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Azores FAQs

How easy is it to get to the Azores?
There are flights to the Azores from the US, Canada, Europe and the UK. You can also take internal flights (or boats) between different islands. We can help you with travel ideas and we have a local travel agent who can help with any requests you may have.

Are there any good beaches?
Despite the islands’ extensive coastline, this is not a destination for a beach holiday. Most of the coastline is made up of black volcanic rocks, although there are a few white sandy beaches, including Praia de Formosa on the south coast of Santa Maria. Saltwater swimming-pools have been created at various points along the coast to make swimming more appealing. Usually, some kind of jetty has been built so that it is easy to get into the water, and the pools are sheltered from the waves.

What cultural attractions exist in the Azores?
Angra do Heroismo, the main town on Terceira, is a neat little place built on a Renaissance plan in the 16th century. The town has been granted World Heritage status by Unesco.

How do we get around?
The easiest way to get from one island to another is to fly; each island, even tiny Corvo with its single village, has its own airport. Fares vary, but an Azores Air Pass is available. This costs around £150 for flights to two islands and can be booked through SATA (0870 6066 664; There are daily ferry services (00 351 292 200 380; between Faial and Pico, which take half an hour and cost €3 (£2.15). Several days a week these connect with crossings to Sao Jorge, and there are daily sailings on this route from mid-June to mid-September.

During the summer, boats operated by Tur Angra (00 351 295 216 898; connect all the islands except Corvo, although some routes don’t have daily connections. Sailing times vary; the crossing from Terceira to Sao Miguel, for example, takes six hours.

Hiring a car is the best way of getting around the islands. Ilha Verde Rent-a-Car (00 351 296 304 891; operates on all the islands and has rates starting at €45 (£32) per day including unlimited mileage. Buses operate on each island, although services are often infrequent.

An alternative is to hire a taxi to take you on a half- or full-day tour; typically you could pay around €50 (£35.75) for four hours, or €70 (£50) for six hours, for a taxi that will take four.

What is the weather like?
The weather in the Azores is generally very pleasant, in summer it generally does not go above 26c (78f) and in winter it does not drop below 10c (50f.) The Azores is a beautiful, green place so that means it does rain (happily when it does we have 1/2 price on gin & tonics!)

How much do things costs in the Azores?
The Azores is quite cheap compared to other cities such as London, Barcelona, and Paris for example. A coffee is less than €1, a beer is around 60 cents and a glass of wine is €2 (a nice bottle will be around €10+ in a restaurant.)

Are taxis expensive?
Taxis are very reasonable, honest, helpful and freely available in all major towns. The taxi fare from the airport to Solar Branco 1885 is around €12. We can provide you with numbers but we do not take on bookings as part of your stay.

How built up is the Azores?
The main attractions of the Azores are their lack of urban sprawl and their natural assets, such as the lakes of Flores and Sao Miguel; the caldeiras (craters) of Corvo, Faial and Graciosa; volcanic peaks like Pico mountain, the highest in Portugal at 2,351m; and the cliffs of Sao Jorge, which have fajas or “flat areas” at their base.

How safe is the Azores?
The Azores is an incredibly safe place and crime is extremely low (but of course not unheard of.)


Accommodation FAQs

What is your check-in time?
Our standard check-in time is 2pm – 11pm. However, we are always willing to help where we can. If you would like an earlier check-in time please just let us know in advance and we will do what we can, based on availability.

What is your check-out time?
We ask you to check-out before 11am. If you need a later check-out this can be arranged based on availability, just drop us a line and we will do everything we can.

What are your beds like?
We aim to have the most comfortable, soft beds in the Azores!

Are you a sustainable property / eco-lodge?
Yes is the short answer. While the house was built around 1885 it does not mean that we cannot do our bit to help the environment. We aim to be one of the leading properties in the Azores when it comes to sustainable tourism and you can read more about our work, progress and ideas here.

What is your cancelation policy?
Our cancelation policy is as per the guidelines of Tripadvisor or AirBnB for example. We have a strict non-cancelation policy and for unforeseen circumstances, you need to contact the site you booked the accommodation through for a full refund. We will not do this outside of the booking engine.

Are children allowed at Solar Branco?
Yes, of course. If your children are under 16 we ask you hire the entire house (we have a special rate for this.) If everyone is over the age of 16 years (please note no under-18s are allowed in the gin library.)  We regret that we cannot host babies or toddlers at this point as the house has stairs etc.

Is your property pet-friendly?
Yes! We have 5 rescue dogs who live with us on the property (who you are welcome to meet of course.) Pets are allowed in the rooms, we ask that you let us know in advance and that you keep them under control at all times (ie on a leash) for the sake of the other guests.

Can I cook in the kitchen and bring food home?
Of course. You are welcome to use the kitchen and facilities within it as you wish (we just politely ask you to clean up afterward.) We have a fridge in the kitchen which you are also welcome to use as you wish.

Can you cater to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free visitors?
We offer a fresh breakfast which has cold meats, seasonal fruits, and breads. If you have specific requirements you are welcome to bring your own food and use our kitchen as you wish. If you have a nut allergy, for example, we can also help provide boxes to store foods, please just let us know. For the Friday night BBQ, we ask you to bring your own food if you have specific requirements.

What is your smoking policy?
For the convenience and comfort of all our guests, we do not allow smoking or vaping on the property (including the gardens.)

Do you allow parties?
Only if we are invited 😀 More seriously, we want you to have a good time but we ask you to respect the other guests on the property, so if you want to stay up late we ask you take notice of the other people.


Experiences FQAs

Tell me about your hosted experiences such as painting tiles, gin tasting and nature walks?
We offer a number of in-house experiences which you can read about here. Some of these experiences are complimentary to our guests and some incur an additional fee to take part in. We aim to cater to our guests in the in the best possible way we can.

Painting tiles: What if I make a mistake? How long will they stay up for?
We will happily replace your first tile if you make a mistake! The tiles are a permanent feature of the house and we hope that you will come back in 10, 20 or even 30 years and add one more memory to the wall one day, please read more here.

Gin tasting?
We have created a unique gin tasting experience for our guests all around gin. With over 300 different gins in our collection, we have something for everyone and such a wide variety to choose from to suit all tastes. The cost for the experience is €20 but if you bring a bottle of craft gin that we don’t have in our collection then you are welcome to swap that for the experience in the gin library. For more information please click here.

What about other experiences, such as guided tours, horse riding, and off-roading?
We have a concierge service that we trust and use regularly. Both Andy and Laura have spent a number of years living in the Azores and they have great access to a number of activities and tours for your enjoyment. Please feel free to contact them here or chat with us when you arrive and we will happily make some recommendations.


Sustainability FAQs

FAQs coming soon.
FAQs coming soon on this section.

FAQs coming soon.
FAQs coming soon on this section.

FAQs coming soon.
FAQs coming soon on this section.


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