Trip to a Portuguese island: Madeira vs. Azores

Hello!

After a first trip around a few Portuguese cities this summer, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, I’m now looking into planning a solo trip to a Portuguese island in September to celebrate my birthday, and I can’t decide between Madeira or the Azores as both look breath-takingly beautiful.

I’ve been making my research on both, so I’m not expecting detailed information or an exact plan , but more of an overall feeling/recommendation to guide me in my research and help me decide.

My main requirements are accessibility/availability of public transport , and affordability to a reasonable extent . I love nature, though I’m not an experimented hiker, as well as culture and history, so a place that could combine both would be ideal. Also I’m most interested in authentic experiences and I try to stay away from overly touristic places, although it’s sometimes unavoidable, especially that unfortunately I don’t speak Portuguese.

I’ll have 15-18 days off in total but I might combine that with a few days in Lisbon, depending on how much time would be enough for the island trip.

P.S: If anyone is interested in traveling around Portugal I’m happy to provide tips and recommendations for Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve.

Thank you!

Trip to a Portuguese island: Madeira vs. Azores