This one week family activity holiday visits the spectacular island of Pico dominated by the perfect volcanic cone of Mt Pico (2351m), the highest mountain in Portugal.
You will be based for 7 nights in a 2 bedroom cottage (Flora da Ribeira) in the pretty fishing village of Prainha.
Car hire is included throughout so you can explore this spectacular island on your own and we have also included a 3 hour whale and dolphin watching trip on board RIBs with our excellent guides based in Lajes do Pico where there is also an excellent whaling museum. And a wonderful full day jeep tour of Faial visiting its spectacular crater and Capelinhos, the site of the most recent major eruption on the islands. You’ll leave your car at Madalena, take the ferry across (30 minutes) and be met at Horta ferry terminal by your driver for the day.
Any additional activities can of course be included for a supplement to the package of Azores family activity holiday.
Today you could take your 3 hour whale and dolphin watching trip from Lajes with our highly respected guides. Morning trips begin at 10:00 and afternoon trips begin at 14:00 with a detailed briefing before heading out to sea. These trips are on a small Rigid Inflatable Boat – we find it’s a better experience as you’re close to the water (and the wildlife). However, if you or a member of your family have a history of back pain or are recovering from a recent injury, please let us know.
Today you could take your full day jeep tour of Faial.
You'll need to drive to Madalena (40mins) to catch the ferry over to Horta on Faial. The crossing takes just 30mins and costs around €4pp each way - this is payable locally. On arrival in Horta, you'll be met by our jeep driver/guide for your tour which normally begins with visits to the botanical gardens in Horta, before heading up to the pretty caldeira at the centre of the island. The Cabeço Gordo caldeira hasn’t been active for over 200 years, although a number of small fumaroles became active during the eruption at Capelinhos (see below). The small lake in the bottom of the crater also dried up due to excessive heat.
After lunch, you’ll visit Capelinhos, the site of the last major volcanic eruption which lasted 13 months from September 1957 to October 1958. The Capelinhos Interpretation Centre houses images, newspaper reports and film taken at the time of the eruption. There’s also a particularly interesting 3D / holographic presentation which takes you through the various stages of the eruption. Technology-wise it maybe looks a little bit dated, but it’s well-worth watching as it really helps you to understand the different geological and volcanic processes that were at work during the eruption. The entrance fee to the centre is 10€ per person.
Over 2km² of land were created during the eruption – however, more than 300 homes were also destroyed and the eruption led to the emigration of 4000 residents (mainly to North America). Senators John Pastore and a young John F. Kennedy jointly supported an Azorean Refugee Act through the US Congress, which initially granted 1500 visas for Capelo families left homeless by the eruption. Subsequent amendments to the Act increased this number to 10,000 (by this time emigrating from Faial and Pico) by 1965. By the early 1980s, over 175,000 Azoreans had made new lives in the US (over 30% of the population of the islands).
After the tour, you'll be dropped back at the ferry terminal for your trip back to Pico.
Free day - you could explore Pico's geological history with a visit to the lava cave at Gruta das Torres. The caves were formed by a pāhoehoe lava flow, where the outside of the flow cools and forms a solid crust, whilst liquid lava continues to flow underneath – eventually resulting a hollow tube. The total length of the cave system is still not 100% confirmed but it’s thought to be in the region of 5km.
Free day - there are lots of lovely and relatively easy walks on Pico. You could try the Piedade walk : Walk length: 9km. Grading: Easy. Approximate walking time: 3 hours. This circular walk takes you along the rocky lava coast and up into the hills through woods. You pass through small traditional villages with small cottages build with lava stone, and have great views to Sao Jorge. We recommend good walking shoes for this walk and you might like to take walking poles too.
Today you'll leave your hire car at the airport before your flight home.
Price Per Person
We can create a tailor-made holiday to suit your budget.
INCLUDED : Accommodation for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children under 17) on self catering basis in a 2 bedroom cottage, 7 days Model F car hire, 1 x 3 hour whale and dolphin watching trip per person on Pico, 1 x full day jeep tour (lunch included) on Faial, flights and airport taxes (guide price only), pre-departure information booklet.
EXCLUDED : Meals (other than 1 lunch during the jeep tour), ferry cost approx €8pp payable locally, excursions on free days, travel insurance.
Staying in this traditional house is a real treat - located high up above Prainha fishing village, 400m from the coast with gorgeous views of São Jorge, the blue ocean and the green mountains behind.
Azores Choice provided a prompt, helpful service. they found us the perfect accommodation for our needs and provided superb, expert advice on how to spend our week walking on San Miguel. I would certainly use them again.
Joan from Durham
Recommended small travel company!
Great little company with friendly staff. Organisation of flights & accommodation very efficient. When problems arise they are helpful and very reasonable in their efforts to resolve them. We would definitely use them again for a return trip.
Really great! Would use again!
Very efficient, friendly, helpful. Excellent local knowledge. Everything ran very smoothly, from supplying the tickets to airport pick ups and hotel bookings. Lovely accommodation selected. No complaints!
A wonderful break in a beautiful environment!
Everything was excellent. The information and organisation, the hotel and the island itself all exceeded our expectations. Whale watching and other trips out, fantastic. We will book again!
Great honeymoon package and experience!
They provided a great package at a good price. We found them to be helpful and a quality service was provided.
Nicola and Christopher – Winchester
Top notch service. Highly recommended!
Excellent service throughout. Very informative, with lots of literature, maps and the like. Attended their offices in Ponta Delgada – very impressed with Olivia, friendly and helpful. Paul was first class.
Lynne in Welton-by-Lincoln
Great company for first time Azores visit!
Really great company, will be recommending them. We had never visited the Azores before but this company helped us decided which islands to visit.
Brilliant holiday organised by an excellent company!
Friendly, helpful, professional and completely geared to us as individuals.
John and Janice
Very helpful staff, and the trips they organised for us were excellent with knowledgeable guides.
A really wonderful holiday!
We normally travel independently, but I am go glad that we used Archipelago Choice – their insider knowledge was really helpful in making the most of our time.
Valerie – Brighton
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