Travelling in the Azores can be sometimes pretty exciting. As beautiful, original and exotic the islands are, travelling to and in-between them is sometimes no less of an adventure. You can reach the Azores on a regular base from Lisbon and Porto but also from the United States. Most of the flights go to Ponta Delgada or Terceira, but also Faial and Pico have a direct connection to the mainland. Flights are mainly operated by SATA Azores Airlines and TAP Air Portugal, for some years the market has been opened to other carriers, among which Ryanair has the tightest schedule. Interisland traffic is though exclusively managed by SATA. It might be surprising, but apart from a few exceptions, travelling from one island to the other is done by plane. Each island, even Corvo with merely 500 inhabitants, has its own airport.
All year ferry connections are operated by Atlanticoline between the islands of the Triangulo, Faial, Pico and São Jorge and between Flores and Corvo. During the main tourist season from May to September there is a special line connecting all the nine islands. If you have plenty of time, the Azores stretch over 600km between Santa Maria and Corvo, a great opportunity for slow tourism.Now for the exciting part of travelling, the weather. Situated in the middle of the Atlantic, our weather is daily changing and there might be pretty severe storms with high winds or poor visibility. All this affects marine and air traffic. Delays and cancelled flights are unfortunately very common. Further, transport capacities are limited, so if you travel the Azores, book well in advance and count on delays. We arrived back in Europe on numerous occasions with a day in delay, also avoid short connections and be ready for flight diversions. It happened that instead of arriving in Faial we had to fly to Pico from where we had to take the ferry. There are lot of scary crosswind videos on Youtube, here, plane spotters can shoot them on a regular base. What is reassuring though, for the SATA pilots this is regular routine, they know their job and we never felt unsafe. The same is true for marine traffic, it is not uncommon to have swells of more than six meters. In conclusion, not only the landscape of the Azores is unique and exciting, but so is living here.