information and f.a.q.
about the Azores.
History Climate The coastline Currency Disability Where to stay
Electricity Fishing Flora Tourist-offices Fauna Food and drinks
Getting there Hunting Hospitals Tourism Whalehunting Holidays Walks
Internetcafees Language Price level Shopping Respect and encounter
Sports and recreation Transportation from island to island Local transportation Location
Delegacao de Turismo dos Acores em Lisboa
Rua dos Navegantes 21, 2
Tel.: 21 3964542 - Fax : 21 3964532
Delegacao de Turismo da Terceira
Rua Direita 70-74
9700-066 Angra do Heroismo
Tel.: 295 213393 - Fax: 295 212922
Lajes Airport, Terceira :
Posto de Turismo do Aeroporto das Lajes
Tel/Fax : 295 513140
Sao Miguel :
Delegacao de Turismo de Sao Miguel
Av. Infante D. Henrique
9504-528 Ponta Delgada
Tel.: 296 285743 / 296 285125 - Fax: 296 292211
Posto de Turismo das Furnas
Tel.: 296 584525
Posto de Turismo do Aeroporto de Ponta Delgada
Tel.: 296 284569
Posto de Torismo
Rua Dr.Urbano Mendonça Dias
Vila Franca do Campo:
Åben alle dage 11.00 - 22.00
Posto de Turismo da Ribeira Grande
Largo Cons. Artur Hintze Ribeiro (Paraíso)
Telef. 296 472 118
Posto de Turismo do Pico
Rua Conselheiro Terra Pinheiro
Tel.: 292 623524
Santa Maria :
Posto de Turismo de Santa Maria
9950 Vila do Porto
Tel.: 296 886355
Posto de Turismo da Graciosa
9980 Santa Cruz da Graciosa
Tel.: 295 712509
Sao Jorge :
Posto de Turismo de Sao Jorge
R. Conselheiro Dr. Jose Pereira
Tel.: 295 412440
Posto de Turismo das Flores
9580 Santa Cruz das Flores
Tel.: 292 52369
Posto de Turismo dos Acores no Porto
Rua do Bonfim 163
Tel.: 22 5108652 - Fax: 22 5194059
Posto de Turismo do Faial
Rua Vasco da Gama
Tel.: 292 292237 - Fax: 292 292006
The Azores consist of 9 small islands made from volcano eruptions, located in the Atlantic Ocean almost halfway
between Lisbon and New York. It takes about 2 hours to fly from Lisbon to the Azores. The total area is about
2.333 km2. There are great variation in the size of the islands. São Miguel is the biggest with 747 km2. Corvo
is the smallest with only 17 km2.
Walking in the unspoiled nature is a must visiting the Azores. On all islands you
will find marked trails which are easy
to follow. Before starting these wonderful walks, buy the book " Percursos Naturais - Nature Walks " at the tourist
Office or at the local bookstore on the Azores. It contains detailed descriptions and maps covering the trails. Don't
leave without a map covering the area in details, at least 1:75.000.
Please note that use of mobile phones in remote areas can be very difficult or even not possible.
You will find a numerous of
varieties of flower on the Azores. More that 55 very rear you will find only on this place
on the earth. This make the Azores to a very exiting Botanic Garden.
Cedar, Heather, Wild Grapes, Wild Ginger, Mahogany, Japanese Pine,
Hortencias, Azalea, Camellia. The most
common is Hortencias. It grows wild all over the islands.
Birds are the most attractive animal
in the local fauna, in which many species are only to be seen here on the
Azores. Several species of the eagle-family and seabirds. The ocean around Azores is an aquarium with hun-
dreds of different fish and shellfish and the oceans big mammals. A lot of rabbits and hares can be seen and
The Portuguese arrived in 1427 with the discovery of the islands of Santa Maria and São Miguel. Due to its
strategic geographic position, the archipelago was to become one of the axis of navigation between Europe,
the Orient and America during the course of the 16th and 17th centuries. This period saw many major naval
battles take place off the Azores as a result of pirate attacks. Subsequent centuries saw the development of
the islands, the introduction of new agriculture, and the development of cattle breeding and fishing. Having
constituted an integral part of Portugal from the very outset, today the Azores is an autonomous region en-
dowed with its own parliament and government.
Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel : Solmar Shoppingcenter,
Infante D. Henriques 71,
At the bookstore on 1. floor.
In the shoppingmall "Parque
Atlantico" at ”PONTO FM” on 1. floor. 2 € for ½ hour.
Free parking all day at "Parque Atlantico". Open all days until 23.00.
"Centro Cultural de Congressos de Angra", Canada Nova, Angra do
Open 10.00-22.00 and it's free.
Vila do Porto, Santa Maria : On
the main street number. 88, next to the SATA-office. Open from 10.00 -
and it's free.
Horta, Faial : "Hotel Do Canal". (Internet access 24-7 also open for people not staying at the hotel.)
"Hortanet" Rua Walter Bensaude 11.
the library in Lajes the are several computors. It's open from 09.00 to 17.00.
The voltages on all of the islands is 220/380 volt alternating current. Don't forget adaptor.
Compared with other places in Europe and the U.S. it is inexpensive to stay and eat on the Azores.
Where to stay:
There is a wide variety of opportunities concerning quality and price on hotels
and residencias, ( pensions ).
There are very good opportunities for private lodging. Whatever you those, it's all up to your wallet. The quality
of residencias is almost as good as minor hotels, but a lot cheaper.
A few places you can stay at renowned manors or small castles. Those are
usually placed into the countryside,
and supposed to be very nice and expensive.
Some places you can stay at a farm, where there is a lot of animals, and of cause the owners family.
On most islands there are campsites at some poor quality, except for Furnas
Camp Site on Sao Miguel. It's not
allowed to camp outside the campsites. Here are a few examples:
Parque de Campismo da SalgaCaminho de S. Sebastião9700 Angra do HeroísmoTel: 295 905 451
Parque de Campismo das Cinco RibeirasCanada do Porto - Cinco Ribeiras9700-721 Angra do Heroísmo
Tel: 295 907 200
Faial: Praia do Almoxarife. Tel: 292 292 131
Campsite placed close to the beach in the beautiful Almoxarife valley 3-4 km.
from Horta. The site
24 hours a day. They provide cooking and bathing facilities as well as hiring tents. There are restaurants in nearby.
Porto do Saláo
At Porto do Saláo on the north coast, there is a nice camp site, some
"remote from everything". It has all facilities
including toilet, showers, BB grill, playground, kitchen facilities and even toilet accessible for wheel chairs. It's located
very close to the ocean, but no sandy beach.
Sao Jorge: Faja Grande. Tel: 295 416 324
The campsite is just steps away from the splendid natural-rock pool at Faja
Grande on the south coast of Sao
Jorge. Supervised, the campsite has cooking, BBQ and bathing facilities, a snack-bar and children's playground.
The campsite can provide tents.
Parque de Campismo
Porto da Urzelina
There are also a campsite at Faja de Santo Cristo.
Graciosa: Carapacho Tel: 295 712 125
The campsite is just 100 meters from the Carapacho hot springs and 200
meters from the swimming pools. The park
has a snack-bar, picnic area, and kitchen and shower facilities. There are also cabins for rent.
Pico: Furna, Santo Antonio. Tel: 292 642 135
On Pico's north coast, this camp site is set in a wooded area close to the
sea. There are picnic and BBQ areas,
a children playground, a tennis court and kitchen and bathing facilities. The campsite is supervised 24 hours a day,
and they rent camping equipment. Less than 200 meters away there are several restaurants, a discothèque and a
beautiful bay - great for fishing, diving or just swimming. The Furna pools are nearby with shower facilities, access
to the sea and leisure equipment.
Apart from these campsites there are others that I don't know about. All through
it is common to camp where you can.
If it's close to private houses, ask for permission.
There is another campsite at Lajes do Pico behind the pharmacy. Here are
nice W.C. and washing-facilities. Also a
nice area with tables and chairs. The stay is free.
Flores: Fajes Grande
Here there is a campsite behind the cafeteria at the waterfront. Nice toilet and bathing-facilities. This campsite is free.
Sao Miguel: Furnas
In the Furnas Valley there is a nice campsite.
Please note that from 2002 it is forbidden to camp outside this campsite
area. You could get a fine as big
as up to 500 EURO. This is to protect the environment and to avoid pollution.
