Travel to the Azores – Episode 290

categories: europe travel

The Amateur Traveler talks to New York travel writer Jeanine Barone about the Azores.

The Azores are a chain of islands belonging to Portugal. Your travel agent will extol the beauty of the beaches but Jeanine says that the best of the Azores can be seen through hiking its craggy islands.

If you want to be in a place that feels very unspoiled, but is so close actually to fly there, a place where you feel like you stepped back to another era, then that’s why you should go to the Azores.

These are just gorgeous islands. Each island has its own personality and character. I just adore them.

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Show Notes

J the Travel Authority
Jeanine Barone
São Miguel Island
Terceira Island
São Jorge Island
Faial Island
Pico Island
Flores Island


Chris in Boston
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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

4 Responses to “Travel to the Azores – Episode 290”



The author is right on some things completely off on others. Her pronunciation of places is just plain horrible, so one cannot use the audio as a guide to find the places she mentions. I doubt the author ever visited the Azores more than once. Here are some discrepancies and some important facts missing:

The author forgot to mention that although not known in America (where 1 million + Azoreans and descendents live; East and West Coast of USA and Canada) the Azores is a popular destination for Europeans and very well know in Europe. Once again, the tendency to place America as the center of the universe, and if Americans don’t know about no one knows about, comes through in flying Yankee colors.

It’s PONTA DELGADA (a cosmopolitan city of 50K+ people), not Ponta Delgato. Ponta Delgada means “Narrow point” not “tail of the cat”.

We have McDonald’s, Burger Kings, Pizza Huts and many more fast food places. Here’s a link to one. One doesn’t have to travel to find it.

S. Jorge’s Fajã is the only place in the Azores where you can find clams? Not so.

It’s Vila Franca DO Campo (no DE). Nothing to do with French. Franca is not França (France).

The author did not mention ONE good restaurant in Ponta Delgada and surroundings. There are many. Tony’s and Miroma in Furnas are simply the two most touristy places to eat and one I would never recommend.

S. Miguel is packed with beaches some public, some private, some too remote for this author to bother to find it. Just because they are black sand doesn’t make them less appealing. Also there are plenty of natural ocean pools converted as natural swimming pools, an European sought after feature of the Azores. How can you author not mention that? How

Pico has the longest lava tunnel in Europe.

The island of Terceira is home to an American Air Force base, the infamous location where Bush and Blair met to decide to go to war in Iraque. Many Americans obviously not New Yorkers know the Azores for this single fact alone.

Horta, capital city of Faial, is better known for a point of convergence for all yachtsmen crossing the Atlantic. It’s super famous, specially with Europeans.

Graciosa island will be the first self-contained community in the world using alternative power as the only source of energy replacing fossil. This is a joint venture with the Germans. Not known to the author.

S. Miguel features one of the first and most advanced geothermal energy generation plant in Europe. Not backwards.

The reason the author did not see a blue and green lake is because she did not visit a the right time of the day under sunshine conditions. Nothing to do with pollutants. She must have had a radical environmentalist as guide.

We are definitely a 21st century place with wi-fi, cell phones, alternative power, cultural events from all over the world (Try Mare de Agosto in Santa Maria and you’ll watch the who’s who of the music world. We have international IRC car rally events, international surf events, international soccer events etc, etc.

“Back in time” for some islands. Don’t generalize. It’s like going to Molokai and come back from Hawaii saying “it’s back in time”.

Sorry but the author would have been better stayed in New York and used the Internet to really know the Azores. What a waste of her time and what a horrible piece on the Azores. Thanks!




Antonio – way too harsh! She did a great job inviting folks to the Azores – + did a super good job. Portuguese is hard to pronounce – so let’s be thankful for what a good job she did. Not tell the world you love BK…

About midway between the east coast of the United States and mainland Portugal sits the Azores, a collection of nine islands scattered over several hundred nautical miles. The closest point to Europe from the United States, the Azores were once the one-and-only stopping-off point for ocean voyagers traveling between the two continents. Today, the Azores are an autonomous region of Portugal, even though they are more than 800 miles west of Portugal’s mainland. A direct flight from Boston to the Azores takes about four hours – shorter than a flight to Las Vegas or Aruba.

Because these once uninhabited, remote islands were settled sporadically over a span of two centuries, their culture, dialect, cuisine and traditions vary considerably from island to island. Farming and fishing are key industries that support the Azorean economy. These traditional trades give the Azores an unspoiled, historic and authentically European feel that is becoming harder to find in other nearby locations. Visitors find plenty to see and do here, with upscale lodging and restaurants integrating with both the tiny, rural towns and the sometimes wild and lush landscapes that make up the islands.

Karl Anders


Hi Chris, I enjoyed the podcast! I was aware of the Azores but really knew very little about them. I am much better informed because of your and J’s discussion and they have now moved way up on my travel bucket list. I’d like to visit sometime in the next few years.

Looking back on my travel experiences, islands have played an important role in what I wanted to see — more than I was aware when first seeing them. There’s much you and J talked about that appealed to me.

I hope the locals will be a little more forgiving of American gringos for not “getting” their country perfectly than Antonio seems to be. I suspect this is the case.

Very much enjoy your continous efforts. Yours is my favorite podcast out there. Keep up the fine work!

Rob Van Putten


Let’s put it like this, we visited it once, fell in love and bought a house in Mosteiros on Sao Miguel. As soon as money allows we will call The Azores our home. (I’m Dutch by the way) We love the islands, we already have a lot of native friends and we hope to achieve our dream of fulltime living on The Azores soon!

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