03 Apr The best things you need to know before visiting the archipelago of Azores
Author: Ines Marinho
Natural landscapes, volcanos, thermal waters and delicious food. All of this can be expected if you are going to visit the islands of Azores, Portugal, located in the Atlantic Ocean. Azores has nine islands: Corvo, Flores, Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico, Faial, São Miguel and Santa Maria. Amongst all these isles, you can choose the most appropriated for you, with the assurance that all of them will make you wonders. Each day, this archipelago is becoming more an exotic travel destination to the citizens of the world. Therefore, before going to Azores, here is a list you of things you certainly must know before going to this remote paradise.
The weather is unpredictable
No one ever knows about the weather. There are forecasts, however they are not always accurate. In Azores, everyone knows that the weather can dramatically change at any minute. Like most tropical destinations, you can wake up to a beautiful blue sky and end up the day with a storm. While packing, take some pieces of your four seasons wardrobe, so you are safe and won’t be caught by surprise.
Azores is not an island to party
If you are seeking for an Ibiza feeling and party, this is not the right place to you. Azores is a serene peaceful destination, where you should enjoy the most of its nature and wildlife. It is perfect for a family vacation or to go on honeymoon. Nonetheless, there are bars and clubs where you can enjoy a drink and dance. However, it is not exactly a spring break destination for party freaks.
There is volcanic activity
Azores is considered the European Hawaii and the volcanic activity behind it is one of the reasons of it. You can find volcanic events at the dark black sand of all beaches in Azores, the geysers in Furnas Valley, where hot steam comes from the underground, the Capelinhos volcano in Faial, where you can walk over the remains of recent eruptions and the thermal springs where you can enjoy hot baths. The last time the volcano was in action was in 1957 though, but of course nobody knows when it will wake up again.
Trying the outdoor activities
Since you will be in place surrounded by nature, you should give a try to new outdoor sports. There are loads of activities you can try, such as hiking, horse riding, diving to see the whales or paragliding. You can also canyoning, kayaking, swimming with the dolphins and surfing. If your favourite sport is eating, don’t worry because food enthusiasts will be in heaven: taste the cheese of Sao Jorge or the steamed Cozido das Furnas, cooked in a very unconventional way.
Plenty of dope craters lakes
There are plenty of lakes in the islands of Azores. These landscapes will take your breath away and amaze you by its diversity. You can hike through most of these dope craters lakes and take astonishing pictures. The most famous ones are: Lagoa das Setes Cidades, Lagoa do Fogo and Lagoa das Furnas, in the island of São Miguel.
Rent a car
Getting around inside each island is not easy. Taxis are expensive and private guides take all your money. The network of public transportation is poor, and they don’t go to places where the access isn’t easily reachable. Due to this, the best option is to rent your own car. You have freedom to choose schedules and places you want to visit. As soon as you book your flight, make sure you also rent a car, since they can go unavailable.
Pick the islands according to your logistics
There are nine different islands in Azores, and you should plan your trip before you go. Travelling between the islands is not easy nor cheap. Study the logistics, the prices and plan your holidays beforehand.
Enjoy the island before high seasons
Take the chance to go visit the islands while there is silence, tranquillity and not huge concentration of tourists. The weather is generally warm during the whole year, so don’t wait for June, July or August to enjoy the destination. Take a chance when the tourism rates are low and profit the most of the Portuguese Hawaii.