6 of the Best Things to do on São Miguel – Portugalist (2023)

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São Miguel, the largest island in The Azores, is packed with plenty of interesting things to do. From soaking in thermal pools to visiting a tea plantation, here are some of the top things to add to your São Miguel bucketlist.

Contents

Soak in the thermal Pools

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São Miguel is known for its hot springs or thermal pools, and there are actually several different groups of pools that you can visit:

  • Parque Terra Nostra (Furnas): Largo Marquês da Praia e Monfort, 9675-061 Furnas, Portugal (map)
  • Poça da Dona Beija (Furnas): Lomba Das Barracas 1, Furnas, Portugal (map)
  • Caldeira Velha: EN5 2A, Ribeira Grande, Portugal (map)
  • Termas da Ferraria: Rua Ilha Sabrina, Ginetes, 9555-102 Ginetes, Portugal (map)

Personally, Poça da Dona Beija was my favourite for a number of reasons. Firstly, the water is clear unlike Parque Terra Nostra where it’s brown. Secondly, it stays open quite late and evening is a much better time to visit (especially in summer). I also found it the most beautiful, but perhaps that’s personal preference.

Tip: Be aware that the brown mud that lines some of the walls of the thermal pools can stain clothing. I mustn’t have washed all of the mud off myself (it really sticks to the skin) and it stained one of my shirts. Despite putting it through the was several times, I couldn’t get rid of the brown stain and had to throw it out.

Also, be sure to rinse your towel and swimsuit in the showers or bathroom. The thermal waters have a strong sulphur smell to them and, if you don’t give them a rinse, they’ll smell like bad eggs.

The hot springs are suitable for all ages.

Parque Terra Nostra

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Parque Terra Nostra is a beautiful botanical garden that’s located just outside of Furnas (although easily walkable from the town centre). While the gardens are beautiful to walk through, most people visiting the park do so for the thermal pools.

There is one large pool, which goes to a depth of 1.50-1.60 metres, and 2 smaller pools. Changing rooms and showers are available.

(Video) São Miguel Island - Azores - Portugal 

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Personally, I preferred the smaller pools to the big pool and so spent most of my time in there.

  • Opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm.
  • Address: Largo Marquês da Praia e Monfort, 9675-061 Furnas, Portugal (map)
  • Cost: €8 for adults, €4 for children (2-10 years), free for children under 2

Money Saving Tip: If you’re planning to eat cozido at the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, which is considered one of the best places to try it, it’s worth going for lunch first as they will give you free entrance into the park and thermal pools (worth €8 per person).

An even better plan might be to stay at the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel. That way you can enjoy the pools in the morning before it gets busy and before you’re full of cozido (quite a heavy dish).

Poça da Dona Beija

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Poça da Dona Beija is located slightly out of Furnas: roughly a 15-minute walk from the centre. There is a car park outside, but it tends to get incredibly busy. If you can, try to park somewhere else nearby.

This was my favourite of the hot springs. The water was clear, and it was open late in the evening which was much better than going during the middle of the day. Evening is definitely the best time to visit, and this tends to be when the locals prefer to visit as well. It does get a bit busy early in the evening, but it quietens down around 9 pm.

There are several different pools with temperatures varying between around 28 and 39° celcius. One included a small waterfall that you could sit behind or underneath.

Lockers are available (you need a token) and you also need a token if you want a warm shower. There’s also a gift shop where you can buy towels, Azorean souvenirs, and cold drinks.

  • Opening hours: 7 am – 11 pm (including holidays and Sundays)
  • Address: Lomba Das Barracas 1, Furnas, Portugal (map)
  • Cost: €6 for adults, €4 for children 6 years or younger.

Sea the bubbling hot springs in Caldeiras

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On São Miguel, there’s thermal water that you can bathe in and there’s thermal water that’s literally boiling hot. The first is somewhere you go to relax and the second is somewhere where you just admire this unique natural feature.

