|Panoramic view on our hike down Sao Jorge.|
Just to preface, this was our overall trip schedule:
- Day 0-1 - Fly from Ottawa to Flores (with stops in Toronto, Ponta Delgada and Horta). Stay in Casa Atlantida.
- Day 2 - Canyoning with WestCanyon Turismo Aventura
- Day 3 - Hiking the PL02FLO trail to see Poco da Ribeira do Ferreiro
- Day 4 - Hanging out in Flores
- Day 5 - Fly to Sao Jorge via Terceira. Stay at Aldeia da Encosta
- Day 6 - Day trip to Pico Island to go whale watching with Espaco Talassa
- Day 7 - Hike the PR1SJO trail from Serra do Topo to Faja das Cubres
- Days 8-9: Being lazy in Velas
- Day 10: Fly to Sao Miguel. Stay at Apartamento Antero II.
- Day 11: Exploring Ponta Delgada on Foot
- Day 12: Rent car, hike PRC9SMI to the Salto do Prego waterfall, visit Furnas and hot springs.
- Day 13: Rent car, visit Visto do Rei, Miradouro da boco da inferno and Sete Cidades.
- Day 14: Half-day Jeep Tour to Lagoa do Fogo, Caldeira Velha and the north coast
- Day 15: Home!
|Flowers, cows, cliffs and waterfalls. This is Flores.|
- AIRFARE was by far the single highest item. I'm not sure if we super lucked out last time, but flights were significantly more this time. We flew on SATA airlines and paid $4937 for airfare for the four of us. This includes all the inter-island flights.
- ACCOMMODATIONS - I budgeted $150/night and was able to find nice and suitable places to stay via AirBnB and Booking.com. We stayed in two bedroom apartment/houses with kitchen and laundry. Having laundry was crucial because it allowed us to travel with 2-65L backpacks and carry-on for the four of us. We did laundry everywhere we stayed. We paid $1998 for accommodations for 14 nights, which works out to $143 a night.
- OTHER - this is where it gets a bit nebulous. This category includes excursions (canyoning, whale watching and the jeep tour were about $300 each), taxi rides (there were many because we didn't rent a car on Flores or Sao Jorge - I think the most expensive taxi ride was about $45), car rental (two days of car rental was about $170), ferry (about $90), as well as groceries (we made our own breakfast every day, often made a quick lunch of sandwiches and I made dinner four or five times) and meals out (a dinner out for four people, including drinks for the adults and either appetizers or dessert ranged from about $70-160), airport parking ($125 for two weeks). There are probably a few small souvenirs snuck into this category too, because of the over $2000 cash we spent. The total for this category was $3884.
This brings our overall trip budget to $10 819 for four people for fifteen days. If I want to break that down more, it works out to $2729 per person for a two week trip or $182/day/person. I regularly see travelzoo type deals to the Azores advertising $999/person for a five day trip [which doesn't include meals or excursions, usually - just flight, accommodations and breakfast], so I think we didn't do too badly for the type of trip we had.
A person could definitely save some money in the 'other' category by eating at fewer nice restaurants, drinking less wine (we left multiple bottles of shame at every place we stayed). I don't think you could go too much cheaper on accommodations with a family though - hotels were much more expensive than where we stayed and we had a lot more space to spread out.
I haven't priced out other types of family vacations (i.e., Disney, week in the Caribbean, etc.) but we loved the sense of adventure in the Azores. We loved that it was so laid back and that we had time to enjoy and explore. We loved that if the kids wanted to see or do something, we could pretty much default to saying yes. We loved that it wasn't hypercommercialized (pretty sure a Disney vacation would be the end of me). We loved that the girls' eyes were opened to different surroundings and different ways of living and that they could appreciate and learn about one of the neatest places on Earth (I think).
|One of the many moments of sister love on the trip. These kids are travelling superstars.|
Patagonia is looking good.