Parque de Campismo da Feira
Situado na margem da Ribeira do Guilherme, com acessos pela
Vila do Nordeste e Fazenda
Tel. 296 488 680
For generations, Azoreans have practiced their forefathers hunting skills.
Mainly they hunt rabbits, the basic
hunters quarry in the Azores, and which, until recently, were abundant on all islands except Corvo.
Unfortunately, the rabbit population, in almost all the islands, has recently
being decimated by an hemorrhagic
virus - known as the Chinese virus or R.H.V.D.– which has killed as many as ninety percent of the rabbit colonies.
As a result, during the hunting season of 1998/99, hunting was forbidden in various islands of the Azores. This
year the situation has improved and rabbit hunting is once again allowed throughout the archipelago, though with
In the islands of Faial, Pico, Flores and São Jorge the hunting season is open throughout the year without restrictions.
In the island of Santa Maria, the hunting season opened on the first Sunday
of September and will close on the last
Sunday of December, with a limited number of ten rabbits per hunter per day. In some parts of Terceira and
Graciosa hunting is allowed throughout the year, however, in other areas hunting is allowed only between August
In S. Miguel and Terceira, quail hunting is allowed at the end of November and during the month of December.
All those who wish to hunt in the Azores may contact the Direccao Regional
dos Recursos Florestais
(tel. 096-286288), which has branches in every island, and which issues, besides the required license, the hunting
schedule of each island, with the dates when the hunting of each specie is allowed in each island, the limit
figures, time-tables, places and protected areas, etc.
Fishing:Sport Fishing is a favorite past-time in all the islands of the Azores be it in the ocean (Big Game Fishing) or
Companies that specialize in Big Game Fishing are based in Horta and in Ponta
Delgada. Sport fishing in
lakes and rivers is only permitted by license. These licenses are issued subject to the conditions outlined in the
There are four types of
fishing licenses in the Azores for fishing in both public and private waters of the region,
namely the Tourism License which allows for fishing in the Autonomous Region of the Azores every day for a
maximum period of 30 days.
Tourism Licenses may only be given to foreign or national applicants who do
not reside in the Autonomous
Region of the Azores.
Licenses may be obtained at Direcção dos Serviços Florestais, or at the
Administrações Florestais of each
island . From a recent inventory, the following species may be found in the Furnas Lake: pike, sandres, perch,
carp, and red mullet. The first three are carnivorous and considered to be of great interest to good sport fishing.
The others are herbivorous.
Pike, perch, carp, and red mullet can be found in the Lake of Sete Cidades.
The Lagoa de Fogo Lake, in S. Miguel, has been stocked with trout, carp and goldfish.
In S. Miguel the following streams contain trout: Bispos, Faial da Terra, Salga,
Coelhas, Machado, Carneiros,
Ribeira Grande, Alegria, Tambores, Pulgar and Ribeira da Praia.
In the Island of Flores, trout can be found at the Lake of Lomba and in the
following streams: Ferreiro, Grande,
Silva, Moinho, and Fazenda.
Head Office: Rua do Contador, 23
Tel.: (296) 286288
Respect and Encounter:
- Do not hastily judge people whose culture is marked by 150 years of whaling.
- Try to say the daily pleasantries in Portuguese ( " obrigado " , " bom dias " ,
" como é que esta." This small effort is greatly appreciated and results in
many smiles and new friends.
- In the villages use adequate clothing. Don't change your clothing ( bathing suits
or diving suits ) in public places, such as in the port or on the docks, but only in
the installations provided.
- Don't photograph people without asking for permission.
- Tips and gifts compensate for quality of service. They are not a requirement and
should correspond to the economic level in the Azores where the median salary
is about 6 EURO an hour.
Different kind of handicraft is affordable to buy. Pottery, bedcovers, embroidery and wowed handicraft is very attractive.
Refuse to buy souvenirs from animals from the sea. In the Azores you may encounter sellers of objects in whale bone and ivory ( without a registration number ), dolphin tooth, turtle shells, shark tooth.
The CITES ( the international agreement which governs threatened species ) forbids this type of commerce. The European Union, of which the Azores is a member, ratified this agreement.
