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6 Best Places to Visit in the Azores

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Beach at Sao Rogue, Sāo Miguel Island, Azores

Sao Rogue, Sāo Miguel Island, Azores

Our choices on where to go in the Azores capture the best places to visit when vacationing in the archipelago.

From the sun-drenched shores capturing the best places to see in Sao Miguel to the immense geothermal features depicted in the landscapes, the towering summit of Pico Island’s unrivaled panoramas to the Renaissance history on the island of Terceira, the Azores’ best places to visit represent diverse and unforgettable opportunities.

Zicasso can help you arrange the perfect Azores vacation according to your travel preferences, and our guide provides a number of recommended highlights when visiting the following islands.

  1. 1. São Miguel Island
  2. 2. Pico Island
  3. 3. Terceira Island
  4. 4. Faial Island
  5. 5. São Jorge Island
  6. 6. Flores Island
  7. Explore the Best Places to Visit in the Azores

1. São Miguel Island

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 natural experiences and invites you to explore what makes the Azores special.

Highlights: Sete Cidades • Geothermal spa baths • Fumarole cuisine • Whale watching

2. Pico Island

Ponta do Pico, the highest point in Portugal.

Ponta do Pico, Pico Island

Pico Island’s claim to fame is the soaring summit of Mount Pico, which commands attention from every little town and 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 in the tune of Pico Island as you uncover every inch of its natural charm.

Highlights: Pico Alto • Wine tasting • Snorkeling • Sunset watching

3. Terceira Island

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. 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: Lava tube tour • Angra do Heroísmo • Culinary tour • Monte Brasil

4. Faial Island

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 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: Horta Marina • Faial Caldeira • Capelinhos • Dolphin and whale watching

5. São Jorge Island

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 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: Surfing • City of Velas • Preguiça Natural Pools • Ponta do Topo Islet

6. Flores Island

Picturesque village in a mountain valley, Flores island

Flores island, Azores

For longer Azores island vacations, Flores is the perfect off-the-beaten-path destination in which to slow down for a few days as you sit comfortably on hidden beaches surrounded by jagged black 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: Poco da Ribeira do Ferreiro • Lagoa Comprida & Negra • Lagoa Rasa & Funda • Rocha dos Bordões

Explore the Best Places to Visit in the Azores

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 or Azores Islands travel guide.

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