Austin Adventures - Azores - Portugal Vacations
  • 9 days/8 nights
  • Next Departure: May 11, 2019
  • From $4,298 / person
  • ($980 single supplement)

Portugal: Active Azores

Experience an active journey hiking the lakes of the volcanic crater of Sete Cidades, where you can also kayak, paddle board and bike. Bathe in natural thermal pools in the midst of the outdoors and learn about the volcanic formation of the islands in Capelinhos Volcano. Cook your dinner in natural volcanic ovens and sip the wine of the tsars in the UNESCO World Heritage designated Pico Island vineyards. Enjoy a world-class whale watching excursion to discover the marine wildlife of the Azores Islands such as our resident sperm whales, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. This adventure is an all-encompassing Azorean experience!

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  • New Trips of 2019!
  • Europe Vacations
  • Adult only
  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Paddling/Rafting
  • Snorkeling/Swimming
  • Gourmet Dining
  • Cultural/History

Activity Level: Moderately Easy (2)

About
This Tour
An esteemed, veteran travel writer for Forbes magazine recently said of this trip, “Wonderful itinerary, incredibly balanced, enough activity and plenty of local culture. Bravo!” And if he’s impressed, then you know this trip is something truly special. The accommodations are often historical landmarks, including a 16th century fort. The activities are varied, from biking a trail along a volcanic rim to whale watching via zodiac boat to walking across volcanic soils to hiking (and camping atop) the island chain’s highest mountain. While certainly an active tour, culture is infused throughout too as you explore a UNESCO heritage site, cook at traditional meal over hot lava stones, visit a local cheese factory, savor traditional barbeques, indulge in thermal baths, enjoy a “Viola da Terra” (traditional Azorean guitar) live music, and so much more!
  • Learn about the fauna, flora, history, and volcanic formation of the island
  • Tour Horta City, their famous marina, and the infamous Peter’s Café for tales of whalers and sailors that called this island home
  • Learn about the formation of the Azores’ longest lava cave formed from the flow and cooling of subterranean magma rivers
  • Explore the Vinhas da Criação Velha vineyards to learn about this unique style of vineyard and the varietal found here
  • Visit a local cheese factory and discover São Jorge’s delicious cheeses
  • Walk to a coffee plantation in Fajã dos Vimes to learn how volcanic soils are very conductive to plant growth
  • Savor a traditional barbeque at a site overlooking the sea while enjoying a “Viola da Terra” (traditional Azorean guitar) live music performance
  • Indulge in an exquisite private night bath in the naturally iron-rich hot water that has a temperature of 35-40ºC
  • Bike the Furnas Lake rim and discover the abundance of endemic plants
  • Stop at Caldeiras da Lagoa das Furnas (Furnas Lake Calderas), to cook the famous “cozido das Furnas”, using ingredients you purchased at the market and which will cook underground for six hours using only geothermal heat
  • Learn how to make specialty cocktails with local ingredients

Another fantastic Austin Adventures experience! Four adventures under our belts and we can't wait for the next one!

Gary P Castleton, NY

The guides were fantastic and very flexible. I had a great time- money well spent!


Tessa J St Louis Park, MN

Best vacation experience ever. Having my trip planned for me so I could just sit back and relax was the best choice

Amy L. San Diego, CA

Itinerary
& Map

Tour Itinerary

9 days/8 nights

Ponta Delgada, Portugal (PDL)

Day 1: Ponta Delgada / Sete Cidades / Ferraria
Austin Adventures - Sete Cidades - Portugal Vacations
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Arrival and transfer to your hotel for check-in and welcome breakfast (rooms are booked to guarantee your use immediately). Meet your companions and guide at noon for a short meeting. Head to Sete Cidades volcanic complex and lake – complete with welcome drink and toast. Hike the crater rim to learn about the fauna, flora, history, and volcanic formation of the island. Picnic lunch on the lake shore. Transfer to Ferraria, to swim in oceanic pools heated by volcanic vents. Transfer back to hotel to rest before dinner. Pre-dinner meeting with guide introductions, schedule review, discussion of weather forecast, necessary gear, meals, etc. Family-style dinner in the city center, followed by a short walk throughout the Azorean capital.

