As the UK’s #1 Azores specialists, we’ve been helping our clients to plan personalised island adventures for over twenty years.
Most of us are familiar with the Azores by name but locating them on a map can be a little trickier. These unique islands lie 1500km off the coast of Portugal; nine wonderfully diverse, unspoilt landscapes which form the most-westerly outpost of Europe. They’re very much part of Portugal – in their language of course, but also in their historic architecture, their wonderful seasonal cuisine and in their warm and friendly welcome.
But there’s also an island culture that’s distinct from life on the mainland. Since the first settlers arrived in 15th Century, the islands have evolved into a rural community trying to strike a balance between sustainable island living whilst taming a wild and volcanic landscape, (today, four of the islands are protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserves). It’s these volcanic landscapes that have often encouraged more intrepid travellers to visit – their calderas, crater lakes, lava caves and geothermal pools have long-held an attraction for Europeans looking to escape the busy mainland. And as you’d expect, the Atlantic Ocean has always loomed-large in the Azores psyche: in the past, the islands were a crucial resupply point for trans-Atlantic sailors, whilst over the last thirty years the Azores have become Europe’s premiere whale and dolphin watching destination.
Our inspiring range of holidays are a great place to begin planning your trip to these captivating islands – or complete one of our enquiry forms and we and we’ll help you put together an unforgettable Azores adventure.
Getting to the Azores
The Azores has five international airports on São Miguel, Terceira, Faial, Santa Maria and Pico. Check-out our Flights Page for details on flights from the UK and USA, or call us for a chat on 017687 75672.
Getting around the Azores
By air - All nine islands are connected by local airline SATA Air Azores. They operate like bus services, making island hopping easy. By ferry - Ferry services around the central islands of Faial, Pico and São Jorge are very reliable. For longer distances, (from Sao Miguel to Flores, for example) we recommend a SATA flight. By car- Hire cars are available on all islands, and Azorean roads are generally quiet and well sign-posted. By taxis - If you'd prefer not to drive, we can include airport transfers with our english-speaking and guided tours of all nine islands. By bus - Bus services on the main island of Sao Miguel are good. On the smaller islands, buses tend to be timetabled around the school run - we find a hire car or taxis work better.
English is widely spoken but learning a few Portuguese phrases is always appreciated.
UK and EU passport holders don't require visas; likewise U.S. and Canadian passport holders don't require visas for short stays (under ninety days).
The currency in the Azores is the Euro. ATMs are common and cards are accepted in most shops and restaurants. On smaller islands and in more rural locations, you can find it’s a bit more cash-only.
The Azores are GMT -1 hour.
The restaurants in the larger towns like Ponta Delgada or Angra have a mix of Portuguese and more European-style menus, and there’s usually a nice selection of vegetarian options available. In the smaller towns and villages, you’ll tend to find more traditional Portuguese menus.
There are no special health formalities for visitors to the Azores and local hospitals are well equipped.
The islands enjoy a mild, temperate climate throughout the year, but are more prone to rainy days during the winter months.