The best time to visit the nine islands of the Azores depends on the type of vacation you’re looking for. The Azores are a terrific location all year long.
January – March
The least busy months of the year are typically January through March. This is primarily because of the weather, which makes it the least expensive time of year to visit the larger islands of Sao Miguel and Terceira. You might experience a week of sunshine, but you might also see a little rain. Both islands are excellent for visiting on foot or by automobile, and you can choose from the best rooms at the top hotels. Also, the restaurants and café bars are relatively peaceful.
Typically, the Azores Rally takes place near the end of March. It’s popular among Sao Miguel locals; if you’re not a fan but want to see the island’s natural attractions.
The Tremor Festival in Sao Miguel has now established a yearly date for the final weekend of March. The festival has steadily developed into a significant part of the islands’ booming contemporary art scene. It is best characterized as a leftfield music festival and will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2023
April – May
The islands have long been recognized as the best location in Europe for viewing marine life. April through the end of May is the best time to watch whales and dolphins in the Azores. Common dolphins and sperm whales, which are year-round residents, can be seen. Blue whales and fin whales, which migrate north for the summer, pass by in the spring. While it’s not a precise science, sightings often peak in April and May.
The most significant religious celebration in the Azores is Festas do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres, Santo Cristo in short. The hotels in Ponta Delgada, which serves as its capital, fill up swiftly and early in the year. Santo Cristo will take place in 2023 from May 12 through May 19.
One of the most well-known and vibrant weeklong events in the Azores takes place in June on the island of Terceira. Parades, concerts, street theater, and the best street cuisine line the streets of Angra de Heroismo, the capital city. The festival always has a theme; all are still awaiting the topic announcement for 2023. The festival will take place from June 17 to June 25.
Spending your time between Terceira and its smaller neighbor Graciosa is a terrific opportunity to see both sides of the Azores: Terceira’s culture and food and Graciosa’s tranquil, agricultural lifestyle.
July – August
For many people, July and August are the finest months to visit the Azores. It’s peak season, the hottest time of year. It is also the most popular time to see all the islands, especially Sao Miguel and Terceira. They have direct flights from the UK, USA, Canada, and mainland Portugal to the outside world. It’s crucial to note that the Azores are never as busy as the significant capital towns of mainland Europe.
Although Santa Maria, Flores, and Graciosa are tiny islands, they are always quite tranquil, a massive part of their attraction. However, we strongly advise planning holidays to these islands early. There is a severe lack of accommodations, and they fill up very quickly.
2011 saw the beginning of the Ponta Delgada-based contemporary art project that would become the July Walk and Talk Arts Festival. It has quickly grown to include all of Sao Miguel and, as of 2016, the island of Terceira. The festival’s goal remains the same: to promote the creation of new work informed by and in conversation with the Azores. There is a broad lineup of events, including exhibitions, seminars for artists in residence, theater productions, and concerts.
If you’re considering an island-hopping vacation in the Azores and aren’t restricted by school breaks, September is the best time to go. Sao Miguel, Flores, and Faial are our favorite island combos, closely followed by São Miguel, Sao Jorge, and Terceira. If you enjoy trekking, September is the perfect time to explore the three central islands: Faial, Sao Jorge, and Pico. They combine the best of the Azorean trail system.
The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series visits Sao Miguel on an annual basis in September as well. The event, which involves (professional) contestants high-diving from the Ilhue d’ Vila, a collapsed extinct volcano off the coast of Vila Franca do Campo, is thrilling and somewhat absurd. The series could not visit the islands this year due to COVID, but we are optimistic that it will return triumphantly in 2023. Carefully schedule your stay so you may go whale watching during the week and take in the diving series. Keep in mind that whale-watching trips are canceled the weekend of the event.
October – November
At the end of the year, travelers typically travel around October and November. The islands are calm after the summer high season, and the water is still warm enough for some solitary swimming. It’s also an excellent time to take advantage of our unique Special Offers.
Finally, it’s December. Because Azoreans adore Christmas and New Year’s, a customized version of our Best of Sao Miguel vacation would be the best way to enjoy the celebrations on the islands.
Before ringing in the New Year in the capital city of Ponta Delgada, you may spend Christmas Day unwinding in the renowned hot springs and geothermal swimming pools at the Terra Nostra Hotel in Furnas.
Live music is being played beside the well-known Portas do Mar city gates. As the Igreja Sao Sebastiao clock strikes midnight, fireworks light up the harbor. The Praca de Goncalo Velha square is the place to be.