If you are planning to visit the Azores in March, this article is for you! Maybe you are wondering if this is a good time to go to our beautiful islands in the Atlantic. Or you might be looking for things to do with the weather in the Azores in March. Well, don’t worry, we will cover everything from what to wear to the weather forecast and local events. We will help you organize your best holidays in the Azores at any time of the year.
All year round, the archipelago is used to pretty unpredictable weather. It never gets too cold, but we are getting the four seasons in a day. Between heavy rains and a bright sun, only 5 minutes can make a difference.
Is March the best time to come to the Azores? Why visit during winter? All you need to know to travel to the Azores in March is here, keep reading!
How is the weather in the Azores in March
The weather in the Azores in March is globally good as our islands benefit from nice temperatures all year round thanks to the subtropical oceanic climate. March is the last month of winter, and marks the beginning of spring, so it begins to get dryer.
However, rain is more frequent than during the summertime. March is not the best month for those who want to get tanned on the beach everyday and love the heat. But if you enjoy nature and outdoor activities, then March is a good time to go to the Azores.
A great advantage of coming in March is that you will find less tourists on the islands.
The high season is in July and August, but in March you will be able to have popular spots all to yourself or with very few people. Also, March is absolutely great to watch the biggest whales in the world passing by our waters on their annual migration.
The weather in the Azores in March will bring approximately 103mm (4 inches) of precipitation distributed between 17 days during the whole month. This is less than the previous winter months. Per day, you will be able to enjoy an average of 7 hours of sunshine. Apart from the rain, there can be some fog, mostly in altitude, and a moderate breeze. The speed of the wind will vary from an average of 20km/h to 25km/h. The median cloud cover with the weather in March in the Azores will be 38%.
February is the coldest month of the year in the Azores. In March, temperatures start to rise. There are still cool days but not as cold as in the European mainland.
The average low for March is 11°C (52°F) and the average high is 16°C (61°F). If you are lucky it can even go up to 20°C! The highest ever temperature for this month was in March of 1987 with 25°C. It is a great month to enjoy nature and our beautiful landscapes.
In March, the water temperatures are the same as January, February and April: 17°C (63°F). This is the coldest that the ocean can get in the Azores, but still many people go swimming on sunny days. If you are afraid to get cold, a wetsuit can be the solution for you, but locals usually go with a regular swimming suit. The temperature will start to rise only in May.
All year round, surfers love the Azorean waves. There are so many aquatic sports to practice in our 9 islands. From snorkeling to wakeboarding, diving to windsurfing, everyone will find something interesting to do in the water.
Sunrise and Sunset Times
For travelers, the amount of sunlight hours is relevant to enjoy the most out of their holidays. The length of days is gradually increasing in March. On the shortest day, March 1st, the sun will rise at 7:17AM and set at 6:36PM, offering 11 hours and 19 minutes of daylight. On the longest day, March 31st, with 12 hours and 32 minutes of daylight, it will rise at 7:32AM and set at 8:04PM.
If you are a sunset lover, Mosteiros on São Miguel island is the best spot to observe the sky fill with soft colors. In Flores island, Fajã Grande is your best option! For the early birds, sunrise is best seen on Serra do Cume in Terceira island and on Pico island, from the top of the volcano, of course!
Nature in the Azores in March
Spring is around the corner, many flowers will start to bloom in March. But the islands will still be mostly bright green thanks to the rain from the wintertime. With the weather in March in the Azores you will still come across many rainbows.
In the ocean, our waters are beginning to get richer in food for the big whales passing by the Azores on their annual migration. It is a great time for watching these beautiful creatures.
What to do in the Azores in March
In March, you can experience amazing outdoor activities like canyoning, horse riding, or enjoy a boat tour around the islands. Relaxing in the hot springs of São Miguel island is almost mandatory! The air temperature is ideal to enjoy the warm waters.
March in the Azores also has the perfect environment for walking in our lush nature and hiking our breathtaking trails.
Areas in altitude may have more wind and fog, but trails inside forests are great to recharge your batteries.
But the one thing to not miss is whale watching in March in the Azores! Indeed, this month is particularly amazing to watch cetaceans in the Atlantic as it is the beginning of the baleen whales season.
