campsites azores
Last Updated: February 22, 2021

Best Campsites In Azores: Natural Swimming Pools & Volcanos

Looking for good campsites in the Azores? We’ve got you because that’s exactly what we’re talking about in this detailed guide!

We’ve found the top ten campsites on the most popular Azores islands, so we’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed. And we’ve included campsites that will accept motorhomes and campervans, which is rarer than you might think.

From walking trails near Mount Pico to the stunning natural swimming pools on Faial Island – here are the best campsites in the Azores!  

Things To Know About Azores Camping

Franca do Campo Azores

Even if you’re used to camping, it will be a completely different experience in the Azores. So, here’s a few things to keep in mind, so that you can avoid any nasty surprises.

There is no ferry to the Azores. The only way to reach these lovely islands is to fly there, which means your trusty campervan has to stay at home. Car rentals on some islands offer campervans, so it is possible to rent one if you really want the freedom that comes with a motorhome.

The roads are not great. Roads on the islands are narrow and curvy, to put it mildly. They’re definitely not built for large vehicles, so if you’re intent of camping on one of the islands in a motorhome, your driving skills must be impeccable.

Azores Crater

Very few campsites accept vehicles. On Sao Miguel island, there is only one campsite that will accept campervans, and they don’t offer waste disposal services for the vehicles. But some campsites let you rent their campervans – they can’t be moved from the camp, but they have a bed and some other necessities for a comfortable stay. This will be a thousand times more convenient than getting around the islands in a campervan you rented, so keep that in mind.  

Some campsites are free. That’s right – you can camp in the Azores without spending a dime. It’s great if you’re on a really tight budget, but just know that free campsites don’t include any amenities (electricity, hot water) for comfortable camping.

You can get away with sleeping in parking lots. By no means am I encouraging you to set up camp in a car park, but if you’re in a pinch and there are no other options, you can spend the night in a parking lot. Just don’t pitch your tent next to your campervan and you will be fine.

Municipal da Furna Campsite

Mount Pico

Municipal da Furna campsite is in Santo Antonio on the Pico island. There’s a diving center close to the camp, as well as open-air pools with gorgeous views of the Atlantic ocean. The coast here is mostly rocky, but at least it is accessible for swimmers.  

This campsite has pitches for up to 90 tents, and they’ve all shaded thanks to the tall trees throughout the camp. Pitches have access to electricity and free WiFi, and the sanitary block is clean with bathrooms, showers, and a laundry room. One thing worth noting is that the camp supposedly offers hot and cold water showers, but a lot of visitors complained that they didn’t have access to hot water at all during their stay. It might be a seasonal thing, but it’s definitely something to be kept in mind.

There’s a restaurant just outside the camp and the closest town with stores and bars is within walking distance.

It is possible to hike to Mount Pico directly from the camp, but it will take quite a while. It’s about 4 hours to the visitor center at the foot of Mount Pico, and from there you can go on an organized hiking tour of the volcano. If you’re not in the mood to spend the entire day walking around the island, you can always drive up to the center.

Sete Cidades Campsite

Lagoa Sete Cidades

Sete Cidades is the only campsite on the Sao Miguel island that accepts campers in vehicles. But even they don’t offer waste disposal for RVs, so keep that in mind. It’s likely that the rental service can help you empty the waste tank, but that also means that you’ll have to drive all the way back there even if your camping trip is not over.

The campsite is in a spectacular area near lakes and a volcano crater. The views are mesmerizing wherever you look and the nature around you is stunning. Oh, and the best part is that this is a free campsite.

That’s right, you don’t have to pay for your pitch. Just put your tent somewhere in the massive field and you are good to go! And for a free campsite, they sure offer a lot of amenities, including toilets and showers. But there’s no hot water in the camp and you can forget about electrical hookups and WiFi.  The upside is that there are lots of hiking trails nearby, and it’s just a few minutes away from the town that has restaurants, bars shops and everything else you might need.

Quinta das Laranjeiras Camping Park

Sao Miguel Rural

Quinta das Laranjeiras campsite is probably the best campsite on Sao Miguel island. Accommodation options here range from simple pitches to mobile homes and equipped campervans you can rent. But you can’t camp here in your own motorhome, so keep that in mind.

You can even rent tents at this campsite, and those come with inflatable mattresses. So, if you normally pack light but really want to go camping in the Azores, this is one of the best campsites for you. It is in a rural area though, so you will need bikes, scooters, or a car to get to the beach or just the closest town.

This campsite has two kitchens – one is for campers who are on the tent pitches, and the other one is for visitors who are staying in one of the accommodation options at the camp. There are separate bathrooms for men and women, and they are okay. Not very big or modern, but they’ll do. The camp also has a laundry room, a playground for kids and an outdoor barbecue area, which is quite nice.

Furnas Campsite

Lake of Fire Azores

The Furnas campsite is just outside the Furnas town on the Sao Miguel island. That’s nice because you’ll find cafes, restaurants and grocery stores within walking distance of the camp. This is a tent-only campsite in an area surrounded by beautiful nature, with spectacular views wherever you look. There are lots of walking trails nearby, so the camp is a great base for further exploration of this part of the island.

The campsite features tent pitches with electrical hook-ups, which is really good. There are also lots of trees throughout the camp and most pitches are at least partially shaded. But don’t expect to have any privacy from your neighbors. Some parts of the camp don’t have any tree foliage at all, and it’s just a sea of tents one next to another.

The sanitary block is not very modern, but it’s usually clean and it has hot water. There are sinks for washing laundry, but unfortunately no washers or driers. The camp also features an outdoor barbecue area and a football field, both of which are great fun for families. Also, there is a restaurant near the camp entrance, and it serves some cheap but pretty delicious food.

