Want to do some island hopping?
Guests who stay with us frequently ask about getting flights between the 9 islands of the Azores. It is very easy, and relatively cheap to fly between the islands and booking flights is not complicated. Here are some tips and tricks to make the process as easy as possible.
Note; As our guest, you are welcome to leave your bags at Solar Branco while you travel to other islands and then pick them up on your return. (Note: Anything left is at your own risk.)
Before jumping into the inter-island flights, I just wanted to quickly go over how to get to the Azores in the first place. Most direct international flights will be flying into the largest island of São Miguel (Ponta Delgada – PDL). There are also some flights that will be direct to the island of Terceira (TER) and then just a few that fly into the island of Faial (Horta – HOR) and Pico (PIX) – these latter two are mostly from mainland Portugal.
When it comes to airline companies, the main ones from the United States (New York, Boston and Providence) would be Azores Airlines and Delta. If coming from Europe you can also check out TAP, Primera Air, TUI fly, Ryanair, Germania, and AirEuropa depending on what country/city you are flying from. For a more detailed view of locations and airlines that fly into the Azores check out the Azores website.
There is only one airline that actually flies between the Azorean islands – SATA which is part of Azores Airlines. When looking for flights I would recommend going directly to the Azores Airlines website and start your search from there. You may find that looking at a search engine such as Kayak or Google Flights the details are not up to date with actual availability.
Here is a map courtesy of Visit Azores that shows the different direct routes from one island to the next throughout the area. As you can see there are no direct flights between every island, however, you will be able to travel from one to the next with a layover in between.
Searching for flights on the Azores Airlines website is pretty simple to do. All you need to do is pick your dates and islands under the “Azores” tab and a list of flights will pop up. One thing to note here is that not every day will have the same exact flight schedule – on a day to day basis the schedules between islands will change. Do not just assume if you see a 9am flight on Monday, the same flight will be available on Tuesday, click here to access their website
On top of that, there are a few things to note when looking at the results page. Depending on the day and islands chosen, you will not always see direct flights available. This could be due to them being sold out or because there are just no direct flights between the two islands. You will, however, most likely see some flight options with 1 stop.
For the most part, you will see that one-way flights hover around the 90 Euro / $105 USD range. These prices include a checked bag up to 23KG / 50 LB.
I can say with high confidence that when the search tool says “1 seat left” (or 2 or 3) it actually means that there is only 1 seat left, in which case you should act quickly.
The last thing to note is how long before your flight should you get to the airport. For inter-island flights with checked baggage, it is recommended to arrive 90 minutes before and without checked baggage just 40 minutes before. I would say it also depends on how many flights are flying out of the airport around the same time. In Pico, for example, we took a flight back to Ponta Delgada and it was the only flight going out for several hours. In that case it was necessary to arrive 90 minutes before but better safe than sorry.
We have written these guides to help our guests and visitors to the Azores with curated tips and suggestions. While we have visited each place, these are just our opinions. Should you have any feedback or places we have not discovered please do email us so we can improve the guide for future visitors.
Guests can download this guide here