8 days
Easy to Moderate

  Explore the wild and lush landscapes of São Jorge Island

 Pico Island, with its perfectly symmetrical volcanic cone rising from the Atlantic

  Spectacular views from the Caldeira at the top of Faial Island

  Comfortable accommodation in 3*** and 4**** hotels and a family-run guesthouse

  Includes ferries and flights between the islands

Hiking in the Azores: Pico, São Jorge & Faial Islands

The mid-Atlantic Azores islands are simply made for adventure. On this trip you will explore three distinct and fascinating islands by foot and by boat. Faial Island, the island of hydrangeas, was the scene of a great volcanic eruption in 1957. The horizon is dominated by the majestic silhouette of Pico’s volcanic cone, towering over the ocean and surrounding islands. Wilder and more secretive, the scenically dramatic island of São Jorge is a sheer-sided ridge which offers magnificent hiking trails among vineyards and sub-tropical dragon trees, as well as banana, guava and coffee plantations. Watch out for whales and dolphins as you ferry between the islands and discover why this archipelago is often called the “Hawaii of the Atlantic”.

With very comfortable accommodation, you will be able to soak up the island lifestyle, always with a swimming possibility nearby.

The trip includes transport between the islands by plane and ferry.

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS From €1,299 per person sharing*

*Discounts available for groups of 3 or more. Please enquire for prices.
*high season supplement will apply during busy booking periods.
*this trip is unfortunately not available to solo walkers.

ACCOMMODATION Four nights in 3* and 4* hotels and two nights in a family-run guesthouse in Velas, Sao Jorge. Accommodation is on a bed and breakfast basis and all rooms are en-suite. The hotels are carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services.The standard hotels of this trip are listed below. If any are unavailable then we will contact you to discuss alternatives, with possible supplement or deduction.
AVAILABILITY This trip is available from April to October and you can start on any day of the week, subject to availability.
DIFFICULTY Easy to moderate walks: between 2hrs to 4½hrs walk and an average ascent /descent of 150 to 500 metres per walk.
7 nights’ accommodation in comfortable en-suite rooms
7 Breakfasts
Day 1: transfer from Ponta Delgada airport to your hotel
Day 2: airport transfer and flight to Pico island
Day 3: transfer for your walk on Pico island
Day 4: transfer to ferry port and ferry to Sao Jorge island
Day 5: transfer for your walk on São Jorge
Day 6: ferry to Faial island and transfer for your walk
Day 7: transfer for your walk and flight back to Ponta Delgada
Day 8: Ponta Delgada airport transfer
Luggage transportation from one hotel to the next
Road Book with detailed route notes and integrated maps
Emergency telephone support
Flights to and from the Azores
Travel insurance
Lunches or dinners
Whale watching trips or bike rental
Anything else not mentioned in the ‘included’ section
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Single Room Supplement(s)

Day 1: São Miguel Island, Ponta Delgada

Trip starts in Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Island. Transfer to your hotel located in the town centre. Depending on the arrival time, you can spend the afternoon exploring Ponta Delgada. The administrative capital of the archipelago, it is home to many historical monuments, typical small streets and a beautiful marina.

Overnight: Ponta Delgada, 3* hotel


Day 2: Flight from São Miguel to Pico and walk on South Coast

Distance: 11 km | Ascent: 150 m | Descent: 200 m | 3 hrs approx.

Transfer to the airport and flight to Pico Island, named after its giant volcano. From Madalena, you begin a lovely coastal hike between small ports – where you can swim – and vineyards, surrounded by walls of black lava. This unique method of cultivating the vine, has seen this area designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Overnight: Madalena, 4* hotel


Day 3: Walk the western flank of Pico island

Distance: 11 km | Ascent: 210 m | Descent: 195 m | 3 hrs approx.

Transfer to the western flank of Pico, for a beautiful hike between pastures and farmlands, down to Madalena. The departure point is quite astonishing as it is a lava tube – once home to a hermit called Brother Matias – that is today draped in the endemic vegetation of this island. Free afternoon to enjoy Pico, with possibilities for cycling or whale watching.

Overnight: Madalena, 4* hotel


Day 4: Ferry to São Jorge and walk the Faja do Santo Cristo “pilgrims’ path”

Distance: 9.5 km | Ascent: 400 m | Descent: 700 m | 4 hrs approx.

