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Hills & moorland
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
The Azores are a lush green archipelago in the mid-Atlantic, 950 miles from Lisbon and on the Gulf Stream. The five islands we’ll visit offer breathtaking mountains, quiet valleys, enchanting lakes in extinct craters, pleasant hill country, fantastic hydrangea hedges and wonderful coasts lined with picturesque villages and historical towns. The pace of life in the Azores is more relaxed, so whilst you explore these islands you have time to savour them too.
Our walks are not route marches but a relaxed exploration, providing ample time for photography, observation of flora and fauna and to appreciate the beauty of the scenery, the history and the culture of the places through which you will be passing.
- Discover this lush and exotic archipelago lying in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean
- Walk the crater rim of the blue and green lagoons of Sete Cidades on Sâo Miguel
- Visit the UNESCO world heritage areas of Pico and Angra do Heroismo
- Sail from Faial to the mighty Mt Pico, the highest peak of the Atlantic
- Enjoy special sightseeing tours on each island with your expert local guide
- 14 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms
- Half Board, from breakfast on day 2 to breakfast on final morning
- A full programme of guided walks and sightseeing with expert local guides
- Travel by minibus, taxi or coach around the islands
- Travel between the islands by plane or ferry
We stay in the carefully selected 3 & 4-star hotels chosen for their high standards, good food and accessibility to our sightseeing and walking tours.
The art deco 3-star Hotel Talisman in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, has two restaurants, a café terrace and a rooftop pool. It is in the centre of town, just minutes from the seafront. (May 2017 guests will be staying at the Hotel Pestana Bahia Praia, a 4 star hotel approx 20 mins from the centre of Ponta Delgada, overlooking the Atlantic and on the beach). The last 4 nights of the holiday will also be at the Talisman.
The 4-star Faial Resort Hotel on Faial is set in beautiful grounds in the town of Horta. There is a panoramic restaurant, an indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi and outside there is an infinity pool overlooking Pico.
The 3-star Hotel São Jorge is located right on the seafront in Velas, São Jorge, looking out over the sea towards Pico. All the rooms have balconies overlooking the sea and there is a large outdoor pool.
On Terceira, we stay in the historic Hotel Sao Sebastiao, one of two Pousadas on the Azores. Situated within a fortress, it has 28 bedrooms . All rooms have an en-suite bathroom, heating/air conditioning, minibar, phone, cable TV, hairdryer, safe and internet access.
On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.
Walks are on good paths and range from 2 to 8 miles (3.25-12.75km), mixed with a wide range of sightseeing. There is an additional option to ascend Mt Pico 7,713 feet (2,314), the highest peak in the Atlantic, at a supplementary cost.
Day 1: Arrival day – arrive in Ponta Delgada on Sâo Miguel (1 nt), the largest island in the group, also known as the Ilha Verde.
Day 2: to Faial– enjoy a walking tour of Ponta Delgada before our flight to Faial (4 nts) and the picturesque port of Horta.
Day 3: Caldeira and Capelinhos – a full day tour, with options for shorter walks, takes us to Caldera for magnificent views of Mt Pico and to Capelinhos with its dramatic lines of volcanic cones leading to the crater.
Day 4: to Pico – we take a short ferry ride to Pico, dominated by Mt Pico, the highest mountain of the Atlantic. After a short tour, we enjoy a walk on the slopes back down to the harbour. There is an option to ascend Mt Pico for a supplement.
Day 5: Monte Guia and Porto Pim – a morning walk near to Horta and then the afternoon is free for you to explore, or relax, or maybe to enjoy one of the many whale and dolphin watching trips (optional) that run from the port. The Azores is one of the world's premier destinations for whale watching.
Day 6: to São Jorge – we take the ferry to São Jorge (3 nts) for an afternoon exploring the charming town of Velas with its tiny streets, vividly painted buildings and attractive sea front.
Day 7: Three fajãs walk – Sâo Jorge is famous for its fajâs (fertile areas of land next to the sea) nestled below dramatic cliffs, and our first walk visits three of the most beautiful set on the northern coast. We descend from the high-mountain pastures to the sea, then follow the undulating trail through the three fajãs.
Day 8: São Jorge spine walk – this is one of our longer, but relatively easy, walks across the spine of the island to its highest summit before descending to the village of Norte Grande. From the top on a cloudless day there are glorious views to the islands of Pico, Faial and Graciosa.
Day 9: to Terceira – fly to Terceira (2 nts). Spend the afternoon exploring the delightful World Heritage town of Angra do Heroísmo, with it’s wonderful 17th and 18th century architecture.
Day 10: Island exploration – explore Terceira’s mix of geological wonders, beautiful green landscapes, historic towns and pretty painted churches. Today is a full day with lots of short walks, including visits to the caves at Furnas do Anxofre and Algar do Carvao, the wine growing region of Biscoitos, and the bird reserve in Praia.
Day 11: to Sao Miguel - fly to Sao Miguel (4 nts).
Day 12: Sete Cidades – we head to the famous crater of the blue and green lagoons of Sete Cidades to enjoy a lovely walk along the rim.
Day 13: Sightseeing around Furnas – sightseeing around the old spa town of Furnas, a walk along the shore of Lake Furnas to see steam clouds, mud cauldrons and hot rocks, and an afternoon visit to Parque Terra Nostra botanical gardens (they were first laid out over 200 years ago and now have over 3000 plant species from around the world) and its thermal swimming pool.
Day 14: Geo Tour – Sao Miguel is made up of three volcanoes which have fused together to form one island and we spend the day with a local geologist/geographer learning how these powerful volcanic forces created the islands. Throughout the day we will take short walks to points of interest.
Day 15: Departure day – transfer to airport for final departure.
A full passport, valid for 3 months beyond the length of stay.
The Azores are part of the EU and European citizens do not require an entry visa. Other nationalities please check with your nearest Portugese embassy or consulate.
Before booking, you should check with your doctor to see if any health precautions are needed. The following websites provide a wealth of information on travelling and health: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk www.traveldoctor.co.uk
EU citizens should get a new European Health Insurance Card prior to their holiday. There can be problems with medical authorities and insurance companies if you cannot produce this when you require treatment - details are available at
Vaccines: Tetanus vaccine is recommended. Hepatitis A and Yellow Fever are sometimes recommended too.
The Azores have a mild climate influenced by the warm Gulf Stream. Expect day time temperatures to be in the region of 15°C to 20°C with temperatures at night dropping to about 13°C. Ponta Delgada has an annual rainfall of 70cm so it is likely that there will be some rainfall during our visit. However, rain is rarely persistent.
The unit of currency is the Euro. ATM machines, accepting most major cards, are available in the capital towns on each island. Credit cards, especially Visa, are accepted in most of the hotels and shops, but not in many restaurants or cafés. You will need to carry with you a certain amount of cash. You will need money for day to day goods such as drinks and lunches and any souvenirs you may like to purchase. Traveller’s cheques are not advised.
Tips are included on this holiday.
For flight times see the Dates & Prices tab.
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Dates & Prices
|26 Aug 2017||
AZWHW - The Azores Island Hopping
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|26 Aug 2017||AZWHW - The Azores Island Hopping - Without Flights||14||£2,129.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Single room: £330 (May 2017) £370 (June 2017), £400 (August 2017)
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person