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“We saw a beautiful Island and met a new friend !” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Azores Private Tours

Azores Private Tours
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: My name is Rui and I am a Sao Miguel Island native. I love meeting people from other countries and making their visit to the Azores one they will never forget. My customers are not just clients to me – they are new friends, and as such they receive personalised service. I have many years of experience as a professional private driver, and you will find me an enthusiastic host with an excellent sense of humour. I can provide VIP services, Private Tours by Car and/or Minivan, and Airport Transfers.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
London, Canada
Level Contributor
119 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“We saw a beautiful Island and met a new friend !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2012

After booking a cruise crossing the Atlantic for last April , I started looking at alternitive shore excursions rather than the ones offered by the cruiseline . I landed in my search on tripadvisor.ca and saw the fantastic reviews from customers of Rui Medeiros who organises tours on Sao Miguel and takes you to the nicest places considering your wishes. I emailed Rui a few times with some questions , because I had never taken a private tour , and they were answered like clockwork , very friendly also making suggestions what would be best to do. His English was extremely good he has a very informative website and on the question of fees was clear and honest . He also suggested that if we had friends on the cruise to bring them along because the car was large enough to seat 4 comfortably and for the same cost . So I booked the tour we landed in Ponta Delgada , and at the shore Rui was waiting close to the ship with our names on a plackard and with a sparkling clean car ready for our tour. Well we had a wonderful day on one of the nicest islands we have been to . We saw some beautiful of-the -beaten-path locations you could not reach with a bus , we visited the marvelous hot springs , had a meal at Tony's Restaurant of the food prepared over these hot springs for about 6 hours . We walked through a wonderful tropical forest and saw the waterfalls . Our tour was adjusted due to some fog and rain which Rui asked our oppinions where to go next . His knowledge of the Island is fantastic , not a question was too much for Rui and we also had a lot of fun together . The 6 hour tour ran out to 7 hours what was the rush as long as we made the departure of the ship and he made sure of that . At the end of the day we gained a new friend in the Azores . All four of us agreed this was one of the best tours we have ever had at very reasonable cost . I can not wait to get back to Sao Miguel to meet up with Rui again and see some more of this beautiful island .I agree with all what is written about Rui in these reviews .
Thank you Rui for this wonderful day together !

Visited April 2012
2 Thank Anthony F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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371 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The Only Way to See Sao Miguel!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2012

During our recent stay in Sao Miguel, we had the opportunity to spend a full day with Rui who took us on a customized tour of the places that were of most interest to us. We first met when he drove us from Ferraria to Ponta Delgada and he took the time to discuss our interests and ideas so we could plan the best agenda for our tour that was scheduled for a few days later. It was clear that from our first meeting, Rui was genuinely thoughtful and considerate and really wanted to make our tour something to always remember – which he did successfully! We spent the day of our tour absorbing beautiful scenery, learning at the factories and unexpectedly hiking a trail to discover an off-the-beaten-path waterfall. Beyond what we saw, we had the chance to exchange great stories and share a bunch of laughs. It was not your typical tour experience by any means; it was more like adding another friend to our group who just so happened to know everything about everywhere we went! Rui does not disappoint. You are guaranteed to have a splendid time on Sao Miguel with Rui and he will surely highlight the eminent beauty of the Azores.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank Jennifer R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delmar, NY
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“More than Excellent...Super Superlative”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2012

I agree with all the other reviews (knowledgeable, friendly, good English, great driver...), and have a few extras to add. Rui is honest, sincere and dependable. A few months ahead of our cruise, I booked him for a 5 hour tour. I found out from other (disappointed) passengers that he had other offers for that day, and they may have been more lucrative & tempting. But Rui kept his committment to us.

Rui does his absolute best for you: There were two ships in town that day. The other boat got the prime docking spot and we were docked in a very restricted area of the working port. We were told that no cabs would be allowed at our docking place, and everyone would have to take a shuttle bus to town to get their tours. No exceptions. I envisioned our 5 hour tour shrinking! When we walked off the gangplank, there were rows of shuttle buses. In front of all the shuttle buses was Rui. He had made inquiries the night before, found where we would dock and made arrangements to be there for us. He was the only private driver who had done that...and I think he had to pay a fee for it.

Booking Rui instead of a shore excursion is cost effective: We may have paid slightly more per person than we would have if we had done a cruise line shore excursion, but we got the equivalent of at least 2 shore excursions in the same time frame and at the pace we wanted to go. It was the highlight of our cruise.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank coast2coastDelmar_NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cayman Islands
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Amazing experience, brilliant guide!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2012

My friends and I were on Celebrity Eclipse, stopping in the Azores for nine hours. We wanted a personalised tour as the word “coach” breaks me out into a rash. I researched the web (and TripAdvisor) to find the glowing recommendations for Rui Medeiros. I emailed him and he got right back in touch with tour suggestions and a very reasonable fee, so we booked him and the car for the three of us (he has a minivan for larger groups.)

He was there to meet us at the port, and what followed was one of the best private tours I have ever experienced. The island itself is breathtaking, but that day the weather was a bit iffy, so Rui changed the itinerary as we went so we could avoid the intermittent rain and fog as much as possible. His English is excellent; a blessing, as my Portuguese is embarrassing. Obrigado.
His knowledge is extensive, his manner is charming, and we laughed along the way for six hours. We visited two of the lakes, the hot springs, the tea plantation, and a waterfall that was so breathtakingly beautiful, I would have felt like a wood nymph sitting by the pool surrounded by lush vegetation had I not overindulged in the cruise ship buffet for the week prior.

We could have taken him with us by the time we returned to the ship, but then we would have been selfishly depriving others of his services in the future. It was also interesting to hear the reports from other passengers of their cruise ship coach experiences, none of which came close to matching our own. When I look at what we paid in comparison, and what we got out of our tour with Rui, we consider ourselves incredible fortunate that we took the path we did. Honestly, if you are visiting the Azores you need to book Rui, and book him early to avoid disappointment! There is no better way to truly immerse yourself in this Atlantic Ocean paradise.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank bighairvicki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Perfect host and driver!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2012

There were six of us in our group who had an unscheduled visit to Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel as our cruise ship was unable to keep to its itinerary in March 2012. Well, as it turned out, it was indeed the best thing that could have happened to us. As we were passing through the cruise terminal, Rui was waiting to see if anyone would like to book a tour of the island with him. We were so happy to be guided by him for half a day around the beautiful island. He was so kind, considerate, funny and knowledgeable and spoke perfect English. He made our day perfect in every way at a very reasonable cost.
Thank you Rui for looking after us all so well, we will never forget our time with you. We would all recommend booking with Rui for your tour of the island, you won't regret it. www.vivazores.com.

Visited March 2012
3 Thank karrie23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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