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Our Portugal Azores Islands Adventure is perfect for travelers looking for varied outdoor activities combined with diverse European Island culture. Walk, Bike, Paddle! We have planned a fantastic varied itinerary on this unique and spectacular island archipelagos adventure!
Composed of 9 unique lush green islands of volcanic origin the archipelago is teeming with dramatic vistas, wildlife, geological wonders and picturesque villages. Located about two thirds of the way between the east coast of the United States and Portugal the area enjoys a pleasant temperate climate all year round.
The immense natural beauty of the Azores Landscape is one of its main attractions. Travelers interested in experiencing island culture while being active will find a match here. Day trips include walking, trekking, biking and kayaking if the weather permits to name just a few. Here you’ll find islands with both tropical and European character. You can walk, bike or boat during the day, then sit down to a great local meal with fine Portuguese 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.
Our Itinerary varies from year to year. Islands we usually visit include Terceira, Faial, Pico and San Jorge. Other Islands we sometimes visit include Flores, Corvo and San Miguel.
Azoreans have developed their own distinct regional identity and cultural traits, from a combination of continental Portuguese customs brought by various waves of immigration and local political and environmental factors. Because these once-uninhabited and remote islands were settled sporadically over a span of two centuries, their culture, dialect, cuisine, and traditions vary considerably.
The islands were known to exists in the fourteenth century and parts of them can be seen, for example, in the early Atlas Catalan. It is suspected that in 1427, one of the captains sailing for Henry the Navigator, possibly Gonçalo Velho, rediscovered the Azores. After that the archipelago was settled over the centuries largely from mainland Portugal. Portuguese settlers came from the provinces of Algarve, Minho, Alentejo and Ribatejo as well as Madeira. São Miguel, the largest island, was first settled in 1444, the settlers – mainly from the Estremadura, Alto Alentejo and Algarve areas of Portugal, under the command of Gonçalo Velho Cabral – landing at the site of modern-day Povoação.
From a geo-structural perspective the Azores is located above an active triple junction between three of the world’s large tectonic plates (the North American Plate, the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate), hence the existence of the many faults, fractures and volcanoes. The westernmost islands of the archipelago (Corvo and Flores) are located in the North American Plate, while the remaining islands are located within the boundary that divides the Eurasian and African Plates. The island’s volcanism is associated with the rifting along the Azores Triple Junction; the spread of the crust along the existing faults and fractures has produced many of the active volcanic and seismic events. Most of the volcanic activity has centered, primarily, along the Terceira Rift. From the beginning of the island’s settlement, around the 15th century, there have been 28 registered volcanic eruptions (15 terrestrial and 13 submarine). The last significant volcanic eruption, the Capelinhos volcano (Vulcão dos Capelinhos), occurred off the coast of the island of Faial (in 1957); the most recent volcanic activity occurred in the seamounts and submarine volcanoes off the coast of Serreta and in the Pico-São Jorge Channel.
(Note:this is a suggested itinerary only, conditions on each trip may vary, specific islands may vary. For spring 2020 itinerary is posted but check with us for specifics )
suggested flight Oct 22, 2020 – – If you wish to fly direct we suggest you take the Azores Airlines Flight Thurs Oct 22nd from Toronto to Terceira. (arrives TER on the morning of the 23rd ) S4 332 20:50 YYZ – 06:30 TER (+1) (some of you of course may want to go early)
Day 1: Oct 23 – Official Trip Meet: We will try and arrange an early check in to the Angra Hotel. In order to you allow you to catch up on sleep. This will be a low key, free day in City of Angra do Herisimo, World Heritage City. We will meet as a group in the afternoon for a walk, drinks and dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Oct 24 – – Bike tour from the center of the island to the west side, along pastures and landscapes with Japanese Cedars, visiting the Natural Park Interpretation Center and at lunch opportunity to try the very famous Alcatra, a beef stew from cows fed with grass and that is cooked on a wood burning stove for 6 hours (25 km . Easy level). After lunch visit to the volcanic pit, Algar do Carvão, a very unique empty volcano (entrance included). Night at Hotel****
Day 3: Oct 25 – Hiking tour full day with picnic lunch on Rocha do Chambre and towards Biscoitos and taste the local wine that is produced in small rocky squares in the north area. Night at Hotel****
Day 4: Oct 26 – Transfer to airport, flight to San Jorge SP612 11:50 TER – 12:20 SJZ, (Hike) Transfer to Topo and walking tour half day in direction of ‘Fajã de Santo Cristo’, a small village near the sea that can only be reached by foot. Picnic lunch and homemade dinner included. Night in a small rural lodge in Fajã.
