The Azores is known for its natural landscapes including its vineyards, Santa Maria’s white sand beaches, and the lagoons of São Miguel. Travellers can attend one of the many cultural festivals in the World Heritage town of Angra do Heroísmo or visit the Capelinhos volcano in Faial.
The standards for patient care and medical services in the Azores may differ from your home country. Although a territory of Portugal, the Azores maintains a separate healthcare system with public and private services. Healthcare generally meets international standards. Health services are distributed differently across the islands so access to care may vary by region. Hospitals are located on Faial, São Miguel, and Terceira.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in the Azores require upfront payment, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Evacuation to Portugal or Western Europe may be required for complex emergencies. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance, including evacuation. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in the Azores.
Pharmacies are available in most cities. Prescriptions for medications must be obtained from a doctor, but some medications can also be purchased without a prescription.
If you are travelling with medication, check with the Azores’ embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.
Roads in urban areas of the Azores are generally well maintained, but rural roads are often winding and narrow and may be difficult to navigate. Wandering livestock and poor lighting may also pose a challenge to drivers. Seat belts must be worn by all passengers in vehicles at all times. Helmets are mandatory for all motorcycle drivers and passengers.
Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for the Azores. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary:
Capital: Ponta Delgada
Population: 246, 746
Official language: Portuguese
Time zone: Central European Time (CET), Central European Summer Time (CEST)
Emergency #: 061, 112
Vaccinations required: No
Risk of malaria: No