This two-island walking tour offers the chance to explore the well kept-trails of São Miguel and São Jorge over the course of a fortnight, with carefully chosen routes ranging from easy to medium levels of walking. São 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.
São Jorge is known for the unusual geological features that decorate its coast: Fajãs 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 São Miguel and transfer to Hotel Terra Nostra Garden in the valley of Furnas. Check in for your four -night stay and the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Today's walk takes you to the Lake of Furnas (Lagoa das Furnas), one of the most iconic spots on São 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. (B)
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 we suggest you opt to dine on fresh seafood in a local restaurant or visit the fishing port. Afterwards, transfer back to your hotel. (B)
After breakfast, transfer to Faial da Terra in the south east of São Miguel. Follow the Salto do Prego trail along a river, routeing through a charming old village to reach a beautiful waterfall, and ending at the beach-side town of Faial da Terra . Afterwards, transfer back to your hotel. (B)
After breakfast, join the trail in Ribeira Funda and walk along the Praia da Viola beach to Maia, a small fishing village home to a tobacco museum (the Azores famously used to produce large quantities of dried tobacco), and a theatre housed in a pretty pink building. Enjoy various views of the village, set against stunning scenery, passing old watermills and beautiful waterfalls. Afterwards, a taxi will take you to your hotel in Ponta Delgada. Along the way, stops will be made at the most impressive viewpoints along the north coast and you will also visit a tea plantation. (B)
This morning walk to Lagoa do Fogo, or 'Lake of Fire'. This stunning, deep blue lake is one of the most famous and iconic sights of São Miguel, and arguably all of the Azores. The crater lake is situated in the centre of the island, and is surrounded by hydrangea bushes which bloom in bold blues and pinks during the Spring. 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.
After breakfast enjoy a walk to Sete Cidades, another of São Miguel’s most iconic natural wonders, to visit the large crater with its blue and emerald lakes. The crater itself stretches over three miles, so the views around the region are immense. Today’s walking route takes in the beautiful views of the island, spanning the crater lakes and the coast, before walking down to the village of Sete Cidades. Afterwards, transfer back to the hotel. (B)
Transfer to airport for your short flight to the island of São Jorge. On arrival, transfer to Hotel São Jorge in Velas, a port town on the south coast. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. (B)
Set off to explore São Jorge Island by embarking on a walk from Pico De Pedro to Fajã do Ouvidor, the most populated (though still relatively sparse) of the fajãs - areas of flat coastal land which formed when the cliffs collapsed into the sea. This route will take you walking along the central part of the island and tackling relatively moderate trails to reach the highest mountain of São Jorge, Pico da Esperança, which stands at 1053 metres. (B)
Head to the island's south coast to Fajã dos Vimes to start today's walk. This is another of São Jorge’s large fajãs; a long and slender area of land at the foot of steeply rising mountains. Your walk will take you from Fajã dos Vimes to Fajã de São João, home to a small community on the south coast. This trail affords marvellous views of neighbouring Pico Island and its central mountain. (B)
Walk the trail from Serra do Topo to Fajã dos Cubres on the north coast. This walk goes through a magnificent trail descending to the protected nature reserve of Fajã do Santo Cristo, famous for its underground cave and lake. This fajã is one of the most isolated places in the Azores with summer houses and only a few families who reside here all year round. During your walk, on a clear day, you can see across to Graciosa island from the trail. After your hike you will be transferred to the harbour to catch the ferry to Faial Island where you'll spend your final two-nights in Horta. (B)
Free day at leisure to relax or explore at your own pace. Perhaps opt for a city tour of Horta or a whale watching trip - the Azores boast world-class whale and dolphin spotting opportunities from the surrounding warm waters. Ask your Regent Azores specialist for suggestions. (B)