Highlights of the Azores
7 days
From $ 1977
Duration7 days

Discover a new side to Portugal on this Atlantic adventure. 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.

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 7 days
    Service level: Standard
  • Starts in: Praia de Sao Marcos
    Physical Grading: Light
  • Ages: 15+
Highlights of the Azores - Tour Map


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Day 1: Sao Miguel

Start place: Praia de Sao Marcos

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. Please have your insurance and next of kin details on hand to pass over to your leader during this meeting. It's important that you attend this meeting, so if you're not going to make it please let reception or your travel agent know. If you arrive early, perhaps wander along the seaside promenade, 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
San Miguel is home to some stunning scenery and by the end of the day, this should be more than obvious. Take a guided walk to the west and central sites of the island, wandering over lagoons and volcanoes in this stunning green landscape, then 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 while 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. Try some Azorean cuisinse in the evening, looking out for cozido if you can get it. This is a must stew consisting of pork, beef, chicken, sausage and vegetables, and is typically cooked underground by a volcanic stream – you'll lava it.
Meals: B
Day 3: Sao Jorge Island
Fly into Sao Jorge Island, 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.
Meals: B
Day 4: Sao Jorge Island
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.
Meals: B, L
Day 5: Faial Island
Today you'll travel to Faial Island by ferry, 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 safe enough. 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. Order a G&T at the famous Cafe Sport, and share a yarn with one of the travelling yachtsmen who often visit the bar.
Meals: B
Day 6: Faial Island
Leave Faial for the day to visit Ilha do Pico. 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.
Meals: B
Day 7: Faial Island
Say goodbye Azores! Your trip comes to an end today after check-out.
Meals: B



  • Sao Miguel Island Day tour
  • Pico do Pedro trail hike
  • Volcano Capelinhos Museum visit
  • Whale Watching Tour - Pico Island
  • Transport

    Plane, taxi, ferry
  • Accommodation

    Hotel (6 nights)

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