How to get to Azores?
In this article we will share the best way to get to the Azores, the 9 idyllic islands almost in the middle of the Atlantic.
To get straight to the point, unless you have the luxury to be traveling on your own yacht, you will need to fly.
Luckily, there is an increasing number of direct flights to the archipelago.
The alternative is a connecting flight with a stop in Lisbon or Porto in mainland Portugal. TAP, the national Portuguese airline, offers a stopover program.
You can stay for a few days in these cities without an extra cost.
Read on to discover how to reach Azores and we share how to get a free connecting flight.
This article covers how to fly into the Azores. Read our comprehensive island-hopping guide to discover the best ways to get from island to island.
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Travel Requirements for the Azores
The Azores are part of Portugal which means that travelers to these islands are subject to the immigration rules of Portugal.
US residents will need a passport valid for at least 3 months beyond their stay.
A visa is not required for stays of maximum 90 days.
The same rules apply to British, Canadian, Australian and Japanese.
Europeans can travel to this region without passports. This is also true for residents of Malta, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Iceland.
If your country is not listed above you will probably need a visa.
Check the official website of the Portuguese Immigration services for complete and up-to-date information.
Finding cheap flights to the Azores
How to fly to the Azores? Below is an overview of the various direct flights to the Azores.
We share the airlines that are flying these routes and you can book directly with them but we definitely encourage you to also check the prices for these flights with some other online booking sites.
How to get to the Azores from the United States
Two airlines offer direct flights from the United States to the Azores islands. Below we list the cities that have direct connections to the Azores.
In other places, you can find the best alternative routes to the Azores that require a connection.
Read also: Amazing things to do in the Azores.
Air Azores operates 5 flights per week between Boston and Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores located on São Miguel.
From the end of May, the schedule is increased to a daily flight until the beginning of September.
TAP has its own flights between these two cities. TAP flies on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays. The service starts in June and the flights will be operated year-round although only once-weekly from September.
In high season, roughly from June to September, Azores airlines offers a weekly service between Oakland, in the bay area, and Terceira.
Delta has, against all odds, stopped its direct service between New York and Ponta Delgada. The flight started as a seasonal service in 2018 and was also offered in 2019 but won’t return in 2020.
The alternatives are a flight with a stop in Lisbon or flying from Boston on TAP or Air Azores.
TAP flies from Lisbon to Boston, Chicago, Miami, Montreal, New York, Washington, and San Franciso.
United has a direct service from Newark to Lisbon, Delta flies to Lisbon from New York JFK and United operates a service from Washington.
How to get to the Azores from Canada
Montreal and Toronto have direct connections to Ponta Delgada and Terceira. If you depart from somewhere else you will first have to fly to 1 of these 2 cities to go to the Azores.
Air Azores offers a weekly service between Montreal from June until the end of September.
In the off-season, you could fly to Toronto or you could fly with Air Transat to Lisbon and continue your way to the Azores with a flight from TAP or Air Azores.
Air Azores offers flights between Toronto and Ponta Delgada. This service runs year-round. They have 3 weekly flights in the low and shoulder season. From June until September they add 2 more flights.
They also fly once a week to Terceira.
From other cities you will need to book a domestic connecting flight to get to Montreal or Toronto from where you can continue your flight to the Azores.
How to get to the Azores from the Netherlands
Amsterdam has direct flights to the Azores from May to September. During the other months, you can get to the Azores with a stop in either Lisbon or Porto.
TUI flies direct to Ponta Delgada and Terceira from Amsterdam Schiphol. Both flights are seasonal and are only available from May to September.
Outside of these months you could fly KLM, Easyjet, Vueling, Transavia or TAP to Lisbon or Porto and connect to the Azores.
If you have an early flight and are looking for a park, sleep fly hotel near Schiphol, click here.
Eindhoven has no direct flights to the Azores. You will either need to fly to Lisbon or Porto from where you can continue to Ponta Delgada or Terceira.
How to get to the Azores from Belgium
TUIfly operates direct flights to Ponta Delgada from Brussels Airport. The service starts in April and continues until the end of October.
In July and August, there are 2 weekly flights, during the other months, TUIfly operates one flight per week.
If you have an early flight to the Azores, a park sleep fly hotel might be something for you. Here you find our list with all the hotels near Brussels Airport that offer park, sleep, fly packages.
How to get to the Azores from the United Kingdom
Out of London, you can fly directly to the Azores. Many other airports have flights to either Lisbon or Porto where you can connect to a flight of TAP or Air Azores to go to the Azores. Here’s the complete overview.