For days filled with rain, there are many museums and interpretation centers to visit on the 9 islands. From scientific to artistic, historic to volcanic, themes are diverse to meet everyone’s needs and attract curious souls. Some examples are the tea plantation of Gorreana in São Miguel, or the volcanic cave Gruta das Torres in Pico.
Whale and dolphin watching in March
From March to June in the Azores is the absolute best time to go on a whale and dolphin watching trip if your dream is to see the biggest animals in the world. The huge and majestic creatures are present in our waters mostly during this period but it can happen to see them at other times of year. Between them, the big 3:
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Those are only part of the 28 cetacean species already registered in the Azorean waters. And outside of the big whales season, we have four whales and dolphins species that are residents in our archipelago, which means you can see them all year round. Those are:
– Sperm whales,
– Risso’s dolphins,
– Bottlenose dolphins,
– and Common dolphins.
Although the weather in the Azores in March is still quite unpredictable and tours can be canceled due to bad sea conditions, at Futurismo we will rebook your tour for free! Also, if we don’t find any whales or dolphins during the tour, you will get another chance to go on the boat with us without paying anything!
Did you know that with us you can swim with wild dolphins all year round? March is no exception and dolphins are present at any time of the year. It is a beautiful experience in the middle of the blue Atlantic, hearing and seeing dolphins swimming around you. For sure, this is something you don’t want to miss when on holidays in the Azores.
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Hiking in March in the Azores
The Azores archipelago is famous for its wonderful hikes, and each island has countless charms to discover.
For São Miguel, we highly recommend the trail of Salto do Prego in Faial da Terra. This circular trail has many hidden gems, but the highlight is definitely the beautiful waterfall, where you can swim in the fresh waters.
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In Corvo island, the trail of Caldeirão offers one of the most insane views of our islands: a pristine lake surrounded by bright green vegetation inside a collapsed volcanic crater.
São Jorge island is a go-to destination if you love hiking as there are many beautiful routes to discover remote locations. One of them is the trail down to Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo. A good tip is to spend the night down there in the small village only accessible by foot or quad.
Another example of a stunning trail is Fajã Grande to Ponta Delgada in Flores island for a full immersion in nature and the ocean always on sight.
Local events in March
Carnival in the Azores is a big deal! It can be in February or March depending on the date of Easter. During Carnival there are shows and parades on the streets, special disguised parties and delicious typical food like the Malassadas – Azorean donuts. The biggest parties are on São Miguel and Terceira islands but each parish of the 9 islands organize festivities.
A religious tradition in São Miguel island are the Romeiros – pilgrims. Catholic groups made of only men organize a long trip by foot to visit as many churches as they can around the island, singing and praying along the way. They will be on the road in March and April.
Last but not least, at the end of March is the annual Rally in São Miguel island. This event attracts many sports car lovers to the island every year. Cars are racing in amazing landscapes such as Sete Cidades, one of Portugal’s seven natural wonders.
What to wear with the weather in the Azores in March
The unpredictable weather in the Azores in March makes it hard to choose what to wear in the morning. But we always advise to take a waterproof jacket with you and opt for dressing in several layers of light clothes. So a t-shirt, a sweater and a jacket on top is the right combination to not be either too cold or too warm as you can take layers off.
If you are planning on hiking, bring adequate waterproof hiking boots with a good grip as paths can be wet. We recommend pants over shorts for hikes due to the lush vegetation on some of them.
For Carnival parties, don’t forget to bring your most beautiful carnival mask and a disguise.
Also very important, a swimming suit is a must for the hot springs or for the ocean. Due to the iron in the hot springs water, don’t pack a white swimming suit as it might turn orange. And of course, don’t forget your camera!
Best time to go to the Azores
The answer to ‘What is the best time to go to the Azores?’ is: Every single month in the year! Yes, every month is special on the nine islands.
For a farniente vacation, June to September is the right choice for you. But if you want to avoid the crowds, we highly recommend from October to May.
Whale lover? Then come between March and June for the baleen whales season.
In order to enjoy the hot springs, wait until the wintertime. In the summertime it can get too hot to relax in the warm waters.
For the famous hortensia season, then come in July and August. The sides of the roads are covered in many colors, so instagrammable!
Keep in mind that all year round temperatures are acceptable, ranging from 15ºC to 25ºC (59-77ºF)
Let’s see here what each season brings to our archipelago in order to find out the best season for you to come to the islands and enjoy the best holidays.