Caldeiras (on the edge of Furnas) is home to a number of small hot springs – so hot that they bubble aggressively and shoot steam out of the ground. Some are active, some are not, and some are somewhere in between. Like the hot springs in Furnas town centre, there’s a slight eggy smell from the sulfur but you get used to it after a while (well, almost).

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It’s fascinating to visit and, if you’re feeling hungry, this is also one of the places where you can buy corn on the cob that has been cooked in the volcanic water. The corn is put into large sacks and lowered into the bubbling pits. If you wander around for long enough, you’ll come across someone cooking it.

(Being honest, it doesn’t really taste any different to normal corn on the cob but it’s fun to try it.)

If corn on the cob isn’t your thing, there are also usually stalls selling pineapple cocktails that are served inside a hollowed-out pineapple.

(Video) Azores Islands Portugal - 4K Aerial Relaxation Film Sao Miguel and Ponta Delgada

Visit a tea plantation

There are two tea plantations on São Miguel: Gorreana Tea Factory, which is the more famous, and Chá Porto Formoso. I visited both.

Gorreana Tea Factory

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Gorreana Tea Factory is the larger or the two and the more popular. It’s a little chaotic as the tour of the factory is self-guided, but nobody ever tells you that. I saw a lot of people wandering around aimlessly, wondering if they were allowed to.

If you go into the cafeteria, you can sample their organic tea (for free). You can also buy tea, as well as cakes, coffee, and other drinks and snacks.

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You can also wander through the tea plantation itself. There’s a small field right next to the main building that you can wander through, but the best place to go is into the fields across the road.

There’s an official 3.4 km hike that goes through the tea plantation (PRC28SMI) or, alternatively, you can just take a stroll through like I did.

  • Address: Plantações de Chá Gorreana, 9625-304 Maia, Portugal (map)
  • Website: Gorreana.pt

Chá Porto Formoso

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Chá Porto Formoso isn’t as big or as popular as Gorreana Tea Factory, but that’s one of its main selling points as well: when a tour bus turns up at Gorreana, it can get incredibly busy.

The other major selling point of Chá Porto Formoso is that they give you a free guided tour of the factory. The tour is short and it’s not hugely detailed, but I learned a lot more than I did wandering around Gorreana myself. At the end, there’s a chance to sample some of the tea that they grow there.

Chá Porto Formoso is housed in a beautiful building that has a terrace that looks out over the tea plantation and the nearby coast. It’s a great little place to stop off and relax during a busy day of sightseeing.

Visit a Pineapple Plantation

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Pineapples are normally associated with South America, especially Costa Rica, but did you know that they grow pineapples in The Azores as well?

Azorean pineapples originate from Venezuela, and are grown in greenhouses on several different pineapple farms near Ponta Delgada. Even with the greenhouses, growing pineapples here is still incredibly difficult and growers need to work with special soils and use smoke to get the plants to bloom.

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At Christmas, it’s typical for Portuguese families to eat Azorean Pineapple and you’ll see a lot of these in the supermarkets in the weeks beforehand. According to my tour guide, however, the pineapples taste quite sharp at this time of year and the best time to eat them is in summer.

(Video) SAO MIGUEL ISLAND, AZORES, PORTUGAL

There are several pineapple plantations that you can visit on São Miguel and, if you really want the full pineapple experience, you can actually stay on a pineapple farm as well.

Tours:

  • Ananases Santo António (map) – Shows visitors a short video about the Azorean pineapple and gives a guided tour. There is the opportunity to buy pineapples (which are organic and free from pesticides) and products made from pineapple.
  • GetYourGuide – The following tours all include a trip to a pineapple plantation and include transporations: Sete Cidades Village and Lakes Half-Day Tour, São Miguel West Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Almost all of these tours are free, if you drive to the farms yourself. I asked one of the tour guides why they gave free tours? Was it for marketing? Did they hope people would buy pineapples or pineapples from their gift shop?

