Camping in Sao Miguel, Azores

This summer we visited a small island in the middle of Atlantic ocena, Sao Miguel – you can read more about our adventure here. Before we went on a trip, we agreed to camp as much as possible. Why? it’s the cheapest option, plus it’s much more of an adventure than sleeping in a hotel. When searching for the information about the camp sites in Sao Miguel, we had quite some difficulties – particularly about the camps there was no real information, so we were more “in the dark” when searching for the camps. Therefore, we provide here our experience on camping in Sao Miguel, Azores.

Camping in Sao Miguel, Azores
Camping in Sao Miguel, Azores

There are four campings on Sao Miguel: one of them is private, and the others are public, financed and supported by the local goverments.

Rabo da Peixe camping (private)

The private camping Quinta da Laranjeiras is situated between the north and south of the island, north from Ponta Delgada, and close to the village Rabo da Peixe. Reaching it on foot is quite painful, so we really recommend you to take a car to go there.
The campsite is owned and managed by Mr. Renato who personally gets to know every guest, and shows every guest around the campsite. It has very strict security rules, and is without doubt the safest of all of the campings – it’s small cozy, and all of the guests know each other. In the camp, there is free wifi, electricity, and all of the other utilities you may expect at the camping. I need to mention that the camp opens after 6 PM, so if you want to check in, be there at 6 PM or later – otherwise you will wait in front of the camping door, just like we did. 🙂 The guests are not allowed to get anybody in, so don’t count on that – security there is really on high level, which is calming when you are inside. In the camping there is everything necessary to cook (including the pots, etc.), so it’s the most equipped of all of the camps. It’s also a bit more expensive than the other camps, but still very reasonably priced.
Price: cca. 8€/person/day (for your own tent), if you don’t have a tent no problem you can rent a tent or a small house here.

The private camping Quinta da Laranjeiras, Sao Miguel, Azores
The private camping Quinta da Laranjeiras, Sao Miguel, Azores

Nordeste camping

In Nordeste is a nice, small public camping in the Norht-East area which is close to the highest peak, Pico da Vara. It is situated a bit higher in a tight valley, near the river, and feels like a safe and cosy place. There is one really narrow and steep road (only for 1 car) heading to the camping, and if you go down the valley towards the seaside, you arrive to a small pool area with natural seawater, which is spilling from the sea into the pools. How to find the camp? When heading to the Nordoeste, you will notice a camping sign. Follow it (if you are arriving on the nortern shore, you will have to turn left)! The camping is paid, but is relatively cheap. 🙂 Price: cca. 2,5€/person/day

READ MORE:  Western Australia camping hints
Nordeste camping, Sao Miguel, Azores
Nordeste camping, Sao Miguel, Azores
Pool with natural seawater
Pool with natural seawater

Furnas camping

Furnas has a modern, relatively large camping ground just outside of the village. The camp is not hard to find, and is generally guarded, paid (relatively cheap) and in a good position: you can easily walk from the camp to the park where there are warm little swimming pools, or to the nearby thermal center. The camp has some areas for cooking on fire, nice toiletries, and you can also get electricity if you want. Since it’s close to Furnas, you can also easily reach restaurants on foot and eat outside there. Since it’s a bit bigger, it feels a bit less safe than the one in Nordoeste or Rabo da peixe.
Price: 3,5€/person/day + 2,5€/tent/day

Furnas camping, Sao Miguel, Azores
Furnas camping, Sao Miguel, Azores

Sete cidades camping

In 2016 there was a relatively big area for camping with no fences around, and a small building with 2 toilets and some open-air showers. We heard that there are plans to improve this camping ground as well (in the same direction as Furnas and Nordeste were developed), but during 2016, it was a bit more wild, and completely free of charge. Since there were 3 other tourists in the camping at the same time, we felt quite safe, and even left the tent (empty) there while we left the camping area to visit the surrounding area. Nothing was missing afterwards, so according to our (limited) experience, it is safe.
Price: free of charge (in 2016)

Sete cidades camping, Sao Miguel, Azores
Sete cidades camping, Sao Miguel, Azores

A general advice

If visiting Sao Miguel, Azores and intending to camp, we really warmly recommend you to rent-a-car. You will have so much better experience, and in the end of the day, you will save a great amount of money on accomodation because the campings are really cheap – so it does pay off to pay some of that for a rented car. You can read here about how to get a car on Azores.

If you have any question regarding camping on Sao Miguel, Azores, write in the comment below.

