Travelers to the Azores are increasingly looking for longer term stays. Whether it’s retirees seeking a mild climate or those of us whose jobs now make it easy to work remotely. This in-depth article provides helpful guidance on a long-term rental in the Azores.

Azores Long-Term Rentals - The Basics

View from the north coast of Sao Miguel in March

What is a Long-Term Rental in the Azores?

For starters, let’s be clear about what we mean by a “long-term rental” in the Azores. Some might consider long-term to be six months or even a year. But the average stay in the Azores is still less than three days. So we’ll consider a month or more a long-term rental.

Which is the Azores Island is the Best for a Long-Term Rental?

The Azores is a nine-island archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. And unless you want something very remote, the bigger and more populated islands are your best bet for a long-term rental.

São Miguel is the largest island and has more Azorean residents than all of the other islands combined. So it has the largest selection of long-term rental units. We’ll thus be focusing on rental units on São Miguel island in this article. You can find out more on the Best Azores Island to Visit.

When is the Best Time to do a Long-Term in the Azores?

The best time to visit the Azores, whether for a weekend or a month, depends on your priorities. For example, do you want beach weather? Then head to the Azores in the summer, but be prepared for crowds and higher prices.

Also most short-term rental unit owners make the majority of their rental revenue in the summer. So it can be difficult to get a lower monthly rate unless you also agree to rent the house for the off season too. If you want a long-term rental in the summer, you’ll need to book early. Especially if the rental unit also does short-term rentals.

If you love hot springs and don’t like the heat, then the winter off-season is your best bet. The temperatures are typically in the 50s°F and 60s°F, and you’ll save money! For a breakdown of each month in the Azores, including weather, price, festivals, costs and even which whales and flowers can be seen each month, check out When is the Best Time to Visit the Azores Islands. Or if you’re purely focused on the weather, check out the Ultimate Azores Weather Guide.

Azores hydrangeas in August

Azores Long-Term Rental - The Nitty Gritty

What Type of Housing is Available for an Azores Long Term Rental?

There are various types of rental units in the Azores. Anything from a one-bedroom apartment to a large villa (villa options). The smaller units are typically in the cities or larger towns.

Some other considerations when settling on an Azores long-term rental is whether they have heat or air conditioning and if they have a washer and dryer. In the winter months it’s not so cold, but it can feel cool and damp inside because of the humidity. Similarly, the temperatures rarely get above 80°F, but the humidity can make things sweltering. Most rental units have a washer but rarely do they have a dryer. If there is no dryer, ask if there is a covered place to hang clothes, as it can rain every day!

If you plan to work remotely, it’s also very important to ask about WiFi speed – it can vary depending on the type of plan the owner has.

You should also ask if internet, heat and water are included in the rent – both to make sure you have an accurate total monthly cost and because of the ease of payment. It would be an added inconvenience if you need to set up your own account for internet, heat and water.

This is an example of a rental house with high speed internet, heat and AC and a washer and dryer (although only a washer in the downstairs unit). And there’s solar power, so you can feel less guilty :). Full disclosure: this is the author’s house and is not associated at all with Travel Honey.

Example of a rental unit available for long-term rentals only in the off-season

The Best Long-Term Rental Locations on São Miguel Island

Your preferences should dictate the location of your long-term rental. If you want to be able to walk to restaurants, then stay in a more populated area. Ponta Delgada has the most restaurants with the most varied cuisine.

You can walk to most things in Ponta Delgada. So it’s also a good choice if you want to avoid a car in your day-to-day life. But Ponta Delgada can also be loud and the parking is more difficult when you use a car.

If you still want to be near Ponta Delgada, try along the southeast coast in São Roque, Pópulo or Livramento. You’ll also more likely get a little more space and a sea view. São Roque is only a 25-35 minute walk from Ponta Delgada and has a small beach and a handful of small restaurants.

Pópulo and Livramento are a little further down the coast. The tows have two big beaches and have a small village feel. Further down the coast are Lagoa, Agua do Alto and Caloura, which claim to have the sunniest weather on the island.

If you love hot springs, look to the quaint town of Furnas in the middle of São Miguel Island towards the east. Just note that it’s a bit of a touristy town, so you may end up seeing more tourists than locals.

Ribeira Grande on the north coast is the second largest city on São Miguel Island. So you can still walk to restaurants, but there are fewer options. Plus the cuisine at the restaurants is mostly traditional. It’s also near Santa Barbara beach, one of the largest and best beaches on the island. There are also lots of small towns along the north coast if you’re looking for something more rural.

Do You Need to Rent a Car on São Miguel Island

The short answer is yes. You can walk around Ponta Delgada or a larger town like Ribeira Grande. But you want to see the rest of the island, a car is necessary. Sao Miguel does have some buses. But they are infrequent and don’t go to a lot of the tourist attractions. You’ll also find taxis, but they end up being as expensive as a rental car.

If you’re going in the off season, you can usually get a good deal on a long-term rental car. You could also reach out on a Facebook group or the owner of your rental house. Some renters also have cars for rent.

Ponta Delgada is a walkable city and a great option for a long-term rental

How to Find a Long-Term Rental in the Azores?

One easy option is to look on Airbnb, VRBO or and message the owners to ask for a long-term rental discount. But as I note above, be prepared for an unwillingness to do a long-term rental during the high season in the summer (or they may already be booked!). Long-Term Letting specializes in long-term rentals. You could also reach out via Facebook to see if there are any suggestions.

Good luck with your search for a long-term rental in the Azores!