The Azores is an island chain located in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Portugal. They are part of the Autonomous Regions of Portugal, which includes the Azores and the sunnier archipelago of Madeira.
Best Time to Visit the Azores
The best time to visit the Azores depends on how much money you have, how adverse to rain you are, how much you like crowds of people in natural places or if you are okay with pretty dead towns. One tip I will give you is to make sure you have a rental car (if you were planning on one) and your lodging before booking airfare.
As far as weather, because of the location of the Azores (in the middle of the sea on the jet stream) there are a couple things to say. First off, the different islands (and different areas on the islands) are apt to have different weather, with the western islands somewhat wetter. However, the temperatures are more or less reasonably comfortable all year long, cooler in the winter (November to February) and warmer in the summer. You can expect rain and sun in the same day. They are also located on volcanic zones and across three different tectonic plates which means earthquakes are possible. Also note that many homes don’t have heaters as you might have back home, so a visit in the winter might be slightly cold and damp inside. Figure that into your planning.
Ocean temperatures are warmest in the May through October timeframe even though the Azores are not technically a beach-focused destination and you should not expect tropical water temperatures as it is not in the tropics. Poisonous jellyfish can be found in the waters so use caution, even when walking through the water on the beach. Wildflowers can be very nice at various times of the year, and can certainly be nice in the April and May months. Walking and hiking are good year round. The winter you are more prone to be rained on, or experience a lot of fog. In the summer, even though the temperatures don’t look hot, it can be very humid making it feel much warmer.
Miscellaneous Travel Tips for the Azores
Whales and dolphins hang out in the waters, with different species coming and going depending on the year.
Car rental can be astronomically expensive especially in the summer months, if you can even find a car. If you find a rental car, make sure you wait for an email confirmation from the rental car company. Some of the companies have outdated inventory on their websites.
As for expense and availability, the same to a slightly lesser degree can be said about lodging – it can be quite expensive and the availability and quality might not be very good.
In the summers on the main island of Sao Miguel, there is now more tourism that what the infrastructure is designed for. As a result, now things like paid parking at certain lookouts have started. Portugal in general is super trendy right now, and the Azores beautiful scenery has been plastered many times all over social media.
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