How to plan a trip to Flores Island in the Azores
It’s the perfect island destination for visiting the most Western tip of Europe and admiring untouched lagoons.
Flores’ landscapes are relatively wild. Eight lagoons practically untouched, wild rabbits that run around free in deserted areas, small rivers, and waterfalls that continue to shape the island’s coast.
For better or worse, the island is not easy to reach, and perhaps that’s what makes it so appealing.
Sharing stories of pirate invasions with the neighboring island of Corvo and tales of shipwrecks, one could wonder if both the islands are doomed and not the warmest destination for strangers.
But visitors do reach the island and usually leave speechless. Not because there is nothing to say, but because the memories of their trip will always speak much louder.
Little Ireland, Little Switzerland, pink island. Whatever the expression people use to describe it, the island’s isolation and beauty are incomparable.
Listed by UNESCO as Biosphere Reserve since 2009, the local fauna and flora’s diversity is quite remarkable.
Top things to do in Flores island
With plenty of small rivers and waterfalls to explore, canyoning is obviously popular. Hiking and guided boat trips around the island should also be part of your list of things to do when you visit.
- Passeios Turísticos (yachting) – www.facebook.com/passeiosturisticosflores
- Westcanyon (bike tours/MTB, birdwatching, canyoning, hiking) – www.westcanyon.pt
- Flores by Sea (yachting) – http://floresbysea.pt/
- Extremo Ocidente (yachting, scuba diving) – www.facebook.com/extremocidentecarlosmendes
- Noya Tours (car tours) – www.noya-tours.com
- Experience OC (guided tours) – www.experienceoc.pt
Top cultural events in Flores island
Flores celebrates the Holy Spirit every week from May to June. Every year in Lajes, locals celebrate and welcome those who moved to the United States and Canada. Festa do Emigrante honors the local culture, heritage, and food for those returning to spend the Summer in their homeland.
But the cultural life on the island isn’t limited to seasonal events and festivals. The local theater group, “A Jangada,” writes, produces, directs, and acts light satirical plays regularly. This particular Portuguese genre of theater is called Revista à Portuguesa.
What to eat in Flores
Living on a very isolated island with limited resources boosts up your creative spirit.
That’s the spirit you see in some local dishes. Algae patties (tortas de erva patinha) might sound like the newest trend in vegan cuisine, but they’re a traditional dish in Flores. They may not look like the most appealing dish you’ve seen in your life, but they are 100% safe to eat and they’re delicious.
Watercress soup, fried sausage with taro, and fish are typical local dishes.
Note: there is a highly recommended family-owned restaurant in Fajazinha that serves traditional cuisine, prepared with a lot of love and care. The view is also breathtaking, and the restaurant is called, appropriately, “Por do Sol” (“Sunset” in English).
If you can manage to carry some local cheese and a container of handpicked wild blueberries or guava tree fruits (araçás), I wouldn’t recommend any other souvenirs.
Of course, this is not always possible, and I feel they wouldn’t taste as great outside their local environment (except the cheese; the cheese tastes excellent anywhere in the world).
For something a little less perishable, try to find traditional flowers made from fish scales or from the pith of hydrangeas.
Find a place to stay
Know before you go
Where is Flores island?
Flores is one of the two islands in the Western Group (Grupo Ocidental) of the Azores Archipelago, one of Portugal’s autonomous regions.
What's the official language in the Azores?
Portuguese. The Azoreans are also fluent in some foreign languages (mostly English), especially those who work in the tourism industry.
What's the time zone in the Azores?
GMT -1 hour
What's the currency in the Azores?
The same as in Portugal, the Euro (€).
What Visa do I need to visit Flores island?
You need a visa to enter all Schengen area territories, including the Azores islands. Click here for detailed information.
* Please note that this information may change over time. Refer to the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate in the country of your departure for updated information.
Do I need any special vaccination to visit Flores Island?
Special vaccination is not mandatory to enter the Azores region. If you have special health conditions, please seek medical advice.
How do I get medical care in Flores island if I need it?
There are pharmacies and public health clinics (known as centros de saúde with emergency services on the island.
What is the voltage?
220 volts (round two-pin plugs).
Is there public transportation in Flores island?
Yes, there are buses and taxis. You can also rent a car (check the local car rental companies for information).
How big is Flores island?
The area of Flores island is 143.11 square kilometers (approximately 55.25 square miles).
How far is Flores island from Lisbon?
1,897 km (approximately 1,178 miles).
How many people live in Flores island?
3,793 people, according to the last census of 2011.
How do I travel to Flores island? By plane:
SATA Air Acores – between islands
Azores Airlines (via Faial, S. Miguel, or Terceira), Tap Air Portugal (via Faial, S. Miguel, or Terceira), and Ryanair (via S. Miguel and Terceira) – from the Portuguese mainland and other countries
Atlanticoline SA – scheduled passenger transport between the islands of Corvo and Flores, throughout the year (Pink Line); seasonal from Faial Island (Yellow Line)
How is the weather in Flores island?
The climate is mild temperate. Temperature: average high 19.9°C/67.8°F. Average low 14.9°C/58.8°F.
When is the best time to visit Flores island?
July and August for the best weather and the local cultural events.
Are there earthquakes in Flores island?*
There is no seismic activity registered. (Source)
*Note: seismic activity is constantly monitored in the Azores.
Is there WiFi and cell phone coverage in Flores island?
Yes, 3G and 4G.
6 thoughts on “How to plan a trip to Flores Island in the Azores”
Thanks for the travel guide to the Azores. I’m looking to try to visit with some friends in the near future as its not a bad flight from here in the US. I’m definitely trying to still navigate covid restrictions for the overall trip but thankfully Azores seems still pretty reasonable.
It’s a beautiful destination! And, as far as I know, covid restrictions are (as of now) lifted.
We are planning a trip to the Azores next year and would appreciate your advice. Although we would like to see the summer blooms, it s expensive to travel in the summer and we fear that it will be very crowded. We are thinking May instead. We d like to spend about a month and see several islands, but focus more time in Flores and San Miguel in hopes of searching out family members. We would like a rental car on both of those islands, but are considering tours on some of the other islands.
May is a better option to beat the crowds, although as the world is right now we can’t foresee what impact that will have in future travel. That said, if you have the budget you can easily see all islands in one month but it does require some planning and, unfortunately, inter-island flights are not always easy to plan for. I suggest keeping Flores (and a two-day trip to Corvo) and S. Miguel as your priorities, and maybe add a week in one of the “triangle” islands: Faial, Pico, S. Jorge. You can do a day trip to any of them by boat, from wherever you decide to stay. For car rental, search a company with representation on all islands; it will be easier to book everything in advance.
I really need to take a look at this series in depth. This sounds like an awesome, relaxing, uncrowded place to visit!
It’s perfect for all kinds of travelers 🙂 Last time someone visited they told me they didn’t want to leave.
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