Thanks to the mild temperatures all year round, the archipelago of the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is often called The Land of Everlasting Spring. The nine islands are well suited for exploring by car. Book a hire car at TUI Cars before you travel and pick it up at the airport of your choice: São Miguel, Pico, Terceira, Flores or São Jorge. Alternatively, you can find a partner car rental firm for picking up a hire car in towns like Ponta Delgado, Pico or Santa Cruz das Flores. In addition to the main island of São Miguel, the eight neighbouring islands are attractive destinations, such as Pico with the volcano of the same name, Faial with its enigmatic blue hues from the local hydrangeas or Flores, the hiking paradise. Other beautiful sights you can visit in a hire car are the picturesque lakes in the Corvo hinterland or the volcanic sandy beaches of Santa Maria. Most of the islands can be reached with the Azores airline SATA.
Driving on São Miguel
The main attraction for travellers is, of course, the island of São Miguel. Your first port of call in your hire car should be Ponta Delgada on the south coast. The romantic charm of this fishing community is most evident in the port, where you can stop off at one of the many Portuguese tavernas, taste fresh fish dishes and enjoy the excellent red wine of the Azores. The island can be easily explored by taking the ring road, driving through the emblematic landscape characterised by gentle green hills and dark volcanic rocks. A hire car allows holidaymakers to visit even the most remote places in the highlands, for example, the picturesque Sete Cidades, surrounded by steep rock walls and azure-blue crater lakes. The hot springs around Furnas are well worth a visit, as are the beaches at Vila Franca do Campo with excellent bathing opportunities – the wide beach of Praia da Vinha da Areia stands out.
What to bear in mind when driving a hire car in the Azores
In the Azores the speed limit in built-up areas is 50 km/h and 90 or 100 km/h on country roads. The alcohol limit is 0.5 mg/ml; for drivers with less than three years of driving experience the limit is 0.2 mg/ml. Most of the intersections on the Azores are roundabouts – always remember that vehicles on the roundabout have priority. It is also important to know that most of the petrol stations are closed from 22:00 to 07:00.
They sometimes stay open longer on the motorways. If you have an accident in a hire car in the Azores, please put on the high-visibility warning waistcoat and notify the police and car rental firm. In this case, the inclusive fully comprehensive insurance and excess waiver insurance will come into effect, provided the general rental conditions are met.