click to enable zoom
We didn't find any results
open map
View Roadmap Satellite Hybrid Terrain My Location Fullscreen Prev Next
Advanced Search
Your search results

Living on the Azores…but which island to choose?

Posted by Azores Properties on March 29, 2017

I get a lot of emails from people asking what island would fit them best. Here is my take on this.

If you like a place which has plenty of people and services then you might want to head for Sâo Miguel Island or Terceira. Terceira, because of the decades of US presence at Lajes Airforce base, is somewhat Americanized when it comes to peoples ability to Speak English and availability of your favorite snack food. With the gradual withdrawal of US troops the economy obviously has taken a hit. How this pans out for the future we do not know yet.
Sâo Miguel is the most populous but outside Lagoa and Ponta Delgada there is enough space to live. Expect parking to be an issue in town.

Santa Maria is the sunniest of the Islands Islands. Sparsely populated but close enought o São Miguel for proper logistics it offers peace and quiet. Houses are few so expect somewhat higher prices for properties similar to other islands.

The Central Group with Faial as the seat of the Azorean Government has the benefit of 3 islands that are well connected with ferry services. The beauty of the Azores is that the islands are very different. The Central Group offers weekend getaways on other islands and stunning views of Mount Pico. We chose Faial because of the University and a proper equipped hospital (just in case…) . It is also less densely populated so expect more quiet places. The Marina of Horta receives over a 1000 yachts a year. From small sailing boats to mega yachts. It is a must do stopover for those crossing the Atlantic and has been so for centuries. Because of that the city and its inhabitants are more cosmopolitan than one might expect of such a remote place. São Jorge is a bit more remote as the ferry takes over 2 hours from Horta and an hour from Pico. If the weather is bad…you can forget about boarding the ferry. Pico offers nice landscapes, plenty of houses and is only 20 minutes by ferry from Faial. It lacks a proper hospital. For years it is being discussed but with a population of 16,000 it is hard to justify a fully equipped hospital. Faial services the Central Group.

Graciosa, Flores and Corvo. This is pretty much away from the beaten track. Not always easy to reach. Logistics is a project but if you want to really be away from it all these are the most remote of destinations you will find. A community of a few hundred like on Corvo might not be the easiest to blend into.

12 thoughts on “Living on the Azores…but which island to choose?

  • Maria
    on July 23, 2018

    Who can I contact about property in Faial, rent or buy? I’ve visitied Faial, San Migel and Pico. I think Faial would be great.
    Can I converse with you more about how you got there, etc?
    Thank you.

    • Azores Properties
      on August 14, 2018

      Hello Maria,

      You can send an email to our office We are based in Horta and are here to answer any questions you have.

  • Martino Amello
    on September 11, 2019

    Other than not having the money right now I’m ready to go right now. I’m getting too old to keep putting up with hot and cold weather (not to mention the insane US political scene) and not too old to do work to do a lot of work repairing an older property. Do you take IOUs?
    I’m probably looking at about 2 years tops then I’m ready to swim all the way there from South Carolina;)

    • on October 27, 2019

      Hello Martino, Sorry your message seems to have gone lost on WordPress. We do not take IOU’s as life is complicated enough without us needing to worry about cash flow like any business nowadays. By the time you swim over with the funds to buy we are ready to help you find that dream house.

      Kindest regards,

      Laurentius Metaal

  • Sabine Scheucher
    on April 4, 2020

    May I ask a question please:

    I am a botanist (love nature and gardening) and worked for MANY years in the Himalayan region. I am looking for a small house on the Açores- but haven´t decided on the island. Which one is the most gentle, flattest one (Graciosa, Terceira, Santa Maria,…)? Want to go for long walks- but NOT hikes anymore.

    Thank you for any help.

    • on April 20, 2020

      Hello Sabine, sorry I did not look at the web inbox. The flattest is not so easy, all islands are volcanic. I do know the steepest are Pico and São Jorge. I think Faial or Santa Maria would be ok. Of course there are steep walks and very long walks on Faial along the coast which are not steep at all.

  • Mark
    on July 13, 2020

    I am trying to get a better understanding of your article which I have found most helpful. One thing I do not understand is if you only represent sellers who represents buyers? Also, are all of the advertisers on your site licensed? We are planning to move in just over one year and naturally have many real estate related questions

  • Roger La Chance
    on February 23, 2021

    My name is Roger La Chance, I currently own a mobile home in New England and a hone in South Carolina.
    Currently I am working fulltime and collecting my SS. Have not retired yet only because of Covid 19 and what is going on in the USA, it’s going to get worse, just watch.
    Any ways I an gathering information on where it would be the best place to live for about 3-4 months and own the home.
    I would be open to being a landlord, would need to study the landlord rules for your area.
    Would be nice to have someone there when I am not there.
    Look forward to hearing from you.

    • on March 28, 2021

      Hello Roger,

      Best is to email me at It is easy to rent out here. You need a bookkeeper and file for taxes when renting out. We have listings that might fit your needs depending on the budget you have in mind

  • Mary Candler
    on September 11, 2021

    I am a retired English female and have had a holiday home in Portugal for some years so have some basic Portuguese. Which island would be the easiest to integrate into do you think, and has an expat community that includes English speaking people?

    • on October 7, 2021

      Either Faial or São Miguel as both are more International. Faial because of the yachting community and São Miguel simply because a lot of people retired there and it is pretty overrun by tourists now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Compare Listings