His answer was incredibly Portuguese. He explained that the Portuguese pineapple is the best pineapple in the world but, sadly, most people will never get to experience it because The Azores can’t complete with production levels in places like Costa Rica, Brazil, and the Philippines.

One of the reasons that the Portuguese pineapple is so good, besides the taste and just simply being Portuguese, is that you can eat the middle. I mentioned that you could eat the middle of the pineapples in Thailand as well. He conceded that they also have good pineapples, but they’re still not as good as the Portuguese pineapple. He never followed up with why.

Tip: If you want to splash out and buy an Azorean Pineapple, I would recommend buying one from Ananases Santo António as their pineapples are free from chemicals. They aren’t cheap, and normally cost at least 2-3 times as much as a non-Portuguese pineapple. In summer, when the pineapples are at their best and when you should buy them, prices go up even further.

But, this is the best pineapple in the world you’ll be eating. It may cost almost the same as a cheap lunch, but it’ll be money well spent.

Alternatively, there are a few pineapple-based products made on The Azores that you can try:

  • Kima – A local Azorean soft drink made from Azorean pineapples. This is available from a lot of cafés on islands all over The Azores.
  • Azores juicy IPA – IPA craft beer that’s mixed with local pineapple juice to give it a unique taste.
  • Pineapple cocktail – You’ll see stalls selling cocktails served in a pineapple, especially close to attractions like Caldeiras near Furnas and Lagoa das Furnas.
  • Geleia extra de ananás dos acores – Honey-like runny pineapple jam that’s absolutely delicious.

Eat a stew that’s cooked in a volcano (cozido)

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Cozido (Cozido à portuguesa) isn’t a dish that I’d necessarily recommend people eat on mainland Portugal. It is very typical, and the Portuguese do love it, but I think it’s one of those dishes that you have to grow up with to appreciate.

It’s hard to find a really great cozido, and although I have, it’s not something I would necessarily order again in a heartbeat. Still, eating cozido is one of the top things to do on São Miguel for the simple reason that it’s cooked in a volcano.

Head to the town of Furnas and you’ll find plenty of restaurants that specialise in this unique dish. Interestingly, the dish isn’t actually cooked in furnas: the volcanic pits are located outside of the town at the Lagoa das Furnas hotsprings (map) and then transported to the restaurants.

Where to eat cozido

I didn’t think the cozido that I ate tasted any different to cozido in mainland Portugal, and I didn’t think it tasted any better either. Maybe it’s a gimmick or maybe I just didn’t go to a good place.

The top place to eat cozido seems to be the restaurant at the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel. This is probably the fanciest place to eat in Furnas which means it’s more expensive than everywhere else and the cozido is going to be less traditional (in presentation at least) than most other restaurants. Still, it seems to get good reviews and, if you eat there, you get free entrance to the gardens and thermal pools (which normally would cost €8 per person).

Alternatively, several other places to consider are:

  • Caldeiras & Vulcões (map)
  • Tony’s Restaurant (map)
  • O Miroma (map)

Restaurants are recommended as all of these places fill up, especially with large tour groups.

Even if you decide not to eat Cozido, I’d recommend going to see where the cozido is cooked at Lagoa das Furnas.

(Video) São Miguel, Portugal - an Island of Remarkable Volcanic Landscapes | Beauty of the Azores

Visit Lagoa das Furnas (and see cozido being cooked)

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The Lagoa das Furnas hotsprings is where the famous Azorean cozido is cooked. Even if you decide not to eat cozido, it’s still worth visiting Lagoa das Furnas to see the process in action.

Each cozido restaurant in Furnas has their own hole or holes. Pots of stew are lowered into the steaming holes and left to stew for several hours before being transported to the restaurants.

