We traditionally close our coverage of the next trip with practical advice. What is it like with the weather in the Azores? What to bring with you? How to move around locally? And most importantly: what is a must-see?
We will summarize everything in this post. You will also find some practical tips here.
Table of contents
Car rental in the Azores
If you are interested in how to fly to the Azores, I refer you to this post. If, on the other hand, you are wondering how to travel locally, the answer can only be one – car rental. And that’s in advance!
When we picked up our luggage at the airport in Ponta Delgada and went to pick up our reserved rental car (which we did, as we almost always do, using Rentalcars), we found we were in for a long wait. The queue was long and so far I don’t know if everyone managed to rent a car. We, fortunately, had a reservation, and the only thing we worried about was that they gave a good seat for the baby. However, you had to wait your time ;)
Initially we got (as ordered ;-)) Renault Megane Sport station wagon version, which turned out to be a pretty decent and roomy car. So why am I writing initially? Well, bad luck that one fine day we discovered that the tire was not in perfect condition, so we went to the rental company, where we were offered to replace the car, because they can’t fix the tire on the spot. We got an even bigger and more family-oriented Renault Scenic.
It is quiet and safe to drive around the Azores. The roads are in good condition although if you want to see many interesting and scenic places, you will have to travel a lot of winding roads. Rest assured, they are very far from the serpentines of Madeira or the Canaries, any driver can do it :)
>>> Polecamy również nasz eBook "Azory" za jedyne 19,99 zł! Wszystko w jednym miejscu, a w nim 103 stron pełnych inspiracji, opisów i praktycznych porad.
The signage is not perfect, sometimes missing signs for towns along the way, so we mostly listened to our navigation anyway. Traffic is low, residents drive rather according to the rules, so there is nothing to stress about :)
Weather in the Azores
What is it like with the weather in the Azores? Is it actually perpetually windy and cloudy, or can you count on a flurry of sunshine? The Azores is not for everyone and beachgoers will be disappointed with this destination.
If one were to look for a similarity of climate on another island within Macaronesia, we would put it on Madeira. Similarly, here in the Azores the temperature is rather constant, around 20-25 degrees in summer, so it’s a bit cooler than in the Canary Islands. And it’s noticeable because the wind often blows, making it essentially impossible to feel these higher temperatures at all. Nevertheless, for us it was in plus, because too high temperatures discourage exploration.
During our stay in the Azores, it rained only twice, and that was when we were taking warm baths in the thermal waters, so it didn’t bother us at all. More troublesome than the rain were the omnipresent clouds. The Azores are beautiful, picturesque, but you have to be lucky to see the most spectacular places without clouds and fog.
What to bring with you to the Azores?
First of all, good, comfortable and rainproof clothing :) There are many trekking trails in the Azores, the easier ones as well as the more difficult ones, so you can safely focus on them throughout the trip. Clothes don’t have to be warm, but it’s a good idea to have a rain jacket on hand, just in case.
For relaxation, we recommend relaxing in the water, so it’s also a good idea to pack a swimsuit, swim trunks and towels, and always carry them in your car, because you never know when the opportunity will arise. Only we do not recommend taking the best and most expensive outfits, because these can easily be damaged from the minerals in which the thermal water is rich.
Besides, the Azores is not the end of the world and you will get everything you need in the stores ;) Also for toddlers (see also a practical post about traveling with a baby in the Azores).
Also, take with you some patience and humility, because you may find that the weather will dictate what you will do and how you will dress on particular days ;)
Language and communication
You will be surprised how well the archipelago’s residents speak English! We were very positively surprised. Especially after trips to Portugal and Madeira, where, however, I can’t say that it was possible to get along everywhere in English without problems.
Here the language is very popular and you will have no problem communicating. We tried to figure out where such good knowledge came from and it stems from, among other things. from the fact that quite a few Americans are flown to the Azores (I wonder if their ownership of the Lajes military base on Terceira Island also has some influence?).
Leaving aside the issue of verbal communication, many tourist-typical places have descriptions in English, and in restaurants you will always get menus in this language, too.
What is worth seeing in the Azores?
We leave the most important for last. Below you will find a map with marked points where we were on the island of Sao Miguel and which we in good conscience recommend to you.
And they are (alphabetical order):
- Caldeira Velha
- Fumarolas da Lagoa das Furnas
- Lagoa to Fogo
- Miradouro da Boca do Inferno
- Miradouro De Santa Iria
- Miradouro do Cerrado das Freiras
- Pineapple plantation
- Tea plantation
- Ponta da Ferraria
- Ponta Delgada
- Restaurante da Associação Agrícola de São Miguel
- Ribeira Grande
We wrote about all of these places in our posts. You will also find details on the map:
Some practical information
What else (besides the above) should you keep in mind before traveling to the Azores?
- The Azores are part of Portugal, and Portugal is part of the Schengen zone, hence the simple conclusion that an ID card is enough to get to the Azores. That is, you can leave your passport quietly at home.
- In health matters, also as standard throughout the European Union, it is a good idea to get an EHIC (issued by the National Health Service for free), although we hope you will not have to use it. It is also worthwhile, as always, to buy additional travel insurance.
- In the Azores, of course, the currency is the Euro. Virtually everywhere we paid by debit card and there was not the slightest problem with it.
- You can read about accommodations and prices in this post.
- The Azores are considered safe islands. However, remember to have eyes around your head even on vacation, because we can never be 100% sure.
- It is also worth getting a good guidebook. The Azores is not large, but it is better to have useful tips at hand.
- And most importantly! ;) Electric sockets and current in the sockets is identical as in Poland, so you can take your equipment without fear and you can forget about any adapters ;)
The Azores is a very interesting option for an active vacation. Seemingly far away, yet European. It is very safe, peaceful, even idyllic. So if you are thinking about some not-so-popular (yet) destination, you want to take a break from the crowds and lounging – we recommend you the fabulous Azores!
If you have any more questions about the Azores, feel free to ask in the comments. We will try to answer them all! :)
Here you can find our other posts about the Azores.