Enter an untouched paradise on an adventure through the Azores, the archipelago gems of Portugal. Explore the entire rim of the Sete Cidades Caldera. Indulge in a traditional cozido das furnas meal, cooked by the heat of the volcanic earth. Descend into Algar do Carvao, the “Cavern of Coal” lava tube, with an expert guide. Enjoy a light home-hosted lunch featuring local meats and cheeses. Spend 3 nights in a lava stone house. From thermal pools and lush craters to local farms and volcanic cuisine, delve into the culture of Portuguese island life.
|September 15, 2023||from $4,404 CAD||Per Person|
|1||Fri Sep 15||São Miguel, Açores, Portugal|
|2||Sat Sep 16||São Miguel|
|3||Sun Sep 17||São Miguel|
|4||Mon Sep 18||São Miguel|
|5||Tue Sep 19||São Miguel – Terceira|
|6||Wed Sep 20||Terceira|
|7||Thu Sep 21||Terceira – Faial|
|8||Fri Sep 22||Faial|
|9||Sat Sep 23||Faial – Pico|
|10||Sun Sep 24||Pico|
|11||Mon Sep 25||Pico|
|12||Tue Sep 26||Pico – Lisbon|
|13||Wed Sep 27||Lisbon - Tour Ends|
São Miguel, Açores, Portugal – Tour Begins
This is the Azores. A set of islands virtually untouched by urban development. Your adventure begins on São Miguel, the largest of the nine volcanic islands. Relax and explore as you wish, perhaps sit along the seaside promenade and breathe in the mild air of the Atlantic.
Get to know Ponta Delgada, the capital city of São Miguel, on a morning walking tour of the area. This afternoon, traverse the dirt paths to the Sete Cidades caldera’s highest point on an off-road adventure. Venture to Sete Cidades, the blue and green mirror lakes, where you’ll navigate the rim of the entire crater. On your way, gaze down upon the blue lake (reflecting the sky) and the adjacent green lake (reflecting the earth). At Lagoa do Canario,* take in the amazing views around you during a short hike. Celebrate the beginning of your journey with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Start the day with a visit to one of the few remaining basket weavers on the island. Learn how willow basket making has evolved and how this father-son enterprise has kept this traditional craft alive. Then, it’s your choice! Enjoy the thermal waters at the Terra Nostra pool,* built in the 18th century by the American consul to the Azores -OR- embark on a guided visit to the organic paradise that is the Terra Nostra Botanical Garden. For lunch, enjoy a traditional cozido das furnas meal, where your food is cooked in the earth’s volcanic heat. Later, continue on to the green fields of a nearby tea plantation where we will learn about this unique crop before an evening of leisure in São Miguel.
Today enjoy a full free day to explore Sao Miguel at your own pace. Or you may choose to join a Flavors of Sao Miguel optional tour where you will taste your way through some of the unique products this island has to offer. At a local quinta, taste Azorean gin, blended with botanicals and seaweed and learn how a local foundation supports local marine conservation. End this optional excursion with a light lunch of locally-sourced ingredients. Regardless of how you choose to spend your day, gather tonight for a home-hosted dinner at a local village.
São Miguel – Terceira
Say hello to the colorful island of Terceira. Stand along the edge of the crater at Serra do Cume viewpoint and take in the patchwork of infinite green. Swap the grassy fields for sandy shores at Praia Victoria, or “Beach of Victory.” Get to know Angra do Heroismo (UNESCO) with a local guide. Restored in traditional style, the city features white facades and vibrant trims. Tonight, get a taste of the culture at a local restaurant.
The morning is yours. Perhaps you’ll strap on your hiking boots for an optional hike along two volcanoes at Misterios Negros Nature Reserve. Gather later and head underground with an expert guide to Algar do Carvao, the “Cavern of Coal.” Feel the quiet stillness as you descend into this ancient lava tube. Then, it’s your choice! Swim** in the natural volcanic pools of Biscoitos -OR- hike along lava fields. Enjoy a free evening or entice your taste buds on an optional wine and tapas experience.
Terceira – Faial
Say bom dia (good morning) to Faial, the “Blue Island” of the Azores. Encounter the volcanic vitality of Faial when you take in the rocky landscapes and the ash hills of the Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Center. Peek into the daily life of Azoreans as you mingle amongst the locals and sample locally produced cheese at a local market. Make the most of an evening at leisure.
Have some time for yourself before joining a walking tour of Horta. Its marina and painted murals are a testament to the island’s importance to sailing crews that visit the island during their voyages across the Atlantic. Then, it’s your choice! Visit the Horta Museum where ethnographic pieces and Sacred Art paint a picture of the history of the island -OR- visit the Scrimshaw Museum where the island’s whaling past comes to life through a private whalebone carving collection at the famous Pete’s Café.
Faial – Pico
Board a ferry to the nearby island of Pico. Enjoy a light lunch, sampling drinks paired with local cheeses and meats, snacking on different Azorean favorites. Make a stop at Lagoa do Capitao and spy Sao Jorge Island in the distance. End the day at the rustic lava stone houses of Aldeia da Fonte, an eco-sustainable hotel and your home for the next 3 nights. Enjoy dinner at this cliff-side abode.
Today visit the Pico Wine Museum before tasting these exclusive wines at a winery. Then, visit the whaling museum highlighting the historical ties of the industry to the culture of the islands. Learn about the importance of whaling to Pico through the 1980’s and the transition from hunting to protecting these giants of the oceans!
The day is yours. Perhaps you will take to the waves on an optional** ocean excursion, where you will watch for whales and dolphins before enjoying lunch back on land. No matter how you choose to spend the day, join your fellow travelers for an included dinner tonight. “Bom proveito!”
Pico – Lisbon
Say farewell to the Azores Islands when we depart Pico for Lisbon. Enjoy some time at leisure for some last minute shopping or perhaps to wander through the streets of the capital city on your own. Tonight, toast to the end of your trip with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Lisbon – Tour Ends
Say adeus (goodbye) to Portugal and the Azores as you depart this coastal paradise.
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