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Azores, São Miguel Island trails

€795 per person
Except for the itinerary below, we also offer a stationery-based tour (all nights in one hotel, 4*, with swimming pool) and daily transfer to the trailheads and back. If interested, please get in touch to find more details.

São Miguel is the main island of the Azores, home to the capital, Ponta Delgada. The island is, quite simply, stunning with magnificent landscapes, and tempting hiking trails. In fact this is the island most often visited for self-guided walking and hiking tours in the archipelago of the Azores. There are 3 lakes located on the 3 craters of the island of São Miguel boasting breath-taking views. The roads and walking paths lined with hydrangeas bring colour to the green landscapes. The town of Furnas famous for its thermal baths, natural hot springs and impressive lake is a must see on the island. Come and explore on foot this hidden gem, lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and it will reveal all its secrets.

  • Destination
  • Duration
    8 Days I Difficulty: 1/2 (of 5)
  • What is included
    7 nights bed and breakfast (en-suite rooms throughout in a combination of 2- and 3-star hotels); Luggage and people transfers as per itinerary; Whales & dolphins watching guided tour; Detailed route description and maps; Emergency support phone line
  • What is not included
    Drinks and other meals, entry fees, public transportation tickets
  • Best period
    April, May, June, July, August, September, October
1
Day 1: Arrival at Ponta Delgada Airport of São Miguel Island.
Airport welcome and taxi transfer to Furnas.
2
Day 2. Furnas (14km, 3hrs, +270m/-270m)
Today you will be hiking independently in the crater of Furnas. Through lush vegetation, you will see the active volcano of the archipelago (fumaroles and sulfur springs) and its close links with the gastronomic traditions of this valley: the famous "cozido" (stewed with geothermal heat from the lakeside). It is possible to bathe in the warm waters of Terra Nostra Garden (payable on spot).
3
Day 3. Pico da Vara (7km, 4hrs, +450m/-450m)
Transfer to the beginning of the hike, where starts the ascent of the Pico da Vara. This highest point (1100 m) forms a chain that descends to the ocean through forests of "cryptomerias". The hiking trail takes you on a climb up to the highest point of the island through the rainforest, then onto the ridge covered with moorland where the view opens out over the island and the ocean. It is in this preserved nature that the only endemic bird on the island, the Azores Bullfinch, has found refuge. From the summit (and on a good weather day!) the panorama is exceptional and embraces the entire island. Transfer back to the accommodation.
4
Day 4. From the Gorreana tea plantation to Maia (10km, 3,30hrs, +250m/-250m)
The taxi will drop you off at the tea plantation in Gorreana, one of the 2 unique Azorean plantations in Europe. Here the tea is cultivated, collected, and manufactured according to ancestral methods. The hiking path winds through the meticulously pruned green shrubs. We recommend following the walking trail that runs through the plantations. Then proceed to Maia (about 30 min) along a country road at the start of the walk to the northern coast. From here begins a beautiful coastal hike through nature and culture. The path overlooking the ocean passes through the basins once used by the women of the village to wash clothes before arriving at a set of water mills, witnesses to the island's glorious past in wheat farming. Return via the wild beach of Praia da Viola which passes at the foot of the waterfalls. Transfer back to Furnas.
5
Day 5. Lago de Fogo (12km, 3hrs, +520m/-500m)
Transfer to the beginning of the hike. A beautiful walking trail to the most exceptional and untamed lake of this island: the famous Lagoa do Fogo, is expecting you. To get to this beautiful lake you will walk along a Levada (irrigation channel) and cross a geothermal active area as the itinerary goes up to the crests from which you will have many incredible vantage points over the surrounding areas. Walk back down on wide mountain pass that will take you back down to the coast. Transfer to Ponta Delgada, where you will stay 3 nights.
6
Day 6. Whales watching and Ponta Delgada
Departure for 3hrs of whales and dolphins watching tour - a truly unforgettable experience! You will be accompanied by professional guides to learn more about whales, dolphins, turtles, fish, and birds as well as the seasonal marine biodiversity of the Azores Islands! After this amazing excursion, you return to dry land. Free afternoon to enjoy the capital of Ponta Delgada. Boasting a history of over five centuries and precious testimonies of the past, Ponta Delgada is a multifaceted city where tradition lives hand-in-hand with the present and cosmopolitanism with wholesome tranquility of the Azorean life.
7
Day 7. Sete Cidades (15km, 4hrs, +400m/-450m)
Transfer to discover the west part of the island and the large crater of Sete Cidades. It contains two crater lakes, one green and one blue, separated by a 7 arches bridge that represents the 7 cities of the lost continent of Atlantis. At the end of the hike drive along the north coastal road past peaceful villages with whitewashed houses, small harbours, and swimming areas (pebble beaches). Transfer back to your hotel.
8
Day 8. Departure day
Transfer to Ponta Delgada Airport.

TOUR LOCATION

Price
795 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (01-25/04; 28/09-31/10)
825 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (26/04-27/09)
* N.B.: If your travel period falls into two periods with different prices, the one with the higher price will be invoiced!
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement: 240 Euro
Solo traveler supplement: N/A (min. group size: 2 pax)
Tips
Daily departures from the beginning of April till the end of October. The Azores' climate is neither too hot nor too cold (15-17C in winter, and 22-26C in summer). The best time to go to the Azores is from May to September. Indeed, even though temperatures are pleasant all year round, it is quite rainy from October to April. Although it is possible to go as early as May, a month in which it does not rain much, we recommend that you go from June to August, when the water temperature is between 20 and 25C. With close to 24 different species of cetaceans, the Azores are known for being one of the world's largest whale sanctuaries. Go and explore the Atlantic and watch the whales and dolphins around you. You can go all year round: in summer to come across spotted dolphins, sperm whales and baleen whales and in winter to encounter blue whales.
Accommodation
A combination of 2-, and 3-star hotels, en-suite rooms incl. breakfast (x4 nights in Furnas; x3 nights in Ponta Delgada). Options for dinner are readily available around or inside each place where you stay overnight.

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