THE AZORES TRIANGLE

Regions

Pico, Faial, Sao Jorge

Starting Point

Sao Miguel

Best time to travel

all year

Recommended Length

10 - 14 days

Minimum Age*

Outdoor Adventure

Activity Level **

3/5

Visit the triangle consisting of the three islands of São Jorge, Faial and Pico and enjoy exciting and fun outdoor adventures while enjoying the fantastic volcanic scenery of the islands. Hiking, cycling, swimming or whale watching are just a few of the activities that are waiting for you and you will also dive into the UNESCO World heritage that is wine cultivation on the island of Pico.

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ visit the three beautiful islands Faial, Pico and São Jorge
✓ observe amazing marine wildlife on whale watching and snorkeling tours
✓ learn about the UNESCO listed Pico wine cultivation and tradition on a dedicated wine day
✓ guided hiking tour to climb Portugal's highest mountain Mount Pico
✓ hike on young volcanic soil and enjoy the lively town of Horta on Faial

 

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TOUR OVERVIEW

Day 1 - arrival to Pico island - overnight in Madalena
Day 2 - Pico discovery tour - whale watching tour - overnight in Madalena (110km)
Day 3 - hiking to the top of Pico mountain - overnight in Madalena (45km)
Day 4 -a day at a Pico winery - overnight in Madalena (30km)
Day 5 - snorkeling tour - transfer to Faial - overnight in Horta (30km)
Day 6 - Faial discovery and hiking tour - overnight in Horta (90km)
Day 7 - cycling tour - transfer to São Jorge - overnight in Velas (80km)
Day 8 - São Jorge discovery tour - artisan coffee plantation - overnight in Velas (90km)
Day 9 - hiking on São Jorge - free time in the afternoon - overnight in Velas (40km)
Day 10 - departure

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1 - WELCOME TO PICO ISLAND
Welcome to the Azores. Arrival to Pico island, where you will have the rest of the day to explore the little seaside town of Madalena.
Overnight in Madalena.

DAY 2 - PICO ISLAND DISCOVERY TOUR - WHALE WATCHING TOUR
You will discover the lush scenery and cultural heritage of Pico island today. The island has a long standing history in whaling and you will encounter the marine mammals on a whale watching tour in the afternoon. While commercial whaling was abolished in 1982, some former whalers brought their knowledge and skills to new use while joining commercial whale watching cruises instead. The tours around Pico are among the best waters in the world to spot the gentle giants in their natural habitat and tours promise a success rate of almost 100%.
Overnight in Madalena.

DAY 3 - CLIMBING PICO MOUNTAIN
With a height of 2,351m, Pico is the highest mountain of Portugal and is known as one of the natural seven wonders of Portugal. You will take on the summit today on a guided tour with a small group and be rewarded with fantastic views over the ocean and the neighboring islands.
Overnight in Madalena.

DAY 4 - ALL ABOUT PICO WINES
You will spend your day at a local vineyard, where you will learn more about traditional wine growing and harvesting on Pico island. Pico's wines are grown on the black lava stone in small patches framed by stone walls to protect them from the often harsh conditions and this unique and innovative cultivation process has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage. Taste some of the excellent wines and other unique beverages made from grapes on this hands on wine experience.
Overnight in Madalena.

DAY 5 - SNORKELING - TRANSFER TO FAIAL
Explore the warm clear waters around Pico Island on a snorkeling adventure in the morning before taking the short ferry passage to Faial. Spend the rest of the afternoon strolling around the lively town of Horta and the legendary marina, meeting point for sailors from all over the world for centuries.
Overnight in Horta.

DAY 6 - EXPLORE FAIAL - CAPELINHOS - CALDEIRA
A private tour will take you around Faial today. Make your way to the Capelinhos volcano, where a submarine eruption added 2km to the island in 1957/58, making this the youngest part of Faial. Explore the impressive caldera with its steep 400m high rock walls and learn more about the history and significance of Horta on a walking tour.
Overnight in Horta.

DAY 7 - CYCLING TOUR FAIAL - TRANSFER TO SAO JORGE - VELAS
Discover the lush green valleys and the dramatic coastline around Horta by bike in the morning. Enjoy fantastic views over the volcanic landscapes while cycling along historic paths and off-road trails through lush forests and small villages. You will then board the ferry to São Jorge after lunch and spend the rest of the afternoon venturing around Velas, the main town on São Jorge.
Overnight in Velas.

DAY 8 - DISCOVER THE ISLAND OF FAJAS
You will find around 70 alluvial fans across São Jorge, small strips nestled between the ocean and the mountain ranges, which were traditionally used for the cultivation of bananas and coffee and have become popular hiking spots since they were abandoned. Jump from Faja to Faja today and visit a local artisan coffee plantation and cheese factory to learn more about the cultivation traditions and to taste some of the excellent local cheeses produced on São Jorge.
Overnight in Velas.

DAY 9 - HIKING TOUR ON SAO JORGE
São Jorge is a hiking paradise due to the high mountain range in the center and the many fajas on the coast. Your guide will take you on a fantastic private hike in 800 - 1,000m height, reaching Pico de Esperanca, the highest peak of São Jorge, and enjoy amazing panoramic views to the neighboring islands and the ocean.
Overnight in Velas.

DAY 10 - 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
- 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.