Why visit the Azores during the wintertime? This is actually the best time if you want popular spots all to yourself! Indeed, more travelers come to the Azores during the summer months, so if you are coming in winter, you can appreciate the landscapes with much fewer people.
As it is the low season, prices for accommodations are a bit lower so it is a good tip to come in winter if you have a small budget. It is also the right season for last-minute getaways.
Activities are also not full so you can usually book a few days ahead and still find availability.
While other seasons are warmer, winter is the perfect time to enjoy the hot springs around São Miguel island, and the one in Graciosa island. As it is slightly colder, the relaxing feeling of the iron-rich waters will be multiplied. When it rains, it gets even better!
During springtime in the Azores, streets and dirt roads are slowly filling with thousands of colors from the flowers. The weather in the Azores in March is getting warmer as well as the ocean temperatures. There are not so many tourists yet and you can enjoy the green nature of our islands.
Many festivities happen in Spring such as the biggest religious festival of Santo Cristo in May. This is when all Azoreans gather in Ponta Delgada for nights of dance, fun and celebration.
Spring calls for a richer biodiversity in the Azores.
That is when migratory species pass by our waters and you can observe the biggest whales in the world. They love our waters rich in food for them at that time of the year. For greater chances to see the big blue whales, come between March and June. However, don’t forget that we spot other whales and dolphins all year round.
Summer is lovely in the Azores, the sun is brighter, temperatures higher and the ocean is a delight. Plus, the nature reserve of Vila Franca islet opens in June to swim and snorkel inside the ‘Princess Ring’, a collapsed volcanic crater in the ocean with crystal clear waters.
You will have higher chances of good weather when visiting in the summertime. And temperatures are not as high as on the mainland so it is still perfect to be active outdoors and go for hikes.
However, you might find lots of travelers at that time of year. Note that July and August will be the busiest months. Even though it is not such a popular international destination thanks to a remote location in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. June and September are great for enjoying good weather and not having so many people around.
Hot springs in the summertime are still acceptable on rainy days, although the feeling of the warm waters can be better in the wintertime. Ferraria hot springs are preferable in the summertime because it is in the Atlantic Ocean so you can feel the warmth generated by the volcanic activity and the freshness of the oceanic waves.
Beaches and natural pools are the best thing you can do to cool down and spend a relaxing day in the summertime. Pico island is known for having the greatest number of natural pools in the archipelago, although there are natural pools and black-sand beaches in all islands. Santa Maria island is the only place where you can find white-sand beaches in the Azores.
Also keep in mind that in the summertime there are more local events and festivals. Nights are very alive in the Azorean summer, mostly in Terceira and São Miguel islands. If you enjoy live music, check Sanjoaninas of Terceira, or Burning Summer in São Miguel for example.
When the trees turn orange and the floor is filled with brown leaves, the Azores feel like a relaxing place to be for fall season. There are many things to do as the temperatures are not so low, so you can still experience amazing outdoor adventures like whale watching, hiking or canyoning. On rainy days, simply go to the hot springs!
However, fall is when we tend to have more hurricanes passing by, mostly in October. The last big one to date was Lorenzo hurricane in 2019, destroying Flores’ harbor and killing hundreds of seabirds. The weather can be unstable and you really do get the four seasons in one day.
A plus is that you will avoid the crowds of the summertime, but still find other travelers compared to the wintertime.
Useful Tools & Apps
SpotAzores is THE website to visit everyday in order to plan your itinerary of the day. It allows you to see the live weather in many places around the islands thanks to cameras. Use it if you go to spots in altitude to make sure to not miss the views.
Windguru is probably the most accurate weather forecast if you want to see what the weather will be like in the next few days. But don’t use it for the long term because the weather forecast can change a lot here.
The Azores in March is a great destination compared to many places on the European mainland in terms of temperatures and outdoor activities. Plus, when we do get some rain, it usually doesn’t last all day long. So the secret to enjoying your best holidays in the Azores is to not let the weather change your plans. So, explore our lush nature, jump in our refreshing ocean and learn more about the history of our islands.
Traveling to the Azores in March has plenty of advantages and we hope we convinced you in this article. We will be waiting for you to visit the Azores in March or at any time of the year.