SAO MIGUEL AND SANTA MARIA ADVENTURE WEEK

Regions

Sao Miguel, Santa Maria

Starting Point

Sao Miguel

Best time to travel

all year

Recommended Length

9 - 12 days

Minimum Age*

Off the beaten track

Activity Level **

4/5

This combination of the two most eastern islands of the Azores lets you discover some of the popular scenic highlights of São Miguel before venturing off the beaten track to the small island of Santa Maria. Enjoy thrilling outdoor adventures like hiking, kayaking, canyoning or coasteering and fantastic lush green volcanic scenery and the deep blue ocean all along the way.

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ discover the eastern islands of São Miguel and Santa Maria
✓ hiking, cycling and kayaking around Sete Cidades, Lagoa do Fogo and Furnas
✓ coasteering and canyoning adventure along the coast of Santa Maria
✓ once in a lifetime snorkeling with manta rays adventure
✓ prepare and feast on a traditional cozido cooked over hot natural springs
✓ time to relax and unwind at the beautiful Terra Nostra SPA, bath and gardens

 

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TOUR OVERVIEW

Day 1 - arrival - overnight in Ponta Delgada
Day 2 - transfer and hiking on Santa Maria - overnight in Vila do Porto (50km)
Day 3 - canyoning and coasteering adventure on Santa Maria - overnight in Vila do Porto (20km)
Day 4 - snorkeling with Manta Rays - transfer to São Miguel - overnight in Ponta Delgada (50km)
Day 5 - cycling tour around Sete Cidades - Mosteiros beach - overnight in Ponta Delgada (85km)
Day 6 - hiking on Lagoa do Fogo - Caldeira Velha - overnight in Furnas (50km)
Day 7 - free time in Furnas - cook your own Cozido over thermal steam - overnight in Furnas
Day 8 - kayaking on Lagoa do Furnas - visit to Gorreana tea plantation - overnight in Furnas (60km)
Day 9 - departure

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1 - WELCOME TO SAO MIGUEL
You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to Ponta Delgada. Enjoy a private guided walking tour through Ponta Delgada, the main town on São Miguel and the Azores in the afternoon.
Overnight in Ponta Delgada.

DAY 2 - HIKING ON SANTA MARIA
Flight from São Miguel to Santa Maria in the morning, the most eastern and also the warmest and driest island of the Azores. A guided hike on one of the many scenic walking routes across the island is waiting for you to explore green meadows, vineyards and colorful pastures.
Overnight in Vila do Porto.

DAY 3 - CANYONING & COASTEERING AT SAO LOURENCO BAY
A special experience is waiting for you today as you will be taken on an energizing combined coasteering and canyoning adventure while being taken around Santa Maria on a jeep with a small group. Jump in and out of the refreshing mountain currents and the sea, slide down natural tubes, climb up canyons and sea rocks while taking in the unforgettable landscape along the coast and watercourses.
Overnight in Vila do Porto.

DAY 4 - SNORKELING WITH MANTA RAYS - PONTA DELGADA
The waters around the Azores are full of submarine life and today you will have the opportunity to make a very special encounter with majestic manta rays that gently seem to float through the waters on a snorkeling adventure on Santa Maria. Flight from Santa Maria to São Miguel.
Overnight in Ponta Delgada.

DAY 5 - CYCLING AT SETE CIDADES - PINEAPPLE PLANTATION
You will explore one of the most scenic areas of São Miguel by bike today as you will cycle around the beautiful Sete Cidades, the beautiful blue and green shimmering crater lakes in the northwest of São Miguel, which are considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of Portugal. After lunch, you will visit a pineapple plantation, where you will learn more about the secrets of growing the tropical fruits and taste some delicious treats.
Overnight in Ponta Delgada.

DAY 6 - CALOURA - HIKING AROUND LAGOA DO FOGO
Cross over São Miguel today to Furnas and stop at the fishing village of Caloura on the way. Take a dip in the beautiful natural seaside swimming pool or board a snorkeling tour to the offshore islet of Villafranca do Campo. Alternatively, a four hours hike will take you from Praia to the impressive Fogo Lake idyllically set in the craters of an old volcano.
Overnight in Furnas.

DAY 7 - COOK YOUR OWN COZIDO
You will participate in the preparation of one of the Azores most traditional dishes - Cozido das Furnas! After picking the ingredients and helping with the preparation, the pot-au-feu will be taken to the hot springs around Furnas and cooked for six hours over the heat rising to the surface. Enjoy a dip in the Terra Nostra bath or follow along one of the beautiful walking trails around the lake before enjoying your dinner in the evening together with a small group.
Overnight in Furnas.

DAY 8 - KAYAKING ON LAKE FURNAS - GORREANA TEA PLANTATION
Enjoy the calm waters and the beautiful scenery of the Furnas Lake in the morning on a relaxing kayaking trip before visiting the Gorreana tea plantation, one of the only plantations in Europe. You will visit the field and learn about the harvesting, drying and packaging process before tasting some exquisite tea at one of Europe's oldest tea plantations.
Overnight in Furnas.

DAY 9 - DEPARTURE
Make your way to the airport and departure.

 

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SERVICES INCLUDED

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- accommodation in good standard middle-class hotels and/or guesthouses
- private transfers for the entire trip
- inter islands flights
- activities, visits and tours as outlined, 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.

 

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* 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.