Get the inside scoop on the Azores! We’ve spent months on the islands and know the best places to stay, things to do, and the tastiest spots to eat. Our recommendations are carefully vetted and curated, so you can make the most of your trip. You’ll also get an interactive Google Map with every guide and itinerary. The Google Maps for our itineraries include all the sights, restaurants, swimming spots and every Azores Trail hike.

And if you don’t have time for trip research but want to make sure you get the ultimate insider experience, then check out Travel Honey Trips and let us plan your trip and give you the tools to explore the island like an expert!

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Which Islands to Include in Your Azores Itinerary?

The Azores are an archipelago of nine islands.  If you have less than a week, stick to Sao Miguel, there is enough to do, and you won’t waste time traveling between islands. Sao Miguel is the biggest island and the most populated.   Sao Miguel is famous for its three gorgeous crater lakes, you can relax in one of many hot springs and hike to your heart’s content. You’ll also find Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores. Ponta Delgada is the biggest city in the Azores with many tasty restaurants, the most nightlife (at least on the weekends), museums, and winding streets.

If you have more time, or you’re a return visitor, then make sure to include other islands in your Azores itinerary. Faial, Sao Jorge and Pico are great options, because you can travel between the three islands with a short ferry ride.  Pico is the most popular.  It has better quality accommodations and more of a foodie scene. It’s also made famous by Mount Pico, a 7,000’+ volcano.   Faial also offers volcanic terrain but it’s harbor is the focus.  Many boats stop in Horta on Faial while crossing the Atlantic.  Sao Jorge is the least populated and is famous for its cheeses.

Terceira is also a good option if you’re coming from Boston or Oakland, because there are direct flights from each of those cities.  Terceira is the third largest Azores island but second most populated.  It’s known as the cultural center of the Azores and you’ll find many summer festivals.

Graciosa, Corvo, Flores and Santa Maria are smaller, harder to reach, and less visited and populated islands.  Include one of these island in your Azores itinerary if you want to get off the beaten path.  Graciosa is less mountainous and agriculturally focused. Santa Maria is the most southern island, so it’s the warmest and sunniest and boasts beautiful sandy beaches. Corvo is the smallest Azores island with the fewest inhabitants and is the least touristy of the islands. It’s also known for its bird watching. Flores is the most tropical Azores island with green and lush fauna and plentiful waterfalls.

For more details on each island, check out our Azores Destination Page.

How Long to Make Your Azores Itinerary?

With nine islands, you can easily spend months in the Azores islands.  Your Azores itinerary should be at least 3 days long to make it worth the trip (unless you’re coming from Lisbon and it’s a shorter direct flight).  If you’re only going for a few days, stick to one island – like Sao Miguel, where there are more direct flights.  Flights between the islands can be unpredictable, so you don’t want to risk a cancelled flight on such a short trip.

If you have at least a 6 days, you could add another island to your Azores itinerary.  For example, you could combine Sao Miguel with another island like Terceira.  Or choose two islands from Faial, Sao Jorge and Pico.  If you want to visit 3 islands, you should have a least 8 days unless you want to be moving around a lot (and don’t mind risking delayed ferries and flights).

When to Visit the Azores?

The Gulf Stream makes the Azores very temperate. The temperatures rarely drop below 60F or get above 80F.  That being said, it’s humid all year round, so it can feel cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer.  The summers are the busiest, but the Azores are becoming more popular, and the more popular islands are starting to get busy in April through October.  It rains more in the winter, but rarely enough to stop you from hiking, exploring, or even water sports like kayaking or canoeing (as long as you don’t mind the cooler temps). Canyoning is also a year round sport there!

If it’s especially rainy, it’s a great excuse to spend your day at the hot springs if you’re on Sao Miguel.  In the summer, accommodations are significantly more expensive, but you can take advantage of the awesome beaches and swimming holes. There’s also less rain during the summer (but it still rains, so always bring a rain coat!).  The azaleas bloom in the spring and the hydrangeas take over the island in the summer.  You’ll find beautiful flowers though, all year round.