Azores highlights tour
Description of Azores highlights tour
The Azores is an archipelago stuck sleepily in time, flung 1,500km off the Portuguese coast. With seven days up your sleeve, there’s time to swing by five of the volcanic islands. The slumbering main island, Sao Miguel, is about as lively as things get. Munch on salted cod at Mercado da Graca and set out on a guided hike of the lagoons, volcanoes and pineapple plantations that piece together the island.
The fact that you have to fly into Sao Jorge Island clues you in on just how remote these islands are. Rather than the (admittedly picturesque) whitewashed towns, the clifftop walks are the stars of the show. Pico do Pedro is one of the top trails, tiptoeing along the tops of green mountains. Faial Island, meanwhile, blooms with indigo hydrangeas. Pico Island is another flavour of island altogether, where vineyards have sprouted from basalt rock since the 15th century.
This Azores holiday is a small group tour, so you’ll travel with likeminded explorers and be matched with a guide who knows everything from the most scenic mountain paths to the best place for a portside G&T.
Check dates, prices & availability
1 Reviews of Azores highlights tour
Reviewed on 28 Oct 2019 by Patricia Mcleod
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Hiking in Bulgaria, even though it was too short.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Ok trip however do a strong comparison with other companies as well.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
PlanetUntil a little over 30 years ago, whaling was a way of life in the Azores especially on Pico Island, which we visit on this trip. For almost two centuries hunting these diverse aquatic mammals was part of islander culture. In 1984, the Azoreans made a very responsible and brave decision. Following the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, whale hunting in the Azores ended. This didn’t mean that local people lost their income, in fact they managed to convert the whaling tradition into whale watching and research instead.
Today, the boats are not going out to hunt, instead they are going out to save more than 20 different types cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) by research and education. We’re proud to educate our travellers by taking them on an included whale watching tour, but also showing them around the museum on Pico Island. A museum that displays the role of whaling in the culture and industry of the islands and the road to the responsible transition that took place in the mid-eighties.
Our Azores and mainland Portugal trip hops around the beautiful yet fragile islands of the Atlantic Ocean. As such we believe in the philosophy of taking nothing but pictures and leaving nothing but footprints. Therefore, it’s very important for us to choose who we work with wisely and ensuring that our stance on environmental issues and carbon emissions are part of our supplier’s policy too. To this end, our day trip around Sao Miguel Island is run by someone whose love for the Azores and its beauty matches our own. On this tour you’ll do fair amount of walking, visit plenty of local producers like pineapple farmers or ceramic factory workers, and reach spots no one else knows about. The views (and photographs) you will take away with you are breath-taking.
PeopleWe always want to have a positive impact on the destinations we visit, and sometimes it takes a little bit of thought as to the best way to give back to the local communities in those places. In the Azores we do this by visiting local craft and souvenirs shops, eating in local restaurants and staying in small, family run hotels. The most interesting local spot here has to be the ceramic factory in Lagoa on Sao Miguel Island. The local craft that is still live on the islands are hugely supported by travellers. Have a look at the carefully painted pottery or intricately produced decorative tiles and you’ll understand why we’re so proud to back this beautiful local craft.
We started operating trips to the Azores fairly recently. We are building our knowledge of places and attractions quickly, but we understand that often it’s best to ask locals to show us around. We do that in few places on this trip. You’ll visit Sao Miguel Island under watchful eye of our local friends. You’ll also be taken out for a whale watching activity by local experts.