8 days
Duration
Easy to Moderate
Difficulty grade
Portugal
Location
April-October
Availability

Hiking in the Azores: Higlights

  Explore the wild and lush landscapes of São Jorge Island

 Pico Island, with its perfectly symmetrical volcanic cone rising from the Atlantic

  Spectacular views from the Caldeira at the top of Faial Island

  Comfortable accommodation 3*** and 4**** hotels

  Includes ferries and flights between the islands


The mid-Atlantic Azores islands are simply made for adventure. On this trip you will explore three distinct and fascinating islands by foot and by boat. Faial Island, the island of hydrangeas, was the scene of a great volcanic eruption in 1957. The horizon is dominated by the majestic silhouette of Pico’s volcanic cone, towering over the ocean and surrounding islands. Wilder and more secretive, the scenically dramatic island of São Jorge is a sheer-sided ridge which offers magnificent hiking trails among vineyards and sub-tropical dragon trees, as well as banana, guava and coffee plantations. Watch out for whales and dolphins as you ferry between the islands and discover why this archipelago is often called the “Hawaii of the Atlantic”.

With very comfortable accommodation, you will be able to soak up the island lifestyle, always with a swimming possibility nearby.

8 DAY TOUR From €1250 per person sharing*

*high season supplement will apply during busy booking periods
*this trip is unfortunately not available to solo walkers

ACCOMMODATION Double accommodation in 3* and 4* hotels with breakfast. Accommodation is on a bed and breakfast basis and all rooms are en-suite. The hotels are carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services.
AVAILABILITY This trip is available from April to October and you can start on any day of the week, subject to availability.
DIFFICULTY Easy to moderate walks: between 2hrs to 4½hrs walk and an average ascent /descent of 150 to 500 metres per walk.
INCLUDED
7 nights’ accommodation in comfortable en-suite rooms
7 Breakfasts
Day 1: transfer from Ponta Delgada airport to your hotel
Day 2: airport transfer and flight to Pico island
Day 3: transfer for your walk on Pico island
Day 4: transfer to ferry port and ferry to Sao Jorge island
Day 5: transfer for your walk on São Jorge
Day 6: ferry to Faial island and transfer for your walk
Day 7: transfer for your walk and flight back to Ponta Delgada
Day 8: Ponta Delgada airport transfer
Luggage transportation from one hotel to the next
Road Book with detailed route notes, vouchers and integrated maps
Emergency telephone support
NOT INCLUDED
Flights to and from the Azores
Travel insurance
Lunches or dinners
Whale watching trips or bike rental
Anything else not mentioned in the ‘included’ section
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Single Room Supplement(s)
1

Day 1: São Miguel Island, Ponta Delgada

Trip starts in Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Island. Transfer to your hotel located in the town centre. Depending on the arrival time, you can spend the afternoon exploring Ponta Delgada. The administrative capital of the archipelago, it is home to many historical monuments, typical small streets and a beautiful marina.

Overnight: Ponta Delgada, 3* hotel

2

Day 2: Flight from São Miguel to Pico and walk on South Coast

Distance: 11 km | Ascent: 150 m | Descent: 200 m | 3 hrs approx.

Transfer to the airport and flight to Pico Island, named after its giant volcano. From Madalena, you begin a lovely coastal hike between small ports – where you can swim – and vineyards, surrounded by walls of black lava. This unique method of cultivating the vine, has seen this area designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Overnight: Madalena, 4* hotel

3

Day 3: Walk the western flank of Pico island

Distance: 11 km | Ascent: 25 m | Descent: 695 m | 3 hrs approx.

Transfer to the western flank of Pico, for a beautiful hike between pastures and farmlands, down to Madalena. The departure point is quite astonishing as it is a lava tube – once home to a hermit called Brother Matias – that is today draped in the endemic vegetation of this island. Free afternoon to enjoy Pico, with possibilities for cycling or whale watching.

Overnight: Madalena, 4* hotel

4

Day 4: Ferry to São Jorge and walk the <em>Faja do Santo Cristo</em> “pilgrims’ path”

Distance: 9.5 km | Ascent: 400 m | Descent: 700 m | 4 hrs approx.

Transfer to Sao Roque on the north coast to take the ferry to Velas on São Jorge Island. Wild and rugged, with steep volcanic cliffs and deep ravines, São Jorge is home to some of the best walking routes in the Azores. You will be transferred up to the peaks of the island, from where you will descend along the pilgrims’ path between hydrangeas and junipers to Faja de Santo Cristo, an isolated hamlet overlooking the open ocean lagoon. From this village, accessible only by foot, you will walk along the coast to Faja dos Cubres. Transfer back to Velas at the end of your walk.

Overnight: Casa do Antonio guesthouse, Velas

5

Day 5: São Jorge, Faja de São Joao to Faja dos Vimes

Distance: 11 km | Ascent: 450 m | Descent: 450 m | 3 hrs approx.

Today you will be transferred to the south coast of São Jorge island. Discover Faja de São Joao, a small village on the cliff with characteristic cottages and narrow streets …. A cobbled coastal path connects this fajã (coastal plain formed by lava flows or landslides) to the one of Vimes, further west. Between vine crops, yam and local vegetation as such as pittosporum, this trail offers beautiful views of the south coast and the distant islands of Faial and Pico. Transfer back to Velas at the end of your walk.

Overnight: Casa do Antonio guesthouse, Velas

6

Day 6: Ferry to Faial Island, Caldeira walk

Distance: 12 km – 16km | Ascent: 300 m | Descent: 900 m | 3-4½ hrs approx.

You will take the ferry to the port of Horta on Faial island, once a famous stop for transatlantic sailors. Transfer to the central crater. After skirting the edge of the caldeira at 1000m altitude, you follow a levada (narrow irrigation canal) along a ridge, before descending through the lava fields and hydrangeas to Praia do Norte. Transfer back to Horta after your walk.

Overnight: Horta, 3* hotel

7

Day 7: Capelinhos Lighthouse walk & return flight to São Miguel

Distance: 5 km | Ascent: 150 m | Descent: 150 m | 1½ hrs approx.

Transfer to the south coast for a short walk to the Capelinhos lighthouse, scene of a tremendous volcanic sea eruption in 1957 which created an eerily beautiful, ashen landscape. Why not go for a swim at the volcanic beach before your transfer back to Horta, where you will have some leisure time to discover its colonial architecture, as well as the history of American whaling ships and telegraph companies that give the town its cosmopolitan atmosphere. Afternoon flight back to Ponta Delgada and overnight.

Overnight: Ponta Delgada, 3* hotel

8

Day 8: Departure

The trip comes to an end after your transfer back to Ponta Delgada airport

***Important*** depending on the schedule of the ferry between the islands, the itinerary might need to be adapted.

Arrival and departure info

  The main international airport in the Azores is Ponta Delgada airport on Sao Miguel island.
Transport is provided from and to Ponta Delgada airport at the start and end of your trip.
Flights and ferries between the islands are included in the cost of the trip.
Hiking on Pico island
Hiking in the Azores
Sao Jorge - Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo (José Ricardo Vieira)
Sao Jorge - Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo (José Ricardo Vieira)
Sao Jorge; Faja dos cubres (Associacao de Turismo dos Acores)
Sao Jorge landscape (Associacao de Turismo dos Acores)
Port of Horta, Faiail island (A.A.)
Capelinhos Volcano, Faial (Associacao de Turismo dos Acores)
Faial landscape (Associacao de Turismo dos Acores)
Horta Marina, Faial (Associacao de Turismo dos Acores)
Azores dolphins (photo: Norberto Driver)
Whale watching (photo: Norberto Driver)

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