The Azores are the world's first and only archipelago in the world with the sustainable tourism stamp

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The Azores are the world's first and only archipelago in the world with the sustainable tourism stamp

Getting more than 40 sustainable criteria, led the the Azores to win the certificate of sustainable tourist destination. We couldn’t be more proud of it! This certificate was awarded by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). This certification process started in 2017, proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism.

The main concerns of the government are:

  • Nature conservation and biodiversity protection
  • Energy production and management
  • Management and inspection of noise, air quality, waste and water
  • Environmental education and promotion actions
  • Valorization of indigenous products, Azorean heritage and culture

Improving this subjects and way more, got the Azores the silver certificate, so there’s still a long way to go to get the gold one. Being sustainable is a process without ending, where it’s everybody job to be part of. The government goal is to be facilitating agent for the preservation and enhancement of the territory and its people, with a view to the sustainability of the destination, in its present and future.

Tips for practicing sustainable tourism:

  • Don’t waste a lot of water
  • Try not to buy disposable items
  • Don’t colect plants
  • If you can go explore by feet, do it

It is our and your job to help improving our amazing archipelago.

A rainy day in São Miguel – What to do

A rainy day in São Miguel – What to do

Located in the temperate area of the Northern Hemisphere, the Azores are known by their mild climate throughout the year. Rain and clouds are a possibility at any time of the year, although the summer months have longer periods of sunshine and higher temperatures. We are also known for having the four seasons in one day, so you better be prepared!

Since our major touristic activity is outdoors, we get a lot of questions on what to do in case it rains. We are here to help!

First of all, it might be raining where you’re staying but could be sunny on the opposite side of the island. In this case, we recommend taking a look at You can see how’s the weather, live, in other areas. It might be helpful before leaving your accommodation to explore. Also, it can be raining in the morning and get sunny in the afternoon. Check and see if it’s going to rain for the rest of the day.

So, if you decide not to have an adventure in the rain, here are our recommendations:

Gorreana Tea Plantation

On the north coast, you can find Gorreana Tea Plantation. It is the oldest tea plantation in Europe! They offer guided tours every day, so you can know more about of our plantations. You can either explore it by yourself if you prefer. While you are there, you can smell the tea everywhere and in the end, they have a small bar, where you can try the tea, with a view for the fields.

Schedule: Weekdays from 8h00 to 19h00 Weekends from 9h00 to 19h00

Pineapple Plantation – A Arruda

When you think about the Azores, you think about pineapples. So it’s a great idea to go and see how they grow. The pineapple plantation A Arruda is located in Fajã de Baixo, Ponta Delgada. They will show you all the phases of pineapple cultivation. You can also visit their Gift Shop, where you can get a free tasting of their Pineapple Liqueur.

Schedule: April to September from 09h until 20h October to March from 09h until 18h

Liqueur Factory – Mulher de Capote

Founded in 1993, in Ribeira Grande, this liqueur factory is known for producing liqueurs with Azorean flavors (pineapple, passion fruit, etc) in porcelain bottles, with various figures – from female figures, horsemen, lighthouses, and cows. In a guided tour, you’ll have a chance to see the various manufacturing processes of their products, and also tasting them, all for free!

Schedule: Monday to Saturday from 9h to 12h -13h to 18h

Farmer’s Market

The farmer’s market, known as Mercado da Graça, is around for more than 100 years and it’s one of the most emblematic points of Ponta Delgada. By going there, you can know more about our culture, our locals that are always willing to tell you some stories, and also find out about products that are only produced here. You can find there fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and meat, flowers, souvenirs. A little bit of everything.

Schedule: Monday to Wednesday – 7h30 -18h30 Thursday – 7h30 – 19h Friday – 7h – 19h Saturday – 7h to 14h

Closed: Sunday and holidays (unless it’s Friday or Saturday)

Hot springs

Caldeira Velha or Termas das Caldeiras (Ribeira Grande) Poça da Dona Beija or Terra Nostra Park (Furnas). You choose. The hot springs can never disappoint you. The waters temperatures can range from the 35 to 40 degrees Celsius, so you won’t ever feel cold. Besides giving you a relaxed time, it has some therapeutic properties that help and treat various diseases.

Schedule: Caldeira Velha – every day from 9h to 20h –  Termas das Caldeiras – every day from 10h to 22h –  Terra Nostra Park – every day from 10h to 18h –  Poça Dona Beija – every day from 7h to 23h – All of them are paid from 6 to 15 euros

Carlos Machado Museum

This museum is the oldest in the Azores. Located in Ponta Delgada, it is dedicated to ethnography, with scenes from the Azorean life. You can also find toys from the 19th and 20th centuries and an art collection, with paining and sculptures from local artists, like Canto da Maia and Domingos Rebelo.

