One of the Azores’ most enjoyable walking challenges is the Grande Trilhos – the Great Route of Santa Maria.
The Grande Trilhos began as an idea amongst five friends; five young Santa Marians who wanted to circumnavigate their island on foot. The project took wings as the local community got whole-heartedly behind the scheme – as a way for both visitors and residents to enjoy the varied landscapes of this beautiful island. The trail is traditionally broken up into four full-day walks:
Day 1 – Vila do Porto to Cardal – 16.5km
Day 2 – Cardal to Norte – 21.5km
Day 3 – Norte to Bananieras- 16.5km
Day 4 – Bananieras to Vila do Porto – 23.5km
With our Great Route of Santa Maria holiday, you’ll be based at the Charming Blue Hotel in the main town of Vila do Porto (or if you’d prefer self-catering accommodation, we can switch your stay to a charming rural cottage such as Casa do Norte). Our resident guide will collect you from the hotel each morning – he’ll bring along your picnic lunches and you’ll chat through the day’s walk before driving over to the trail head. You could self-guide, but you get so much more out of spending time with our guide: more of an insight into the history, wildlife and landscapes of Santa Maria (and it’s also a big help to the local economy of this small island).
You’ll also have some time on the main island of Sao Miguel – it’s well-connected to the outside world with direct flights from the UK, Boston and Toronto, and we include the (short) internal flights you’ll need between the islands. We’ve suggested a ten-night Great Route of Santa Maria holiday but it’s easy to extend your trip to a full two weeks if you’d also like more time to explore Sao Miguel.
From £1600 per person
We can create a tailor-made holiday to suit your budget.
INCLUDED: international and inter-island flights, accommodation in twin/double en-suite rooms on a B&B basis, airport transfers, a whale and dolphin watching trip, four guided walks on Santa Maria including return transfers and a picnnic lunch, and a full-day guided tour of Furnas on Sao Miguel.