Explore a mid Atlantic European outpost; the Azores archipelago rises from the violent meeting of three continental plates and is warmed by the passing Gulf Stream. You’ll walk amongst dormant volcanoes, along beaches of basalt and follow paths green and wild, encountering locals and the islands’ dappled cows. Visit four of the nine islands in a fortnight enjoying unspoiled landscapes, mountains, lakes, wild flowers, volcanic springs, picturesque villages and historic harbour towns.
Ponta Delgada is our base for the western end of São Miguel, where we have a superb walk above the famous crater lakes, the green and the blue, and visit the pretty seaside village of Mosteiros. We also have time to explore the charming Portuguese colonial style capital of Ponta Delgada itself, with its many gardens, narrow streets and harbourside esplanade.
We fly to São Jorge, for some fabulous walks to enjoy fine views from the island’s mountainous spine, to descend to secret “fajas”, coastal farmland hidden below the island’s rugged cliffs, and maybe stroll through the gardens of Rosais.
We sail to Pico for delightful walks on the slopes of Pico mountain, the highest in Portugal (the summit is an above-grade optional excursion for fit walkers), and also by the coast, through the island’s unique volcanic vineyards. One day is spent exploring the nearby island of Faial, a short ferry crossing away. Whale watching is another option from Pico or Faial.
Flying back to São Miguel, this time we stay in the unique volcanic spa town of Furnas, a superb base in the unspoiled eastern end of the island. Our hotel is located in exotic subtropical gardens. After a walk here we can relax in the hot volcanic springs.
This most enjoyable and leisurely tour allows time to walk and savour these beautiful, peaceful islands.