Day 5: Oct 27 – Tuesday Free morning to relax and visit to the interpretation center at Fajã de Santo Cristo (entrance included) Walking tour from ‘Fajã de Santo Cristo’ to ‘Fajã dos Cubres’. Visit a local cheese factory and lunch. Transfer to Rosais and short walk to an abandoned lighthouse. Time to relax and look for endemic plants like the rare Miosotis maritime. Transfer to port for ferry to Pico. Ferry SJ 20:40 – Pico 21:30. Night on Pico.
Day 6 Oct 28 – Pico Tour visiting the different Museums and enjoying the landscape classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. From São Roque and along the north coast we will visit the Volcanos Center where you can have the experience of simulation of the last earthquakes in Azores (Terceira 1980 and Faial 1998) and visit as well to the Vineyards Interpretation Center. Crossing the center of the island towards Lajes to visit the Whaling Museum ending the day at Cella Bar for dinner classified as one of the most beautiful bars in the world. Night in a local lodge.
Day 7: Oct 29 – Ferry from Pico to Faial. Free Afternoon in City Horta. Dinner & evening in Horta
Day 8: Oct 30 – Full day hike 10 Volcanoes trail and visit to the Capelinhos Volcano, Capelinhos Lighthouse & Interpretation Center – entrance included (last eruption in 1957). Transfer back to Horta and dinner in Horta > have an experience of cooking in a hot volcanic stone (included) Night in a guesthouse in Horta.
Day 9: Oct 31 – End of Azores Program part 1 Free morning in Horta afternoon transfer to airport; Flights to Toronto (HOR-PDL-YYZ). SP571 12:50 HOR-13:40 PDL and S4 321 16:05 PDL – 20:05 YYZ
End of Azores Program part 1/ (or San Miguel on)
single supplement, $225 Flights are not included
Participants are responsible for booking your own flights
We recommend booking the following flights with Azores Airlines https://www.azoresairlines.pt/en
Book these all as one ticket, a multi stop ticket.
Oct 22: S4 332 20:50 YYZ – 06:30 TER (+1)
Oct 26: SP612 11:50 TER – 12:20 SJZ
Oct 31: SP571 12:50 HOR-13:40 PDL and S4 321 16:05 PDL – 20:05 YYZ
Optional Part 2, San Miguel Add on./ Oct 31-Nov 4, $775 (Single Supplement $125)
Oct 31/: Flight HOR to PDL, ( SP571 12:50 HOR-13:40 PDL )Shuttle to Ponta Delgada, Free Time afternoon check in to Accommodation. Town Attractions. Night PDL
Note: Exact will remain flexible depending on weather and on group interest. Below is a suggested guideline.
Nov 1:/ Island Tour by Van + several walks. Visit Lagoa do Fogo(or Lagoa Azul) one of the most amazing volcanic lakes in Azores and natural park area. Perimeter Crater Hike. easy activity. Night Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, Furnace Village
Nov 2:/ Walking tour of furnace Crater Lake & Hot spring, (easy level) and visit to the Interpretation center. Tour of furnace village & Hot Springs, + Time to enjoy the Terra Nostra garden and the thermal water swimming pool. Night Terra Nostra Garden Hotel Furnace)
Nov 3:/ TBA, Optional Visit Tea Plantation, 2nd Crater Lake or Natural Hot Springs(Caldera Velha), picnic lunch and easy day, Night PDL
Nov 4:/ Free Morning PDL, afternoon Flights to Toronto S4 377, PDL to YYZ 16:05-19:05pm
End of Program/
Part II: You can Book these all as one ticket, a multi stop ticket
Oct 22: S4 332 20:50 YYZ – 06:30 TER (+1)
Oct 26: SP612 11:50 TER – 12:20 SJZ
Oct 31: SP571 12:50 HOR-13:40 PDL
Nov 4: S4 377, PDL to YYZ 16:05-19:05pm
* Please note: It’s the nature of remote travel that uncontrollable factors like poor weather, pilot judgment, forest fires, and mechanical problems can affect our schedules and cause delays. We regret these situations but cannot accept responsibility for hotels, flight rebookings, and other costs you may incur.
Participants responsible for booking their flights from Toronto to S. Miguel-PDL(Azores)
Return from Flores (Azores) to Toronto
(+ 3 internal flights $100×3)