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Atlantic Islands Specialist

5 Favorite Hidden Beaches of the Azores

Azores beaches

An archipelago of 9 unique islands, the Azores has so much to offer: nature, food and wine, cheese, beautiful plantlife, fantastic hiking, hot springs, waterfalls, adventure, culture, beautiful vistas, and so much more! In addition to all that, the Azores have a few beautiful beaches. Here is a list of our 5 favorite hidden beaches in the Azores if you’re looking for a little sand in your toes while you are visiting the island. 

  1. Praia Formosa, Santa Maria island

The most famous beach in the Azores, this long, clean stretch of golden sand beach can be found on the less-populated island of Santa Maria. With just one small restaurant on the end of the beach, bring your towel and sunscreen and be prepared to spend a peaceful day lounging with the few other sunseekers that visit this small island.


  1. Ribeira das Tainhas, Sao Miguel island

On the southern side of the island just east of Vila Franca do Campo you’ll find this black sand beach in a tiny cove between grassy cliffs. The sand is silky smooth and the beach is within easy swimming distance to a pumice stone outcrop with rocky ledges - perfect for climbing up to jump into the clear blue waters.


  1. Praia Do Almoxarife, Horta, Faial island

Just to the north of Horta village on the east side of the island, you’ll find Praia do Almoxarife and its gray volcanic sands and beautiful views of Mt. Pico across the water. This beach is rarely crowded, has easy ocean access, and has the added bonus of a natural sea pool surrounded by lava rocks.


  1. Mosteiros, Sao Miguel island

Head to the very western tip of Sao Miguel, past the infamous Sete Cidades parish, along one of the more dramatic sections of coastline in the Azores and you’ll find Mosteiros. It is most recognizable by the huge black volcanic rocks jutting out from the sea. With many natural pools, this is the perfect atypical “beach” to visit for a dip in the ocean and some adventure. Be sure to bring sneakers or other good shoes to walk on the volcanic rocks and use the ladders to descend into these blissful, natural pools.


  1. Praia da Viola, the ‘secret beach’ on Sao Miguel island

 On the north side of the island, Praia da Viola is a small, quiet beach with grey sand and thick flat stones, flanked by a cliff. In the middle of the hidden beach, there is a path that leads up to some deserted water mills, formerly the main industry of Viola parish.


While the Azores is not known as a sand & sun destination due to these beaches being dark sand and often hard to find, the Azores beaches are full of character and offer solitude & incredible backdrops. Quest Travel Adventures are your Atlantic Island Specialists with over 10 years of experience in small group travel to the Azores. Some of our most popular trips include our 5 Day Taste of the Azores6 Day Azores Adventure Seeker and 8 Day Best of Azores. What are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to the Azores today!

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