ISLAND HOPPING ON THE CENTRAL AZORES

Regions

Terceira, Graciosa, Sao Jorge, Faial, Pico

Starting Point

Terceira

Best time to travel

all year

Recommended Length

12 -15 days

Minimum Age*

Outdoor Adventure

Activity Level **

4/5

From the UNESCO listed islands of Graciosa and Terceira to the highest peak of Portugal on Pico island, this tour will let you experience the diversity of the central islands of the Azores. Enjoy stunning scenery, local culture and fantastic outdoor adventures while you will visit five islands in the course of two weeks or longer.

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ visit five islands over the course of two weeks
✓ explore UNESCO listed cultural and natural heritage on Terceira, Pico and Graciosa
✓ hiking, cycling, snorkeling and swimming in fantastic volcanic scenery on all islands
✓ fun-filled coasteering adventure long the fajas of Sao Jorge
✓guided sunrise hiking tour to Portugal's highest mountain Mount Pico
✓ swim among dolphins off the coast of Faial
✓ learn about the UNESCO listed wine cultivation and tradition on a dedicated wine day on Pico Island

 

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TOUR OVERVIEW

Day 1 - arrival to Terceira- overnight in Angra do Heroismo
Day 2 - Terceira discover tour - snorkeling adventure - overnight in Angra do Heroismo (80km)
Day 3 - transfer to Graciosa - Graciosa discover tour - overnight in Santa Cruz (70km)
Day 4 - hiking on Graciosa - Termas do Carapacho - overnight in Santa Cruz (80km)
Day 5 - transfer to Sao Jorge - coasteering adventure - overnight in Velas ( 30km)
Day 6 - hiking tour on Sao Jorge - overnight in Velas (60km)
Day 7 - transfer to Faial - Horta walking tour and free time - overnight in Horat (25km)
Day 8 - Faial discovery tour - swimming with dolphins - overnight in Horta (70km)
Day 9 - transfer to Pico island - cycling tour on the foot of Pico mountain - overnight in Madalena (60km)
Day 10 - Pico mountain sunrise hike - overnight in Madalena (40km)
Day 11 - visit, tour and tasting at a Pico winery - overnight in Madalena (25km)
Day 12 - departure

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1 - ARRIVE TO TERCEIRA - ANGRA DO HEROISMO WALKING TOUR
Our central islands of the Azores tour starts in Terceira. After your arrival, you will have time to explore Angra do Heroismo with a local guide. The main town of Terceira is classified as UNESCO World Heritage for it's traditional and authentic center. Admire the view over the town and ocean from Monte Brasil before you will have the evening to relax in the towns bars and restaurants.
Overnight in Angra do Heroismo.

DAY 2 - DISCOVER TERCEIRA - SNORKELING
Explore the center and northern areas of Terceira, visit the steaming thermal Furnas do Enoxfre, descent into the vent of Algar do Carvao and visit the town of Biscoitos, known for its sweet wine. In the afternoon, you will embark on a snorkeling adventure off the coast to meet some of the diverse marine inhabitants around the Azores in the crystal clear waters around the volcanic rock.
Overnight in Angra do Heroismo.

DAY 3 - TRANSFER TO GRACIOSA
You will leave Terceira today and fly to the neighboring island of Graciosa, also known as the White Island, due to the predominance of light grey rock. Graciosa is the second smallest island of the Azores and is classified as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Use the rest of the day to follow the ring road around the island to enjoy fantastic views over the island and the Atlantic ocean.
Overnight in Santa Cruz da Graciosa.

DAY 4 - HIKING ON GRACIOSA - TERMAS DO CARPACHO
Explore the caldera on the eastern side of Graciosa today. Learn more about the volcanic and geological formation of the Azores and descent into the volcanic cave at Furna do Enxofre before a guided hiking tour will take you around the Caldera to enjoy fabulous views over the island and the Caldera. Visit the Termas do Carapacho to finish the day soaking in the thermal waters of the beautiful old bath.
Overnight in Santa Cruz da Graciosa.

DAY 5 - TRANSFER TO SAO JORGE - COASTEERING - VELAS
You will leave Graciosa and continue to São Jorge in the morning. The quiet island is a popular spot for hikers and famous for the locally produced cheese. An exciting coasteering adventure awaits you in the afternoon, where you will experience a stretch of the beautiful rocky coastline by foot, zipline, abseiling, climbing and jumping into the crystal clear blue water.
Overnight in Velas.

DAY 6 - EXPLORE SAO JORGE
Enjoy a guided hike in the morning around one of the many scenic spots on the island of fajas. Spend the rest of the day touring the island and don't forget to taste some of the fabulous local cheeses.
Overnight in Velas.

DAY 7 - TRANSFER TO FAIAL - HORTA
Take the ferry to Faial in the morning and explore the lively town of Horta, known as the sailors capital of the Atlantic, with a local guide. Learn more about the history and significance of Horta and enjoy a drink in the famous Peter Cafe Sport Bar while soaking up the sense of adventure and freedom in the cosmopolitan town.
Overnight in Horta.

DAY 8 - FAIAL - SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS
Discover lush green valleys and dramatic coastlines as you will explore the island of Faial today. Visit the volcanic information center at Vulcao dos Capelinhos on the western tip of the island to learn more about the Azores formation and Faials latest eruption in the late 1950s, when the eruption of a submarine volcano added two kilometers of new land the the western end of Faial. Take to the waters in the afternoon for an unforgettable swimming with nosy dolphins adventure.
Overnight in Horta.

