The following itineraries focus much more on our suggested routes in the map and the visual perspective through the camera lens so you can easily pick the places with the most appeal for you and create your own itinerary. Then there are thousands of travel guides and webpages for you to learn about each place. Nevertheless ask us anything about the itineraries or sites anytime. It will be a pleasure to help.
- São Miguel
1- Ponta Delgada – Sete Cidades – Mosteiros – Ribeira Grande – Lagoa do Fogo – Lagoa – Ponta Delgada
2– Ponta Delgada – Vila Franca do Campo – Furnas – Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões – Ponta Delgada
Angra do Heroísmo – Algar do Carvão – Biscoitos – Praia da Vitória – Porto Martins
Horta – Caldeira – Varadouro – Capelinhos – Almoxarife
Madalena – Pico mountain – Lajes – São Caetano – Santa Luzia – São Roque
- São Jorge
Velas – Fajã das Almas – Topo – Fajã dos Cubres – Fajã do Ouvidor
Santa Cruz da Graciosa – Furna do Enxofre – Carapacho
Santa Cruz das Flores – Lajes – Fajã Grande – Ponta Delgada
Leaving Ponta Delgada, the archipelago capital, we can consider a tour to the west and another to the east, due to the size of the Azores largest island.
Driving west out of Ponta Delgada towards Sete Cidades we reach the splendid viewpoint Miradouro da Vista do Rei where we witness the kindness of mother nature while we watch the incredible landscape of Lagoa das Sete Cidades, the one lake with two collors. Here we can enjoy several hikes along overlooking the lake’s crater on one side and the ocean on the other.
In Ponta da Ferraria we can swim in hot waters going down to the sea and in Mosteiros there are also some swimming spots in this magnificent blue waters. Circling the island’s north coast we reach the town of Ribeira Grande that features a sand beach which is famous for surfers.
Going up the mountain inland we get to Caldeira Velha and Lagoa do Fogo beautiful natural sites before returning to Ponta Delgada. We can still enjoy Lagoa swimming pools complex on the way back.
On the second tour driving east, we pass through several beaches on the south coast on the way to Furnas. One of the highlights is Vila Franca do Campo and its unique islet.
Drinving around Lagoa das Furnas the forest is beautiful. Then we get to Furnas, a town with several attractions to visitors, starting in the lush green Parque Terra Nostra and going on to the famous Portuguese stew cooked in the hot temperatures provided by earth itself while it’s carefully buried.
In this eastern tour of the island several other spots can be visited like Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões, Nordeste, Povoação or Ribeira Quente, depending on the time available as the curvy roads on this part of the island are a bit slow.
Angra do Heroísmo is a UNESCO world heritage town and is in itself the best attraction of this island. It is a beautiful town set in a bay surrounded by the lush Monte Brasil. If we’d like to explore the island in a day, the best itinerary is to drive north across the island towards Biscoitos. Right in the middle of the island we visit the amazing cave Algar do Carvão.
Then we move on to Biscoitos for a great swim in its magnificent natural pools made of ancient lava. In Biscoitos the sunset is amazing while eating some grilled “lapas”. There is also the Wine Museum.
On the way to Praia da Vitória the stop in Serra do Cume viewpoint is a must. Then we pass by the airport which is also an important American military base. Praia da Vitória is Terceira’s second town featuring the only sand beach in the island. In Terceira there is a strong tradition of setting bulls lose, sometimes they do it in the beach sand itself.
Back to Angra we can still have a swim in Porto Martins and drive overlooking the beautiful ocean landscape with the small islets.
Horta is a beautiful town facing the impressive volcano of Pico across the channel between the two closest islands. This town is famous for being a mandatory stop for all yachts that cross the Atlantic from Europe to America or vice-versa. In Horta’s Marina there is the tradition for the sailors to leave a painting on the concrete floor or walls but also to drink one or several gin tonics in the famous Peter’s Café Sport. The bar itself is an attraction as it shows on its walls messages from sailors.