Ryanair and Air Azores both offer direct flights to the Azores. Air Azores flies from London Gatwick to Ponta Delgada, Ryanair has year-round flights from London Stansted to Ponta Delgada.
Ryanair flies from Manchester to Lisbon and Porto. TAP also serves the city with a daily flight to Lisbon.
When flying to Porto you can also use Easyjet, they have 3 flights per week.
There’re no direct flights to the Azores from Edinburgh you will have to connect in Lisbon or Porto. To go to Lisbon you can fly Easyjet, Ryanair flies 3 times per week to Porto.
Ryanair used to have a flight between Glasgow and Lisbon but this service is no longer operational.
You can fly to Lisbon and Porto from Liverpool. The flight to Lisbon is operated by Easyjet, the one to Porto by Ryanair.
Twice a week Ryanair flies between Birmingham and Porto.
Easyjet flies two to three times a week between Bristol and Porto.
How to get to the Azores from Denmark
Denmark no longer has direct flights to the Azores. Norwegian stopped its service between Billund and Ponta Delgada. Below are the alternative flights with connections in Porto or Lisbon.
Norwegian still flies from Copenhagen to Lisbon. In Lisbon, you can switch planes to continue to the Azores. TAP also operates a service between these two cities.
To fly to Porto you can use Ryanair which operates this route twice a week from April to October.
How to get to the Azores from Germany
From April to October, you can fly direct from Frankfurt to the Azores and there are at least 11 other airports in Germany that have flights going to Lisbon and Porto from where you can connect to a flight to the Azores.
Air Azores flies 3 times per week between Ponta Delgada and Frankfurt from April until the end of October.
Outside of these months, you can fly to Lisbon with Lufthansa, Ryanair or TAP. The first two also fly to Porto.
TAP and Eurowings have year-round non-stop flights to Lisbon.
Eurowings also flies to Porto. Ryanair offers flights to Porto from Düsseldorf Weeze.
Ryanair flies year-round to Porto and Lisbon. Easyjet also offers a service between Berlin and Lisbon. Both companies fly from Berlin Schoenefeld.
TAP flies twice daily from Berlin Tegel to Lisbon.
Ryanair flies to Lisbon and Porto from Bremen.
Eurowings and TUIfly fly to Lisbon. The low season has 4 flights per week. During the high season, the service is offered daily.
Ryanair flies to Porto 6 times per week all year round.
Ryanair flies twice weekly to Porto from Dortmund
Ryanair offers two flights per week to Lisbon and three per week to Porto.
TAP also has a daily service between Hamburg and Lisbon.
Ryanair flies to Porto twice a week.
Ryanair flies to Porto and Lisbon. The flight to Porto operates three times per week, the flight to Lisbon is scheduled twice a week.
Ryanair flies twice a week to Porto
Eurowings offers flights from Stuttgart to Lisbon. There are 3 flights per week in the low season and 6 per week from April to October.
Easyjet flies year-round to Porto Twice a week during the winter months and three times per week for the remainder of the year.
How to get to the Azores from Spain
Azores Airlines has direct flights between Ponta Delgada and Gran Canaria and Barcelona.
There is a weekly service from Azores Airlines between Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) and Ponta Delgada. During the high season, there are two flights per week.
Azores Airlines also operates a direct flight between Barcelona and Ponta Delgada.
Air Europa, Easyjet, TAP, and Iberia all fly between Madrid and Lisbon. All of them except Easyjet also fly to Porto. In addition, Ryanair also flies from Madrid to Porto.
TAP flies from Malaga to Lisbon. Easyjet and Ryanair connect Malaga with Porto.
TAP flies from Sevilla to Lisbon. You can fly Ryanair from Sevilla to Porto.
TAP flies from Valencia to Lisbon. You can fly Ryanair from Valencia to Porto.
How to get to the Azores from Cape Verde
Azores Airlines flies from Praia to Ponta Delgada three times per week.
How to get a free inter-island connecting flight from Portugal
Above we have listed all the direct flights to the Azores, either to Ponta Delgado or Terceira.
These flights are certainly the most comfortable way to get to the Azores but you’re in for a treat if you make a stopover in either Porto or Lisbon.
Not only because these cities are gorgeous and absolutely worth a visit.
This stopover will also save you some money if you plan you’re Azores itinerary the right way.
Below we will explain how a stopover in Lisbon or Porto can grant you 2 free flights.
Free Inbound flights to the Azores
To be considered for a free inbound flight you will need to start your trip to the Azores from somewhere in Portugal.
