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Basic info and car hire in Sao Miguel

  • Location: São Miguel, Azores
  • Official language: Portuguese
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Weather: The climate of Azores is subtropical oceanic. Due to the influence of the ocean, the archipelago is not a tropical paradise. It is pleasantly warm in the summer with the temperatures never reaching 30 °C even in the summer. The winters are mild and the temperatures don’t drop below 7 °C. The rains are quite frequent in autumn and winter and therefore the landscape is green and in bloom. But the Azores also do not get a lot of sun, especially from October to April. 
  • Public holidays in São Miguel: Public holidays are the same as in Portugal mainland.
  • Internet coverage: The Azores are well covered by all modern mobile phone networks. Internet cafes are available in most towns and resorts. The internet coverage is good, strong wifi or 4G. If you need to 'have a plan B' for travelling throughout the island, there are two options: MEO and Vodafone. 
  • Road conditions:  Driving on the islands of Azores is quite different than on the mainland. Driving and car hire in São Miguel is more relaxed. Since the islands are small you are almost unable to get lost, but the roads are old, bumpy and narrow, so maybe think of renting a smaller car. Some roads are hardly maintained, and some are just two tracks through the fields. In the winter the road conditions may change quickly due to rain and fog.

About Sao Miguel

São Miguel is the main island of the Azores, an archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Azores are known for its volcanic landscape and peaks, azure lakes and dramatic coastline. The island is called also »Ilha Verde« (the Green Island) due to its verdant terrain. There are nine islands that make the Azores archipelago and you should take the most days for São Miguel. Car hire on São Miguel from Ponta Delgada Airport is the best entry point for your island experience. Ponta Delgada is the largest municipality and the capital of Azores of Portugal.

Driving in Sao Miguel

  • Age limits: For car hire in São Miguel you need to be at least 23 years old, some rental agencies even set the minimum age at 25 years (for younger drivers a special fee might occur). To drive a car in the Azores the minimum age is 18, the same rules as in Portugal apply. 
  • International Driving Permit: International driving permit for car hire in São Miguel is required.
  • Additional papers: You should always have your valid identification document, valid driving title and all documentation that has been delivered with the vehicle.
  • Additional requirements: 
  • Children in the car: No child under the age of 12 may sit in the front, and when in the rear of the car, must have a suitable restraint system that complies with EU regulations. When renting your car you can ask for chairs and safety seats for children.
  • Driving side of the road: Right-hand side.
  • Lights: Headlights must always be used in the tunnels.
  • General speed limits: The speed limits are a little lower than in Portugal mainland due to narrow and worse roads. Within the localities the maximum speed limit is 50 Km/h, outside of localities, up to 80 Km/h and on the expressways, the maximum is 100 Km/h.

Parking suggestions: In localities, you will find paid parking areas and also garages for overnight parking. Parking is free outside Ponta Delgada.

Drive your rental car around Sao Miguel

The main difference of driving in Portugal mainland or on the Azores are the speed limits since the maximum limit on the islands is 100 km/h. Car hire in São Miguel offers you to choose a smaller car to drive best on narrow and steep streets and we suggest you follow the weather forecast due to quick weather changes which influence the road conditions. If you are visiting the island of Pico and Faial ferry service is available, but if you plan to go to the other islands, an individual rental will be necessary due to travel by air between them.

What to see in Sao Miguel

Our favourite spots

Hotels in Sao Miguel

Where to eat, drink and party in Sao Miguel

Major events and festivals