Discovering the Azores by car
The Azores are six beautiful islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The best way to discover these gems is to take the 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 connection flight or transfer, 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 at 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 at Sete Cidades. The lake consists of the Blue Lake (Lagao Azul) and the Green Lake (Lagao Verde). By car you drive about 40 minutes via the EN1-1A and then the EN9-1A. This road takes you over the bridge that separates the two lakes. Along the way you will also pass the deep crater lake Lagao de Santiago. So plenty to see!
Once you've feasted your eyes, continue along EN9-1A and EN1-1A on circling mountain roads along 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'll drive on 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 swimming pools in the city. There are also opportunities for lodging 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. Then you can 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 to 2 hours, but the route is very beautiful and it is also nice to stretch your legs after all that driving!
Then you drive via the south coast of São Miguel, back to Ponta Delgada and return the car. You can in fact fly to the beautiful island of Flores and take a new rental car there.
Day 4 – Travel to Flores
Flying from Ponta Delgada to Flores directly takes about an hour and 15 minutes. This is because Flores is almost the westernmost island of the Azores. Upon arrival in Santa Cruz das Flores, you may have some time to take a closer look at this beautiful town.
Day 5 and 6 – Enjoy breathtaking Flores
The next day it is time to discover this special island. One of the absolute highlights of the nature-rich Flores are the waterfalls at Fajãzinha. Twenty waterfalls thunder down here. The highest is 300 metres! From Santa Cruz das Flores the waterfalls are only half an hour's drive away via the ER2-2, but you will regularly stop along the way to enjoy the beautiful nature!
Then travel to the more southern Mosteiro, where you can experience impressive basalt cliffs Rocha dos Bordoes. Then drive north to the town of Fajã Grande, where you can enjoy the evening at the pebble beach or take a dip in the waterfall Poço do Bacalhau.
Travel the scenic route back to Santa Cruz das Flores the next day, then take the northern coastal route to Ponta Delgada. This tiny town is the northernmost tip of Flores. Among other things, you can try to spot dolphins here on a boat trip. The lighthouse on the cliffs of Ponta do Albernaz offers a beautiful view of Maria Vaz Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 7 and 8 – Little Pico
It is already time to leave Flores. There is one more island we can visit in these 10 days on 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 sailing, you can also drive to Lajes das Flores and take the ferry to Sao Rogue on Pico. This route takes almost 10 hours, but you can spot dolphins and maybe even whales during the trip.
Pico is best known for the Picoberg that you can see all over the island. The hiking trail around and on the 2350 metres high mountain is not for novice hikers, but it does provide beautiful views and is definitely worth a try!
Day 9 – Travel to Ponta Delgada
The ten days are almost over, so high 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 go back into this lovely town and have dinner at a nice restaurant.
Day 10 – Going Back Home
On the last day of this itinerary, we unfortunately have to fly home already. It was a busy, but enchanting week and a half!
Of course there are many more routes possible by car in the Azores. You can compose that all by yourself. Compare flight deals, book your ticket and make a reservation to get your rental car on in one booking on CheapTickets.sg to start your Azores fly-drive holiday!
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