Americans in Azores and Medical Issues

by Donna
(Baton Rouge, LA USA)

Hi - my husband & I live in the States. We enjoy speculating about going to live in the Azores for a year or so. Two things of great importance:
1) Is there a community of Americans on the Islands, and if so, which island?

2) Information regarding medical care & facilities on the Islands. We are retired - healthy, but have specific medical needs at this time in our lives.

Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. We've just started our serious quest on where we would like to spend this 'special' year or so.

Rob's Reply
Hi Donna
Thanks for your question. It's nice to hear from you. There are a lot of Americans in the Azores. Most are in Terceira due to the American airbase there (Lajes Field). I noticed that there are a lot of Americans in Pico as well (seeing flags at homes).

And Sao Miguel, with the largest population of all the islands, has a good number of Americans as well.

For medical care, Terceira and Sao Miguel likely have the best hospitals, and patients from Pico generally go to Faial via ferry.

If I were you, I would take a vacation to Sao Miguel, Terceira, Faial and Pico to get a better sense of the islands.

All the best


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Jul 25, 2021
This is more of a question
by: Jeff and Kim

This is Kim. My husband has epilepsy since birth. He has few seizures for the past few decades due to his diligence in taking his medication twice daily. He cannot miss taking his medication. Are there good pharmacies or hospitals? Where and how would they treat epilepsy patients? We're retired and live in a retirement community in a Central New Jersey Shore location. Is it possible to live there each Spring and Summer and back home for the Fall and Winter months? How expensive are rentals? Thank you and you can also reply here and at our email address, which is;

Jan 30, 2021
age restrictions NEW
by: Anonymous

a question, are there age restrictions for health care in Portugal? I was checking out the healthcare page and the age stopped at 1949. Just wondering.

Feb 02, 2018
Pico NEW
by: Anonymous

Pico (island) is magical.

Dec 09, 2016
Living on Sao Miguel full time
by: Bonita

Hi Retirees of 2016,
Ready to slow down and enjoy life! Come to Sao Miguel or many of the other islands to stay for several months or yearly. My husband and I have lived on Sao Miguel for 10 years now. We are from Alberta Canada and wanted to leave the cold forever.

We know a few couples from Germany, Sweden, North America and Britain who have moved and lived on the islands for many more years than us and have never regretted it.

Life is slower and more relaxed here; foods are healthier and taste better. There are 40+ walking trails now so we can enjoy the walks every day if we want to. Thermal pools are the best in the cooler season. Winters are mild here. In fact today is a normal December 9 day, we have 17C for the daytime high. We can get some rainy days but mostly we get a wind and/or fog settling on the high areas of the islands. The waves at the ocean edge are great to watch in the low season (one of our favorite past times here).

The medical care is up to standards that I can live with to be here. The doctors are very well trained and can take care of most situations. Serious conditions, you are transported to Lisbon hospital.

I would agree with Rob that anyone thinking of moving here should spend a vacation here for about one or more months at least to live like a local. There are a few annoyances to get used to, like any country you live in, but generally this is where Ed and I have been the happiest.

As being a resident of Portugal, the worst is if all fails that you donĀ“t like being here that long, you can always move back to your old homeland after a few years.

If you have any questions about moving here, We invite you to contact us for more feedback.

Apr 14, 2014
Living on Terceira
by: Carol Thompson

We lived on Terceira for 7 years. Now that the base is getting smaller and unaccompanied, I'm pretty sure that all will be going to Angra for the hospital. The last time I was in that hospital, everything was very slow and things just were not like what we are used to in the US. I don't think that the medical care is what we would expect, especially if there were heart problems or if a person was a diabetic. But the island is beautiful and the people are fantastic. I would just like to know more about the hospital because as retired folks, I don't know if there would be a medevac flight to Europe like there was when we were there

Jun 26, 2012
Terceira Hospital
by: Anonymous

I was stationed on Terceira in '89 & '90. Back then we had a hospital on base that was available for everyone on base. Now I hear that even active duty have to go to the hospital in the capital, Angra, for all medical services.

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