Abandoned Hotel Azores: Exploring Monte Palace Hotel

abandoned hotel

Are you up for exploring an abandoned hotel in the Azores - aka the coolest urban exploration ever? Hotel Monte Palace in Sete Cidades, the Azores, was once one of the grandest hotels in the world with an unbeatable view of a lake inside an ancient, dormant volcano. Nowadays Monte Palace Hotel is abandoned and nature has taken over. It's the perfect spot for adrenaline junkies and amateur photographers.

hotel monte palace

It's one of the creepiest, coolest places we've ever visited, so allow us to take you on a tour of the abandoned Hotel Monte Palace:

Why Was the Monte Palace Hotel Abandoned?

abandoned hotel

The Hotel Monte Palace Azores was a very, very bad French investment in the 80s. Ostensibly it seems like a good idea: the rooms were gigantic and had jaw-dropping views like this:

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That's a view of Sete Cidades and Sete Cidades lake - an ancient, dormant volcano now filled with a lake.

azores abandoned hotel

But Monte Palace Hotel was 30 years ahead of its time, they highly overestimated the number of people that would visit Sete Cidades or even the Azores themselves.

abandoned hotel

So despite the incredible location and views, this Azores abandoned hotel was only open for little more than a year before it had to be closed.

Is the Abandoned Hotel Monte Palace Guarded?

abandoned hotel how to get in

For ten years or so guards were employed to keep an eye on this abandoned hotel (hence why it's still in such 'good' keep). Azoreans told us great stories about trying to break in as teenagers and then being chased by guard-dogs!

monte palace hotel

But nowadays the money has run out and the guards and guard-dogs are gone (along with the windows and most of the carpets). But this is part of the reason it feels so weird (I think). It's from the 80s but was kind of kept in a preserved state for over ten years, and so the damage from the nature is still pretty new.

Can You Go Into the Monte Palace Hotel?

monte palace entry

With no guards and guard-dogs, you are free to come and go as you please. In fact, there's no fence or barbed wire or even a sign that says keep out - nothing to suggest you can't go in.

Is It Safe to Explore This Abandoned Hotel?

abandoned hotel safety

Just like when you're exploring any abandoned hotel, this one in the Azores is safe, with a little bit of common sense - like not falling into the elevator shafts or walking under bits of ceiling that look like they are going to fall off. The floors are extremely solid and there's the odd sharp edge or two, but nothing for experienced urban explorers - or even inexperienced urban explorers - to worry about.

hotel monte palace

I'd even go so far as to say that it would be safe enough to go at night - just make sure you bring a good flashlight.

Is Abandoned Hotel Exploration Scary?

abandoned building safety

Thanks to the architect who utilised a lot of natural light and wanted the best views possible, it's really light and not scary inside, if anything it's beautiful. Nature has been allowed to take over and there are flowers and grass everywhere.

azores hotel monte palace

Saying that though, on our second visit we gathered enough courage to go down to the lower floors (no lights) and that was creepy as hell. There's a kind of underground nightclub bit down there that looks like it's straight out of the shining and we scared ourselves silly pretending our torches had gone out etc. It was also the setting for a French horror film!

How to Get the Best Photo of Sete Cidades Lake

sete cidades lake instagood

Pretty much all the rooms on the north side have fantastic views of Sete Cidades (I bet they were the most expensive). But to get the best views of the Sete Cidades lake head up to the roof.

best view sete cidades

Now turn around and feast your eyes on this:

sete cidades insta good

Best views in the hotel!

How to Get to the Hotel Monte Palace

monte palace hotel directions

The Hotel Monte Palace isn't marked on Google Maps, but Miradouro da Vista do Rei (or Viewpoint of the King's) is, and that's exactly where abandoned Monte Palace Hotel is:

You can easily rent a car in the Azores or do what we did and hitch-hike in the Azores (click that link for a full guide). Hitch-hiking is easy in the Azores. Taking a bus is not. They basically don't even have buses there, trust us, we tried.

