Walking in the Azores

from $2,405.00

Trek on Europe’s undiscovered volcanic archipelago

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 16
All about the Walking in the Azores.

It is hard to believe that the Azores are part of Europe. Born from the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean, this lush green archipelago of volcanic islands is a far cry from its mainland government of Portugal. Be it pocked with steep craters, a haven for wildlife or a place of historic interest, each of the nine islands is quite unique and ideally explored on foot. We visit the very best that four of these islands have to offer, walking through UNESCO vineyards, lava plateaux (or ‘fajas’) and sunken volcanoes.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts and 5 lunches
* 7 nights 4-star hotels, all rooms en suite
* All transport (incl. internal flights, private minivan and boats) and listed activities
* Group normally 4 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs.
* Arrival & departure airport transfers (at designated times)

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)


  • Visit and explore four unique islands
  • Enjoy vineyards, volcanoes and hot springs
  • Walk around the tranquil waters of Lagoa do Fogo
  • Optional whale watching on the free day
  1. Day 1 Start Ponta Delgada.

    Start Ponta Delgada.**

  2. Day 2 Walk around Lake Furnas; afternoon visit to Terra Nostra Botanical Gardens and tea plantations.

    We start the week with a transfer to Furnas where we walk around the crater lake. Here food is sometimes cooked by the heat of vents after it has been buried in sealed pots in the baking earth. This traditional Azorian way of cooking is known as ’Cozido das Caldeiras’ and will be served for lunch. In the afternoon we head into the Terra Nostra botanical gardens where we have time to wander through and admire exotic flowers and trees from all over the globe. Amongst the trees and bushes a series of aquaducts leads thermal spring water to a pool in the centre of the gardens, where for centuries people have been bathing in its medicinal waters. On the return to Ponta Delgada we stop off at the tea plantations of Gorreana where we observe the plantation, the factory and taste some of the local teas.

  3. Day 3 Morning flight to Pico; walk through UNESCO heritage site of the Santa Luzia Vineyards; afternoon wine tasting.

    After breakfast we transfer to the airport for a short flight to Pico island. As you come in to land the imposing figure of Mount Pico, Portugal’s largest peak, dominates the landscape. Pico is also known as the ’black island’ due to the black volcanic earth which is used to construct the walls of many of the UNESCO vinyards that this island is famed for. After landing we then head out on our first walking tour of the Santa Luzia Vineyards. Azorian vineyards are a sight to behold. Built as a means to protect the precious vines from a battering of the harsh sea winds, the result is row after row of black horseshoe shapes that score the lush green coastline. What is more impressive is how the vine grows on the ground and through volcanic rock, rather than supported by a trellis though soil. There will be time to try the wine in the Lagido de Santa Luzia where you will have explained the typical ways of how wines and brandies are produced on the island. We will then take a ferry across to the neighbouring island of Faial where we check into our hotel in Horta, our base for the next 3 days

  4. Day 4 Ferry to Sao Jorge; trek to explore the Faja dos Cubres; evening return to Faial.

    From Horta’s harbour we take a ferry to Sao Jorge Island or the ’Brown Island’ (please note the ferry sailing times can take from approx 1h40 minutes to approx 2h20 depending on the time of year and can result in last minute schedule changes). This is by far the longest day in the itinerary but is well worth it to visit the fourth island of the trip. Sao Jorge is a fascinating island that cuts through the ocean with steepsided cliffs, however it is the Fajas (low-lying areas of lava that were formed from the subsidence of the cliffs) that it is most famed for. Sao Jorge is also well known throughout the Azores for producing some delicious cheese, which is one of its main exports. Shortly after arrival in Velas we transfer to the start of the walking tour from Caldeira do Santo Cristo to Faja dos Cubres. After arriving at Faja dos Cubres we then take a transfer back to Velas and across the channel back to Faial. (approx. 2.5 hours walking, distance 10km).

  5. Day 5 Free day for optional climb to Mt.Pico, half day whale watching excursion or swim with dolphins.

    As today is a free day you have the chance to try out many of the other activities that the Azores have to offer. Apart from offering some unique walking opportunities, the Azores is perhaps one of the best places on the planet to spot whales and dolphins. There are 80 species of whales and dolphins and 25 of them have been sighted off the coast of the Azores, with the most common being Sperm Whale. There is also the chance to spot Bottlenose dolphin, Short-finned pilot whale, Sei whales, Atlantic spotted dolphin and the grail – the Blue whale. If you choose to go on an excursion, you will have the chance to observe the behaviour of these cetaceans and learn more about their habitat with the help of the knowledgeable local experts on board. We should always respect their environment and therefore during times of feeding or resting times, we avoid any interference and maintain our distance. If you feel that you would like to continue walking and have wondered what the view would look like from the top of Portugal’s largest mountain, Mount Pico, then today is the perfect opportunity to attempt this!

