
Picos de Aventura
Local specialist in São Miguel Island -Azores | Reviewed on Oct 01, 2018

Hi Justin,
I am happy to realize that you had a nice time with us in São Miguel. I want to apologize for not sending you your day by day program with the final schedules before your arrival and the troubles it may have caused you.

Thank you for your feedback!