Azorean cozido cookery classes

What’s better than eating volcano stew? Cooking it yourself at one of the following cookery classes:

As well as the cooking area, the lake itself is worth spending some time wandering around. There’s a large shady picnic area, walking trails, and usually a few stands selling hot and cold drinks including cocktails served in a hollowed-out pineapple and corn on the cob cooked inside the volcano. Note: you can also get both of these things at Caldeiras near Furnas.

Note: parking is paid and, as of July 2019, cost €2 per day.

Go urban exploring in an abandoned hotel

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Note: There are signs up outside the abandoned Hotel Monte Palace telling you not to enter. They’ve even bricked off the entrances. Obviously, entering this abandoned hotel is at your own risk. I’m not saying you should do it, but it’s one of the things that you can do (and that people do on São Miguel).

Despite the no entry signs and the bricked off walls, this abandoned hotel was anything but abandoned. There were at least 20-30 people inside while I was there, and that number probably increased as more people saw us inside.

Exploring the 5* Hotel Monte Palace is a unique and sad experience. This 5* hotel was designed to be one of the most luxurious hotels in Portugal. And, when it opened its doors in the 80s, it was. It had beautiful rooms, on-site restaurants, amenities like a hairdressers, nightclub, bank, and one of the most spectacular views in the world.

Unfortunately, what it didn’t have was customers. Within less than a year of opening, the luxury hotel closed its doors. The owners tried to find a buyer, but nobody else wanted the risk: the hotel was too far from anything and tourism in The Azores just hadn’t taken off yet.

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Today, if you’re happy to hop a wall or follow one of the many well-trodden footpaths up the side, you can explore what remains of the Hotel Monte Palace. There’s still bits of the carpet on the stairs and corridors, but just about everything else of value has been taken.

Walk into the hotel roofs or onto the roof and you’ll get to experience the wonderful views of the lakes that the hotel owners were hoping would make their hotel successful. They’re pretty spectacular – and less crowded than the Miradouro da Vista do Rei down below.

Admire the views from Miradouro da Vista do Rei

Right next to the abandoned Hotel Monte Palace is Miradouro da Vista do Rei, a viewpoint (miradouro means golden view) that looks out over Lagoa das Sete Cidades.

(Video) Azores Portugal in 60s - So Beautiful Place

It’s one of the most beautiful spots on the island of São Miguel and, of course, this means it’s also one of the most popular as well. Expect to

FAQs

What is São Miguel Azores known for? ›

Sao Miguel is also known for is award winning Terra Nostra Park, wonderful golf courses, lakes, beaches, land, century-old architecture, majestic scenery, and most of all, its people.

What to do in Sao Miguel if it rains? ›

  • Gruta do Carvao. 568. Caverns & Caves. ...
  • Igreja do Santo Cristo. 336. Churches & Cathedrals. ...
  • Igreja Matriz de Sao Sebastiao. 305. Churches & Cathedrals. ...
  • Poca Da Dona Beija. 3,270. Bodies of Water • Geologic Formations. ...
  • Plantacoes de Cha Gorreana. 1,158. ...
  • Mercado da Graça. 204. ...
  • Ananas Santo Antonio. Farms. ...
  • Parque Atlantico. 136.

What is Ponta Delgada known for? ›

On São Miguel's southwest coast, the port city of Ponta Delgada is best known for charming cobblestone streets, lively cafés, and centuries-old architecture. The main city on the island, it's also the ideal jumping-off point for water sports and nature excursions in the Azores.

How long should I stay in Sao Miguel? ›

An autonomous region of Portugal, the Azores are a collection of nine stunningly beautiful volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Though it's small, five days is the perfect amount of time to fully explore the Azores' wild and wonderful main island of Sao Miguel, as our five day Sao Miguel itinerary will testify.

Which is prettiest island in Azores? ›

Of the islands that make up the Azores archipelago, São Miguel is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. Its heavenly beaches and lush vegetation have earned it the nickname “the Hawaii of Europe.” Measuring almost 750 km2, it is the largest island in the Azores.

