Overview

Spend a wonderful fortnight exploring the lesser visited islands of the AzoresGraciosa, Terceira, Flores, and Santa Maria: the islands that most visitors overlook. Is it fair to say the ‘authentic’ Azores ? Why not.

This fully guided walking holiday takes you to some of the most beautiful locations across the archipelago: the unspoilt and protected landscapes of Graciosa and Terceira, the former being home to one of the most spectacular lava caves in the whole of the Azores, the famous west coast trails, waterfalls and seacliffs of Flores, and the rolling hills and vineyards of Santa Maria: location of the very first settlement in the Azores.

Evenings are spent relaxing, with the option of enjoying local, seasonal food in great locations, and in the excellent company of our resident English-speaking guide. You’ll also be staying in some of our favourite hotels – not necessarily the most luxurious but they’re comfortable, and the service is always super-friendly.

Dates for our Lesser Visited holiday:

Saturday 8th September to Saturday 22nd September 2018

We include more: all our walks are fully guided; you’ll be accompanied throughout your trip by our resident, English-speaking guide. We also include picnics on walk days, any restaurant transfers that might be needed in the evenings and accommodation in good quality, comfortable hotels.

Evening meal arrangements: Evenings are free, and our guide will normally make a reservation each evening at a local restaurant. An average three course meal with wine costs around £15-£25 per person.

Self guided option: If you like this itinerary and the walks included, but can’t make any of the dates or prefer a more independent holiday, then why not book our self guided option. Same walks, same accommodation but instead of a walking guide, you get route notes, maps and taxi transfers to and from the walks.

Itinerary

Fly London to São Miguel. You’ll be collected on arrival by our driver before being transferring to your accommodation on Ponta Delgada (10mins). Overnight in Ponta Delgada at Hotel do Colegio.
Following your late arrival the previous evening, your first morning is free to allow you to relax and explore Ponta Delgada. With its narrow cobbled streets, mosaic pavements and interesting mix of traditional and modern architecture, it's a great place to shop for local produce and souvenirs, with an excellent selection of friendly restaurants and café bars. Afternoon flight to Graciosa and then you will be transferred to your hotel (15mins). Overnight near Santa Cruz at Graciosa Resort Hotel for 3 nights.
Your first guided walk: the SERRA BRANCA WALK (approximate walking time: 3 to 4 hours, grading: moderate). This is a pleasant walk which crosses from the west to east of Graciosa. The highest point is around 500m (Pico das Caldeirinhas). Graciosa is a very quiet and rural island and this walk takes us through some of the most delightful parts of the island. Picnic lunch included.
Today’s guided walk: the VOLTA DA CALDEIRA (approximate walking time: 3 to 4 hours, grading: moderate). This is a circular walk around the main crater of Graciosa which starts near the groto of Furna do Enxofra. As with the previous day's walk there are wonderful views across this lovely island. If time at the end of the day, we'll visit the thermal spa at Carapacho. Picnic lunch included.
Today, you’ll transfer to the airport for your morning flight to the island of Terceira. You’ll transfer on arrival (20mins) to your accommodation in the main town of Angra de Herosimo. Once you’ve settled in, our guide will suggest spending the day exploring Angra – the first settlement in the Azores to be granted city status, although it feels much more like a large town. Overnight at Hotel Beira Mar in Angra for 3 nights.
Today’s guided walk: the BISCOITOS COASTAL WALK (approximate walking time: 4 hours, grading: moderate). This walk follows trails through forests, rolling pastures and vineyards. We'll stop en-route to try the local 'Verdelho' wine which is grown between the basalt walls within the vineyards. Picnic lunch included.
Today’s guided walk: the SANTA BARBARA WALK (approximate walking time: 3 hours, grading: moderate). At 1021m, Serra de Santa Barbara is the highest point of the island. The upper slopes are covered on native flora (Juniper and Sphagnum), and the view from the summit is spectacular, with sweeping views over the island and across the Atlantic to SãoJorge and Graciosa. Picnic lunch included.
Today we’ll transfer to the airport for our flight to Flores. On arrival we’ll be transferred to our accommodation in Santa Cruz (5 mins). Once you have settled in, you'll have time to explore the town and we'd recommend a visit to the excellent whaling museum opposite the hotel. Overnight at Hotel das Flores for 3 nights.
Today’s walk is the NORTH WEST COAST WALK (approximate walking time: 3.5 hours, grading: moderate). The walk begins at the Ponta Delgada lighthouse on the North West tip of Flores. The walk takes us south along the spectacular coastline on small undulating tracks, crossing several streambeds on the way. Along the way, We’ll see some of the most extensive remaining laurel-juniper forest of the islands and great views over to Corvo. The walk ends at Fajã Grande in time for a refreshing dip in the sea perhaps. Picnic lunch included.
Today’s walk is the SOUTH WEST COAST WALK (approximate walking time: 4 hours, grading: moderate). Starting at Lajedo on the South West coast of Flores, the trail heads north along a farm track which climbs and descends steeply between tiny coastal villages including one which is now eerily abandoned. This is a remote coastline where the trail changes all the time: from cobbled path to a grassy trail enclosed by high stone walls. The walk ends at Fajã Grande once again. Picnic lunch included.
We’ll transfer to the airport for our flight to Santa Maria. En-route, we’ll have some time between connecting flights on São Miguel. We’ll arrange transportation into Ponta Delgada for the afternoon. We’ll be transferred to our accommodation on arrival on Santa Maria (10mins). Overnight at the Hotel Santa Maria for 3 nights.
Today’s guided walk: PICO ALTO TO ANJOS (approximate walking time: 4 to 5 hours, grading: moderate). This walk begins at the highest point of Pico Alto and winds its way through Japanese Cedar forests down to the coast at Anjos. En-route we pass through Barreiro da Faneca: the protected ‘Red Desert’, unique amongst the islands of the Azores. Picnic lunch included.
Today’s guided walk: SERRA E O MAR (approximate walking time: 3 to 4 hours, grading: moderate). This circular walk starts in the village of Santa Barbara and passes through small villages with traditional white washed house reminiscent of houses in the Algarve. Just before the village of Norte, we get spectacular views of the Bay of São Lourenço. Picnic lunch included.
We'll catch the early morning flight back to the main island of São Miguel, to spend a final day in Ponta Delgada and overnight at Hotel do Colegio.
You’ll transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Price Per Person

We can create a tailor-made holiday to suit your budget.

Jan

£NA

Feb

£NA

Mar

£NA

Apr

£NA

May

£NA

Jun

£NA

Jul

£NA

Aug

£NA

Sep

£2145

Oct

£NA

Nov

£NA

Dec

£NA

INCLUDED: accommodation on shared B&B basis, guided walks with our resident English-speaking guide, picnics on full walking days, all walk and airport transfers, and your flights between the islands. EXCLUDED: the prices here on the website don't include international flights, as there are a number of different routes you can take to the islands. Please feel free to call for a chat through the possibilities, and once we know your preference we'll provide you with an exact figure that does include international flights. As mentioned above, the cost of evening meals isn't included. If you'd prefer to have your own room the supplement is £448.

Accommodation

You’ll be staying in some of our favourite hotels along the way.

Activities

You will be walking some of the best trails in the Azores.

Location

Enjoy the peaceful, slow pace of life on these four beautiful islands.

Our customers know that Feefo reviews are the real deal. We trust Feefo to independently collect reviews from our customers

Feefo believe that only authentic reviews are worth collecting: genuine feedback that has been matched to a holiday with us