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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.
We will spend time on at least 4 Islands, starting with Terceira where you will fly in to. Other Islands will likely include Pico, Sao Gorge, and Faial, spending a couple of days on each (perhaps also Flores and Corvo).
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 )
Day 0, April 9th – We suggest you take Azores Airlines Flights Thursday Flight YYZ-TER 21:00 YYZ – 06:35 TER (+1) S4 336 + SP 482 Y 10APR TERHOR HS1 0835 0910 (Flight Toronto to TER to HOR)
Day 1, April 10th – Meet Horta Airport, Free day to rest at Horta or Whale watching tour optional. Night in a guesthouse in Horta.
Day 2, April 11th – Friday 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 3, April 12th – Ferry to Pico Island and Day on Pico. 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 4, April 13th – Ferry to S. Jorge and 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, April 14th – 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 airport for flight to Terceira. SP 615 Y 14APR SJZTER HS1 1605 1635. Night in Angra do Heroísmo. first Portuguese UNESCO site classified as a World Heritage. Night at Hotel****
Day 6, April 15th – 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 7, April 16th – 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 8, April 17th End of Azores Program Free morning in Angra afternoon transfer to airport; recommended Flights to Toronto S4 337 W 17APR TERYYZ HS1 1645 1920 (or Porto Add on)
single supplement, $300 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.
1 . April 9, S4 336 U 09APR YYZTER HS1 2100 #0635 YYZ(Toronto) to TER (Terceira Azores)
2 . April 10, SP 482 Y 10APR TERHOR HS1 0835 0910 TER to HOR (Horta, Azores)
3 . April 14, SP 615 Y 14APR SJZTER HS1 1605 1635 SJZ (San Jorge, Azores) to TER
4 . April 17, S4 337 W 17APR TERYYZ HS1 1645 1920 TER to YYZ
End of Azores Program
OPorto add on (supplemental charge). April 17-21 (flights not included)
April 17, Morning Flight Azores to Porto, S4 336 U 17APR TEROPO HS1 0820 1140
Transfer to airport flight to Porto. Free afternoon Porto. Dinner try the famous “Francesinha”, a sandwich with beef in a tomato sauce cover with layers of very fine cheese… delicious! Night in a guesthouse in center of Oporto. https://youtu.be/MVKdtvfwNcAps://youtu.be
April 18th – Saturday Walking tour visiting the center of city. We will start climbing the Clérigos Tower, the ex-libris of the city, with 75m high and a panoramic view over the city, after climbing 225 steps. Visit the UNESCO classified area, the old town with their narrow streets full of history, passing by the house where Henry the Navigator was born and reaching the Douro river and the great Ribeira to have lunch on a typical restaurant. We will pass to the south side of the river, crossing the metal bridge of D.Luis I, built in 1886 and in the historical center of the town classified as a World Heritage.
After lunch we will visit the Porto cellars with a tasting of the famous Oporto wine. Return to Porto, we will visit one of the most spectacular churches of the Portuguese Baroque style, all covered with gold (Igreja de Santa Clara, constructed in 1416 alongside the Santa Clara Convent for use by nuns of the Order of Poor Clares).
Back to the lodge to rest before dinner. Possibility to visit Casa da Musica (the House of Music) a new reference in architectural tourism, impressive building by Rem Koolhaas, the famous Dutch architect from O.M.V. atelier. Night in a guesthouse in center of Oporto.
April 19th – Sunday Trip by van to the Douro Valley, another world Heritage site by UNESCO. Boat trip to appreciate the landscape of the vineyards built by hand on the slopes of the mountains. Dinner and night in a Douro Quinta.
April 20th – Monday Transfer for the beginning of a Bike Tour through valleys and vineyards (25/30km) ending up on Douro Museum with a visit to a traditional Quinta to experience the famous Oporto wine. Traditional farewell dinner with a great atmosphere. Night in a Douro Quinta.
April 21st – Tuesday Free Morning , Porto. Mid day Transfer to Oporto Airport. Recommended Flights to Toronto TP 1861 O 21APR OPOPDL HS1 1320 1445 & S4 377 X 21APR PDLYYZ HS1 1610 1845
* 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)