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We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!

Columbus, Ohio
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We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!

Hi all!

We will have 3 nights in Sao Miguel, 3 nights in Pico and 2 nights in Terceira. I have done hours and hours of research but would really love your opinion on any of these items! Much appreciated in advance! We are so very excited for this trip!

Who we are- 30-something married vegetarian couple who loves wildlife, adventure, and nature. Zip lines, hikes, ecotours, wildlife, waterfall rappelling, wineries, distilleries, etc.

1. To rent a car or to do excursions? If we decide to rent a car to explore Sao Miguel over booking excursions with travel companies for things like Cetedes, are we going to miss out? We are running out of time to decide! I don't want to book a car we won't use much, but I don't want to book excursions for things we can otherwise do on our own.

2. What are your favorite things to see and do on Pico? We have 3 nights here, would love to know your favorites!

3. Would you trade one of your 3 days in Pico for a day trip at Faial? What was your favorite part of Faial?

4. Terceira- what were your favorites? We have no idea what to do here. Car or excursions, combo?

5. Is there a specific tour or tour company you would recommend? If you went waterfall rappelling we would love to hear your thoughts! We really want to do this.

6. Whale watching- when you went did you see a lot of whales or dolphins? We have done several of these all over the world and always had a rather disappointing experience. I know wildlife is never guaranteed, but would love to know your thoughts if you went- and which island you did the experience on.

7. Does anyone know of any vegan/vegetarian friendly restaurants? We're coming prepared with plenty of protein bars, but we do love to eat great food and would love to find a place able to accommodate our dietary needs.

Any tips, tricks, recommendations, do's, don'ts, etc. are very appreciated! Thank you for your time!

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Sao Miguel
Sao Miguel
Azores, Portugal
Pico
Pico
Azores, Portugal
Terceira
Terceira
Azores, Portugal
Faial Island
Faial Island
Azores, Portugal
18 replies to this topic
Lisbon, Portugal
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for Azores, Lisbon
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1. Re: We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!

3 nights in S. Miguel is very short, so if you want to do activities then you'll have little time for sightseeing, for which the best is to have a car. Here you have a lot of possible activities https:/…experience-the-azores

Faial don't miss the Capelinhos volcano …azores.gov.pt/en/faial-eng/what-visit/envir…

Pico is a big island, if you want to do sightseeing you'll need a car, if you want to climb the mountain you need to be prepared for flexibility in terms of on which day to do it, contact these services …azores.gov.pt/en/…mountains-house

Whale watching in September https:/…index_stats_gb.htm

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Capelinhos
Capelinhos
317 Reviews
Faial Island, Portugal
Pico
Pico
Azores, Portugal
New York City, New...
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2. Re: We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!

Definitely excursions. It's only a few more bucks for the day than car rental. So you're getting an activity and experience. Plus guide, drop off and pick up etc. you go to places you won't know on your own. I used azores adventure islands all theee trips to sao Miguel. Loved pico but never been to faial so can't speak to that!

Columbus, Ohio
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3. Re: We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!

Thank you so much!

Ptnov64- I really appreciate the links and your feedback! When you say sightseeing, do you mean around town, or just the island in general?

Erica- What were your favorite excursions on Sao Miguel and Pico?

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Sao Miguel
Sao Miguel
Azores, Portugal
Pico
Pico
Azores, Portugal
New York City, New...
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4. Re: We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!

I just got back from Sao Miguel on Saturday. We did whale watching and saw a few dolphins

And a Sei whale - the whale was sort of a let down as all we saw was the fin. We found the experience very underwhelming and I would not do it (in the Azores) again.

Rotas is an excellent vegetarian restaurant in Sao Miguel. It's closed Saturday for lunch and all day Sunday. You must make a reservation for dinner. We just stopped by one day, and made a reservation in person. It's a great place. We also enjoyed Forneria Sao Denis. It is very cute and a short walk from downtown Ponta Delgada. They had good pizzas, salads and a few pastas.

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Sao Miguel
Sao Miguel
Azores, Portugal
Azores
Azores
Portugal
Ponta Delgada
Ponta Delgada
Sao Miguel, Portugal
5. Re: We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!

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Lisbon, Portugal
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for Azores, Lisbon
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6. Re: We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!

When I say sightseeing it's around the island... to use a car to do sightseeing in town is not a good idea.

Brussels, Belgium
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7. Re: We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!

Faial is definitely worth a visit, but if you only have 3 days in Pico, I'd stay there. Pico is truly amazing.

If you want to do whale watching, do it in Lajes. We went there as well (didn't see whales, did see hundreds of dolphins), later in Horta we saw over 10 sperm whales!

Cars are not necessary I'd say.

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Faial Island
Faial Island
Azores, Portugal
Pico
Pico
Azores, Portugal
Horta
Horta
Faial Island, Portugal
Washington, D.C.
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8. Re: We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!

We returned Sat. from 3 nights on Pico and 7 on SM. Trip report when I make time. You're spending time traveling between islands, so I'd skip Faial to cut traveling time. I wanted to see wildlife, too. The Azores are terrific for landscape; Not Great at all for critters. I even wanted to see a hedgehog, though they are not endemic. no luck. We did see bats on Pico, an odd species that flies in the day. Most birds are localized, subspecies kind of like the Galapagos--but we're seeing blackbirds and starlings, not real exotics. TDidn't see the canaries, or rare bullfinches (only ~80 pair left).he flowers are fantastic, as is the geology.

Specifics:

Must Go: Ferraria (thermal ocean pool; doesn't sound like it makes sense, but GO, it does), near Ginetes on SM. FREE!, w showers and changing rooms. Also on SM, Caldera Velha (2euros), soak in thermal pool outdoors; also dunk in waterfall. Also changing rooms.

Pico: We enjoyed the Wine Museum. Pretty site. Hard to find.

We did a marine critter-watching trip on each island. Pico whale-watching with https://www.espacotalassa.com/ Saw No whales, though 3 types of dolphins. Guide has MS in specific dolphin studies. Very Eco-conscious group (though I'd really wanted to see a sperm whale). Guys should have been provided w/jock straps because the sea was so rough! Initially, I'd booked a day-long island trip, because it seemed toinclude seeing birds and other areas. But the trip isn't running anymore.

On SM, we went out on a dolphin swim with Futurisom http://www.futurismo.pt/en This is NOT your Caribbean experience. These are wild dolphins in the ocean. So when we got in the water, they usually dove. We did see them and we were in the water with them--and there were babies. But they did not interact directly with us. One did flip over on its back and so, I think was watching us--but I may be anthropomorphizing.

We rented cars and drove ourselves.

IF you are willing to bend to eat ice cream, the ice cream there is fantastic!

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Pico
Pico
Azores, Portugal
Faial Island
Faial Island
Azores, Portugal
Ferraria
Ferraria
84 Reviews
Sao Miguel, Portugal
Mississauga, Canada
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9. Re: We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!

Faial is just a short ferry ride away from Pico, and you can see all the major sites in one day.

No need to make a decision now. Keep your 3 nights in Pico and decide when you are there. Ferry has multiple departures per day and no reservation is required.

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Faial Island
Faial Island
Azores, Portugal
Pico
Pico
Azores, Portugal
Columbus, Ohio
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5 posts
20 reviews
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10. Re: We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!

Wow! You guys have been incredibly helpful! I really appreciate all the feedback!

Reply to: We leave 9/27/17 and could really use your expertise please!
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