Begin the day by taking the ferry from Madalena to Velas on São Jorge Island. Wild and rugged, with steep volcanic cliffs and deep ravines, São Jorge is home to some of the best walking routes in the Azores. You will be transferred up to the peaks of the island, from where you will descend along the pilgrims’ path between hydrangeas and junipers to Faja de Santo Cristo, an isolated hamlet overlooking the open ocean lagoon. From this village, accessible only by foot, you will walk along the coast to Faja dos Cubres. Transfer back to Velas at the end of your walk.

Overnight: Casa do Antonio guesthouse, Velas


Day 5: São Jorge, Pico da Esperança

Distance: 11 km | Ascent: 450 m | Descent: 450 m | 3 hrs approx.

This walk links one volcano to another, on a panoramic trail along the crest of the island of Sao Jorge. The path traverses several peaks on it’s way to the island’s highest point – the Pico da Esperança – at 1,053m above sea-level. The second part of your walk descends across pastures on the northern coast of the island to the fairy-tale village of Faja do Ouvidor, with its pretty whitewashed houses seeming to tumble down the hillside terraces towards the waves. Finally, upon reaching the sea, you will discover wonderful natural pools carved into volcanic cliffs. Transfer back to Velas at the end of your walk.

Overnight: Casa do Antonio guesthouse, Velas


Day 6: Ferry to Faial Island, Caldeira walk

Distance: 12 km – 16km | Ascent: 300 m | Descent: 900 m | 4½ hrs approx.

You will take the ferry to the port of Horta on Faial island, once a famous stop for transatlantic sailors. Transfer to the central crater. After skirting the edge of the caldeira at 1000m altitude, you follow a levada (narrow irrigation canal) along a ridge, before descending through the lava fields and hydrangeas to Praia do Norte. Transfer back to Horta after your walk.

Overnight: Horta, 3* hotel


Day 7: Capelinhos Lighthouse walk & return flight to São Miguel

Distance: 5 km | Ascent: 150 m | Descent: 150 m | 1½ hrs approx.

Transfer to the south coast for a short walk to the Capelinhos lighthouse, scene of a tremendous volcanic sea eruption in 1957 which created an eerily beautiful, ashen landscape. Why not go for a swim at the volcanic beach before your transfer back to Horta, where you will have some leisure time to discover its colonial architecture, as well as the history of American whaling ships and telegraph companies that give the town its cosmopolitan atmosphere. Afternoon flight back to Ponta Delgada and overnight.

Overnight: Ponta Delgada, 3* hotel


Day 8: Departure

The trip comes to an end after your transfer back to Ponta Delgada airport

***Important*** depending on the schedule of the ferry between the islands, the itinerary might be adapted.

Arrival and departure info

  The main international airport in the Azores is Ponta Delgada airport.
Transport is provided from and to Ponta Delgada airport at the start and end of your trip.
/ Flights and ferry tickets are provided for transfer between the islands of São Miguel, Pico, São Jorge and Faial.
Azores, Pico island
Mae de Deus Church, Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel
Hiking on Pico Island, Azores (c) Vincent Bresmal
Traditional windmill on Pico island in the Azores
Vineyards on Pico island in the Azores
Pico volcano and village in the Azores
Windmill on Sao Jorge island in the Azores with view across the ocean to Pico island
Faja da Caldeira de Santo Cristo, Sao Jorge (c) Jose Ricardo Vieira
Hiking trail in Sao Jorge
Faja da Caldeira de Santo Cristo, Sao Jorge (c) Jose Ricardo Vieira
Sao Jorge landscape (c) Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Faja dos Cubres, Sao Jorge (c) Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Port of Horta, Faial island (c) AA
Faial landscape (Associacao de Turismo dos Acores)
Crater on Faial island in the Azores
Capelinhos Volcano, Faial (c) Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
Capelinhos Lighthouse, Faial
Horta Marina, Faial (c) Associacao de Turismo dos Acores
View over Horta to Pico Island, Azores
Dolphin watching in the Azores (c) Norberto Diver
Whale watching in the Azores (c) Norberto Diver

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 1 review

Azores island hopping was a top tour with excellent accommodation, transfers and walks. Some walks not as long as what we are used to but there is so much to see along the way. A must do tour for any keen hikers.

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