 

Author: Matic

Matic is tech startup guy who loves to spend time outside. In his free time he is an true outdoor freak – he tends to surf, run and ride a mountain bike, and in the winter time just loves powder skiing and snowboarding. Matic also loves to travel, often has to because of work, and even more often because he wants to 🙂

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24 thoughts on “Camping in Sao Miguel, Azores”

  • Hello,
    I am intersted in staying at the Furnas camping site but finding it hard to find details about it. Thanks for posting the price per night! I was wondering if you could tell me a bit more about it. Do I need to book? Is there a website? Email? Do I need to bring my own tent/sleeping bag? What is the bathroom set up? Practical things like that. Thank you so much!! Ariane

    • Hi Ariane, yes it’s pretty hard to find info about the camps sites in Azores “been there done that” situation. So the prices are approximate, you don’t need to book in advance there is enough space for all but might bit a bit crowded during the weekends because of the locals. As far as I know there is no web site. You can find some basic info here: Visit Azores Once you get into the Furnas it’s very easy to find the camp (about 3-5 min of walking out of the city center). Since we had our own tent and sleeping bags I’m not sure about the renting, but I would say no. At least nobody offered us this possibility. Bathroom is camping like, not sure what exactly would you like to know? There are 4 or 5 bathroom and shower places, but when we were there only 2 of them were working. Bathrooms are not too dirty, actually are among the best ones in the Azorean camps, they even supply toilete paper. There are several places in the camp for grilling as well. During the night time the camp is “closed” security guard will let you in, but only if you have camping card – I really like that, we felt that our belongings are safe. Just outside of camping there is a small cafe/restaurant where you can drink coffe or order a lunch. If there is anything else you would like to know, let me know!

      • Thanks so much for that information. That is very reassuring – especially that I won’t need to reserve in advance! I will comment again if I have any other questions. But that answers a lot of my queries already 🙂 Thanks !! And thank you for blogging, really precious especially when info is rare 🙂

  • Just wanted to say THANKS!!! I’ve been scouring the internet for info on camping in the Azores, and I hit the jackpot with your summary here. It’s much appreciated 🙂

  • Hi, you say rental of tente is possible on first camping. As we discovering we have to pay 75e extra one way for taking our tent..that would be great. Any more info how to read the orner or book in d’avance or ask info? Thanks

  • Thanks for sharing, really useful information 🙂
    But what if I want wildcamping on Sao Miguel? Would you say it’s possible or is it forbidden completely on the whole island?

    • Hi Mones, the wild-camping is forbidden by the law in Portugal, therefore, also on Sao Miguel and you can get a fine. Although I met people who did this, so it’s up to you if you are willing to take the risk. I remember picking up two hitchhikers from Spain, with a plan to sleep in caves (!?), have no idea how this ended.

  • Hi,
    Update summer 2017
    Maybe nice to know,there is a free camping area in porto formoso with toilets and showers, cold water and one at cete cidades for free also with sanitary
    Have fun!

  • Was on Sao Miguel this August (2017). This info was really useful for us- I would provide the following updates:

    Rabe da Peixe
    We were turned away from here because we hadn’t been able to contact the owner to make a prior booking. To be honest he was really unhelpful!

    Sete Cidades
    Still free. Big site where you can light a fire if you want. Cold Water showers. Near enough to the village to walk in for a beer and relax by the lovely lakes

    Furnas
    5 euros per person per night. Great showers. Nice to walk to town. Range of good bars in the town

    Nordeste
    Lovely peaceful site. Friendly and helpful couple running it, even with a little shop to buy a few essentials.
    5 euros per person per night. Very limited car parking

    Porto Formoso on north of island
    Free campsite behind the car park of beach called Praia dos Moinhos. Walking distance to the lovely beach. Small toilet block with cold showers.

    I hope that helps any future travellers

    • Hello!
      Thanx for useful infos!
      Is it possible to rent a tent at these sites in October this year? What is the approximate price for a tent if I decide to buy it on the island?

      • Hi Kate, as far as I know, it’s only possible to rent a tent in private camping Quinta da Laranjeiras (Rabo da Peixe), unfortunately, I don’t know how much that costs. I bought a tent on the Sao Miguel island in Decathlon and the price was 21€, I took the cheapest one 🙂 and it works perfectly, still using it.

          • Huh, depending on the weather, I guess. I checked the average temperatures for autumn for Sao Miguel (here is the link), and it says average morning temperatures are from 15-18 C, I think this is perfect for camping. Since it’s autumn, it can rain. We only had rain for two nights on the west of the island (in September 2016) and slept in the tent. And find it perfect.:)

  • I was thinking about renting a camper van for our trip around Sao Miguel. Are these allowed at the campsites? We are going in April…does anyone know if the sites will be open at that time of year?

    • Hi, sorry for a bit late response, just got back from a bit longer travel 🙂 I think it’s gonna be a bit harder to camp with a van on Sao Miguel, except in the free camping. Not sure about the opening maybe you can contact visitor center, they should know.

  • Dear,
    We are with a group with 7 and going to Sao Miguel in July.
    Is it also not necessary to book in advance for this period? Because we don’t find emailadresses of the campings online.
    We want to visit the camping of Nordeste, Furnas and Sete Cidades, are they accessible by public transport?
    Thank you!!

    • Hi Sofie, thanks for the comment. I don’t know how is with the bookings in July, but I would guess that you should be able to find some place. We didn’t have any reservations, but we were there later.

      As of the public transport: it may be, but we really warmly recommend you to hire a car or in your case of 7 people, maybe 2. We wanted to travel by public transport, but after 2 days, we ended up renting a car. Public transport in Azores is daunting and not really well on schedule, so you will lose too much time, and nerves, with it (with the buses). Plus almost all public transport goes through Sao Miguel city, so you might end up driving up and down the island for no reason at all.

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