It’s July when I stumbled upon this amazing deal on Groupon, click the link to view & potentially book the trip we took.
(Was just informed that the package is sold out via Groupon! But you can find the direct package here – Azores Island Package! )
Roundtrip airfare from Boston, 8 days in a 4 star hotel (which happened to be in an actual castle) & a banging breakfast every day.
$499.00 off season price we paid.
There was no way I was passing up this adventure, especially being that it is hardly plagued by tourism. Untouched land I live to explore.
I approached my spontaneous & pretty darn new boyfriend at the time to see if he wanted to join me. Oh yeah, planning four months in advance for a week vacation together with your new partner; life in leaps always my loves, remember? 😉
It’s November 27th and bags are packed and we are on our way! We opted to stay in Boston for two days before & explore a little. It was a really nice way to transition into the trip, & was fun to explore an incredibly historical city and wander up to Salem.
The short four hour flight from Boston, with a meal included was quick & painless. Arriving at the airport, not exactly certain if we were taking a taxi to get to our hotel, with a pleasant surprise that we had a bus there to pick us up included in the package.
Terceira Island part of the nine Azores islands was pure magic.
Magical in every single way magical is defined.
mag·i·cal: beautiful or delightful in such a way as to seem removed from everyday life.
It is a very small island; 50,000 people complete the island. The entire island can be drove in one hour, which we did twice. One of the days, we completed an eight hour tour of the island hosted by a really amazing tour group:
Vadi Van Tour Group & you must request NuNo as your tour guide!
I highly recommend doing this tour at the beginning of your trip, you can get a really great grasp of the island & then choose to explore outside of the tour on your own.
We rented a car for two days (the car rental cost us about $25 euro daily, very affordable & worth it) and embarked on an incredibly unique winery experience.
It was a historical and family owned & passed down winery in Biscoitos- the link for address & such is attached- Adega Simas Winery Link
My most recommended & favorite activity we did while there outside of the tour was as basic & enjoyable as driving throughout the island and stopping along the way for views, hikes, hidden roads. Mainly the middle section, where cows roamed free, bulls were wild animals, and you’d be engulfed in fog at the top of the volcanoes to emerge out the other side to the most remarkable views.
If you are a foodie like we are, here are a few restaurants you must not miss. Almost nothing is imported, made fresh & daily in the various restaurants. Heavy in unique meat dishes, and remarkably fresh fish dish. The most enjoyable fresh cheese I’v ever had, I ate so much it should be a crime. It would definitely be a challenging island to visit if you are strictly vegetarian, just as a little fore warning.
A few highly recommended restaurants to check out:
Good lord, we ate here a few nights in not really knowing what to expect. We had heard good things about the restaurant, but nothing we had heard described the best meal we were about to eat.
One of the actual best meals I have ever had. These sauteed bananas with my fish dish. Never in my life have I tasted such delic.
This is a must must must to check out.
I had read a lot about this restaurant on my research of the island. We had our first meal here, and our last dessert & drinks here. We stopped in almost every night for a beer before calling it a night.
Absolutely amazing staff, food, & views of the city.
This place just opened a few months ago, & they are doing really well. I was craving craving cravinggggg pasta with red sauce almost the entire trip but could not find it anywhere without meat.
The owner cooked my fresh from scratch red sauce & the best spaghetti. Gave me a cheese grater and a block of fresh cheese, and I demolished the entire plate. Ending it with lemon cheesecake made from scratch. Ohhhh take me back.
You must check this remarkable place out.
I believe one my favorite components of this island was how absolutely accommodating they were. I am a bit of a picky eater, as much as I hate to admit it, I don’t eat any red meat or port, and struggled with that in some restaurants there. However, whenever I asked for something special they were beyond happy to accommodate and go above & beyond for me.
Outside of these three, I recommend just wandering the streets of the city Angra do Heroísmo, and popping into any restaurant that smells good & calls to you.
We ate dessert at almost every restaurant in the city, and ate dinner in most of the places.
Some great tips for this location:
There is a lot of walking, mostly on cobblestone hilly roads. Wear proper shoes and be prepared.
Its a huge hiking island, so plan accordingly if you want some majestic views & experiences. Good boots, comfy clothes.
There are plenty of taxis, but they don’t drive around. Whenever you finish at a restaurant or at your hotel lobby, ask them to call you a taxi & they will!
Carry euros always, but most places take card.
Eat dessert, in multiple locations, in the same night. Drink the local wine, and local beer. And try every single cheese option.
Get lost in the city, take roads you haven’t walked. Find the hidden garden, find the military base with the playground & breathtaking views. Find the random street art, explore explore explore. Share the hidden gems you find with me on social media.