Portugal : The Azores

Walking the Green Island of the Azores

Trip code: W07AS

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
single centre

Level: 2
Moderate

Headwater
Navigation App

SUMMARY

  • Explore the 'Green Island' famous for beautiful landscapes and exceptional volcanic lakes
  • Stunning coastline of small black sand bays and precipitous sea cliffs with striking sea views
  • Visit Europe's only tea and pineapple plantations on a rest day

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts and evening meals
  • Headwater navigation app

TRIP DESCRIPTION

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 continental Portugal. The nine Islands of the Azores are Europe's western most point located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Azores have long been known as one of the most scenically varied areas to explore, each of the nine islands has its own characteristics, from steep craters to abundant wildlife and sites of historical interest. The islands of the Azores are a paradise for walkers and nature lovers with their blue lakes bordered by flowers, dazzling views of the sea from high in the hills and lush green landscapes of ancient volcanic craters,

Sao Miguel is famous for its beautiful landscapes and exceptional volcanic lakes. The largest of the Azorean islands it is known as Ilhe Verde - Green Island. A stunning coastline of small bays with black sand and precipitous sea cliffs interspersed with small harbours add further interest. The island features three major calderas (volcanic craters) now with lakes sparkling at the bottom. Sete Cidades even has a village at the bottom of the crater and two lakes, one blue and one contrasting green.

At Lagoa das Furnas boiling sulphurous water comes to the surface through hot springs near the lake and is a reminder of the volcanic origin of all of the islands. The mountains rise to over 1000m. As an example of Sao Miguel's climate, one finds the only tea and pineapple plantations in Europe, both well worth a visit on non-walking days. Rarely could a visitor fail to be impressed by the incredible myriad of all the different shades of greens exhibited by its extensive prairie forests, tobacco fields and tea plantations as well as the abundance of hues this island has to offer.

Terrain

Walks are along dirt tracks (both broad and narrow) and minor roads with tarmac or gravel. Footpaths are marked reasonably well.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: ARRIVE ON SAO MIGUEL

Arrive in Ponta Delgada and your base for 7 nights.

You stay at Hotel Talisman.

hotel details

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Hotel Talisman, Ponta Delgada

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


The charming Hotel Talisman is an Art Deco Boutique hotel located in the historical centre of Ponta Delgada. The rooms are large with comfortable beds. The partially covered outdoor swimming pool offers stunning views over the city, ocean and mountains. The Palm Terrace Restaurant has two modern dining rooms with an outdoor terrace serving seafood and Portuguese cuisine. There is also a Skylight Bar and Lounge where you can enjoy an after dinner drink.

Day 2: SETE CIDADES (15km/9.3mi)

Take the bus to Sete Cidades (not included), set within the volcanic crater containing Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde, a must on any visit to Sao Miguel. One route takes you up to the crater rim on the west side of the lakes, finally descending to the small village of Joao Bom.

elevation

Day 3: FURNAS TO LAGOA DAS FURNAS (13km/8.1mi)

Take the bus (not included) to Furnas and walk to the Lagoa das Furnas. The walk starts and finishes in the attractive village of Furnas, with an optional extra walk round the village at the end. Confirmation of the volcanic origins of São Miguel is nowhere more evident than here. The picturesque Parque Terra Nostra is in the village centre, together with thermal baths.

elevation

Day 4: REST DAY

Take a day to relax, or you could book a boat trip to try and spot some whales and dolphins.

Day 5: NINE WINDOWS WALL (11km/6.8mi)

Take a short taxi ride (not included) to Nine Windows Wall where the route takes you around the east and north sides of the crater rim of the twin lakes of Sete Cidades. After only a short climb the track undulates along the ridge, affording splendid views on both sides. An option exists to extend the walk to cover the west rim as well as far as Vista do Rei, and then descend past Lagoa Verde to the village.

elevation

Day 6: PRAIA TO LAGOA DO FOGO (14km/8.7mi)

Take the bus to Praia (not included). This walk takes you from almost sea level, steeply uphill across meadows, through dense woodland, alongside a levada (water channel), and finally over heather covered mountainside to arrive at the remote shore of Lagoa do Fogo, the highest lake of Sao Miguel.

elevation

Day 7: LOMBA DA CRUZ TO MOSTEIROS (14km/8.7mi)

Take the bus to Lomba da Cruz (not included). This is a real roller coaster of a route, basically parallel with the main west coast road westwards, but lower and nearer the sea. The views are best from Ginetes, and at Ponta do Esclavado.

elevation

Day 8: DEPARTURE FROM SAO MIGUEL

Depart from your hotel after breakfast.

Extending your holiday

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra hotel nights we recommend: Hotel Lisboa Plaza, Lisbon.

hotel details

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Hotel Lisboa Plaza, Lisbon

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Market
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


Owned by the same family since 1953, the 4 star Hotel Lisboa Plaza is an imaginatively designed hotel, just off the famous Avenida da Liberdade. All rooms have en-suite marble floored bathrooms, air conditioning, satellite television, direct dial telephones, hairdryers and mini-bar. The public rooms are elegantly furnished and there is a pleasant bar and dining room.

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$2075
$0
 
 
 
 

These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $567.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $567.

TRAVEL DETAILS

Call now to speak to our specialist team at 0044 1606 720199 or email us at sales@headwater.com for enquiries or to book your trip.

REVIEWS

We had a hugely enjoyable time in 2023 on the White Villages of Andalucia trip with Headwater. Therefore we decided to book a couple more trips with Headwater. The booking process went smoothly thanks to personalised support from Andrew Palmer. We are hoping our 2024 Headwater experience’s will be as enjoyable as Andalucia.

2 Feb 2024

Megan was very pleasant and informative. She answered all my questions and was really helpful

Andrea Starritt, 26 Jan 2024

Excellent. I liked the call back service. It saved time hanging on the phone

Catherine Mcgowan, 5 Jan 2024

The sales staff go above and beyond to organise the holiday you want. We have just booked our 4th Headwater holiday and nothing was too much for Megan, looking at different start days, adding extra nights and finding the best price flights. Brilliant!

Mark Stead, 25 Oct 2023


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
single centre

Level: 2
Moderate

Headwater
Navigation App

7 nights from $2075

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: +44 1606 720199

 

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