Nordeste Campsite

Sao Miguel Lighthouse

Nordeste is another free campsite in the northeastern part of Sao Miguel island. It’s for tents only, and it’s on a first come first served basis – if you see a spot that can fit your tent, you’re good. There’s no parceling going on at the camp; instead, it’s just one vast field with loads of tents. Most parts of the camp are shaded but don’t expect to have any privacy from your neighbors.

The free campsite does have a sanitary block with toilets and showers, but no hot water. There’s also a barbecue area with picnic tables, which is really nice for a free camping park.  The closest town is within walking distance of the camp, and you’ll find all the restaurants, stores and bars you might need there.

There’s also a natural pool really close to the camp, and it overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll find a lot of walking trails nearby, and they will take on your adventures across the wild Sao Miguel landscape featuring waterfalls, viewpoints, beaches and a lighthouse.

One thing worth noting is that the area near the Nordeste campsite is not ideal for families with small children. The coast is mostly rocks here, and it’s not very accessible even for really good swimmers. You might find concrete blocks where you can put your towel, and that’s about it in terms of beaches.

Velas Campsite

Sao Jorge Island

The Velas campsite is on the Sao Jorge Island in the central Azores. It is very close to Velas town, where you will find everything you might possibly need during your stay from car rental to supermarkets. The campsite is in a beautiful area near the football field, and it is surprisingly modern compared to the other campsites in the Azores.

It’s a tent-only campsite with electricity and water taps on every pitch. The camping area is well-manicured and clean, with paved access to all the pitches. There are not too many trees throughout the camp though, and the lack of shade might be an issue if you don’t bring sun umbrellas. One area of the camp features a tree per pitch, but that’s not exactly a guarantee you will be in the shade all day long.

Other camp facilities include a clean sanitary block with toilets, showers and a laundry room, as well as cooking facilities and a pool. There’s even a bar at the camp and a beach volleyball court. Overall, this is one of the more family-friendly campsites in the Azores and easily one of the best options on the Sao Jorge island.

Urzelina Campsite

Sao Jorge Azores

Urzelina campsite is another good option on the Sao Jorge island. The location is great because it’s in a more natural area, but the closest town with supermarkets and cafes is just a short walk away from the camp. Also, there is a lot of shade in the camp, as well as spectacular views wherever you look.

There are electrical hook-ups throughout the camp, but there’s not a lot of them. If you want to be sure you’ll have electricity at your pitch, it’s highly recommended you bring a really long extension cord. This camp also features squeaky clean sanitary facilities, an outdoor barbecue area, and they even have a really nice pool for visitors at an extra free.

The Urzelina campsite is right on the coast, and you’ll be waking up to the sounds of the ocean. But it’s also close enough to Pico do Pedro that you could be at the top of the mountain in just about three hours! If you are into hiking, you should know that there’s plenty of hiking opportunities on Sao Jorge island.

Varadouro Campsite

Faial Island Crater

Varadouro Campsite is on the Faial Island, in a forested area with plenty of shade. The camp is just a couple minutes away from the Varaudouro natural swimming pools, which are probably the best spots for swimming on the island. There’s also lots of walking trails in the area, making this campsite a great base for exploring the rest of the island, most notably the massive volcano crater.

The campsite features an outdoor grill and picnic tables, so it’s perfect for evening barbecues. But what I really like about it is that the tables are far apart and sometimes separated with stone walls, so you can really enjoy some privacy here.

Also, you’ll find a bar and a restaurant at a camp, which have prices so low you will be amazed. The pitches are all separated with short stone walls, and every single one has access to electricity. There’s hot water in the sanitary block, the toilets are clean and there’s WiFi throughout the campsite. One issue might be that the pitches are not grassy, so mud could be an issue in the wet season.

Pinheiro Campsite

Pinheiro campsite is Praia, on the Graciosa island of the Azores. It’s one of the most popular campsites out of them all in the island group, due to the spectacular location and facilities available at the camp. Pitches are on well-manicured green grass, with lots of trees throughout the camp for shade and privacy.

Everything at this campsite is clean, modern and organized. Plus, the camp is in a natural area with spectacular views of the island and the ocean, and yet less than a 10-minute walk away from the beach and Praia town. You will find everything you might need in Praia, including shops, bars, restaurants etc. Additionally, the beach is sandy with shallow water, so it’s perfectly suitable for families with small children.

The camp facilities include clean bathrooms and showers, a kitchen and washing machines. Plus, the camp is less than an hours away (on foot) from Furna do Enxofre volcano, which is an astonishing sight. There’s other walking trails in the area, making this campsite an excellent option for everyone who enjoys spending time exploring the nature.

Biscoitos Camping Park

Biscoitos camping park is on Terceira Island, which is one of the largest islands in the Azores. It features an international airport, and for a lot of visitors it is the first stop in the Azores. The campsite is close to natural swimming pools, which happen to be the most popular spot on the northern part of the island.

You’ll also find cafes, restaurant, a bakery and a butcher really close to the camp, and that’s great because there aren’t any stores within the actual camping park. There is an outdoor barbecue area though, as well as a sanitary block with hot water and a fully equipped kitchen.

However, most campers agree that maintenance of the camp needs to do a better job. Hygiene is not at a high level here and organization is lacking even more, plus there’s barely any shade on the pitches. If you can put those issues aside, I think you’ll have a good time at this camp. The location is amazing, and the campsite actually has a lot of potential with spacious and parceled pitches. Electricity is not available on every single pitch so you will need an extension cord, and WiFi only works at reception.

About the Author Sara Oprašić

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