The Azores islands provide some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. Yet these islands still remain uncharted territory to many travelers. If you asked many people to point out the Azores on a map, you would probably get blank stares. However, part of the beauty and appeal of these islands is that they are uncharted territory. The volcanic landscape and wildlife of the Azores provide endless opportunities to explore, while the islands have thriving local communities. The Azores boast surprises on every corner, including waterfalls, hot springs, boating, cliffs, and even pineapple plantations.
São Miguel is the largest and most populated of the nine Azores islands. This is where many people begin (and possibly remain throughout) their journey through the Azores. The Portuguese community boasts a lively atmosphere with city-sponsored parties, a strong boating culture, and hiking groups throughout the island. For any trip to the Azores, I would recommend staring in Saõ Miguel for 2-3 days, minimum.
When to Go
For the best weather, head to the Azores during the summer months (May-August). However, keep in mind that these islands have a very unpredictable climate. It can by rainy, windy, and beautifully sunny all in one day. The best part of going during the summer? If it rains, it typically only does so on a small part of each island (especially São Miguel), so you can simply drive to a sunny part of town.