Schedule: October, 1 to March, 31 9h30 – 17h – Closed on Mondays

April, 1 to September, 30 10h – 17h30 – Closed on Monday – Paid

And that’s our recommendation. Don’t forget to make the most of your holidays, even if it’s raining!

10 fun things locals do

Have you ever traveled to a destination and asked yourself "what does a local do for fun?" Well, we, locals, are going to answer that question.

1 –Walks by the sea

We can be surrounded by the sea, but we never take it from granted. We love having long walks along the coast. Our recommendation is Santa Barbara beach (north coast) and Praia de Água d’Alto (south coast). They both have bars where we chill afterwards. During the summertime, they have live music as well.

2 –Watch the sunset in Mosteiros

Mosteiros is located at the west end of the island, about 30 kilometers from the island's capital, Ponta Delgada. Most of us are willing to drive a lot to go there just to see the sunset. The best place to see it is close to Mosteiros’ beach. You can find nearby a little kiosk, where we can enjoy a local beer after the sunset.

3 – Get all the family together and go to Furnas to eat the stew

One or two family members “sacrifices” themselves to wake up at 6 am to go to Furnas and leave the full pan of food (meat, sausages, vegetables, sweet potatoes, yam) to cook underground. Around lunch time, the other family members start to arrive to see the pan being taking out and voilà! Lunch for everybody. During the summertime,
it’s hard to get a table but we don’t care, we are prepared to eat on the floor with our old blankets.

4 –Walking trails

Most of us are pretty sure we know everything of the island, but the truth is, we don’t. We have around 30 walking trails on the island and in our free time, we like to explore a little bit and get to know a lot of new places and do, obviously, some exercise.

5 – Visit Vila Franca islet

If you are going to Vila Franca islet, believe me, 60% of the people on the boat with you, are locals. We really love preparing a big nice picnic and go there with our family and friends. We come back looking like lobsters (don’t forget about sunscreen!) but we just love it.

6 –Go to the thermal pools

The thermal pools aren’t news to us but we love it every time. Normally, we like to go there after a long week of work. The thermal waters allow you to take a totally relaxing bath. In addition to all the magic of immersing yourself in a “bathtub” outdoors, with hot thermal water, it is also therapeutic and beneficial for your health
and well-being. Besides being good for your skin, it also helps improving blood circulation and lowering blood pressure.

7 –Eat limpets

The limpets (or lapas, like we say) are a very popular seafood snack here in the Azores. They are usually served grilled, in a sauce of butter, garlic, and spicy red pepper. Some of us, even like to eat it raw.
Some lapas and beer, make an Azorean day complete!

8 - Drive along the coast

We have attractive beaches and stunning viewpoints around nearly every corner. So, we like to go just driving around, with no destination, seeing what the island has to offer. It is very peaceful seeing all the nature! Please, don’t take the highway! Go through the old roads.

9 –Eat Mauricio’s Hotdogs

Mauricio is our guy! He’s known for the best hotdogs in the area. Even tourists know about him. The hot dog stand never has a specific location, he’s always changing places but it’s always in the center of Ponta Delgada. He’s there during the weekend nights and we don’t mind waiting in line just to have a taste!

10 – Go to the Gorreana Tea Factory

Gorreana is part of our history. It is the oldest tea factory in Europe and we are very proud of it. We normally like to go there not only to help local producers but to drink a cup of tea and enjoy all the views there. They have a little bar, where you can see the tea fields and the sea, all in one.

And you? What is your favorite thing to do in São Miguel?

Our top 6 restaurants in São Miguel Island

Our top 6 restaurants in São Miguel Island – Dinner recommendations

The Azores are well-known for its gastronomical delicacies. We are the home of some of the best selection of cheeses, wines, meat, milk, pineapple and a lot more. To help you choose the best options for dinner we have selected some of our own favorites!

1 – Boca de Cena – Ponta Delgada

Price range: $$$

This place is a must while in Ponta Delgada! This restaurant only opens at dinner time and for reservations only. With only one person, cooking and serving this is a place to chill while waiting for the food. The chef will always suggest the best options of the menu, since he only works with seasonal and local products, so some of the options are only available if the ingredients are fresh. This is a restaurant that you pay for a whole experience.

2 – Reserva Tapas – Ponta Delgada

Price range: $$

This is a tapas restaurant with a chilled but stylish environment. They have a big range of wines for you to choose from and according to the wine you can select some of the tapas that will best suit it. Super nice and friendly staff and a gastronomical but light experience.

3 – Rotas da Ilha Verde – Ponta Delgada | Vegetarian and Vegan

Price range: §§

If you are a vegan or vegetarian person or even if you want to give it a try, please go to Rotas Restaurant. Serves dinner only, and you have a whole nicely made menu to choose from with only vegetarian and vegan options. Tasty and super cozy, this is a restaurant to go for a nice dinner. Please make reservation and try their desserts!