The most obvious places would be Lisbon or Porto although it is also possible to fly from Faro as well as Funchal (Madeira).
The easiest way to do so would be to create your own stopover.
You book a ticket from where you live to mainland Portugal or Madeira and a separate ticket to continue to the Azores.
In theory, you just need to allow enough time to connect but these places are also worth a visit, so why not spend a few days here?
Read also: Our suggestions for 3 days in Lisbon
If you have a flight to the Azores that originates in Madeira or mainland Portugal you’re eligible for a free connecting flight to another island.
Most flights to the Azores arrive in Ponta Delgada.
If you booked such a flight you can request a free connecting flight from Ponta Delgada to any of the other 8 islands in the Azores.
Here is some small print about this offer:
- The inbound flight to the Azores is not eligible if it is an award flight or booked under a special rate only available to aviation personnel.
- You will only be offered a free flight if there is availability on a flight which is scheduled within 24 hours of your arrival time in the Azores. This can be a direct flight or a flight with one connection.
- Corvo is an exception to the above rule. If you’re going to this island you can be offered a route with two connections.
Free Outbound flights from the Azores
It is also possible to request a free outbound flight.
To be eligible for such a flight your outbound flight should end in mainland Portugal or Madeira.
It is important to book your flight to your homeland on a separate ticket.
You could request a flight from Pico, Faial or any other island to Ponta Delgada, assuming that the flight you booked leaves from Ponta Delgada.
The same small print is applicable.
How to get the most out of these free flights
Here are some tips to create your itinerary in such a way that you can benefit from these free flights:
Ponta Delgada is considered the gateway to the Azores. Most flights to the Azores arrive in Ponta Delgado. Terceira is well-connected with the other Azores islands but has fewer incoming and outgoing flights.
As to not to waste too much time flight hopping it is best to start and end your itinerary on an island that has a direct flight from where you will be arriving in or flying out of the Azores. São Miguel has direct flights to all but Graciosa and Corvo. Terceira has only no direct flight to Santa Maria.
The application form has no field to request a specific flight, you can only indicate which island you want to fly to. Still, make sure to check that the flight(s) you have in mind has/have availability on your dates because alternative routings, involving a stop, often take much longer. In our case, the alternative involved a layover of a complete night. You can make a dummy booking on the website to check availability.
In the next chapter, we discuss where and how you can request the flight.
You will receive an e-mail with the offered flights. If you’re OK with the proposal you only need to confirm. If you want to change anything you can reply to the mail and discuss alternatives.
How to request your free flights
This form is the one you need to use to request your free flights.
In the top two rows, you complete all the data about your inbound flight to the Azores. This is the flight you booked from mainland Portugal or Madeira to the Azores.
The field “Destination Airport in Azores” is the destination where you want to fly to with your free flight.
Azores airlines also request to upload a flight document as proof that you have booked the inbound flight. The document needs to show the booking code, the ticket number, the flight numbers and the flight schedule of your inbound flight. The confirmation mail that you receive once you have booked a flight usually contains all this information.
You can request both an inbound and outbound flight in one go. The two forms are below each other. The form to request an outbound flight is structured in the same way. This time you need to enter the airport where you want your free flight to originate in “origin airport in Azores”. Below that, you must complete all the information about your flight out of the Azores to mainland Portugal or Madeira.
The last form is where you enter the details about the passengers. You can apply for 8 people at the same time but you will need to passport details of all of them.
Once everything is completed you submit the form. Usually, you will get a response by the next day although in some cases it can take a few days.
If you’re eligible for a free flight you will find the details about the offered flights in the mail. If you’re OK with the proposal you must confirm this within 72 hours. You will then receive a second email with your tickets.
If you do not reply to the mail within the 72 hours your reserved seats will be given away. If you’re not OK with the offered flights you can reply to the mail to request an alternative.
Be as specific as possible if you do this. Check for flights that show availability and request seats for that specific flight.
Getting to the Azores was never so easy. There’re several direct flights to the Azores.
While such a flight will be the fastest option to reach the archipelago you could save some money by including a stopover in mainland Portugal or Madeira.
This would be a great occasion to visit Lisbon’s capital or the equally beautiful city of Porto.
Now that know how to get to the Azores, read our Azores itinerary and our Azores island hopping guide to put together a great vacation on these lush green islands. The best way to travel the Azores is by car. Here you can find everything about renting a car in the Azores.
If you love hiking, you should definitely read this guide to the Azores hiking trails.
Did you know that the Azores are one of the best places in the world for whale and dolphin watching? Here is how to go whale watching in the Azores.