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

Hiking on Sao Miguel: Higlights

  Discover the beautiful blue and green lakes of the Sete Cidades caldera

 Explore The bubbling volcanic landscape of Furnas, famous for its thermal pools

  Hike through lush forests with cascading waterfalls

  Walk around Europe’s last remaining tea plantation in Gorreana

  Stay in comfortable 3*** and 4**** star hotels with swimming pools


This week-long walking holiday takes in the best walking trails on São Miguel, the largest island of the Azores in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean. This volcanic island consists of three majestic craters filled with azure lakes and shrouded in thick forest. On the flanks of the caldera of Sete Cidades, around a green lake, are spread fertile pastures bordered by blue hydrangeas. Along the rugged coast lie sandy beaches and pretty fishing villages. In the interior, the verdant valley of Furnas is home to hot springs, as well as a peaceful village set on a romantic lake. The exuberance of light, the intensity of greens and blues, banana crops, tea plantations and quaint villages with baroque churches and whitewashed houses all add up to an unforgettable walking experience!

8 DAY TOUR From €799 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 of between 2 to 4 hours with an average ascent /descent of 100 – 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 8: transfer to Ponta Delgada airport for your return flight
Transfers to and from your walks as per the itinerary
Luggage transportation from one hotel to the next
Road Book with detailed route notes, vouchers and integrated maps
General map of the Azores 1:50,000
Emergency telephone support
NOT INCLUDED
Flights to and from the Azores
Travel insurance
Lunches or dinners
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: Arrival in The Azores – Transfer to Capelas

Meet and greet at Ponta Delgada airport, before a taxi transfer to the pretty village of Capelas on the rugged north coast of the Island.

You will stay 2 nights in the 4**** Vale do Navio hotel with pool.

2

Day 2: Sete Cidades

Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 400 m | Descent: 400 m | 4 hrs approx.

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the western part of the island where you will explore the large crater of Sete Cidades. The caldera contains two crater lakes, one green and one blue, separated by a bridge with 7 arches that symbolically represent the 7 cities of the lost continent of Atlantis. At the end of the hike you will be transferred back to your hotel by way of the northern coastal road, passing through sheltered villages with whitewashed houses, small harbours and natural swimming areas.

Overnight: Vale do Navio 4* hotel

3

Day 3: Gorreana Tea plantation to Furnas

Ascent: 300 m | Descent: 230 m | 2½ hrs approx.

This morning you will be transferred to the Furnas valley in the centre of the Island. The taxi will drop you off at the tea plantation in Gorreana, the oldest (and currently only) tea plantation in Europe. Here the tea is cultivated, collected and manufactured according to ancestral methods.

A walking trail winds through the meticulously pruned green shrubs, with elevated sections offering great views of the island’s northern coast. A small country laneway leads you to the village of Maia, from where you follow a beautiful coastal path that passes the basins once used by the women of the village to wash clothes before arriving at a set of water mills, monuments to the island’s rich agricultural history.  Return via the wild beach of Praia da Viola at the foot of the waterfalls.

Transfer to your accommodation in Furnas.

Overnight: Furnas, 3*** Vista do Vale hotel.

4

Day 4: Furnas crater walk

Distance: 10.5 km | Ascent: 150 m | Descent: 150 m | 4½ hrs approx.

Today you will walk in the volcanic caldera of Furnas. Through lush vegetation, you will explore the only active volcano of the archipelago (fumaroles and sulphur springs) and discover its close links with the gastronomic traditions of this valley: the famous “cozido”, a rich meat and vegetable stew which is slow-cooked under the soil at the geothermal lake sides.

Possibility to bathe in the warm waters of Terra Nostra Garden.

Overnight: Furnas, 3*** Vista do Vale hotel.

5

Day 5: Ascent of Pico da Vara

Ascent: 500 m | Descent: 500 m | 4 hrs approx.

Transfer to the beginning of the hike. Today’s hike 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 up over the island and the ocean. The Pico da Vara (1100 m) forms a chain that descends to the ocean through forests of “cryptomerias”.  It is in this preserved nature that the only endemic bird on the island, the bullfinch, has found refuge. From the summit (and in clear weather!) the panorama is exceptional and embraces the entire island.

Transfer back to your accommodation.

Overnight: Furnas, 3*** Vista do Vale hotel.

6

Day 6: Lago de Fogo

Distance: 6 km | Ascent: 300 m | Descent: 300 m | 4 hrs approx.

Transfer to the beginning of the hike. After the town of Ribeira Grande and its baroque architecture, the road climbs to yet another island volcano: the Lago do Fogo. A favourite place for many birds that nest on the island, this nature reserve also protects numerous endemic plants. You will hike around the wild caldera with a possibility of swimming in the lake, with surprisingly warm water for a mountain lake.

After your walk you will be transferred to Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores and a charming town of traditional narrow streets and balconied colonial mansions.

Overnight: Ponta Delgada 3*** hotel.

7

Day 7: Rota de Agua

Distance: 8 km | Ascent: 250 m | Descent: 250 m | 2½ hrs approx.

Transfer to the starting point for your final walk, which follows the rota de agua (“water route”). After an initial climb through farmland, with wonderful views over Ponta Delagda, the trail enters a thick jungle landscape, where you will find a series of majestic aqueducts that once suppled the ancient Alcohol Factory of Lagoa. Deep in the forest, you will discover the Janela do Inferno (“window to hell”) where a spring flows from a large cavity in the towering rock wall. Take a chance to appreciate the beauty of this place and to regain energy.

Transfer back to Ponta Delgada. Free afternoon in the Capital.

Overnight: Ponta Delgada 3*** hotel.

8

Day 8: Departure

Transfer to Ponta Delgada Airport for your departing flight.

Arrival and departure info

  The main international airport in the Azores is Ponta Delgada airport.
Transport is provided from and to Ponta Delgada airport at the start and end of your trip.
All transfers are provided between hotels and to and from walking routes throughout your trip.
Sao Miguel landscape - Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Sao Miguel island - Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Sete Cidades walking trail - Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Sete Cidades - Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Sao Miguel lakes - Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Harvest of Gorreana tea - Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Furnas Lake - Antonio Carvalho e Cunha
Church, Sao Miguel - Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Island hiking, Sao Miguel - Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Lagoa do Fogo - Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Sao Miguel coastline - Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Portas da Cidade, Ponta Delgada - Turismo Acores

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