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In all my years of traveling the world, there was one destination that I still hadn’t managed to get to: the Azores. This year I was finally able to check the archipelago off my list. Known for its lush greenery, colorful wildflowers, geothermal activity, and whales, it’s a stunning and peaceful paradise. If you plan on visiting, you’ll find a wide range of accommodation options to choose from, particularly on the largest island of Sao Miguel, but there are hotels and vacation rentals that are sure to provide a great base throughout.
Enjoy a tranquil oasis with a stay at this cozy cabin within walking distance of the many breathtaking natural attractions in Furnas, known for its hot springs. Ideal for a couple seeking peace and quiet while immersed in nature, it sleeps up to two. Enjoy the outdoor furniture, including a hammock for napping, benches, and tables, along with all the essentials inside. It comes with free and fast Wi-FI, a 55″ HDTV that has Amazon Prime Video, Chromecast, Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix, and premium cable, and a full kitchen with an espresso machine and French press.
Located on Santa Maria Island, the southernmost in the Azores, this two-bedroom villa sits atop a mountain providing breathtaking views that include glorious sunsets and a brilliant starry sky after dark. There’s even a private forest right behind it to explore. Both bedrooms have their own private bathroom and you’ll have a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher, Wi-Fi, TV, and a washer/dryer. The outdoor hot tub is a definite highlight, ideal for soaking while surrounded by tranquility.
This charming traditional home was built in 1937 but it’s been beautifully restored while maintaining its rustic, welcoming appearance. It offers a cozy, quiet place to relax in Horta on the island of Faial, complete with a breathtaking view of the bay, Mount Pico, and the neighboring island of Sao Jorge. There are lots of little details that make it extra special such as a welcome box with goodies and fresh flowers, along with a full kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and cable TV. There’s a queen bed in the bedroom and you’ll have a sofabed in the living room, with capacity for up to four guests.
If you’re looking for an ideal spot for a more authentic vibe without being too far from the main town of Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel, consider Slope House 1. It’s only about 20 minutes from the airport in Lagoa and comes with a spectacular sea view and a hot tub on the balcony to enjoy it from. There are two bedrooms, with one downstairs allowing guests to wake up to a view of the ocean while the living room boasts a panoramic Atlantic view. It includes everything you need for a comfortable stay, including a fantastic host who will provide you with all sorts of insider tips about what to see and do on the island.
This peaceful wooden home will put you close to the ferries and airport near the village of Madalena, the main town on Pico Island. It offers a beautiful view overlooking the sea, Faial Island, and Madalena. Hiking trails and natural pools are nearby too. It includes a double bed in the bedroom and a sofa bed in the living room, sleeping up to three guests, with the highlight a private outdoor Jacuzzi. A shared sauna is also available, and you’ll have an outdoor dining area with a grill, a full kitchen, Wi-Fi, and a TV.
When you first step inside The Boathouse, you might think you’ve walked into a dream. This adorable stone cottage sits right along the oceanfront in a little village about 30 minutes from the airport. It blends tradition with modern comforts, complete with fast Wi-Fi, a flat-screen cable TV, a kitchen, and a washing machine. It sleeps up to four with a super comfy queen-size bed in the bedroom plus a sofabed. When the weather cooperates, you’ll probably want to spend most of your time outside with a fabulous outdoor living space. Fair warning: if you’re out there at night and hear a bizarre noise, it’s just a cagarro, an Azorean seabird that makes one of the strangest calls you’ve probably ever heard.
If you’re looking for a unique stay, this one is hard to beat. You’ll enjoy accommodation in a 1946 stone mill which offers a spectacular panoramic view of the sea and the beach, which is just 656 feet away. Located in Graciosa, the northernmost island of the archipelago’s central group, you’ll be close to scenic walks, numerous bays, and bird-watching. The tower apartment sleeps up to four in two bedrooms with three floors of unique beauty and a patio that’s ideal for relaxing on a sunny day while watching the waves. You’ll have cable TV, Wi-Fi, and a full kitchen too.
Terra Nostra Garden Hotel is a beautiful hotel that’s backed by Terra Nostra Botanical Park just a short walk from one of the best hot springs on the island: Poca da Dona Beija. The staff is exceptionally friendly and helpful, happy to provide advice on tours, local hikes, and more. Guests also enjoy free 24-hour access to the geothermal pools in the vast Terra Nostra Garden, which means you can simply put on your robe and walk down to the fern-filled garden for a stress-melting soak. There’s also a large indoor pool and a spa area for massages. Rooms include minibars, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Some come with furnished balconies and garden views.
Enjoy a stay in a lush paradise only a minute’s walk from the Blue Lagoon (Sete Cidades Lagoon) and just a short drive from the Atlantic with a stay at the 7 Cidades Lake Lodge. It’s surrounded by green spaces and trees while offering accommodation in individual bungalows, each with its own garden. All come with kitchenettes and open-plan living/dining rooms that have fireplaces to cozy up to. Complimentary kayaks and mountain bikes are available for exploring and when you come back, you’ll appreciate the comfy beds and the silence.
A Ponta Delgada landmark, the Grand Hotel Azores Atlântico offers a prime location near the historic center and marina, perfectly positioned for magnificent ocean views. It offers historic character with modern amenities, exceptional service, and a wide range of facilities. There’s an indoor heated pool, a well-equipped gym, and a highly-acclaimed restaurant and bar. BALCONY restaurant offers dining on a la carte signature dishes with spectacular ocean views, while VAPORE Bar & Lounge serves light bites, drinks, and hosts live entertainment. Rooms and suites all come with Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and coffeemakers. Some include balconies too.
Located in Madalena on Pico Island’s west shore, Vinhas do Calhau is an apartment-style hotel with dazzling views of mystical Mount Pico and the island’s famous vineyards. It’s close to the airport and ferries, with the ferry pier within walking distance while the buildings are constructed from the volcanic stone that gave Pico its nickname, the Grey Island, blending perfectly with the rugged landscape. Each unit can accommodate up to four and all included terraces and kitchenettes with varying views. Two overlook Mount Pico while four enjoy a view of the Atlantic. You’ll be able to watch colorful sunsets from here as well.
The largest hotel in Sao Jorge, Hotel Sao Jorge is flanked by the extinct Morro Grande volcano and sits right along the beachfront. It offers jaw-dropping views of Mount Pico that you can enjoy right from your room window or balcony. Plus, you’ll be just a short walk from the center of the main town, Velas, and one of the top natural swimming spots on the island, Zona Balnear da Preguica. On the grounds, there’s a swimming pool and a terrace for relaxing with a panoramic view, while numerous restaurants and bars can be reached in just 10 minutes on foot.
The highly rated Caparica Azores EcoLodge offers a peaceful sanctuary in a secluded location while being perfectly situated for exploring the must-see places on Terceira, including the village of Biscoitos on the north coast, known for offering one of the best swimming spots in the Azores. It’s made up of one-bedroom studios with balconies for unwinding while enjoying the scents of evergreen juniper, ancient laurisilva, and wild aloe vera. A main house is available for families or groups and comes complete with an open-plan kitchen and dining area, two bedrooms, and a mezz with two singles. A shared outdoor pool is included too.
Nestled on a hillside on the outskirts of a rebuilt abandoned village, Aldeia da Cuada is made up of well-preserved lava stone houses that have retained their traditional style while being updated for modern living. It includes 16 self-catering homes with one to six bedrooms, all of which come with kitchens, oil heaters, exposed beams, and private gardens with BBQ grills and sitting areas. Some offer sea views too. While you’ll be able to make your own meals, just a 5-minute drive will bring you to nearby Faja Grande for dining out.