The Azores islands have plenty of beauty to enjoy for free at all times of the year, but in this guide we can help you to find the best free activities to pad out your holiday with plenty of fun things to do throughout your stay.
1) Volcano Trail
If you find volcanoes exciting, then a trip to the summit and caldera or Horta will be the perfect free adventure for you. As well as getting to enjoy the magnificence of Caldeira – the name given to this volcano’s caldera – you will be able to see many magnificent views of the island from the top.
To get to enjoy this volcano trail, you’ll need to take a vehicle to get there. If you’re already renting a vehicle then you’re ready to go – otherwise, you may need to book a tour or a taxi (approximately 20 euros one way).
As well as being costly, you may not want to book a tour of the caldera ahead of time because the value of this experience shifts depending on the quality of the weather – on a clear day, you’ll get far more for your efforts than you would have on a clouded day.
The walk around the caldera is a long one – 8km – but clearly marked and well reputed by previous travellers. If you get the chance and are already renting a car, you should make sure you don’t miss out on this fabulous opportunity.
If you’re looking to rent a car in the Azores, there is the Sixt Rent a Car company a couple of minutes’ walk away from our hotel.
2) Azores Sea Observatory
The Observatorio do Mar dos Acores is technically only free for children under the age of 6, but the prices requested for older children and adults are extremely reasonable, making this a very cheap way to spend some time with the little ones.
Adults cost 4 euros each and there are various discounts that might apply to you and your group, such as group, family, senior and student discounts.
The focus of the sea observatory is the Porto Pim Whale. Documented in this observatory is the extinct tradition of the Azorean whaling industry. You can understand the historical, economic and social complexity of this industry by visiting this observatory, but there are also some magnificent models of whales for younger children to enjoy.
3) A Stroll by the Marina
A stroll along the marina, only minutes of walking away from our own Hotel Horta, is a magnificent way to spend an hour or two. This free activity is perhaps best enjoyed at sunrise or sunset, especially if you’re looking to take a few pictures of your holiday to share on your social media.
Along the marina you can expect to see a variety of boats moored here, and, if you enjoy this walk early on in your holiday you might even want to plan some dinner and lunch dates based on the many seafront restaurants and eateries situated here.
4) Castelo de Santa Cruz
There is plenty of history to be found around Horta, for example, the Fort of Santa Cruz showcases one of many remaining pieces of 16th Century architecture. The castelo was built on the original centre of the city Horta and after years of closure, was reopened to the public in the shape of our Pousada Horta. This Pousada is classified as a national monument and our renovations have sought to keep much of the building’s original character intact.
As a result, you can enjoy much of the Castelo de Santa Cruz for free when you’re staying with us. We also have pools for children and adults, free internet access and a reading room.
Horta is a quiet area where you can enjoy a restful experience by the sun and sea, but there is still plenty to be enjoyed here if you’re willing to explore a little. Our guests will enjoy brilliant views of the sea and, on clear days, views on the neighbouring island Pico and its volcanic mountain. We hope to see you soon!