How to Get to & Where to Stay in the Azores

People used to joke that it was cheaper to get to the USA than to the Azores (which really wasn't a joke for the Azoreans, most of which could never afford to leave their islands. Sure, when you see how beautiful those islands are you might wonder why they'd want to but imagine needing medical care that you could only get on the mainland...) Just recently Azoreans and tourists have easily been able to come and go from the Azores thanks to the cheap, cheap flights that have just opened up in the last couple of years.

I don't really recommend you actually stay at the Monte Palace Hotel, but you know yourself better than I do. If you're looking for something with zero risks and 100% luxury try the Best Hotels in the Azores. Also, here's a quick summary of everything you need to visit the Azores:

  • Best Luxury Hotels in the Azores: Our guide to finding the perfect hotel in the Azores for your honeymoon, anniversary, birthday or any other special event.
  • Medium to Cheap Hotels in the Azores: hotels in the Azores for all types of budgets, from budget travellers to middle.
  • Holiday Rentals in the Azores: we stayed for a whole month in the Azores thanks to Airbnb's monthly discounts.
  • FREE accommodation in the Azores: with house sitting. We travelled the world for two years straight by house sitting. Find the perfect Azorean house sit for you.
  • Best Tours of The Azores: comprehensive list of the best tours to do in the Azores.
Visiting the Azores is an absolute must for everyone's dream European bucket-list, and not just for urban exploration, they also do: whale watching, natural hot springs, adventurous activities, delicious local foods, kind locals - the Azores truly has it all and more! In fact, check out our list of the top 10 reasons to visit Azores!

Some Other Photos of the Monte Palace Hotel

This is the view from the entrance of the Monte Palace Hotel, complete with Sete Cidades Lake:

exploring monte palace hotel

Incredible view of Lake Sete Cidades from the roof of the hotel, actually I'd argue that this is the best view on Sao Miguel, if not on the whole island:

abandoned azores

View from one of the lower bedrooms, yes the road is right underneath the rooms, but you wouldn't have to worry about noise pollution, even nowadays with tourism becoming more and more popular in the Azores, cars are few and far between (ask the hitch-hikers).

hotel azores abandoned

Inside one of the formerly grand hotel rooms. Nowadays they are overrun with algae, mould, disrepair etc but we think it gives it a magical look:

sete cidades abandoned hotel

azores hotel abandoned

The shot was taken just outside the front of the hotel, as you can see, the views are incredible:

visit monte palace

Some graffiti inside the hotel, most of the graffiti was fun / told you where other explorers had come from:

monte palace graffiti

Thanks to the rainy + sunny weather, the Azores are one of the lushest, greenest places in Europe:

hotel monte palace

As you can see, the Hotel Monte Palace is an absolute wreck, with plaster and rubble everywhere - which makes the experience much more exciting:

azores ruined hotel

inside ruined hotel

Another incredible view from the roof. Be warned about the Azores: it rains all the time, you must make sure you visit Monte Palace Hotel on a non-cloudy day so you get the full effect, we stayed for a whole month, trust us, non-cloudy days happen.

hotel monte palace roof

One of the annoying tourists/novice urban explorers - look how excited I am:

azores girls monte palace

Another tourist, albeit a slightly less annoying one:

azores men

Bits of the roof dangles down precariously, there is mould on the walls, but it's easy to imagine how grand it once was:

interior monte palace hotel


tourists azores

A view from the main entrance out to the lake, the couple standing there are the lovely German people we hitchhiked with:

hitchhike to monte palace hotel

Last but not least, another money shot from the roof:

abandoned hotel azores

Wrap Up: Abandoned Hotel Azores, Exploring Monte Palace Hotel

So there you have it, our experience exploring the haunted and abandoned hotel in the Azores - the Hotel Monte Palace. We really recommend you take a trip when you visit the Azores.

Tell us in the comments below - would you like to visit this abandoned hotel in the Azores? Why or why not? And if you're into visiting abandoned places in Europe, tell us your favourites - we'd love to visit!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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