Perfect for nature lovers and keen walkers, this tailor-made walking holiday through Sao Miguel discovers the island’s rugged volcanic regions and introduces visitors to the stunning scenery typical of this far-flung archipelago. Carefully planned routes guide you through rich green pastures, take you to witness aquamarine lakes cradled in the base of calderas and up the slopes of extinct volcanoes. The Azores experiences mild temperatures year-round, and their balmy summer temperatures are perfect for an outdoor adventure. This eight day tour is a great way to see the highlights of Sao Miguel on foot. Transfers to and from the starting point of each walk are included, along with a walking guidebook with details on trails and maps to follow.
Arrive in Sao Miguel and transfer to the hotel Terra Nostra Garden, located in the valley of Furnas. Check in for 4 nights.
After breakfast begin a walk to the Lake of Furnas. 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, routeing 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)
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) (B)