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Ferries to Flores

Flores is the westernmost island of the Azores archipelago in the North Atlantic, forming the Western Group alongside Corvo.

Listed a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Flores is mostly deep valleys blanketed with pink and blue flowers, and etched with deep caves with streams cascading down verdant cliffs; it is arguably the most beautiful island in the Azores. Moreover, between Fajazinha and Faja Grande lies the most scenic stretch of coastline in the island chain, with almost twenty waterfalls reaching three hundred metres high. Featuring seven crater lakes, the island emerged from a sub-aquatic volcano during the Pleistocene period, the most recent ice age, also resulting in many hot springs of sulphurous water.

Island activities

A popular mountaineering destination, Flores offers challenges in the form of Groto de Enxareus, an enormous cavern measuring fifty by twenty-five metres; and, one of the most notable natural landmarks, the Rocha dos Bordoes, a large set of vertical basalt columns resembling a huge pipe organ. Fascinating geological formations also take shape at the Morro dos Frades, where shadows cast by the rocks appear to show a friar and nun, while the offshore Monchique Islet represents the westernmost point of Europe.

Flores has many churches, one of the finest being the hilltop Nossa Senhora de Lurdes, affording spectacular views over the island, so it’s worth the climb. The Flores Museum in Santa Cruz provides a fascinating insight into the local agriculture, carpentry and the remains of a nearby shipwreck dated to 1909. Excellent angling opportunities lie all around the coast, and birdwatchers will be pleased to hear it’s the best island in the archipelago for spotting migratory species like goldcrest and the blackcap.

The Festival of the Holy Ghost is a centuries-old tradition, which involves enacting the rituals of crowning an 'emperor' and celebrating with a feast and street dancing, occurring on the last Sunday of August in Santa Cruz. In July, the Festival of Emigrant celebrates those who left Flores searching for a better life, but who came back to the island every year, which is not to be missed.

Getting the ferry to Flores?

Given its westerly location, ferries to Flores only come from the Central and Northern Groups of the Azores, and Corvo, with routes running once a week. Operated by one of the biggest companies in the region, the journey times vary greatly, owing to the sparse nature of the islands.

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Flores reviews

  • "Good experience"

    The trip itself went relatively well. However, there were some problems with functioning of the website and for a week we could not buy the tickets because the website was not active (in May). I strongly recommend reminding/explaining foreign tourists the car license issues. While buying the ticket online for some reasons there was no option for "car registration/licence no. is unavailable at the moment" or something like this in the beginning of purchasing process. Then it appeared. When we came in a rented car to get the tickets in Madalena, the staff member at the ticket office did not ask us for the car registration number, so we went to the ferry and got to Horta with no car registration number on the tickets but, going back we experienced a big stress, when almost 5 minutes to the departure of the ferry we were told that our tickets are not valid for this car, though we had come without any problems to Horta already. Your staff at the ticket office should be careful. But generally we found this way of moving to Horta and back to Madalena very good.

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  • "Booking Atlanticoline with Direct Ferries"

    Booking with Direct Ferries resulted in major issues which we have had to rectify while on holiday. The Direct Ferries website failed to include a car on the selected ferry crossing. When I contacted Direct Ferries to request that a car be included, I was informed that they would address this within the next 24 hours. I did not hear from Direct Ferries until one week later, shortly before our departure for the Azores, to inform me, as I was already aware, that a car was not included in the booking 2. When I attempted to rearrange the booking, once on the Azores, it transpired that Direct Ferried, despite confirming the booking for the 7th August, had in fact booked the outgoing journey for the 22nd July. Since this date had now passed I had to forfeit the cost of this booking and rebook for the correct date. I was fortunate to be able to include a vehicle in this booking but had to rearrange to a 7.30am crossing which was far from convenient. I will be raising these issues with Direct Ferries on my return to the UK. My advice to other travellers in the Azores would be to book directly with Atlanticoline who proved to be very efficient and helpful while trying to rectify the problems, and on our first crossing the service was excellent

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  • "wonderfull journey"

    departure right on time and quick checkinn. that is something your rarely see when travelling by plane. pleasant and beautifull trip sitting on deck with a Nice sunshine seeing all the islands by. What more can jou wish. Only thing to improve is the lunch and diner. Food is good but it is serves in a short periode so the line up is long. Sometimes to long. Why not a buffet??

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Routes and Ports in Flores