Azores: Green Island Trails

8 Days & 7 Nights 5 Read 2 reviews
  • Walking to sparkling waterfalls, hot springs and crater lakes
  • Viewing the green peaks of long-dormant volcanoes
  • Taking a whale watching trip to spot sperm whales and other cetaceans
  • Discovering verdant tropical forests with millennia-old trees
  • Spotting endemic species of birds in Lago do Fogo
  • Exploring the historical monuments and beautiful marina in the capital, Ponta Delgada
Sao Miguel is the largest island in the Azores archipelago with a hauntingly beautiful volcanic landscape. Discover the many facets of this incredible island on this drive and hike tour; the pretty capital of Ponta Delgada, the botanical wonderland of Terra Nostra, startlingly blue and green crater lakes, hot springs, Europe’s only tea plantation and hikes through scenery which is beyond compare. Like Iceland, Sao Miguel was created by torrents of lava surging up from the ocean floor millions of years ago. It spans the mid-Atlantic Ridge (also like Iceland) where tectonic plates collide and this has resulted in an amazing geology and an island awash with thermal baths, dormant volcanoes and millennia-old forests. Explore Ribeira Grande, a town with Baroque architecture, the caldera of Sete Cidadas which has a green lake bordered by blue hydrangeas, sandy beaches and fishing villages. Immerse yourself in the distinctive local culture and explore Sao Miguel’s staggering and unique landscapes.
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What To Expect

Sao Miguel epitomises the essence of the Azores, and is easily explored on foot and by car, thanks to short driving distances between the highlights of the island. You also have the freedom to pause in little fishing villages, to swim in thermal waters and take in the natural wonders of this very photogenic island.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Drive & Hike, Wildlife Watching | Enjoy the best of a large region by car and on foot. Day hikes in the best places. Itinerary usually inn to inn, with mapping provided. No bag transfer. Car hire offered as an option or included., Trip includes wildlife watching as part of the itinerary

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Coastal & Island

Activity Level & Terrain

This tour is suitable for people that are in good physical condition. This tour is rated easy to moderate. Although the daily distances are not that far, you should be aware that there are some elevation gains on all of the walks.

Navigation

You will be provided with detailed route notes and the itineraries traced out on maps which will be integrated into the route notes to help you find your way. You will also be provided with helpful hints such as information on local restaurants, museums, etc.

The walks mostly take place on coastal or inland footpaths and at times rocky tracks (driveable). Some of them are marked. However, please be aware that the trails are often poorly maintained and after rain may be slippery. It is, therefore, a good idea to bring hiking boots with good grips. Always bring a warm outer garment for walks on the caldera rims and ridges as it is can get cooler at the higher elevations.

We also provide you with access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App, which you can use to navigate. We strongly recommend using this App, or at least having it on your phone ready to use should you ever be in any doubt about your direction.

Accommodations

This self-guided walking tour in the Azores includes 7 nights in 2* and 3* hotels. All of the accommodations have been specifically chosen for their comfort and also for their great locations.

Alternative accommodation

During the high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Solo walkers are also welcome for an additional charge.

Meals

7 Breakfasts are included. You can eat dinner in restaurants in the towns and villages close to your hotel or at your accommodations.

Included
  • 7 Nights in 2* and 3* Hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Car Rental
  • Whale watching trip
  • Detailed maps, information pack, route notes
  • GPX tracks and access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone Navigation App
  • Organisational assistance and backup from our area manager in the Azores and our office
Excluded
  • Travel to and from Ponta Delgada
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • 24/7 emergency assistance
Extras
  • Additional nights before or after the holiday

When To Go

This walking tour is available to start on any day from April to the end of September.

Time of Year

Walking in the Azores is best during the months of April to the end of September.

Getting to the Start

On arrival at Ponta Delgada Airport, you can pick up your rental car and drive to your first night's accommodation. The journey from the airport to Ponta Delgada takes around 20 minutes. Ponta Delgada Airport is served by TAP Portugal and SATA Air Azores. SATA have direct flights from London Gatwick every Saturday between April and October.

Another option is to take a flight on a low-cost airline to Lisbon, then take SATA or TAP from here to Ponta Delgada.

You will drop off the car at the airport on completion of the trip.

Getting from the End

You will drop off the car at the airport on completion of the trip. The journey from Ponta Delgada to the Ponta Delgada Airport is approximately 20 minutes. Ponta Delgada Airport is served by TAP Portugal and SATA Air Azores.

SATA has direct flights to London Gatwick every Saturday between April and October. Another option is to take a flight on SATA or TAP from Ponta Delgada to Lisbon, then take a low-cost airline from Lisbon.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.

Equipment

Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Car Rental

Car rental is included in the price of this trip. A Peugeot 107 or a similar model will be provided. You will be given a car rental voucher before departure and you can pick up the carat Ponta Delgada Airport upon arrival. You will also drop it off at the airport upon departure. Also included in the rental is Collision WaiverProtection and Theft Protection Insurance.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Ponta Delgada Day 2 The Sete Cidades Crater Day 3 Lago de Fogo Walk - 6 km Day 4 Drive to Furnas. Day at leisure. Day 5 Furnas Crater Walk - 10.5 km Day 6 Ribeira do Faial da Terra Walk - 5.5 km Day 7 Whale Watching. Drive to Ponta Delgada Day 8 Onward Travel

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