9 unique lush green islands of volcanic origin, amazing wildlife, geological wonders and picturesque villages. How’s that sound?
Our 9 day outdoor adventure tour in the Azores, Portugal, transports you to the immense beauty of the natural landscape. Active travelers interested in island culture and activities will find a match here. Activities include trekking, biking and kayaking to name just a few. Here you’ll find islands with tropical characteristics but European character. You can walk, bike or boat during the day, then sit down to a great meal with fine (and sometimes local) wines at night.
We’ve planned a great itinerary where we’ll visit 4 different islands and engage in a combination of unique day trips, sometimes walking interior or coastal trails, other times biking from village to village and at other times taking half day easy kayak trips either along the spectacular and rugged coastline or on the interesting and beautiful interior crater lakes. In the evening we’ll normally retire to a local hotel or B&B and enjoy a fine meal. On a couple of the trips we will have the option to spend the night out camping in order to experience some truly special places.
Still not sold? Soak in these fun facts about the Azores along with some eye-candy that’ll give you a glimpse of what you’ll experience while walking, biking & paddling through the Azores.
- The Azores are a group of nine volcanic islands spread over 370 miles in the North Atlantic Ocean.
- Although they are located about 850 miles west of continental Portugal, the Azores are an autonomous region of Portugal, the same status as the Portuguese island of Madeira.
- Year-round temperatures in the Azores range between 57°F and 71°F.
- The Azores were detailed on a The Catalan Atlas drawn and written in 1375, but the islands were officially “discovered” in in 1431 by Gonçalo Velho Cabral. São Miguel was first settled in 1444, under the command of Cabral – at the site of modern-day Povoação.
- As early as the 1600’s, the Azores began getting overpopulated, resulting in Azoreans immigrating to Brazil, Uruguay, the United States and Canada.
- Religious festivals, patron saints and traditional holidays are important to the Azorean people, who are primarily Roman Catholic. Azoreans celebrate Carnival (a festive season that occurs before Lent, usually in February) with parades, pageants lively music, colorful costumes, hand-made masks, floats, bullfights and the running of bulls in the streets.
- In the 1750’s, tea leaf was found growing in the wild in the Azores. Commercial tea production in the Azores began in the 1870’s and continues today. The Azores’ tea-drying process using the fresh ocean air gives its green teas a unique fragrant scent when they are brewed.
- Just before the start of the Iraq War in 2003, the Azores was the location for a summit meeting of United States President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, and Portuguese Prime Minister José Manuel Durão Barroso.
- Author Mark Twain visited Horta in 1867 during his “Great Pleasure Excursion” cruise through Europe and the Holy Land on board the chartered Quaker City ship with a group of Americans. Twain humorously chronicled his journey including his time in the Azores in his “The Innocents Abroad” book published in 1869.
- Winemaking in the Azores dates back to the 15th century, as Catholic religious orders planted vineyards as soon as they arrived. While all nine of Azorean islands originally had vineyards, disease outbreaks during the 1850s devastated most. Today wine grapes are grown on the islands of Pico, Terceira and Graciosa