Table of contents:
- An archipelago in the Atlantic
- How to get to the Azores?
- Ponta Delgada Airport
- Santa Maria
- West of the archipelago
In search of new experiences, tourists are increasingly abandoning their usual destinations and looking for secluded places far from the continent. The Azores is one of those places. But booking a good hotel is not enough. Need to find the right international airport in the Azores.
An archipelago in the Atlantic
The Azores are under the jurisdiction of Portugal and stretch out in the ocean far from the western tip of Europe. The nearest one is almost 1.5 km from Lisbon. The archipelago consists of nine volcanic islands. Each of them is inhabited, but not all are suitable for a beach holiday. On some islands, instead of the usual sand or pebbles, the coast is solidified lava.
The archipelago is divided into three parts: eastern, central and western. The distance between the two extreme islands is 600 km. The most popular are San Miguel, Terceira and Santa Maria. It is here thatinternational airports accepting tourists.
How to get to the Azores?
There are airports in all parts of the archipelago. Local flights fly between the islands, as well as ferries. Getting to the westernmost of them is not easy. These are the islands of Flores and Corvo. There are also airports here, but the weather is so changeable that it will be difficult to guess the flight. For this reason, car rental is even prohibited in Corva.
Of the nine islands, five are connected by air to Lisbon. Graciosa, São Jorge, Flores and Corva can only be reached from other parts of the archipelago. All flights are provided by the local airline Azores Airlines. The longest of them are between the eastern and western islands. But the flight between Flores and Corvo will take only 15 minutes by propeller plane.
The islands are connected by ferries, but regular flights run only seasonally for short distances. From November to April, it often rains here and impenetrable fog hangs.
Ponta Delgada Airport
The largest and closest of the Azores is Sao Miguel. There are regular flights from Portugal to the airport of Ponta Delgada, the largest city. It can also be reached from other European capitals. The airport is quite modern. It was built in 2005 and named after John Paul II.
Direct flights connect the island not only with major cities in Europe and the UK, but also with North America. You can fly here from New York, Boston or Toronto. But from Russia by direct flightyou can’t get there, even by charter. The most convenient flight will be via Lisbon. From there, up to ten regular flights a day flies to San Miguel.
The airport itself is small and has only one runway, but copes well with the flow of passengers. According to tourists, it is very clean and comfortable here. The airport infrastructure is not overloaded. It has everything you need: ATMs, left-luggage offices, several cafes and a souvenir shop. The duty-free shop does not have a rich assortment, prices are almost the same as other airports in the Azores.
You will have to take a taxi to get to the city. Public transport does not go to the airport, but the price is low. A trip to the center will cost 7-8 euros. Free Wi-Fi is available at the airport building. Here you can also apply for Tax free and get a tax refund on the spot.
This small island is the southernmost in the archipelago. The climate here is much drier than in the rest of the Azores. If it can rain several times a day on San Miguel, then the sun will shine on Santa Maria at this time.
The local airport serves only two flights. Planes from Lisbon fly twice a week, and to Ponta Delgada from one to three per day. Just like in San Miguel, public transport does not run here. By taxi to Vila do Porto, the main city of the island, the road will cost 5 euros. Tourists with small luggage can even get there on foot. The airport is located within the city.
Given the number of flights, there is a minimum of services here: a small Duty Free shop, a newsstand and a cafe. However, the airport is equipped with equipment for passengers with limited mobility and free Wi-Fi. Here you can rent a house or rent a car.
The airport is located on the territory of the former military base of the United States Air Force and is a converted military airfield. Airplanes take one landing strip. Regular flights fly from Lisbon. Air communication with other islands of the archipelago is also provided. This is where transatlantic flights are refueled.
There are several hotels near the airport. Tourists heading to other islands can comfortably and cheaply spend the night here while waiting for a connecting flight. You can get to the city center by taxi or order a transfer. The second option is more convenient, as the driver will be guaranteed to speak English. In the Azores, most people speak only Portuguese, with the local dialect significantly different from the continental one.
West of the archipelago
Separately worth talking about the islands of Flores and Corvo. These are the most inaccessible places in the Azores. You can't get there by ferry, only by plane. These are also the rainiest islands in the archipelago. The weather can change several times a day, so relying on the forecast is pointless. This should be taken into account when planning a trip, as you can get stuck there for a long time due to thick impenetrable fog. But courage will be rewarded with uniquenatural views of the islands.
Near Flores is the westernmost point of Europe - the rock of Monchiki, the bas alt remnant of a volcano. In the Middle Ages, it was used by sailors for navigation. Florish has many picturesque waterfalls, the largest of which is over 300 m high.
Corvo is the smallest island in the archipelago. The permanent population is about 500 inhabitants. The island is famous primarily for two lakes in the crater of an extinct volcano. In the center of each of them is a small island. You can only get here on foot, breaking the path of 6 km along a mountain path.
Addresses of airports in the Azores can be found on the Azores Airlines website, but this is not necessary. Every resident knows their location. Just say aeroporto in Portuguese.