Highlights of the Azores

Highlights of the Azores

From $ 3,010 AUD

Description

Although modern Portugal can be credited for its contributions to art, architecture and world-class dining, there’s a distant remnant of the Old Empire lying far from the mainland. From the rolling blue hydrangeas of Faial, the steep cliffs of Sao Jorge and the black volcanic soil under the vineyards of Pico, the Azores offer a delightful insight into both island and Portuguese living. Discover a new side to ancient Portugal on this island-hopping Atlantic adventure.

Trip Name
Highlights of the Azores
Last Updated
2020-04-20
Days
7
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Admire beautiful green pastures as you drive along roads bordered with flowers on your excursion to Capelinhos volcano
  • Enjoy a whale-watching tour on a small-boat excursion with an experienced guide who’ll offer insights into the lives of these amazing creatures
  • Hike on the trails of Pico da Esperanca, the highest point in all of Portugal!
  • Explore Sao Miguel Island and enjoy fresh Azore cuisine made using local produce 

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. MUSEUM VISITS & OPENING TIMES Please note that many sights, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays (and sometimes even Tuesdays). We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where required/possible.

Day 1 - Sao Miguel Island / Ponta Delgada
Welcome to Sao Miguel Island, treasured as the vibrant Garden of the Atlantic thanks to its lush surrounds – hopefully you get a glimpse of this through the plane windows on the way in. Your island adventure begins with a welcome meeting that takes place at your lodgings at 6 pm. If you arrive early, perhaps wander along the seaside promenade of Ponta Delgada town, pick up a plate of bacalhau (dried and salted cod) at the farmer’s market in Mercado da Graca, or even sample some fresh seafood at the local restaurants.
Day 2 - Sao Miguel Island / Ponta Delgada
San Miguel is home to some stunning scenery and by the end of the day, this should be more than obvious. Take a day trip to the central parts of the island, wandering over lagoons and volcanoes in this stunning green landscape. Take a visit to Arruda’s Pineapple Plantation located at Faja de Baixo. These glass greenhouses often take two years to grow the delicious fruit within, and there might be an opportunity to snack on some during the visit. Next, travel past three black beaches along the south coast before arriving at the city of Lagoa for a pottery demonstration. Depart for the other side of the mountain and the Fogo Volcano, enjoying spectacular views of the west-facing landscape. Stand in awe at the top of Pico da Barossa as you look down at Fogo’s caldera, home to a lake of the same name. After romping through a few more calderas and volcanic landscapes, stop at picturesque Ribera Grande for lunch (optional). Head back to Ponta Delgada in the afternoon. Try some Azorean cuisine in the evening, looking out for cozido if you can get it. This is a stew consisting of pork, beef, chicken, sausage and vegetables, and is typically cooked underground by volcanic steam – you'll lava it.
Day 3 - Sao Jorge Island / Velas
Fly into Sao Jorge Island (approximately 1 hour), one of the most scenic islands in the Azores thanks to its steep cliffs and narrow landmass. Enjoy a free day exploring the island. There’s plenty to do, and Sao Jorge is home to some of the best walks in all the Azores, taking you for views off abrupt cliffs, steep descents and, of course, the glistening sea. If you’d rather kick your feet up, simply soak in the sun in Velas, the island’s capital. Take time to visit one of the many local bars, try your hand at birdwatching or sample some of the region’s famous (and strong) cheddar.
Day 4 - Sao Jorge Island / Velas
Make the most of a second day on Sao Jorge Island with a guided hike along the Pico do Pedro trail, an intermediate-level, 17-kilometre walk along the island’s stunning mountain range. Begin at the foot of Pico do Pedro and pass by Pico da Esperanca,the highest point on the island, then wander the outskirts of the underlying crater and enjoy spectacular views of the lake below. You’ll then pass by Pico Areiro, Pico Pinheiro and a series of woods and roads before arriving at Faja do Ouvidor’s lava formed landscape. Don’t worry too much about food on the trip, as a picnic will be provided along the way.
Day 5 - Faial Island / Horta
Today you'll travel to Faial Island by ferry (approximately 2.5 hours), sometimes referred to as Ilha Azul (Blue Island). Raul Brandao, the Portugese poet, famously made note of the iconic blue hydrangeas that bloom on Faial during the summer months, quipping 'the man that had the idea to border the road with these plants should have a statute on the island.' Visit the island's resident volcano, Capelinhos, or rather the volcano centre as the climb up is not considered safe. Capelinhos last erupted in 1957 and changed the island permanently, adding an extra kilometre of land mass and blanketing the surrounding area in five metres of volcanic ash. The rest of the day is free to explore the local port town, Horta, and discover its long maritime history.
Day 6 - Pico Island / Faial Island / Horta
Leave Faial for the day to visit Ilha do Pico (Pico Island). Known as Ilha Preta (Black Island) for its black volcanic earth, Pico is the proud home of UNESCO-designated vineyards that have played a major part in the community’s development. Later in the day, embark on a whale-watching tour with the rest of your group. Up until 1980, the island supported a substantial whaling industry due to the deep waters of the surrounding Atlantic. Fortunately, the end of the industry means whale watching has become a popular activity for sea-faring visitors. You'll be back on Faial Island for the evening and that means there's time for a cheeky G&T at Cafe Sport (aka Peter's Bar), perhaps the most famous sailor's bar in the world. This watering hole was once a crucial post office and gossip stop for travelling sailors in a pre-internet era. For some, it still is.
Day 7 - Faial Island / Horta
Say goodbye Azores! Your trip comes to an end today after check-out.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
11-07-202017-07-2020AUD $ 3,120-
05-09-202011-09-2020AUD $ 3,010-
19-09-202025-09-2020AUD $ 3,010-

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights)

Transport

Plane,Ferry,Boat,On foot,Taxi

Map