What is the best month to visit the Azores? ›

For many, July and August are the best time to visit the Azores. Being the hottest months, it's peak season and the most popular time to visit all the islands – particularly Sao Miguel and Terceira as they're both well-connected to the outside world by direct flights from the UK, USA, Canada and mainland Portugal.

What time of day is best for whale watching Azores? ›

The best overhead light is from 11 am - 3 pm, for beautiful blue waters. The calmest sea conditions tend to be before noon and towards sunset. The whales are active throughout the day and their behavior changes as groups of whales encounter each other.

Are there sharks in the Azores? ›

As well as the cetacean and majestic mobulas, the Azores are also a hotspot for sharks. Between July and October, mako and blue sharks can be seen with surprising regularity at remote seamounts around the island of Pico.

Is Ponta Delgada worth visiting? ›

So if you are wondering whether Ponta Delgada is worth visiting, then my answer is yes, absolutely. It's a perfect mix of old and new, with a charming old town, nice shops, cafes and restaurants, beautiful parks, and a lively waterfront area.

Can you swim in the ocean in the Azores? ›

Yes, there are beaches on the Azores, as well as natural lava rock pools, thermal pools, and many little harbors where you jump off the docks and go for a swim. June to September are best for swimming. The water temperature goes up to about 23 °C in August, which is fresh but really nice.

Can you drink the water in São Miguel Azores? ›

Health & safety in The Azores

While mineral water is available in restaurants and shops, it's safe to drink the tap water in hotels and homes in the Azores, so remember to bring refillable water bottles and keep your family hydrated round the clock.

Is 5 days enough for Azores? ›

Spending 5 days on Sao Miguel and then heading to another island for a few days is a great way to spend a week or more exploring the Azores.

How many days do you need in Azores? ›

In general, you should be able to see all the highlights on most Azores islands in 2-3 days. The only exception is São Miguel, the largest island, where we recommend staying at least 5-7 days.

Are there great white sharks in the Azores? ›

In the Azores, especially in the islands of Pico and Faial, it was discovered that the observation of this species in its habitat is much more profitable than its capture. In the photo, you can see a Great White shark, a species that also inhabits the Azores.

Are there snakes on the Azore islands? ›

As for land animals we do not have any snakes or dangerous animals, but we do have hedgehogs, rats, ferrets, and wild rabbits. The bat of the Azores is the only native mammal that you can find in land. The Azores belong to the Macaronesia area, containing a huge number of endemic species of each Island.

Which is more beautiful Azores or Madeira? ›

If you prefer nature, greenery, an off-the-beaten-path adventure and don't mind rain or cooler temperatures, pick the Azores. If you'd prefer sunshine, golden sands, luxury amenities and a quirky cable car/toboggan experience, consider Madeira, including the beachy island of Porto Santo.

Are there mosquitos on the Azores? ›

These islands are a sanctuary for billions of lives, so tread carefully and detox your soul amongst Mother Nature. Lastly, don't worry about that mosquito repellent, because there aren't any pesky midges in the Azores.

Are the Azores cheap? ›

The Azores Islands aren't one of the names you'd find in the list of the most expensive regions in Portugal. Actually, it's quite the opposite. There are three districts within the islands; Ponta Delgada, Angra do Heroísmo, and Horta District; all three have low living costs.

Do you get wet during whale watching? ›

It is easy to get wet while whale-watching, especially if you're on a boat where ocean water often sprays up onto passengers. To keep yourself warm and dry, wear a waterproof jacket with a hood. If it's going to be particularly cold, make sure it's a heavy jacket or even a winter coat.

Is it better to see whales in the morning or afternoon? ›

Whales are never diurnal, but they can be crepuscular. This means they are most active during twilight hours which are both before sunrise and after sunset.

