The Azores

Island Hopping

Code: AZWHW

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Flora
  • Hills & moorland

Level

  • Easy
More information

Difficulty indicator

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £2,049.00 - 14 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

Trip notes will be available to download soon 

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.

 Holiday Highlights

  • 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

Prices include:

  • 14 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Half Board, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure
  • 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
  • Tips

Accommodation

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.

Itinerary

Trip notes will be available to download soon 

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.

General Information

Passport

A full passport, valid for 3 months beyond the length of stay.

Visas

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. 

Health advice

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
www.dh.gov.uk/travellers.

Vaccines: Tetanus vaccine is recommended. Hepatitis A and Yellow Fever are sometimes recommended too.

Climate
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.

Money
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.

Tipping
Tips are included on this holiday.

For flight times see the Dates & Prices tab.

Leaders

Pedro Freire

Pedro’s early life was based in Porto (the mainland). He moved to the Azores 20 years ago to finish his degree in Biology / Geology. He is now “married” to the Azores, in the true sense of the word, as his wife and daughters are Azorean. After university he worked as a teacher and took up professional guiding 12 years ago, though he still lectures on tourism at the University of the Azores on Sao Miguel. Pedro has a great love of the Azores and the natural wonders of the islands and he feels there is always something new to discover when exploring the vast biological and geological history of the islands.

Pedro is leading our 24 September 2016 departure.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
17 Oct 2016, 2:27 p.m.

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No review provided

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We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in The Azores. The leader was excellent. The hotels and itinerary very good. I only have one complaint. One of the drivers of the mini bus we used on the Island of Faial drove for some considerable time using his mobile phone. I think I am correct in saying it was Terrys Cabs.
17 Sep 2016, 6:40 p.m.

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No review provided

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group could be smaller or have 2 leaders
13 Sep 2016, 6:42 p.m.

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Service review:

I've been with HF a number of times and they've always proved to be unfailingly attentive and helpful. I know a lot of work has gone in to the website but it remains I think less user friendly than that of Ramblers Holidays. With HF if I want to see all holidays starting between 2 specific dates this is difficult and that's a drawback.

Product review:

A few tweaks would raise this rating to excellent and that will come out in my more detailed responses.
13 Sep 2016, 9:18 a.m.

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group too big

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leader very good but group size too big
25 Nov 2015, 4:16 p.m.

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Very good

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Well run walks, varied itinery.
17 Oct 2015, 7:22 p.m.

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Everything fine

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Excellent leader. Accommodation generally good. Some re-ordering of itinerary would be advisable.
17 Oct 2015, 4:45 p.m.

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My first trip with HF and won't be my last.

Product review:

Alena our tour guide from Geo-fun was remarkable, for a young 26yesr old, her knowledge and smiling face was a total delight
15 Oct 2015, 8:54 a.m.

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Very efficient, booking easy and travel, linking with guide etc all carried out without a hitch.

Product review:

Great experiences, super guide, good hotels, effortless island hopping, great scenery, lovely meals in varied restaurants with a very easy going and friendly group of companions. All in all one of the best holidays we have ever had. Please can you fix the weather next time?
13 Oct 2015, 8:34 a.m.

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I have travelled several times with HF Holidays and have never had any problems. This holiday was no exception.

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Beautiful Islands, super group and an absolutely excellent guide. A great holiday.
24 Sep 2015, 9:08 a.m.

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-

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Based on overall to date

Product review:

Not what 'it said on the tin'
Thank you for your feedback which we have noted.

Toni McNulty
Customer Relations Manager
HF Holidays

Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
20 May 2017 AZWHW - The Azores Island Hopping
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

SATA INTERNATIONAL

  • Depart: 20 May 2017, 2:10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 20 May 2017, 5:10 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Gatwick
  • Arrive at: Ponta Delgada Sao Miguel Island

Flight - Return

SATA INTERNATIONAL

  • Depart: 3 Jun 2017, 8:35 a.m.
  • Arrive: 3 Jun 2017, 1:20 p.m.
  • Depart from: Ponta Delgada Sao Miguel Island
  • Arrive at: London Gatwick
14 £2,379.00 Book Now
20 May 2017 AZWHW - The Azores Island Hopping - Without Flights 14 £2,049.00 Book Now
26 Aug 2017 AZWHW - The Azores Island Hopping
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

SATA INTERNATIONAL

  • Depart: 26 Aug 2017, 2:10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 26 Aug 2017, 5:10 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Gatwick
  • Arrive at: Ponta Delgada Sao Miguel Island

Flight - Return

SATA INTERNATIONAL

  • Depart: 9 Sep 2017, 8:35 a.m.
  • Arrive: 9 Sep 2017, 1:20 p.m.
  • Depart from: Ponta Delgada Sao Miguel Island
  • Arrive at: London Gatwick
14 £2,429.00 Book Now
26 Aug 2017 AZWHW - The Azores Island Hopping - Without Flights 14 £2,129.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Single room: £330 (May 2017) £370 (June 2017), £400 (August 2017)
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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