DAY 9 - TRANSFER TO PICO - GUIDED CYCLING TOUR
Take the ferry to Pico in the morning, the island dominated by Portugal's highest mountain. A guided cycling tour will take you through vineyards, picturesque small villages and along a beautiful coastline set in the shadow of Pico mountain.
Overnight in Madalena.

DAY 10 - CLIMBING PICO AT SUNRISE
You will have an early start today as you will make your way up to the summit of Pico to witness the wonderful sunrise from the top of Portugal with a small group. Enjoy the fantastic views over the ocean and the neighboring island in the beautiful morning twilight.
Overnight in Madalena.

DAY 11 - ALL ABOUT PICO WINES
Spend the day on one of the local vineyards, where you will learn more about the cultivation and the production of the beautiful Pico wines. The grapes are grown on the black lava rock and the cultivation process on the island is classified as UNESCO World Heritage thanks to its unique agricultural technique making it possible to grow sensitive vines in the often harsh Atlantic conditions.
Overnight in Madalena.

DAY 12 - DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport and departure.

 

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SERVICES INCLUDED

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- accommodation in good standard hotels or guesthouses
- private transfers for the entire trip
- ferry passages and inter-islands flights
- activities, visits and tours as outlined, accompanied with a certified, English speaking guide where desired/required
- all taxes and insurances for the activities
- expert travel planning, trip preparation and 24/7 on-tour support

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TIMES & RATES

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Description

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GALLERY

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Contact us for a quote

Talk to us to get a quote for this tour or let us design a tour just for you. 

 

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TRAVEL TIPS

When to travel
The Azores can be visited all year round. Even though the Azores High is often responsible for sunny weather across Europe, almost any day on the Azores has four seasons. You will experience short intervals of rain showers and sunshine or strong winds followed by completely calm periods. Especially the northern coasts are exposed and experience turbulent waters and strong winds. The southern sides, especially on the higher islands, generally enjoy calmer and milder conditions. Quite often, the mountain ranges are covered in fog.
The eastern island of Santa Maria is the warmest of the islands and the further you travel west, the rougher the conditions get.
Temperatures on the Azores are moderate throughout the year with fairly mild winters and average around 14 degrees C in February and 28 degrees in August. Temperatures only drop slightly over night. Humidity is quite high with the high summer months July and August being hot and muggy. Rain spreads evenly over the months, but you will find much stronger winds over the winter months. Either way, you should always prepare with a windproof rain coat or jacket and a warm jumper between October and May.
The most popular time to travel to the Azores for many is between June and September with July and August being busy with foreign visitors. Capacity is limited, so it is recommendable to plan ahead if you are planning to travel over the high summer months. April to June and September and October are perfect for exploring the islands and for getting active.

How to travel
The Azores can be reached by plane with Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel being the point of arrival. SATA/Azores airlines offers direct flights from a number of places in Europe and North America and there are also connections from Europe with Ryanair, SWISS or TAP.
SATA/Azores Airlines offers regular flights between the islands for affordable rates, which is the fastest and easiest way to get around. There are also regular ferry connections between the islands, which are a good option for shorter rides, for example between Sao Jorge, Faial and Pico. Some of the ferry services do not operate daily and only in the high season.
The easiest way to get around on the islands is by rental car or chauffeur driven service. We also offer the possibility to offer day trips where the transport is automatically included.

Travelling with children
Portugal is very kids friendly in general, cots and high chairs are available in most hotels upon request. Smaller, kids-sized portions are available in almost any restaurant.
The scenery across the islands is green and lush, making it a fantastic outdoor destination to enjoy nature, volcanic heritage, culture and thermal hot springs. Hiking, cycling and guided walking and sight-seeing tours are suitable for any age, but usually a minimum age of eight years or older is required for some of the more physical activities like canyoning or coasteering. If you have any concerns, please talk to us and we will be happy to help you pick the right activities.
You will not find many beaches on the Azores, but older kids will love to explore the volcanic coastline and the crystal clear waters on snorkeling and swimming adventures. Whale watching tours are leaving from various locations across the islands and make for a wonderful trip to enjoy with the whole family.

What to bring
Temperatures climb well over 25 degrees over the day in the summer months, but the climate remains humid and you should prepare for rainy episodes, so a waterproof jacket should always be at hand. Light clothes are recommended if you are travelling in summer, but you should also pack for some lower temperatures and wind if you are planning on climbing Pico mountain or boarding a whale watching tour. If you are travelling outside the summer months, you should bring a few warm jumpers. Further, a sunhat, sunglasses and sun lotion will be useful.
A proper camera is indispensable to capture the beautiful landscape and the fantastic view. For hiking tours, bring a waterproof backpack to store your essentials and some proper (ideally waterproof) hiking shoes/boots.

 

For more practical travel advise and general information on visiting the Azores, please follow the link below.

 

Family Adventure Holidays

* The minimum age is based on the overall tour, some activities can require a higher minimum age, this will be advised at proposal stage. While not all activities are suitable for very small children, we are happy to tailor the tour to meet your specific wishes and needs.

**  The activity level is based on the amount of tours and activities included (1 - few tours and activities with a lot of free time, 5 - a lot of tours and activities with little free time). The activity level does not reflect the difficulty of the activities or tours included. Itineraries can be tailored to match the preferred level of activity.

Image by Sander Lenaerts

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From our own experience, no two holidays are the same. Talk to us and we will create your own individual holiday just for you.