Are there rats in the Azores? ›

The most widespread introduced mammal species in the Azores are rodents (house mouse-Mus musculus, rats-Rattus and R. norvegicus), rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), cats (Felis catus), dogs (Canis familiaris), and livestock (cows, goats, sheep and pigs). ... ...

Are there cockroaches in the Azores? ›

Typically you will only see roaches / insects in damp / dark environments. I don't anticipate that you would encounter any if staying in hotels. If you are renting homes though you can probably expect to encounter a few but not necessarily.

Do the Azores have spiders? ›

Pardosa acorensis is a wolf spider species occurring on all nine islands of the Azorean archipelago (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010). It has a large Extent of Occurrence (EOO = 43,265 km²) and a relatively large Area of Occupancy (AOO = 636-2,228 km²).

Are Azores worth it? ›

The Azores has everything you could need from a destination, from affordable prices to spectacular scenery, delicious food options to deserted beaches, from dozens of hikes to even more viewpoints.

Is the water warm in Azores? ›

Sea temperature

From July to September, the ocean is not particularly warm, yet may be acceptable for swimming for those who are not sensitive to the cold. The water temperature is 22 °C (72 °F) in July and 23/23.5 °C (73/74 °F) in August and September. Below are the average sea temperatures.

Do hurricanes ever hit the Azores? ›

1990s. September 11, 1991 - Tropical Storm Erika struck São Miguel Island with wind gusts of up to 67 mph (107 km/h). September 27, 1992 - Tropical Storm Charley struck Terceira Island, producing wind gusts of 82 mph (132 km/h) at Lajes Field.

Do you tip waiters in the Azores? ›

It's not usual to tip in the Azores like you would in the United States, where you tip at least 15% of the meal's whole cost. Of course, if you enjoyed the service and felt it was very good, you are free to leave some euros as a kind gesture.

How much money should I take to the Azores? ›

How much money will you need for your trip to Azores? You should plan to spend around €107 ($107) per day on your vacation in Azores, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, €36 ($36) on meals for one day and €24 ($24) on local transportation.

What clothes to bring to Azores? ›

To fit in, opt for a smart, casual stylish look. The Azores is very popular with the yachting set – so think deck shoes, smart jeans or chinos, long-sleeved shirts. Whether you are in the major resort towns, countryside or at the beach, dress is relaxed and practical but still stylish and smart.

What is traditional Azores food? ›

Fish Stew of the Azores, Portugal

For example, the typical Azorean fish stew contains different types of fish, such as grouper, hake, ray fish, and skate. The fish is cut into small pieces and cooked with white wine, spices, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and onions.

What do people drink in the Azores? ›

Although most people on the islands drink the premium-grade black teas, green tea has actually been a highly prized blend in the islands since the early 1750s, when the leaf was found growing wild in the Azores.

What vegetables grow in Azores? ›

On the savory side, the most well-loved and well-used veggies and spices are onion, garlic, tomato, potato, yams, peas, fennel, chilies (malagueta), Portuguese kale (similar to collard greens), carrots, cabbage, peppers, parsley, cilantro, cumin, and bay leaves.

Is Azores cheaper than Portugal? ›

Every island in the archipelago is different, but generally, it is more affordable than living in most places in mainland Portugal, especially Lisbon and Porto. Consumer prices, including rent, are around 17% lower in Ponta Delgada, the capital of Sao Miguel, than in Lisbon.

How many days should I spend in Ponta Delgada? ›

It depends...if you want to hike on several trails, whale watching, go to the hot springs, etc, etc 9 days may be ok. But if you just want to go around the island by car and do 1 or 2 activities, visits than 5 days is enough.

Can you get around Azores without a car? ›

Visiting the Azores without a car is not an easy thing but it is not impossible. Consider where to stay according to places you can reach by bus. Ponta Delgada has certainly the most connections by bus. Be ready to spend on cabs or private excursions to reach sights that are outside towns.

