Discovering the Azores by car
The Azores are six beautiful islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The best way to discover these jewels is by car. This gives you the freedom to discover the islands the way you want. Book your flight and rental car at once and the car will already be waiting for you when you arrive at the airport. We have already mapped out a beautiful route for you:
Day 1 – Arrival in Ponta Delgada
Fly to Ponta Delgada, the capital of the large island of São Miguel. You may need to fly with a connecting or transfer flight, for example, via Lisbon or Paris. You can use the rest of the day to pick up the car and explore Ponta Delgada. If you arrive in the afternoon, you can enjoy a delicious dinner in the small restaurant: Sao Pedro. Also discover the beautiful Portas da Cidade square.
Day 2 and 3 – a tour of São Miguel
São Miguel is a large island with many forests and lakes. One of the highlights of São Miguel is the twin lake of Sete Cidades. The lake is made up of the Blue Lake (Lagao Azul) and the Green Lake (Lagao Verde). By car, drive about 40 minutes on the EN1-1A and then on the EN9-1A. This path takes you over the bridge that separates the two lakes. On the way you will also pass the deep crater lake Lagao de Santiago. There is a lot to see!
Once you’ve feasted your eyes, continue on EN9-1A and EN1-1A on the mountain roads that skirt the coast to the small town of Capelas, which was especially important in the past for whaling. See the iconic white buildings or take a dip in the ocean.
From Capelas, you will drive to Ribeira Grande. This is a slightly larger city with many churches and some impressive sights, such as a white stone arch bridge (Ponte da Ribeira dos Moinho), the church of Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Estrela, and the many outdoor pools of the city. There are also accommodation opportunities in this city.
Time to go inland! The EN2-1A will take you to the special Furnas. In and around this city there are many geysers. Of course, there are also hot springs where you can swim. You can then drive through beautiful mountains and forests to the south coast of the island. Near the place Faial da Terra you will find the beautiful waterfall Salto do Prego. You have to walk for 1-2 hours, but the route is very beautiful and it is also nice to stretch your legs after so much driving.
Day 4 – Trip to Flores
Flying directly from Ponta Delgada to Flores takes around one hour and 15 minutes. This is because Flores is almost the westernmost island of the Azores. Arriving in Santa Cruz das Flores, you may have some time to take a closer look at this beautiful city.
Day 5 and 6 – Enjoy the impressive Flowers
The next day it is time to discover this very special island. One of the highlights of Flores, rich in nature, are the Fajãzinha waterfalls. Twenty waterfalls thunder down here. The highest is 300 meters! From Santa Cruz das Flores, the waterfalls are only a half hour drive on the ER2-2, but you will stop regularly along the way to enjoy the beautiful nature!
Day 7 and 8 – Small Peak
It is time to leave Flores. There is one more island that we can visit in these 10 days in the Azores. To travel from Flores to Pico, you can take the plane from Santa Cruz das Flores to Faial and from there take the ferry to Pico. But if you like to sail, you can also drive to Lajes das Flores and take the ferry to Sao Rogue in Pico. This route takes almost 10 hours, but you can see dolphins and maybe even whales during the trip.
Pico is best known for the Picoberg which you can see all over the island. The hiking trail around and up the 2,350-meter-high mountain is not for novice hikers, but it offers beautiful views and is definitely worth a try.
Day 9 – Trip to Ponta Delgada
The ten days are almost up, so it’s time to travel back to Ponta Delgada on São Miguel. This is best done by plane from the island of Faial. Take a catamaran or ferry from Pico to Horta. From there, you can fly to Ponta Delgada. If you have some time left, you can come back to this charming city and have dinner in a good restaurant.
Day 10 – Return home
On the last day of this itinerary, unfortunately we already have to fly home. It was a busy but lovely week and a half!