Island hopping in the Azores, small group
Prices based on 2 adults sharing.
Single supplement available.
Mimimum age 14.
Description of Island hopping in the Azores, small group
Enjoy a thorough introduction to the Azores on this two-week hiking holiday. The Azores are Portugal’s most remote Atlantic Ocean islands, and their volcanic topography makes for exciting walking, with thermal pools and ash-covered slopes along the way. In a group of no more than 16, you’ll summit mountains, skirt the edges of crater lakes, and find yourself dwarfed by head-high hydrangea bushes in full bloom. Don’t miss Sete Cidades, twin lakes with unique green and blue colouring.
This trip combines easy and moderate hikes – many of them optional – with varied volcanic landscapes. You can break up your journey with whale-watching excursions and wine-soaked lunches. Breakfasts are provided, but you shouldn’t miss dining in local restaurants and trying local cheeses.
You’ll start on the largest Azores island, Sao Miguel, which has Europe’s only remaining tea factory, the beautiful Sete Cidades, and Terra Nostra Botanical Gardens. Then it’s on to Terceira Island, where you can swim in lava rock pools and explore the Renaissance roads of Angra do Heroismo. On the long skinny and long-isolated island of Sao Jorge you‘ll find ridge walks and cliff-top views. Pico Island presents the popular challenge of ascending its dramatic central volcano, whilst Faial, the fifth and final island on your trip, is a busy rest-stop for yachts on transatlantic crossings. See them all on this comprehensive two-week trip.
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3 Reviews of Island hopping in the Azores, small group
Reviewed on 07 May 2019 by Dominic OConnorThe scenery, the food and the others in the group were memorable Read full review
Reviewed on 13 Nov 2019 by Penny StirlingA really good holiday, very well organised, with lots of different activities. Going to 5 different islands was extremely interesting. Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Sep 2018 by Kat MutoThe most memorable parts of the holiday were...Hiking Pico, some other excursions: whale watching, hiking other volcanoes, swimming with dolphins, tasting great wine, fishing and being able to have it cooked at a restaurant that served it to us. Read full review
PlanetThe nine volcanic islands that make up the Azores are designated as a Geopark, ensuring the protection of the geographic heritage, fauna and flora and marine areas. On this trip we visit five of the islands allowing us to appreciate their unique natural heritage. We explore each island by public buses, taxis and on foot, keeping to the official walking trails and travelling with respect for the environment. Our Tour Leaders and local guides are trained in how to actively promote responsible tourism and brief our groups on how they can minimise their own impacts, actively encouraging clients to carry all waste with them and use recycling bins that can be found both on the streets and in hotels.
The whale watching company that we use do not cater to mass tourism; the company depends on the whales and as such does everything possible to respect them. This includes keeping the legal distance from the whales and briefing all groups on how they should behave to protect the environment by not littering and keeping noise to a minimum whilst in the boats and out on the water.
As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
PeopleWe experience the different cultures of each island, learning about their traditions. In Furnas on Sao Miguel Island we witness the transportation of the Cozido, a dish unique to the Azores, cooked in a pot under the ground by the geothermal heat and we visit Gorreana, Europe’s oldest and only remaining tea factory which still using traditional processing methods.
The tea plantation has been owned by the same family since 1883. The tea is grown hundreds of miles away from industrial pollution without the use of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, dyes or preservatives. It is harvested in the time honoured way between April and September with a traditional festival at the peak of the harvest!
On Pico Island we learn about the islands history of wine making and their traditional methods.
The vineyards are generally locally owned and in fact there are a large number of extremely small plots of land or ‘currais’ that may only contain a few grape vines. There are a few wineries on the island made under a cooperative scheme that benefits the local growers and keeps the traditional and complex vineyards alive and well. By visiting the vineyards we are helping to sustain the practise of wine making that has existed in harsh conditions since the mid -15th century.
Tourism is one of the main sources of income for the islands of the Azores and helps to maintain traditions, visiting five of the islands and working with locals we help to spread the economic benefits across the Azores.
In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our UK Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.