  6. Day 6 Trek from Trupes do Capelo to the Capelinhos volcano; visit to Scrimshaw Museum; evening flight to Sao Miguel.

    Today we explore the island we have been staying on for the last two days. Faial is known as the ’blue island’ because of the large quantity of hydrangeas that bloom during the summer months. The trail begins at the forest park or ’Trupes do Capelo’ and finishes at the Capelinhos Volcano. Rising forcefully from the sea this volcano shows off just how dramatic nature can be. It’s unique formation has even earnt it the construction of a modern interpretative centre which helps us understand not only this volcano but the formation of the entire island. We then return to Horta for a late lunch at Peter’s Café Sport, a traditional resting point for many sailors braving the Atlantic crossing. After lunch you will be guided round one of the largest scrimshaw collections in the world that shows the variations of designs with an art form that was prolific during the whaling period. In the late afternoon we transfer to the airport for our flight back to Ponta Delgada. (approx. 2.5 hours walking, distance 7km).**

  7. Day 7 Morning transfer to Praia; trek to Lagoa do Fogo; afternoon visit to Sete Cidades to the Vista do Rei.

    After breakfast we head into the lush centre of Sao Miguel to Barrosa’s mountain where we get a sense of why this island has earned its nickname the ’green island’. Today’s final walk begins with a short but steep uphill section and continues following a ’levada’ (small water channel) close to which you will find some well preserved species of endemic Azorian flora. The highlight of this walk is arriving at the viewpoint over the Lagoa do Fogo, one of the most beautiful volcanic lakes in the entire Azores network. We stop at Caldeira Velha waterfall for a well earned dip in its warm waters, in the afternoon we drive to Sete Cidades, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Portugal. From Vista do Rei we are rewarded with breathtaking views of tranquil lakes, blue hydrangeas bordering the crater rim that contrast with the steep sides of the crater.

  8. Day 8 End Ponta Delgada.

    End Ponta Delgada**

Where you stay

Premium Hotels

During the week our nights are split between two fantastic 4-star hotels. In the heart of Ponta Delgada is the Hotel Marina Atlantico. Right on the sea front, this new hotel is ideally located to explore the capital of the Azores and offers a modern twist in a traditional part of town. On Faial we use the excellent Hotel do Canal. Affording spectacular views towards the neighboring island of Pico, this modern hotel sits just 100 metres from the harbour and is the perfect place to relax after a day’s walking in and around the surrounding islands.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 5 lunches are included.

Breakfasts are buffet style with a variety on offer including bread, jams, cereals, and tea and coffee. Some of the lunches provided are picnic style, whilst others are taken at traditional restaurants where we can sample some traditional dishes such as the Cozido das Coldeiras. In the evening, the leader will recommend local restaurants that serve traditional Azores food, which can be a selection of meat or fish with vegetables and potatoes or rice. Vegetarians are well catered for in Azores as long as the hotels are advised in advance.

This is a moderate walking trip (activity level 3).

These moderately graded walks are either fairly easy medium-duration walks or harder, shorter walks. Walking hours stated are given as approximates only. Timings stated exclude lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of our group.
The paths we use are generally flat and well maintained but some of the routes cross rougher terrain with longer ascents and descents. Some of the paths are quite narrow with stony underfoot and require walking in single file. On some occasions you will be walking on more coarse volcanic rock, so it is advidsed to be used to walking in more durable walking boots, especially over these sections.
The area is also subject to rain and high winds at any time so it is best to be prepared for this before you travel. On departures in May and September, it is best to bring warm clothes in case of colder weather.

Please note that the internal flights are included in the trip and booked by Exodus. As inter-island flights are operated by small planes with limited capacity, we can’t guarantee that the whole group will be allocated on the same flight. If alternative travel arrangements are necessary, these will be notified and discussed upon booking.

Overall Rating


Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
May 18, 2019
June 8, 2019
July 6, 2019
August 17, 2019
August 31, 2019
September 14, 2019