From the European continent you can fly direct from Lisbon by S.A.T.A. and TAP or direct with S.A.T.A from Frankfurt a. Main, London, Amsterdam and Munique located in Germany. There are no passenger ferries or similar available between mainland Portugal and the Azores.
There are no longer whale hunting on any islands of the Azores.
I have personal several times experienced, that some tour operators and travel agencies try to sell holidays
to the Azores, promising that it is possible to watch whale hunting on the Azores
IT IS NOT TRUE.
Until about 1980 whale hunting was one of the most important income on the Azores. However, all whale
hunting ended in mid 80', when it became unprofitable, and the people here realized "which way the winds
Today there are 2 whale hunting museums on the island of Pico, which is very
interesting to visit. Furthermore it is
possible to go on whale watching excursing from Faial, Pico and Sao Miguel. It is possible to come even very close
to the many different kinds of whales who lives in the waters very near the Azores.
The Climate is mild and most places sunny. Every single island has its own
climate. The humidity is on some
islands some high. On the Azores you can use the phrase " four seasons of the day ", and in fact it is a very
good description of the climate.
The official average round-the-clock temperature :
It is rare to discover rain all day long, but occasionally a calm shower or dusty
rain is to be accepted. Even so, the
temperature are pleasant. So bring a light raincoat, summer clothing, and a woolen shirt for the occasionally chilly
The best time of the year to visit Azores is between June and September. The
temperature is pleasant, and at this
time of the year many different flowers are blooming. Hortencias is seen all over in different colors. Some places they
grow tea, bananas, pineapples, pepper and tobacco.
During the winter season you must bring some warm clothes and long pants for the evening.
Look at The weather on Azorerne right now.
Apart from very few places on Santa Maria, Faial, Terceira and São Miguel, the coastline is all made from lava.
Most places it is beautiful to watch these fantasy formations. But it also means lack of long white sandy beaches.
At some places locals have build natural pools with the use of only very little concrete.
There are no big tourism industry on the Azorean Islands, and I don't think there ever will be. You will see the Azores pure and unspoiled. And for many good reasons. You will usually only see other tourists in very small groups, or as a couple or single.
But you don't see many large groups. As I see it the reason is that The Azorean Government and the Azorean people don't want it. They have seen what has happened on the island of Madeira, and of cause on other places, which have been more or less spoiled by tourism.
Please note that tourist Offices on all islands is closed on week-ends and holidays.
Food and drinks:
The Azorean food is solid and well prepared. Here you will get large meals. Some might say the food is a little old
fashion. It is not the French cuisine who has inspired the Azorean kitchen. They are faithful to old traditions. Although
many restaurants serve international cuisine. All kinds of fish is on the menu all over the Azores. The food is not very spicy.
MANY RESTAURANTS ARE CLOSED ON /SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS.
The Azorean loves sweets and cookies. They appear in all kinds of shapes and tastes. Try them and you will love it. The
taste are delicious. And most of them are homemade.
The water from the tap is OK on all islands. There are local production of red and white wine. Try also the local beer
" ESPECIAL ."
There are also production of local gin. Here it's called Aquadente. Some are homemade, and some industrial produced.
Both can be purchased in most mini markeds, or at the local grocery shop in op to 10 liters plastic bottles. Personally I don't
like the local homemade brandy. In many small grocery shops they will gladly offer you a taste of the local Aquadente.
Try the instead the brandy called " Aquadente Graciosa. " It is very tasty and smooth. Try is like a " Cognac " for coffee.
The Azores is in general not suitable for disabled people. It can be hard to get around
wheelchair, or get access
to restaurants and hotels.
The language is Portuguese. The dialect is very special to other parts
of Portugal. Portuguese from the main land jokes
and said, that the people from the Azores " speaks Russian." Few Azorean speaks English or French.
1st January New Year's day, 2nd April ( Good Friday ), 4th April ( Easter Sunday ), 25th April ( Liberty Day ), 1st May ( Labor Day ), 24th May ( Autonomy Day ), 10 June ( National Day of Portugal ), 3rd June ( Corpus Christi ), 15th August (Feast of the Assumption ), 5th October Implantation of the Republic ), 1st November (All Saints Day ), 1st December ( Restoration of Independence ), 8th December ( Feast of the Immaculate Conception ), 25th December ( Christmas Day ). The following dates are optional holidays: Shrove Tuesday ( February or March ). In addition to these there are several local holidays.
