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6 Best Places to Visit in the Azores Islands

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Beach at Sao Rogue, Sāo Miguel Island, Azores

Sao Rogue, Sāo Miguel Island, Azores

When choosing where in the Azores archipelago to go, the following information outlines the best destinations for an Azores Islands vacation.

The sun-washed shores of São Miguel Island and immense geothermal landscape present postcard-perfect beach scenes and exciting landscape spectacles respectively, the towering summit of Pico Island is a brisk hike for unrivaled panoramas, and the Renaissance history comes to life on the island of Terceira.

Zicasso helps arrange the perfect Azores vacations according to your travel preferences, and this guide also provides the recommended highlights when visiting the following islands.

  1. 1. São Miguel Island - Where Azores Adventures Begin
  2. 2. Pico Island - Charming Discoveries beneath Mount Pico
  3. 3. Terceira Island - A Trip Back in Time
  4. 4. Faial Island - A Treasure Trove of Natural Scenes
  5. 5. São Jorge Island - Azores Surfer and Foodie Paradise
  6. 6. Flores Island - Biodiversity Sweeps from Land to Sea
  7. Want to Find Out More About the Azores Islands?

1. São Miguel Island - Where Azores Adventures Begin

Hot springs and fumaroles on the northern shore of Lake Furnas São Miguel, Azores, Portugal

Hot springs and fumaroles, São Miguel island

As the largest island in the Azores archipelago, São Miguel boasts an endless array of exciting opportunities to admire the sweeping seascapes and mesmerizing geothermal landscapes. Tours of São Miguel will lead you to the steamy fumaroles that cook delicious pots of tender stew, the flowered fringe of the Sete Cidades crater overlooking gorgeous twin lakes, and the temperate geothermal waters where you may wash away your worries. The island overflows with rich natural experiences and invites you to explore what makes the Azores special.

Highlights of São Miguel Island: Sete Cidades | Geothermal spa baths | Fumarole cuisine | Whale watching

2. Pico Island - Charming Discoveries beneath Mount Pico

Ponta do Pico, the highest point in Portugal.

Ponta do Pico, Pico Island

Pico Islands claim to fame is the soaring summit of Mount Pico that commands attention from every little town and authentic Portuguese community hemmed into the lush geothermal landscape that blankets the island. Vineyards grow from the rich soil and produce a series of wines that you may taste overlooking the sea, trails navigate the craggy terrain of Pico Alto to viewpoints providing endless spectacles of the sea and surrounding islands, and volcanic caves lay carved into the rugged cliffs for your exploration. You will immerse yourself to the tune of Pico Island as you uncover every inch of its natural charm.

Highlights of Pico Island: Pico Alto | Wine tasting | Snorkeling | Sunset watching

3. Terceira Island - A Trip Back in Time

Beautiful rural landscape with islets of Cabras in the background, Terceira island

Rural landscape, Terceira island

Terceira Island is a bustling destination that boasts chic bars, vibrant nightlife, and stunning natural views to match. There is a unique atmosphere that will sweep you off your feet from the moment you step onto its rich soil and head for the historic town of Angra do Heroísmo. After catching up on the local heritage and admiring the Renaissance allure, you will explore dramatic lava tubes melted into the mountainous landscape, tuck into decadent cuisine at gourmet restaurants, and swoon over the views en route to storied museums and heritage sites dotting the island’s endearing villages.

Highlights of Terceira Island: Lava tube tour | Angra do Heroísmo | Culinary tour | Monte Brasil

4. Faial Island - A Treasure Trove of Natural Scenes

Horta, Faial Island

Horta, Faial Island

Faial Island may be small in comparison to São Miguel and other Azores Islands but it packs no less of a beautiful punch. Its gorgeous green Caldeira shares magnificent natural views, the lunar landscape of Capelinhos offers a contrast to the emerald and topaz hues synonymous with the Azores, and the colorful murals of Horta Marina are a man-made work of art against the unspoiled surrounding hills and seascape. Faial will invite you for a day or two of immersive wilderness and heritage discovered in the dazzling natural environments and modest Portuguese villages that breathe authenticity across the island.

Highlights of Faial Island: Horta Marina | Faial Caldeira | Capelinhos | Dolphin and whale watching

5. São Jorge Island - Azores Surfer and Foodie Paradise

Sao Jorge Island is one of the most beautiful islands in the Azores archipelago.

Sao Jorge Island

The tiny island of São Jorge sets the stage for some monumental scenic adventure enjoyed across the width of its 8km stretch of landscape. The coastline conceals diverse beaches where surfers seek glassy waves and travelers find shade beneath the trees for a relaxing time on the soft sands. Exploration will lead you from the shelled beaches up the vertical headlands where small plains open up between the trees thanks to centuries of lava flows known as fajas that shape the island's landscape. You may also discover the island's unique culinary treats on self-guided food tours around the towns.

Highlights of the São Jorge Island: Surfing | City of Velas | Preguiça Natural Pools | Ponta do Topo Islet

6. Flores Island - Biodiversity Sweeps from Land to Sea

Picturesque village in a mountain valley, Flores island

Flores island

For longer Azores Islands vacations, Flores is the perfect off the beaten path destination to slow down for a few days as you sit comfortably on hidden beaches surrounded by jagged black rock cliffs. Flores is home to thriving forests that visitors explore along shaded trails weaving in and out of the canopy. Birds will flutter through the trees and other creatures will peer from behind the shrubbery as you meander to gushing waterfalls, tranquil lakes, and across lush hills in the Azores UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Highlights of Flores Island: Poco da Ribeira do Ferreiro | Lagoa Comprida & Negra | Lagoa Rasa & Funda | Rocha dos Bordões

Want to Find Out More About the Azores Islands?

Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal

São Miguel, Azores, Portugal

From the dazzling towns dotting the large island of São Miguel to off-the-beaten-path adventures across the remarkably biodiverse island of Flores, Zicasso invites adventurers to explore the archipelago’s top destinations on these Azores Islands Vacation Packages. For more travel inspiration for your Portuguese vacation, check out our Portugal Travel Guide. When it comes to booking your trip, Zicasso specialists help plan every part of the journey and you can contact our team by completing a Trip Request or calling us on 1-888-265-9707.

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