Frequently Asked Questions: Azores

Packing

What should I pack?

 

  • Passport and any additional documentation as required by your nationality
  • Any medications you may need
  • Comfortable walking/hiking shoes
  • Layered, lightweight clothing
  • Lightweight water-resistant jacket/poncho and/or umbrella (frequent drizzles are normal)
  • Layered, lightweight yoga clothing (weather can be cool, and more so mornings)
  • Dark swimuit that may be stained by the iron in the thermal pools
  • Daypack or satchel for tours
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Insect Repellent
  • Toiletries
  • Reading material/journal
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimsuit
  • Yoga mat if you are not renting one from Belize Yoga
  • Motion-sickness medication if you require for transport (lots of windy roads)
  • Laptop or tablet (optional)
  • Camera
  • Plug adapter AND voltage converter (most laptops come with a converter)
  • Alarm 
  • Spending money and tip money
  • Visa or MasterCard (alert your card company that you will be visiting Portugal)
  • Neck pillow, eye mask and earplugs (optional for plane) 

Flights/Transfers

  *Please note that our retreats do NOT include international airfare.

What airport should I fly to?

Ponta Delgada (PDL).  

You can fly directly to PDL on Delta or Azores Airlines, or connect in Lisbon.


When should I book my flight?

We strongly recommend waiting until the retreat is fully confirmed  (after all students have paid in full, around 3 1/2 months prior to the  retreat). If you wish to book your flight earlier please note that there  is a chance the retreat could be cancelled (although that is unlikely).


  

How do I get to the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel in Furnas?

You are responsible for your travel to and from the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel in Furnas. A taxi from the airport is about 1 hr and between 40-60 Euros, depending on the number of people. Official check-in time begins at 3:00pm, but if you arrive earlier, they will allow you to enjoy the gardens, hotsprings and pool if your room is not ready. We will meet as a group at 4:00pm on the arrival Saturday of the retreat. 


What about departure?

On the departure Saturday, you may depart any time. Check out is 11:00am.



*If you are uncertain about your flight, please feel free to contact Belize Yoga prior  to purchasing.

Costs/Money

Should I bring Euros or exchange US cash? 

It generally is easiest to simply use an ATM upon arrival at the  airport to withdraw Euros. Exchanging US cash or obtaining Euros in the  US usually incurs more fees. There are ATMs near our hotel. Most ATMs limit withdrawal to 300 Euro per day.


Can I use a credit card?

 Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted.  It is VERY important to inform all credit/debit cards you plan to use  that you will be visiting Portugal. If not, they may block all  transactions.


  When is the balance due? 

The balance is due 120 days prior to the retreat.


How do I pay the balance? 

We will send you an electronic invoice to pay securely online.


What is included in the cost of the retreat? 

All transfers during retreat, 7 nights lodging, most meals beginning with dinner on arrival day and ending with breakfast on departure day (excludes 3  lunches and 1 dinner on your own), yoga sessions, 

adventures as listed in your retreat.


What is NOT included in the cost of the retreat? 

Three lunches, one dinner, gratuities, alcohol, sodas & drinks not included with meals, transfer to/from Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, laundry, phone, non-mealtime food or “off menu” ordering, additional tours, spa treatments or transfers not included in package. 


What if I have to cancel my reservation? 

If you cancel more than 120 days prior to the retreat, you will lose your deposit. Cancellation within 120 days of the retreat, there is no refund. We strongly recommend obtaining travel insurance for this reason.

General Travel

  What is the weather like? 

Weather in July/August in the Azores should be highs in the mid 70s, with lows in the mid 60s at night. We recommend bringing lightweight layered clothing as it may be hotter or cooler than average. Rainfall is likely, as popup drizzles are part of the typical day. 


What type of clothing should I wear? 

Of most importance is to be comfortable, and comfortable shoes are a must. Most of our daily 

activies will be a combination of walking, hiking, dining another activities.


Do I need a Visa to visit the Azores? 

US citizens do not need a visa to visit the European Union, only a valid passport that does not expire within 6 months of the retreat. Non-US citizens should check for entry requirements.

Electricity/Communication

What Electricity do they use?

Different from the U.S.: Azores is 230V/50Hz. U.S. is 110V/60Hz. The plug shapes are also different, so you will need a plug adapter so that your plug fits into a socket, PLUS a voltage converter to reduce the voltage to 110V. Without a voltage converter, your device will receive double its normal electicity. Most laptop computers and iphones have a voltage converter included.


Will there be internet? 

Yes, although first and foremost we invite you to UNPLUG. Wireless internet is available at the main areas of both locations. Please note that the internet may be slower than you are used to, and may be unavailable at times.


Is there cell phone coverage?

For the most part, yes (depends on your provider), although first and foremost we invite you to UNPLUG. Check with your service provider regarding international roaming rates, as they are very expensive without an international plan. We recommend keeping your smart phone on airplane mode during the retreat to avoid incurring fees for data, texts and calls.


Should I get a cell phone while in the Azores?

You can purchase a SIM card and monthly plan while at the Vodafone store in the PDL airport, but these can only go into an unlocked phone (most phones in the US are not unlocked). A free option would be to have WhatsApp, Skype or Viber installed on your smart phone for use via wifi.

Meals

  

Are the meals vegetarian?
There are meat options at each meal, and plenty of vegetarian options.


I have specific food allergies or restrictions, can that be accommodated?
Most often, yes.  Just let us know your dietary restrictions on your registration form.  Please note that Portuguese enjoy gluten, diary and meat...of course we can accommodate allergies and/or avoidance of those foods, but occasionally options may be limited.  We generally recommend bringing along some  protein-rich snacks if you have a vegetarian, vegan, or raw food diet.


Are all meals included in the retreat?
Most meals are included. You are on your own for one dinner and three lunches.