This two-island walking tour offers the chance to explore the well kept-trails of Sao Miguel and Sao Jorge over the course of a fortnight, with carefully chosen routes ranging from easy to medium levels of walking. Sao Miguel is home to some of the most iconic sights of the Azores, including the bright emerald and blue crater lakes of Sete Cidades and the steaming geysers and natural hot pools that are found around the active volcanic area at Furnas.
Sao Jorge is known for the unusual geological features that decorate its coast: Fajas are flat, low-lying areas that extend into the sea a little like a peninsula, formed by subsidence of the cliffs and boasting brilliant views. Stroll through fertile orchards and farmlands that produce tropical fruits and beautiful dragon-trees thanks to the micro-climate, explore an underground lake and swim in the sea at Maia.
Arrive in Sao Miguel and transfer to Hotel Terra Nostra Garden in the valley of Furnas. Check in for your 4 night stay and the rest of the day is at your leisure.
After breakfast begin a walk to the Lake of Furnas, one of the most iconic spots on Sao Miguel, and indeed the whole archipelago. Two volcanic calderas dominate the landscape around Furnas, one of which now holds an emerald lake in its crater. Wherever you turn in this region, the surrounding environment serves reminders of the Azores’ volcanic geology, with volcanic peaks and fertile soils resulting in lush green valleys, and hot springs bubbling alongside steaming geyser fields. During this walk, stop to visit the Environmental Centre of Furnas for more insight into the unique surrounding nature. (9.2 km walking) (B)
Begin a walk through the Lomba do Cavaleiro region to reach Ribeira Quente, a quiet coastal community with a pretty beach. Upon arrival, spend time on the beach and exploring the small town, and opt to dine on fresh seafood in a local restaurant or visit the fishing port. A return transfer takes you back to the hotel. (8.4 km walking) (B)
After breakfast, transfer to Faial da Terra in the south east of Sao Miguel. Follow the Salto do Prego trail along a river, routing through a charming old village to reach a beautiful waterfall, and ending at the beach-side town of Faial da Terra . Return transfer to the hotel. (5 km walking) (B)
After breakfast, join the trail in Ribeira Funda walking along the beach at Praiada Viola to Maia, a small fishing village home to a tobacco museum (the Azores famously used to produce large quantities of dried tobacco leaves), and a theatre housed in a pretty pink building. Enjoy various views of the village, set against stunning scenery, passing old watermills surrounded by taro and beautiful waterfalls. At the end of the walk transfer by taxi to the Hotel Vila Nova in Ponta Delgada. During the transfer you visit the most impressive viewpoints of the north coast and will enjoy a visit to a tea plantation. (7.5 km walking) (B)
This morning walk to Lagoa do Fogo - the Lake of Fire. This stunning, deep blue lake is one of the most famous and iconic sights of Sao Miguel, and arguably all of the Azores. The crater lake is situated within the Água de Pau Massif stratovolcano in the centre of the island, and is surrounded by hydrangea bushes which bloom in bold blues and pinks in the spring season (March-June). It’s a long hiking route today but it’s worth it as the day takes in the best of the local scenery, ranging from mountains and hilltop viewpoints to meandering valleys. The walk concludes at the shore of the lake where you’ll have time to enjoy the beach and take a swim. (15 km walking) (B)
After breakfast enjoy a walk to Sete Cidades, another of Sao Miguel’s most iconic natural wonders, to visit the large crater with its emerald lake. The crater itself stretches over three miles, so the views around the region are immense. The route today takes in the island, lakes and the sea before walking down to the village of Sete Cidades. (7.5 km or 11km walking) (B)
Transfer to airport for your short flight to the island of Sao Jorge. On arrival, transfer to Hotel Sao Jorge in Velas, a port town on the south coast, and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. (B)
Today set off to explore Sao Jorge by embarking on a walk from Pico De Pedro to Fajado Ouvidor, the most populated (though still relatively sparse) of the Fajas - areas of flat coastal land formed by debris slides and collapsed cliffs, on the northern coast of Sao Jorge. This route will take you walking through the central part of the island and tackling relatively moderate trails to reach the highest mountain of Sao Jorge, Pico a Esperanca, which stands at 1053 metres. (B)
Today start the trail at Faja dos Vimes, another of Sao Jorge’s large Fajas, long and slender at the foot of steeply rising mountains, and walk to Faja de Sao Joao, home to a small community on the south coast. This trail affords marvellous views of the nearby tiny island, Pico, and its central mountain. Return transfer to the hotel. (B)
After breakfast, walk the trail from Serrado Topo to Faja dos Cubres on the north coast. See the protected nature reserve at Faja do Santo Cristo with its underground cave and lake, the only place in the Azores where clams can be found. This Faja is one of the most isolated places in the Azores with summer houses and only a few families who reside here all year round. View Graciosa island from the trail before transferring to the harbour for a boat trip to the island of Faial. Transfer to Hotel Azoris Faial Garden Resort for check in. (B)
Free day at leisure to relax or explore at your own pace. Perhaps opt for a city tour of Horta, a jeep tour of the island or a whale watching trip - the Azores boast world-class whale and dolphin spotting opportunities from the surrounding warm waters. Ask our travel specialists for suggestions. (B)