When to go to the Azores
The Azores offer the same beauty and spectacular views throughout the whole year, so when to go to the Azores is a matter of personal preference. The land has lush and colourful plants during all seasons. The Winter here is not as cold and harsh as in other places in Europe. The humidity that surrounds the islands have always made the Azores a very fertile land maintaining the palate of vivid greens in the countryside. In Summer, temperatures don’t tend to reach above 26ºC and in Winter they average around 16ºC, preserving a mild climate throughout the whole year with constant flora growth too.
The people from the Azores are predominantly Roman Catholic. Numerous churches are found around the islands and the patron saints are largely celebrated here. The largest of these celebrations is the Holy Spirit Festivity, commemorated by the whole archipelago. These festivals fill the islands with processions, parades and music, where the accordion is heard echoing throughout the streets of the islands. This main celebration happens in various chapels and churches from the month of May through to September.
If you enjoy traditional festivities, visit the island of Terceira around the 24th of June. This is the day the locals honour Saint John with a bullfighting tradition that will certainly surprise you. Santa Maria celebrates the wine harvest during September. The people of Corvo come out onto the streets with enthusiastic spirits on the day of its patron saint, the 15th of August. On the island of Graciosa, the Carnival is certainly one of the highlights of the year. Many of the local villages and towns organise a parade of costumes, filled with colours and wonderful dances.
The archipelago’s close relationship with the sea also calls for several commemorations, with boat races and other events taking place. The island of Pico celebrates the Whalers Festival, from the 20th to the 26th of August, honouring this profession that was important for the economy and culture of the archipelago for many centuries (presently, it is non-existent). Faial also celebrates the ocean during the Week of the Sea with boat races taking place during the first week of August. Concerts by artists and musicians from all over the world take place around the island.
For music and cultural events, visit Santa Maria during August. The Tide Festival takes place throughout this month, where jazz, rock, pop and traditional Portuguese music can be heard around the island in a large music festival. São Jorge has parades, popular music concerts, sporting events, exhibitions and many other activities during the last two weeks of July.
Christmas and New Years are also special holidays. The São Miguel Island celebrates this to the fullest, with a fireworks show that fills the bay with sparkling colours to the sound of synchronised music.
The best way to get to the Azores is by plane, with the main airports being located on the Terceira, São Miguel, Faial, Pico and Santa Maria Islands. There are daily flights leaving from Lisbon to these islands. Within the archipelago, you may travel by boat or by plane. Boat trips can be quite short and exciting between the islands with a smaller distance between them, as is the case with Faial and Pico.
For more information on the climate, please visit the Azores Weather page.