A Week in the Azores

Oct 11, 2017

Our favorite way to experience the Azores? Island-hopping. It’s ideal for first-time visitors who want to get a feel for multiple islands, and it’s doable in a week! Check out our favorite itinerary for a week in the Azores.

Nights 1-2: Terceira Island

  • The best place to stay is in Angra do Herosimo, the Renaissance old town that’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s right on the water and you can walk along cobbled streets to restaurants like Tasca das Tias, a Travelzoo-staff favorite.
  • The best part of this island is the countryside outlined with criss-crossing black lava stones. You can rent a car, but we recommend booking a jeep tour since the local guides take you off-roading for spectacular views.
  • Not to miss: The Algar do Carvao, one of the few volcanos in the world that you can walk into.

Nights 3-4: Pico Island

  • The Azores are considered one of the best places in the world for whale watching and swimming with dolphins in the ocean, and this is one of the best places from which to embark since the waters are so deep.
  • Pico is famed for its wine -- locals produce red and white varietals in the lava-rock soil that characterizes the landscape.
  • Adventure-seekers shouldn’t miss the chance to climb Mount Pico, the highest point in Portugal at over 7,700 feet tall. It’s a full-day activity and the views from the top are worth the climb.
  • The best part about Pico Island is that it’s part of the “Triangle,” which is made up of three islands. You can take a ferry to Faial or São Jorge in under an hour and spend a day.

Nights 5-7: São Miguel Island

  • This is the largest island of the Azores, so renting a car is imperative. Though you can drive the whole island in a couple hours, it’s best to divide it into sections and spend a day each in the eastern, central and western parts of the island.
  • Hikers should plan to spend their time around the crater lakes at Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo, which offer views that have become iconic to the Azores.
  • The island is also home to geothermal spas and pools -- our favorites are Terra Nostra in Furnas, Ponta da Ferraria on the coast and Caldeira Velha in the center of the island.
  • Ponta Delgada is the hub of the island and the capital of the Azores. The cobbled streets and sidewalk cafes evoke the historic towns of Europe, while the growing foodie scene is characterized by Azorean favorites centered around steak and seafood.
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