Are there Orcas in the Azores? ›

The orcas (Orcinus orca), the biggest species of the oceanic dolphins, are a very popular cetacean and yet quite mysterious. Most people recognise the charismatic panda coloured animal immediately and though, most are surprised when they learn that it can be found in the Azores.

Are there lobsters in the Azores? ›

The Azores have seafood that is not found anywhere else, such as limpets, barnacles and locust lobsters, a kind of tender and tasty lobster which is almost a sin not to try.

Are there dolphins in the Azores? ›

While common dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins and Risso's dolphins call the Azores home year-round, some other dolphin species are migratory and only pass through the islands during specific seasons. Some of these migratory dolphin species include Striped dolphins and Atlantic Spotted dolphins, among others.

What is the drinking age in Azores? ›

Drinking age

The legal age to buy and drink alcohol is 18 years.

Are there mosquitos in São Miguel? ›

You don't have to watch out for dangerous critters

Good news: there are no poisonous insects or snakes on São Miguel Island. That means you can hike around to your heart's content and not have to worry about stepping on something that can hurt you. Also, I did not get bit by a single mosquito. I did not even see one!

Can you drink tap in Azores? ›

Health & safety in The Azores

While mineral water is available in restaurants and shops, it's safe to drink the tap water in hotels and homes in the Azores, so remember to bring refillable water bottles and keep your family hydrated round the clock.

Which is better Canary Islands or Azores? ›

In short, the Canary Islands are much larger and more popular. They also have a much larger population in their own right and the islands offer a more diverse and varied landscape for exploring. They are also much warmer and better suited for sunbathing and the like. The Azores are smaller and quieter.

Is whale watching in Azores worth it? ›

Did you know that the Azores in Portugal are one of the best places in the world for whale watching? You can see some species of whales throughout the entire year in the Azores. Other species are only present during certain months when they pass by the Azores Islands on their annual migration.

Is there anything to do in the Azores? ›

The Azores islands are an absolute paradise for nature lovers. You can enjoy wonderful walks, go caving, immerse yourself in the hot springs, go whale watching, swim with dolphins, and much more. In short, I dare to say that this is the ideal place for nature and outdoor enthusiasts.

What is great about the Azores? ›

It's known for whale watching and has excellent snorkeling and diving too. Biking or hiking around some of the villages, hills, cliffs and beaches is the best way to explore. Speaking of beaches, there's plenty of them on the nine different islands.

Why is the Azores important? ›

The Azores were strategically important for Portuguese mariners to use as a stepping stone to progress down the coast of West Africa and as a point of resupply for ships travelling back from the East Indies and those on their way to the Americas.

Do the Azores have poisonous snakes? ›

As for land animals we do not have any snakes or dangerous animals, but we do have hedgehogs, rats, ferrets, and wild rabbits. The bat of the Azores is the only native mammal that you can find in land.

How many days should I spend in Azores? ›

In general, you should be able to see all the highlights on most Azores islands in 2-3 days. The only exception is São Miguel, the largest island, where we recommend staying at least 5-7 days.

Are there mosquitoes in the Azores? ›

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in Azores.

What do you call a person from the Azores? ›

Demonym(s) Açoriano(a) (English: Azorean)

What does the word Azores mean? ›

/ əˈzɔrz, əˈzoʊrz, ˈeɪ zɔrz, ˈeɪ zoʊrz / PHONETIC RESPELLING. noun (used with a plural verb) a group of islands in the N Atlantic, W of Portugal: politically part of Portugal.

Do they speak English in the Azores? ›

The official language in Azores is Portuguese. Otherwise, most people involved with tourism speak at least enough English to communicate with English-speaking tourists.

Can you drink tap water in Azores? ›

Health & safety in The Azores

While mineral water is available in restaurants and shops, it's safe to drink the tap water in hotels and homes in the Azores, so remember to bring refillable water bottles and keep your family hydrated round the clock.

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