Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Island is the main airport and gateway, and you may be surprised to learn there are a lot of direct flights there — from Lisbon, Porto, and Madeira, European hubs such as London, Frankfurt and Paris, and North America centres including New York, Montreal, Boston and Toronto. Getting around the islands is best done by car, and this is a great destination for rental — with your own car, you'll be free to change your itinerary at the last minute, making it easier to deal with the archipelago's unpredictable weather. If you're planning on island hopping, you have two options: ferry and plane. The ferry takes longer, but the advantage is that you can take your car with you. If you prefer flying, Azores Airlines is the only one that offers flights to all nine islands. In the summer, more tourists mean the flight offer is also bigger.
Climate & seasons
Temperatures in the Azores are pleasant all year round — they never go below 14°C or above 22°C — but the weather is quite rainy from October to April. You can go as early as May, when it rains less, but what we really recommend is that you go from June to September. In that period, the water temperature is between 20°C and 25°C — it’s perfect for bathing.
Where to go
Every Azores island has its own attractions. If you like wandering through the streets of old towns, visit Ponta Delgada in São Miguel Island and Angra do Heroísmo in Terceira Island. Santa Maria Island is the only one to have white sand beaches, and diving aficionados will love its crystal-clear waters. For thermal baths in volcanic hot springs, São Miguel and Graciosa islands are the best. In São Jorge, Flores and Pico islands you can go on unforgettable hikes — Pico Island has the tallest mountain in the archipelago. São Jorge is also great for surfers, and any visitor will love discovering this island’s emblematic seaside lava fields called fajãs. If you want to visit a volcanic cave and get to know lava tubes from up close, Terceira is your place, while Faial island is remarkable for its beautiful volcanic landscapes. If you want to get to know a small island community of only around 400 inhabitants, go to Corvo Island.
What to do
Hike up volcano slopes and into lava tubes and marvel at the power and beauty of nature. Take a boat and go whale and dolphin watching — the Azores is one of the world’s best destinations for this, and you can do it year-round. Follow a specialized birdwatching guide over rolling hills and lush woods, and spot beautiful endemic species. Go diving, spelunking, surfing, canoeing, and mountain biking. Stroll along cobbled streets, among old houses with typical Azores architecture. Discover the archipelago’s gastronomy. Bathe in the clear waters of crater lakes and in the warm waters of thermal springs.