The unique beauty of the Azores and individual character of each island provide an opportunity to explore an area of spectacular natural scenery. Because of the diverse geography of the islands we would recommend that visitors consider a pre-booked itinerary of the archipelago which includes half day and full day excursions. We suggest a tour such as the Azores Grand Tour. This is a pre-booked itinerary on a bed and breakfast basis making the best use of inter-island transport schedules and with free time for the adventurous traveler to explore on his/her own. Half day and full day tours of the various islands are included.
Arrival in Ponta Delgada on São Miguel and transfer to Hotel Vila Nova. Ponta Delgada is the capital of the island group and the largest city in the Azores. Lined with many impressive churches, convents and trim white houses the cobblestone streets recall the wealthy days when the port was a crucial staging post between Europe and the New World.
Full day tour of Furnas - Depart along he south coast road passing the village of Lagoa and the viewpoint of Caloura. Stop at Vila Franca (Island's first capital) for an historical visit and coffee break. Arrive at valley of Furnas and visit its famous lake, surrounded by "caldeiras" (hot springs) and boiling ground where delicious meals are cooked underground. After lunch, arrive at the village of Furnas and visit the botanical gardens (you may swim in the local natural hot spring water swimming pool). Visite the mineral water springs. Cross to the north coast for a stop at the tea plantation. On the way stop at the Santa Iria viewpoint. Return to the hotel at about 5:30PM.
São Miguel - Flores. Transfer to the airport, fly to the island of Flores. Transfer to Hotel Ocidental in Flores.
Flores free day. As one of the most beautiful islands, Flores is gifted with the beauty of the contrast of open valley surrounded by many waterfalls and seven hidden lakes. It offers sensational paths for walking tours. The most western land reference point of Europe is the village of Fajã Grande.
Half day tour of Flores. Depart from Santa Cruz, stop at Ribeira da Cruz belvedere. Visit several lakes including Lomba, Funda and Rasa. Stop at Fajãnzinha belvedere. Enjoy the view of beautiful waterfalls during the trip between Fajãnzinha and Ponta da Fajã Grande. Visit the Rocha dos Bordões, a lava solidification that creates a quite high vertical fluting. On the return from Santa Cruz, stop at the Caveira belvedere.
Free day. Possible trip to Corvo Island, the smallest island of the Azores with 350 inhabitants, is appealing and enjoyable. Crossing from one island to the other in a small boat takes 90 minutes. However this is only possible when there are enough people interested.
Flores - Faial. Transfer to the airport, fly to Faial. Transfer to Hotel Fayal.
Faial half day tour. Depart in direction of Espalamanca, taking the mountain road overlooking the Valley of Flamengos, towards Caldeira, the highest point on the island. Continue north to Capelinhos (the remains of the last volcanic eruption in 1957). Visit the museum and learn about the evolution of the volcano. Return to the hotel.
Full day tour of Pico Island. Boat crossing to the island of Pico (30 minutes). Travel to S. Roque via Cabeço do Chão. Stop to visit Cachorro. In S. Roque visit the old whale factory. Leave from Cais do Pico via the mountain road through the Lagoa do Capitão and arrive at Lajes do Pico. Visit the whale museum. Return to Madalena by way of the south road. Visit the local cheese factory. Stop at Verdelho wine cellar and at Madalena church. At about 4:15PM return to boat for trip back to Faial.
Free day to explore Horta, the capital city of Faial, is world known and famous as the anchorage port for the yachts crossing the Atlantic. Having a drink at Cafe Sport, known locally as Peter's Bar, is mandatory. Alternatively you may want to possibly visit the island of São Jorge.
Faial - Terceira. Transfer to the airport, board the flight to Terceira island and transfer to Hotel Angra Garden.
Full day tour of Terceira. Depart from Hotel by the south coast road in direction of Praia da Vitória. Pass Porto Judeu and stop at S. Sebastião, going on to Porto Martins. Lunch (not included in price) at Praia da Vitoria in a local restaurant. Take the mountain road to Serra do Cume for a stop, visit the Algar do Carvão cave (only visited from June to September). Pass through Cabrito and arrive at Biscoitos. Visit the wine museum and the natural swimming pools of black volcanic rock. Return via villages of Altares, and Reminho Serreta, passing Doze Ribeiras and S. Mateus to arrive at Angra do Heroísmo at about 5:30PM.
Terceira - São Miguel. Transfer to airport for flight to Ponta Delgada, transfer to Hotel Caloura Resort.
Sete Cidades half day tour. Depart from the hotel via the mountain road towards the twin lakes of Sete Cidades. Stop at the breath taking viewpoint of Vista do Rei. Return along the west coast. Stop in Capelas and visit the unique pineapple plantation. Pineapples are grown in green houses. Return to the hotel.
Half day tour to Lagoa do Fogo. Depart hotel to Ribeira Grande. Make a short stop in Ribeira Grande. Continue by way of the mountain road towards the beautiful lake of Lagoa do Fogo. Stop at a viewpoint, 900 meters high to view the island and the Lagoa. Continue southwards to the village of Lagoa. Visit the local ceramic factory. Return to the hotel.
Transfer to airport for flight home.
|Note: For North America travelers - This tour starts in Ponta Delgada and ends in Horta, Faial. A price supplement
applies to USA travelers for the return from Faial to Sao Miguel to catch the flight back to North America.