4 – Caloura Bar – Caloura

Price range: §§

This must be one of the best fish restaurants in the entire São Miguel Island. Here you can almost taste the salty water when eating the fish, it is soooooo fresh! They serve a mic of all the fresh fishes of the day and other options, but when going there to have some dinner please go early in the afternoon, since they are always full. For this restaurant you do not need reservation, you just need time!

5 – Casa do Abel – Steak House – Água de Pau

Price range: §§

For meat lovers, this is the best option. They provide only top meat pieces in a nice decorated restaurant. If you are a truly meat lover, you must go to Casa do Abel! The plates are nicely served, and the environment is worth it! You can book a table or not, it’s up to you, take in mind that usually is quite often full!

6 – Restaurant Cantinho do Cais – São Brás

Price range: §§

This place is a non-touristic restaurant. Here you can find a local family business that is focused on the fish soup and fresh fishes! It is a chilled place that locals usually go. The way of serving the fish soup is quite unique: The owner serves the soup directly to your plate and takes all the bones out of the fish in front of you. If you want to have a different experience, you must try this family restaurant!

Here are our top 6 restaurants in São Miguel Island that we, as locals, love, so we hope it helps you to choose wisely when coming here. What is your favorite restaurant of all these ones? Give us your feedback after trying them.

Top Azores Islands to visit.

Top Azores Islands to visit.
We love all the Azores Islands, so it is quite hard to tell you which ones to visit or not. In case you have time we advise you to explore all of them during the summer time, for example, and you can travel between all of them by boat:
If you are short on time, we selected 4 islands that you shouldn’t miss:

1 – São Miguel Island – It is the easiest to travel to, you have a direct flight from Lisbon and Oporto as well as from a lot of countries in Europe and England.

Here you have one of Portugal’s 7 Wonders – Sete Cidades Lake – where you can simply walk around the rim of the crater. Furnas location is as well a must in this Island, you have natural hot springs to relax during the night or by day! This Island is super rich in terms of nature landscapes and trails, so we recommend São Miguel!

2 – Flores Island – It is more complicated to reach, but it’s amazing natural landscapes compensate all the efforts. This Island is an amazing place for canyoning, since it has high waterfalls and a lot of riffs to explore. If you love to hike this is also a great option! There is two big trails that can help you hike around the island and discover it in a more unique way!

3 – Terceira Island – The people here are simply amazing. The party spirit and community sense in this Island is quite nice. If you want to explore the culture of the Azores this is an amazing place to start with. Angra do Heroísmos is part of UNESCO patrimony for its rich cultural heritage and history. Terceira Island is as well famous for its food – “Alcatra” dish is famous through all the Azores archipelago, and here it is where it originally comes from!

4 – Pico Island – This island is amazing in so many ways: you have the UNESCO vineyards landscape fields, and this means you can taste some amazing wines! The Pico Mountain is always looking at you. This mountain is the highest in all Portugal, and here you can climb it. We recommend climbing with certified guides and to watch the sunrise or the sunset, sometimes, during winter and if you are well geared you can also climb it with snow! The fresh fish here is amazingly good, if you are a fish lover you must try the delicious delicacy of Pico Island – The “Caldo de Peixe” dish! We will not even bother to describe it, since you must try it for yourself!

Packing to the Azores – What to bring?


Are you planning to travel to the Azores? You do not know what to bring with you?

We can help you with some of our resident tips:

1 – Bring a good grip shoe. It is always better to have a good pair of hike shoes with you since there are a lot to explore in the great outdoors. Waterfalls, trails and a lot more to do, so make sure you bring an option for the dirt paths.

2 – Rainy jacket – We have an unpredictable weather, although the temperatures are mild year-round, we can have 4 seasons in just one day, even in summertime! Bring a light rainy jacket with you when travelling to the Azores.

3 – Darker and older bathing suits and towel – Hot thermal waters are one of the reasons the Azores are so well known therefore you should always have a towel and bathing suit with you. One tip is to always bring darker and older bathing clothes since the iron from the waters can stain the white clothes forever! Keep this in mind.

4 – Camera always ready! – The Azores have amazing landscapes to explore and that means a lot of opportunities to take unique photos. Since we are not a massive tourism destination you can always take some time to take that amazing shot!

5 – Power bank – If you only have your phone as your camera, you must think about saving the battery as much as you can to help you take the best shots of your trip, if you want to have it always handy, we strongly advise you to bring a power bank with you so you can enjoy more.

6 – Travel bottles – Always keep yourself hydrated! Here the humidity is quite hard on the body, sometimes during summer time we have 90% humidity with temperatures of around 30ºC this means you should keep your body hydrated so you can still do all the outdoor activities you have planned.

7 – Hat & Sunblock – The sun here is hard! Even with clouds, the UV rays are always high, so we recommend the use of sunblock and a hat to protect you from the sun and to keep you safe.

Now that you have our advice on what to pack to come to the Azores, what are you waiting for?