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BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
he Azores can be visited all year round. Even though the Azores high is often responsible for sunny weather across Europe, almost any day on the Azores has four seasons. You will experience short intervals of rain showers and sunshine or strong winds followed by completely calm periods. Especially the Northern coasts are exposed and experience turbulent waters and strong winds. The Southern sides, especially on the higher islands, generally enjoy calmer and milder
conditions. Quite often, the mountain ranges are covered in fog.
The Eastern island of Santa Maria is the warmest of the islands and the further you travel West, the rougher the conditions get.
Temperatures are moderate throughout the year with fairly mild winters with an average around 14 degrees C in February and 28 degrees C in August. Temperatures only drop slightly over night. Humidity is quite high with the high summer months July and August being hot and muggy. Rain spreads evenly over the months, but you will find much stronger winds over the winter months. Either way, you should always prepare with a windproof rain coat or jacket and a warm jumper between October and May.
The most popular time to travel for many is between June and September with July and August being busy with foreign visitors. Capacity is limited, so it is recommendable to plan ahead if you are planning to travel over the high summer months. April to June and September and October are perfect for exploring the islands and for getting active.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Azores can be reached by plane with Ponta Delgada on São Miguel being the point of arrival. SATA/Azores airlines offers direct flights from a number of places in Europe and North America and there are also connections from Europe with Ryanair, SWISS or TAP.
SATA/Azores Airlines offers regular flights between the islands, which is the fastest and easiest way to get around. There are also regular ferry connections between the islands, which are a good option for shorter rides, for example between São Jorge, Faial and Pico. Some of the ferry services do not operate daily and only in the high season.
The easiest way to get around on the islands is by rental car or chauffeur driven service. We also offer the possibility to offer day trip where the transport is automatically included.
EU or Swiss citizens do not require a visa to travel to the Azores, but a valid passport / ID card has to be presented upon entrance. Visitors traveling from outside the EU or Schengen area might need a visa upon entering any EU country, countries with special visa arrangements with the EU are exempt from visa. Depending of your nationality, further documents like an invitation letter, a proof of lodging or a round-trip ticket might be required. Please check with your local consular services.
TRAVELING WITH KIDS
Portugal and the Azores are very kids friendly in general, making traveling with kids easy and hassle-free. Most of the accommodation have family friendly rooms and facilities and restaurants cater for kids with special menus and reduced portions.
While some of the activities might not be suitable for smaller kids, the Azores are a great destination for families in general as kids will love exploring the stunning nature, venture around the hot springs and
learn about the volcanic heritage of the islands. Whale watching, swimming with dolphins, cycling tours and canyoning/coasteering are adventures that can be enjoyed with the full family.
WHAT TO BRING
Temperatures climb well over 25 degrees over the day in the summer months, but the climate remains humid and you should prepare for rainy episodes, so a waterproof jacket should always be at hand. Light clothes are recommended if you are traveling in summer, but you should also pack for some lower temperatures and wind if you are planning on climbing Pico mountain or boarding a whale watching tour. If you are traveling outside the summer months, you should bring a few warm jumpers. A sunhat, sunglasses and sun lotion will always be useful.
A proper camera is indispensable to capture the beautiful landscape and the fantastic views. For hiking tours, bring a waterproof backpack to store your essentials and some proper (ideally waterproof) hiking shoes/boots.
As the touristic demand in the Azores grew over the past few years, capacity has grown, but due to its popularity, accommodation can be in high demand, especially over the high season between May and September. So it is always advisable to plan a bit ahead if you are intending to visit over those months.
There is now larger variety in accommodation, ranging from simple hotels and guesthouses to boutique design hotels and luxury manor houses.
Hotels on the Azores are graded between 1 and 5 stars while you will find the majority of hotels being certified with 3 or 4 stars. Most hotels can be found in the main towns and cities on each island. Rooms in this category are usually simple, but come with all necessary amenities and include breakfast. Resort hotels are less common, but are on the rise due to the growing demand over the last couple of years.
Agri-tourism and farm stays
You will find quite a large amount of rural accommodation, which are categorized into 5 tiers. Most often you will come across tier TR (Turismo Rural), renovated farm houses. Quintas (manor/country houses) would be on the luxury end of rural accommodation with large surrounding estates and comfortable amenities.
Due to their smaller sizes, rural accommodation can be limited, especially over the summer months, so planning ahead is recommended.