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Azores Islands: A 7 Day Guide to Exploring Ponta Delgada Like A Pro

Azores Islands: A 7 Day Guide to Exploring Ponta Delgada Like A Pro

An archipelago of volcanoes, waterfalls, and blue lakes smack dab in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Here is what you need to know before going…

What You Need To Know Before You Go 

 

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SOUCE: via GIPHY

Only Go To The Azores If:

✓ You want to have an epic road-trip with hikes and adventures planned every day.

✓You’re not looking for a lot of excitement after hours in the clubs or bars.

✓You’re a hikers who wants to explore a remote uncrowded island …while getting a little lost in the meantime.

 

“Oddly enough, despite all these discoverers, today the Azores are still relatively unknown and unexplored, at least to those in the Americas.”-Jessie Festa

 

How Long To Go For: 5-8 days

 

Essential Tips:

  • Check weather using Spot Azores App, as the weather is very different across the island.
  • I recommend staying in the main city of Ponta Delgada for the entire duration of your trip. It’s a great hub for day trips, and offer a number of great restaurants and shops.
  • Eat lots of icecream, cheese and milk! The Azores is famous for producing some of the best dairy products in all of Europe.

 

Weather In Azores:

  • August is the hottest month an average temperature of 22°C (72°F)
  • The coldest is February at 13°C (55°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 9 in August.
  • The wettest month is January with an average of 135mm of rain.
  • The best month to swim in the sea is in August when the average sea temperature is 24°C (75°F).
      Source: Holiday Weather

 

Typical Travel Costs In Azores:

Below is daily average of a typical travel budget for the Azores. Costs include accommodations and food in US dollars.

Budget Travel  $40/day

Mid-Range Travel $95/day

Luxury Travel $220/day

Expenses from the budgets of actual travellers found on budgetyourtrip.com

 

Save Money With: Azores Getaways

Azores Getaways is THE cheapest and most efficient way to book flight & hotel packages within the Azores area.  They’re located in the smack dab in Ponta Delgada and are run by locals who provide exceptional customer service and travel advice. They guarantee that you’ll get the cheapest packages around when booking your flight, hotel, rental car or any other activities in the area.

 

Getting there and around:

Renting a car at the airport is one of the best ways to explore and get around the island. Sao Miguel is small enough to drive around in a day, and there is much to see that is only accessed by car.

 

Recommended Accommodations:

Budget (under $50): The Nook Hostel

Best Value (under $100): Hotel Ponta Delgada

Best Luxury (under $250): Hotel Marina Atlantico

The Itinerary:

 Tips: 

  • Pick up your rental car as early as you can, this process takes at least a couple of hours.
  • Before leaving the hotel, grab a couple maps from the front desk and show them where you want to go to with the car…they’ll have some insider information.
  • Make sure you check out the weather on the Spot Azores App before heading out to the West Side, choose the best area for weather!

 

Day 1-2: The West Side Of Sao Miguel (the red pins)


✓ SEE: Lagoa das Sete Cidades “a mindboggling view

  • The view from Vista do Rei is the most popular, but look for Miradouro da Grota do Inferno which is even better.
  • Two lagoons can be seen from the viewpoint
  • Lots of activities like biking, hiking and horseback riding can be booked from the main town of Sete Cidades

Insta tip: look out for the the path to Boca do Inferno viewpoint in São Miguel island for an awesome pictures.

 

DO: Swim in Ponta da Ferraria “Where the Ocean’s always hot”

  • A surfing beach surrounded by massive cliffs and and a geo-thermal spring.
  • You can swim in the ocean here as the water is headed by the natural springs.
  • Make sure to  check the tide as when it’s low-tide the water can get dangerously hot.

Insta tip: Be sure to bring a towel as the air can get pretty cool after the hot springs, and you’ll want to protect yourself from lying on the volcanic rock.

 

✓ SEE: Mosteiros “The best place for a sunset”

  • Makes for a beautiful picture with the bizarre rocks in the center of the ocean.
  • After the sunset, check out a local seafood restaurant. This area has some of the best seafood on the island.

