The Azores are truly beautiful at any time of the year. As cliché as this statement may sound, this fact is still true. Traveling to the Azores, either when the weather is colder or hoter, is always a memorable experience, in which the landscape, although with some diferent nuances in the various seasons of the year, maintains its blaze and enjoying it is always a touching spectacle. Regardless of the time of year, a trip to the Azores is always a winning bet. See below the advantages and disadvantages of traveling in each of the 4 seasons.
At first glance, traveling to the Azores during autumn, may not seem like a very good idea. It is a time of the year when temperatures usually start to fall, weather conditions are more unstable, and rainy days increase - October with an average of 9 days of rain and November with 11. But the truth is that in October, and even in november, its very common to find beautiful summery days, especially in the first days of November, with the well-known St. Martin’s Summer that occur between November 11 and November 20. Most likely, during a stay of three, five or seven nights, you will find good sunny days of 20°/ 22°Celsius (68° / 71° F), in which shorts and t-shirts may be the only pieces of cloth you´ll really need. Ok, lets not push the envelope, maybe, in some other cooler days, a good sweat shirt and a windbreaker will come handy. However, when it comes to travelling to the Azores, the decision its not all about the weather conditions since budget is also an important factor to consider, so this green paradise will taste much better if you´ll manage to get a good deal which, in this time of the year, is quite expectable to happen. In fact, during autumn, the prices of accommodation and rent-a-cars are significantly lower than in the summer, with price reductions that can range from 35% to 45% lower.
Contrary to what happens during high season, restaurants are not so crowded, meaning that booking a table at that place you are eager to try will certainly be much easier. Its also much easier (and sometimes also cheaper) to access natural parks, viewpoints and thermal hot springs. As far as culture is concerned, the “Paralelo” dance festival, which happens in November, and the eclectic programming of “Teatro Micaelense”, are worth mentioning and, better yet, experimenting.
Winter is the season when the Azores return to their origins. There are much fewer tourists, and life returns to its true rhythm and time goes slower and the day-to-day is more authentic and communal. It is also when prices for accommodation and rental cars are lowest, in many cases less than half of those charged during high season. It is also when there are more options to choose from. Despite being colder, winter temperatures in the Azores are mild, with minimum values around 12°c (54°F), that is, much more pleasant than in mainland Portugal where temperatures drop much lower. If you´re in the Island of São Miguel, this is the best time of the year to enjoy the several hot springs that exist throughout the Island, like “Poça da Beija”, “Caldeira Velha”, “Termas das Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande”, “Parque Terra Nostra Pool” and “Ponta da Ferraria”. Its also worth mentioning that its the best opportunity to be in the various tourist spots with no one else around you, like if the Island is all yours. But ,of course, there is a less good side of visiting the Azores during the winter since it is the most rainy, foggy and windy time of the year. However, this doesn't discourage the most determined to continue their journey exploring the beauty of this magnificent islands.
The Azoreans themselves, very close to the family and to a homely life, go out and socialize less in public spaces. Most tourist entertainment companies have less demand and some of them even decide to close for the season. Another drawback has to do with the cultural events that during this season are practically reduced to Carnival, which is lived intensely on either of the 9 islands.
Traveling to the Azores in the Sprin is guaranteed to experience a truly unique flower show, promoted by the multicolor hydrangeas and azaleas spread out literally everywhere, especially on the roadsides. It is also in the spring that more than 500 species of migratory birds begin to arrive in the archipelago and that a lot of whales begin to cross the seas of the Azores. The period between April and June is ,therefore, ideal for whale and bird watching since the Azores are one of the best places in the world for these activities. Accommodation and rent-a-car prices are still very affordable, with discounts up to 40% over the high season, except for Easter week, when prices are a little higher.
With regard to cultural activities, it is worth mentioning the “Tremor festival”, a festival that usually takes place at the end of March and which is a case study all over the world for bringing together, through music, different spaces spread across the territory and the community. It is also in spring, in May, that the Festivities of “Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres” (the second largest religious festivity in the country) takes place in Ponta Delgada (São Miguel Island). Obviously there are some less positive points of a trip to the Azores in the Spring since the months of March and April are rainy and temperatures are still cool.
Summer is ... summer. Time of good warm inviting weather (temperatures around 28-29°C (82 / 84°F), sunbathing, swimming in cristal clear waters, trips to the islet of Vila Franca do Campo, cloud free breathtaking landscapes, sweet corncobs cooked in volcanic boilers, fresh braised tuna and breath taking sunsets. Traveling to the Azores in the summer, especially during the months of July and August, is (almost) a guarantee of good weather and good visibility at the main viewpoints and tourist spots, such as “Lagoa do Fogo”, “Pico do Ferro” viewpoint and “Vista do Rei” famous viewpoint in “Sete Cidades”, one of the 7th wonders of Portugal. It is the best time of the year to practice water sports, such as stand-up paddle, canoeing and windsurfing, both in the lakes and at sea. It is also the time for lively nights on the streets of Ponta Delgada, the festivities of “Espírito Santo”, and festivals, such as the “Chicharro Festival”, the “Monte Verde Festival” and the “Walk and Talk”, an urban art festival not to be missed. It is, without a doubt, the most extroverted and lively period of the islands.
But traveling to the Azores during the summer also has its disadvantages, as prices of accommodation and rent-a-cars are higher, and getting the accommodation you want is more difficult. It is also more complicated to get a table in a restaurant for dinner, because many of them do not accept reservations at that time. Looking for a restaurant to dine after 8pm may be an ordeal. In the summer the main viewpoints are often packed with people and vehicles, there may be lines to access parks, gardens and thermal water pools and parking near a beach ,depending on the time of the day, can sometimes be quite complicated.
Regardless of the season that you choose to travel to São Miguel, you can be sure of the quality of the accommodations you will find on the island if your choice is to stay in Living Azores accommodations. To book now go to our accommodation page.