Transportation from island to island:
Transportation between the islands is done by airplane or ferry. From start of June to end September is it possible
to go between most of the the islands by Atlanticoline who provide 2 large car ferries. Not every day, but look at the time-
scedule on there website.
The local and only airline company is S.A.T.A. They fly modern 2-engines propeller aircrafts. There are several departures
from each islands every day. But do make reservation in due time. It is fairly small airplanes with 64 seats.
Pay attention to the fact, that cancellation of flight departures now and then happens. Not always because of bad weather,
but because of low clouds in the sky above the airfield. Of cause it means that you have to take this fact into your planning
of your holiday, and be prepared for an extra day on the Azores.
If you have the opportunity, take the ferry instead of the airplane. It is a very
exiting experience. Ask the tourist office when
you are there.
On most of the islands you can rent a car. But in high-season the cars
are very often booked in advance. If so try
instead to rent a Taxi for a day or some hours. It might even be cheaper, if you compare with renting a car, insurance,
gasoline, tax and mileages. Be sure that you get a driver who speak English or other language. Now you have a private
driver and a guide, who will be glad to tell you all there is to tell about local issues.
Buses are available on most islands.
transport is a fun way to get a taste of island life. True, you may find
yourself hanging around a little village in the middle of nowhere waiting
away the time in an agreeable local bar or explore the area on foot.
Here are a few examples:
There is a bus around the island every weekday, Monday to Friday,
departing at 11:45 from the bus stop near the tourist
office in the center of town. There is a stop over of about 15 minutes at Ribeira Funda where you can nip into the local bar
for a drink.
On Mondays to Saturdays there is a bus that departs from the ferry dock in Madalena at 08:45 and travels along the north
coast to Piedade, at the end of the island, arriving at 11:00. Another bus departs Piedade at 12:25 and returns to Madale-
na along Pico’s southern coast, arriving back at the ferry dock at
at 08:15, giving you time for a quick coffee & donut (highly recommended!) before catching the bus.
On Wednesdays and Fridays only, it is possible to travel from Velas to Calheta
and back along the north coast of São Jorge.
The bus departs from the praça in front of the Igreja de Matriz in Velas at 08:30, and from Calheta at 15:00 for the return
Journey. Both legs of the journey are along the north coast, as there is unfortunately no connection along the south coast.
Buses travel regularly during weekdays between the towns on Terceira and it
tourist office, either in Angra do
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday there is a bus from
Lajes to Santa Cruz which departs at 09:00 from in front of the
Town Hall. The trip takes around 40 minutes. The return bus leaves
Santa Cruz at 15:00, giving you around 5 hours in the town.
Busses covering all island during daytime.
Busses covering all island all day. In Ponta Delgada there is "Mini-busses" covering the center of the city.
Busses only morning and afternoon, covering all island.
The Azores is a part of Portugal and the currency is Euro as well. Most of the restaurants, hotels and car-renting
companies accept common credit-cards. But don't expect credit cards to be accepted in smaller restaurants
and residencias. Be sure to carry small bills. There are places that it can be a problem to change bigger notes.
Most banks accept Visa/MasterCard's. Most banks have employees who speak English or French.
Sports and recreation:
- From all of the islands you can go diving.
- After appointment you can go on rabbit hunting on Terceira, Faial and Pico.
- On São Miguel there are 2 beautiful 18 holes golf courses.
- On Terceira there is one 18-holes golf course about halfway between Praia and
Angra do Heroísmo.
- There are " Portuguese " bullfighting on Terceira and Graciosa.
- You can try windsurfing on São Miguel and Santa Maria.
- Horseback-riding is possible on most islands.
- Hang gliding is possible on Faial, Terceira, São Miguel and Santa Maria.
- Tennis is possible on all islands.
Hospitals and health:
On all islands there are hospitals, who are open 24 hours for consultation. Here they treat minor injuries and diseases.
More complicated occasions will be transported to Terceira or São Miguel, who provide fully equipped hospitals.
Corvo Flores Pico Sao Jorge Graciosa
Terceira Sao Miguel Faial Santa Maria