When we tour the island we can start for visiting Caldeira a lush volcano crater in the center of the island. Then we can go on for a swim in Varadouro natural pools before visiting the amazing Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Center right on top of the area that suffered a violent eruption in 1958.
Circling the island clockwise the next hotspot is Almoxarife Beach, a unique black volcanic sand beach where we can enjoy the warm waters of the Atlantic in this archipelago. Stopping in Espalamaca viewpoint is must and we can enjoy a beautiful view of Horta and to Pico island. You can’t leave the island before swimming in Porto Pim Beach right in town.
Commonly one gets to Pico island through Madalena coming on a boat from Faial. In this small town and its surroundings we can enjoy the many beauties of the island like swimming in natural pools, visiting the UNESCO world heritage Pico vineyards and the picturesque villages like Santa Luzia or Lajido with its traditional houses built of volcanic stones.
In this island you can dare yourself an experience of a lifetime by climbing the Pico mountain volcano, the highest mountain of Portugal 2351 meters high. You should do it with a mountain guide in a day long journey or night spent on top to watch the sunrise.
For exploring the rest of this large island we should drive to Lajes, a picturesque town with several natural pools to swim and a very interesting Museum of the Whaleboats. This area is also one of the best spots to take a whale watching tour.
We recommend to continue the Azores itinerary to the nearby island of São Jorge. Thus the best way is to go to São Roque and leave Pico by boat from that harbour towards the town of Velas in São Jorge.
In the beautiful island of São Jorge, every itinerary will naturally start in Velas which is in itself a lovely town with traditional architecture going uphill for superb views to Pico. It is a long and narrow island so the tour is quite obvious.
We drive eastwards from Velas and will first stop at Fajã das Almas, a great place for a swim in beautiful waters and also for snorkelling. The marine life right there in the bay is awesome. We then move on to Calheta, the island’s second town, and then all the way to the far eastern point in Topo for scary views of the cliffs and most probably a look at Terceira island weather permitting. On the way you can visit a cheese factory that produces the traditional São Jorge cheese.
Coming back westwards you can’t miss the second experience of a lifetime in Azores, the hike down to Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo. It is nature at its best and lush green landscape, waterfalls, hydrangeas everywhere and suddenly the view to the lake in Caldeira. After enjoying the landscape of this Fajã and maybe a swim or surf, the hike goes on to Fajã dos Cubres where you can take a taxi back to your car.
Then you can’t miss driving down to Fajã do Ouvidor, take some time to enjoy the nature and swim at Poça Simão Dias and finish with a great fish meal at the local restaurant before going back to Velas.
Graciosa is a small island, rarely visited by the common traveller. However, the beauty of the Azores is that all nine islands are very different and all have their own characteristics and appeal. In Graciosa you’ll be amazed by Furna do Enxofre, a massive volcanic cave.
Santa Cruz da Graciosa is a lovely small town. On its northwest we can look at the amazing Ilhéu da Baleia, an islet that looks exactly like whale. All around the island we can also watch the beautiful windmills with red roofs that were influenced by the flemish who were invited by Portugal to settle in the Azores in the 15th century.
You can finish the visit of Graciosa with a nice swim in Carapacho enjoying the deep blue sea of the Azores.
In Flores we’ll be based in Santa Cruz das Flores where the airport and main port are located. It is a lovely well preserved town. It also features natural swimming pools. From here we propose a clockwise tour of the island passing by Lajes.
From Lajes we continue westwards passing by Rocha dos Bordões and then to Fajã Grande. This is the western most point of any European territory, almost half way between Europe and North America. The landscape here is incredible, an absolute postcard of lush green cliffs with several waterfalls.
In Fajã Grande there is a wonderful hike to Ponta Delgada all along the coast. Later you can drive to Ponta Delgada where the island of Corvo is best seen. Driving back to Santa Cruz the scenery is awesome and you’ll find several lakes in ancient volcano green craters covered with hydrangeas, like Caldeira Negra or Lagoa Comprida.