FAMILY ADVENTURE ON THE EASTERN AZORES

Regions

São Miguel, Santa Maria

Starting Point

São Miguel

Best time to travel

all year

Recommended Length

10 - 12 days

Best for

from 6 years

Activity Level **

3/5

Discover the eastern islands of the Azores and visit São Miguel and Santa Maria on this 10 days family adventure tour. Soak up the beautiful lush green nature of the Azores while hiking, kayaking, coasteering or canyoning and enjoy unique marine wildlife watching experiences on a whale and dolphin watching tour or a fabulous snorkeling adventure with manta rays. Relax with the whole family in the hot thermal waters of the Terra Nostra bath in Furnas after a week filled with fun, action and outdoor adventure.

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ family adventure tour on São Miguel and Santa Maria
✓ observe whales and dolphins in their natural habitat and swim among majestic manta rays
✓ hiking tours along the beautiful volcanic crater lakes of Sete Cidades, Fogo and Furnas
✓ fun-filled family coasteering and canyoning adventure on Santa Maria
✓ learn about traditional farming, harvesting and processing of tea at Europe's only tea plantation
✓ enjoy the hot thermal springs and beautiful gardens at Terra Nostra in Furnas

 

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR OVERVIEW

Day 1 - arrival to São Miguel - overnight in Ponta Delgada
Day 2 - whale and dolphin watching tour - overnight in Ponta Delgada
Day 3 - hiking at Sete Cidades - overnight in Ponta Delgada (65km)
Day 4 - transfer to Santa Maria - free time on Santa Maria - overnight in Vila do Porto (15km)
Day 5 - adventure tour on Santa Maria - overnight in Vila do Porto (60km)
Day 6 - coasteering & canyoning adventure - overnight in Vila do Porto (25km)
Day 7 - snorkeling with manta rays - overnight in Vila do Porto (30km)
Day 8 - transfer to São Miguel - Lagoa do Fogo and Caldeira Velha - overnight in Furnas (75km)
Day 9 - kayaking in Furnas - free time around Furnas and Terra Nostra Park - overnight in Furnas
Day 10 - visit to the Gorreana Tea Plantation - Ribeira dos Caldeirões Nature Park - overnight in Furnas (60km)
Day 11 - departure

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1 - WELCOME TO SAO MIGUEL
Arrival to São Miguel and transfer to your hotel. This afternoon, you will learn about the highlights of the Azores capital when a unique private TukTuk tour will take you to see some of the main attractions of Ponta Delgada. This is a fun and ecological way to explore Ponta Delgada's cultural and natural heritage, including monuments and the colonial architecture, gardens, beaches and the famous pineapple greenhouses.
Overnight in Ponta Delgada.

DAY 2 - WHALE AND DOLPHIN WATCHING TOUR
The day starts with an exciting whale watching tour. The Azores are one of the best places in the world for whale watching, counting more than 20 species in the surrounding waters. Both the resident common dolphins and the majestic whales offer a true experience to learn more about the fascinating Azores marine wildlife in a sustainable and safe way. The afternoon is free to spend around Ponta Delgada.
Overnight in Ponta Delgada.

DAY 3 - HIKING AROUND SETE CIDADES - MOSTEIROS BLACK SAND BEACH
Visit the Sete Cidades lakes in north-western São Miguel today, the two beautiful blue and green colored lakes known as one of the seven wonders of Portugal. A scenic hiking trail is taking you around the lakes and you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views across the lakes, São Miguel and the Atlantic ocean. Pay a visit to the Mosteiros black sand beach, which is one of the few places on the Azores to swim at a sandy beach.
Overnight in Ponta Delgada.

DAY 4 - TRANSFER TO SANTA MARIA
You will transfer to São Miguel airport in the morning and take a short flight to Santa Maria, the most eastern of the Azores Islands. Spend the afternoon strolling through the picturesque village of Vila do Porto, venture off on one of the many scenic hiking routes taking you around the island or simply relax at the beach.
Overnight in Vila do Porto.

DAY 5 - SANTA MARIA ADVENTURE TOUR
Columbus visited Santa Maria in 1493 and our Santa Maria adventure tour will take you across the island to follow in his footsteps. You will learn about the architecture and the cultural heritage while enjoying the beautiful landscape of Santa Maria. Known as the island of the sun with a drier and warmer climate than the rest of the islands of the Azores, Santa Maria has a discrete beauty displaying in its geological wealth with white sandy beaches, cozy bays and soft green pastures.
Overnight in Vila do Porto.

DAY 6 - CANYONING AND COASTEERING ADVENTURE AT SAO LOURENCO BAY
A fun and challenging day awaits you today as you will venture off canyoning through watercourses and coasteering along caves and arcades. This great family experience allows you to tackle the beautiful nature in a funa and creative way by climbing up rocks, walking through gorges and sliding and jumping down ravines and cliffs.
Overnight in Vila do Porto.

DAY 7 - SNORKELING WITH MANTA RAYS
You will take to the Atlantic waters this morning to experience a very special snorkeling adventure among majestic manta rays. Snorkeling itself is a formidable experience, but to be surrounded by these elegant creatures in the deep blue waters will certainly be an unforgettable adventure for the whole family. The Baixa do Ambrósio is world-famous as a deep diving spot, but as many of the marine inhabitants live in very low depths, it is also perfect for snorkeling. The afternoon is free to spend on one of the sandy beaches of Santa Maria or discover more of the islands scenic nature on a hiking tour.
Overnight in Vila do Porto.

DAY 8 - TRANSFER TO SAO MIGUEL - LAGOA DO FOGO - FURNAS
You will make your way back to São Miguel in the morning, where you will spend a few more days now in the eastern part of the island. Visit the beautiful Caldeira Velha Nature reserve with its adorable natural hot pools set in beautiful green and lush scenery and stop at the beautiful waterfalls at Cascata do Salto do Cabrito before heading to Furnas.
Overnight in Furnas.

DAY 9 - KAYAKING ON LAKE FURNAS
Furnas lake is primarily known for its bubbling, mineral rich geothermal pools, but it's also set in a beautiful lush, green scenery, which is best to be enjoyed from the water. A kayaking tour will take you across the calm waters of the lake while you will learn more about the geological heritage of the area and soak up the beautiful natural scenery. You will have free time in Furnas in the afternoon, where you can take a scenic hike around the lake or visit the famous gardens and thermal pools at Terra Nostra.
Overnight in Furnas.

DAY 10 - GORREANA TEA PLANTATION - RIBEIRA DOS CALDEIROES NATURE PARK
São Miguel is home to the only two tea plantations in Europe and today you will learn all about the traditional tea production process at a visit to the Gorreana tea plantation. which has been growing tea since 1883. You are invited to take part in the different stages of tea production - from picking to packing after the crushing, fermentation and drying process of the leaves - while learning about the secrets of traditional tea making and the history of Gorreana. Continue to the Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park in the afternoon, a protected area stretching along the banks of the river making its way through a beautiful lush valley. Here you will find several scenic walking trails and you can visit the ethnographic museum, located in one of the five historic watermills, dating back to the 16th century.
Overnight in Furnas.

DAY 11 - DEPARTURE
You will transfer to the airport and departure.

 

Family Adventure Holidays

SERVICES INCLUDED

 

Family Adventure Holidays

- accommodation in good standard hotels or guesthouses
- private transfers for the entire trip
- 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

Family Adventure Holidays

TIMES & RATES

Family Adventure Holidays

Description

Family Adventure Holidays

GALLERY

Family Adventure Holidays

Family Adventure Holidays

Contact us for a quote

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

 

Family Adventure Holidays

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.