#sunset #sun #rocks #acores #mosteiros #beach #holiday #light #color #portugal #children

A photo posted by Anne Uhlig (@uhlig_anne) on

Insta Tip: Be sure to go for sunset! Making a stunning picture opportunity.

 

Day 3-4: The Center Of The Island (green pins)


✓DO: Whale Watching Off Ponta Delgada “A must-see activity”

  • This is a must-do activity while in Azoers, and is recommended you book as early as possible
  • The tours will often cancel if it starts to rain, so be sure to check the weather and be sure to re-book if the excursion cancels (will be refunded at no cost)
  • The recommended provider is Picos de Aventura, and takes three hours to complete with three different time slots in the day (8:30, 13:30, 19:30)

???

A video posted by y a n n a (@nannilu_) on

Insta Tip: Get your camera ready not just for whales, but for dolphins turtles and other sea creatures.

 

✓SEE: Lagoa Do Fogo “The unspoiled lagoon of Azores”

  • Stop in Pico da Barrosa on the way up. Best views of both the south and north side of the island.
  • Take your time in Lagoa do fogo to experience the trails. There’s a 30 minutes hike down to a wild isolated beach.
  • Lagoa do Fogo is one of the only areas where the island has allowed any construction.

Looking back at #LagoadoFogo #Portugal #Azores #Tbt

A photo posted by Jess Off (@offjess) on

Insta Tip: Bring a proper pair of running or hiking shoes. Those trails are tough!

 

✓DO:Hike Salta do Prego “an adventurous trek to a beautiful waterfall”

  • One of the more challenging treks on the island (3 hours max), with a beautiful waterfall surprise to make it worth it.
  • If it rains, the trail gets really slippery and challenging (like most hikes on the island).
  • More information on getting there and the trail map can be found on their official site here.

Insta Tip: There are two paths to reach the waterfall from the village. I recommend taking one up and the other down to got some different views.

 

Day 5-6: The East Side Of The Island (the blue pins)


✓SEE: Ilheau Vila Franca Campo “The locals favorite beach”

  • A gorgeous island-crater off the coast of the town, Vila Franca do Campo
  • A local ferry service runs in the summer months from June -August, which takes 10 minutes
  • Kayaking is available year-round, which makes for an even better experience when crowds aren’t in (previous kayak experience is highly recommended!)
  • Bring hiking shoes, sandals, towel and a picnic lunch! You can spend all day here exploring but there’s not food or drinks available on the island.

#tbt 2014 ?❤️??? @cataduque @orlandoduque #elmejorequipo #Portugal #redbullcliffdiving

A photo posted by Catalina & Orlando Duque ® (@duques808) on

Insta Tip: RedBull hosts one of their diving competitions each year! Check to see if you’ll be on the island to catch one of the competitions!

 

✓ DO: Swim in Poca Da Dona Beija “the famous natural geothermal hot spring”

  • Pristine well managed series of out door public natural mineral baths, open year round.
  • Best saved for after a long hike or on a colder day in Azores.
  • Admission fee is around 4 Euro- but does not include towels, so be sure to bring one!

Repost from @annathabanana #poçadadonabeija #spa #thermal

A video posted by Poça da Dona Beija (@pocadadonabeija) on

Insta Tip: The pools may seem really busy at first, but keep walking to the pools at the back where the visitors are spread out and most of the pools still feel fairly empty and spacious

 

✓SEE: Ponta do Sossego “the most scenic lookout on the island”

  • One of the best spots to set-up a picnic, or to watch the sunset.
  • Make sure you go on a clear day! Check the website Spot Azores for the exact weather there before heading out.
  • Don’t just check the view, make sure you walk around the two levels of manicured gardens.

Never wanting to leave this place #peacefulness

A photo posted by @cldsnt on

Insta Tip: Don’t miss this photo opportunity. These gardens overlook the ocean is a formal garden with manicured box hedges, flowers and palm trees. It easily rivals the beauty of Hawaii.

 

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