first-timer, 7-day trip landing in PDL early July
The travel bug bit last week and a I decided on a trip to the Azores in July (I hadn't even heard of these wonderful islands until a few weeks ago!). The only thing I've confirmed at this point are my arrival and departure flights :-) so I'm really happy to have come across your site!
I'm traveling on a slim budget and just beginning to explore options for lodging, tours, attractions, food, and travel between islands.
I figured I'd explore Ponta Delgada my first day or two, and perhaps other sites on San Miguel. I've read guided tours are popular; do you have an opinion about whether it's a good idea and perhaps a suggestion for a well-regarded tour company?
I'd also like to see at least one if not two other islands during my visit. Is it possible to do that in a fairly economical way, or are ferry/flight fares between islands high at this time of year?
A little about me... I'm moderately adventurous and okay with exploring and figuring things out on the fly. Though I spent my youth/young adulthood in Wisconsin/Minnesota, I've also lived in Philadelphia, Honolulu, and now Los Angeles. I definitely enjoy the beach (though I don't really need to be in the water...I'm kind of afraid of fish!) but also really like hiking or just sitting around and soaking in the scenery too.
I'd love to hear what if any suggestions you might have for me regarding safe accommodations, attractions, tours, etc. In the meantime, I'll continue poking around your wonderful site! Thank you for what you do!!
Rob's reply re 7 Days in Sao Miguel
Thanks for your question!
Based on what you have told me about yourself, I think you will enjoy your week in the Azores.
With respect to traveling between islands, I am not sure that you will find it feasible to do so in such a short trip. There is a ferry service that you can look into while in Ponta Delgada. You will find details in person at Portas do Mar (where the marina is along the avenue).
You can look into flights at www.sata.pt/en. I have made short trips to other islands from Sao Miguel via plane. It can be pricey. And there is risk that if there is bad weather you can be delayed for a day or two at the other island (this is unlikely in July).
Sao Miguel is big enough and diverse enough that you might find it best to just stay there for a week. You won't see the whole island in only a week.
With respect to budget accommodation, there is a campground in Furnas and another in Nordeste. There is also a hostel in Ponta Delgada (www.pousadasjuvacores.com). There are many hotels and cottages on the island. My favourite cottages are Quinta das Acacias (look under accommodation tab on this site).
There are many good and reputable tour company's on the island. This is just a short sample of company's that come to mind:
Panzorica Tours: www.panzorica.pt
Abreu Azores: www.abreau.pt
Amazing Tours: www.amazingtours.se (I have met the owner of Amazing Tours)
Assuming you drive, renting a car is a good way to get around and see the island for yourself.
Hope this helps you a little! Let me know if you have other questions that come up
Thanks & Regards,