About Hotel do Colégio

Located right in the historical center of the city of Ponta Delgada, Hotel do Colégio exemplifies 19th century Azorean architecture, a result of the riches that came with the golden age of the orange trade with England. The building was once a manor house, then a private school and the first address of Ponta Delgada's Music Conservatory. The Hotel was completely renovated in 2017.
Day 2: Ponta Delgada / Faial Island
Austin Adventures - Faial Island - Portugal Vacation
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Short walk to Ponta Delgada Marina for whale and dolphin watching excursion, where you can spot up to 25 cetacean species, along with turtles, seabirds, and other marine life. A biologist will explain which species you’re observing, how to respect the animals and their ocean habitat, historical facts, and safety procedures. Lunch at local restaurant, followed by a walk to main city attractions such as São Francisco Square, the seafront, city hall, and forts. After you fly to Faial Island and transfer to your hotel, you’ll meet your guide in the hotel lobby and set out for a short walk to dinner at a local restaurant.

About Pousada Forte da Horta

Your hotel for these two nights is a 16th century fort located in the city of Horta on the Azores’ Faial Island. Built along the Bay of Horta, it was registered as a National Monument in 1947. It is eight minutes’ walk from the beach with breathtaking views over the island of Pico and the marina, the fourth-busiest in the world. They have an outdoor pool, games room, restaurant, bar, complimentary Wi-Fi, and most rooms have a balcony with a view of the sea.
Day 3: Capelinhos Volcano / Horta City
Austin Adventures - Pousada Forte - Portugal Vacation
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Transfer to Capelinhos Volcano which last erupted in 1956-57. Visit the volcano’s interpretive center, then hike up to the historic lighthouse for a view of the island. ‘Walk the moon’ across the volcanic area, examine the unique vegetation, then enjoy a picnic lunch in a natural forest reserve. Tour Horta City, their famous marina, and the infamous Peter’s Café for tales of whalers and sailors that called this island home, with a refreshing gin & tonic in hand. Cook your own meal over hot stones at a Horta restaurant using fresh fish, local seafood, and meat.
Day 4: Pico Island / Casa da Montanha
Austin Adventures - Pico Island - Portugal Vacation
Meals Included:  B, L, D
After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, transfer to Pico Island via a private zodiac boat and whale watching trip. Visit Gruta das Torres, the Azores’ longest lava cave formed from the flow and cooling of subterranean magma rivers. Walk through the Vinhas da Criação Velha vineyards (a UNESCO heritage site) where you will learn about this unique style of vineyard and the varietal found here. Lunch outdoors among the beautiful vineyards. After fueling up with lunch, hike up Casa da Montanha (Mountain House) and ascend to the top • Camp at the summit, from sunset to sunrise, and, if the weather is right, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of up to five of the neighboring Azorean Islands.

About Casa da Montanha camp

Enjoy 360-degree views of up to five Azorean islands (weather permitting), cool breezes, and a ‘digital diet’ (no Wi-Fi)
Day 5: Casa da Montanha / Madalena
Austin Adventures - Cella Bar - Portugal Vacation
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: Baía da Barca
After you wake from your mountaintop camp to a beautiful sunrise (weather permitting), descend Casa da Montanha to a local restaurant for a well-deserved and invigorating lunch. After lunch, enjoy a drink in Cella Bar while overlooking the mountain views of Faial and São Jorge Islands. Check in at your hotel to rest for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner is at a special restaurant in Madalena that offers a unique atmosphere and panoramic views of the Islands of Pico and Faial.

About Baía da Barca

Boasting panoramic views of the Atlantic, these apartments are tucked away in a quiet bay and provide you with a great base during your time on Pico Island. The units are just 50 feet from the ocean. Wake up to vistas of Ponta de Pico, Portugal’s highest mountain. If you get up early enough you can watch the sunrise from your own balcony or terrace. Amenities include a natural pool, fireplace in each guest room, hot tub and sauna, bar/lounge, and free Wi-Fi.
Day 6: São Roque / São Jorge Island / Fajã dos Cubres
Austin Adventrues - Sao Jorge - Portugal Vacations
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Transfer to São Roque, ferry to São Jorge Island where you’re off to Piscina Simão Dias. Savor a light snack overlooking a pristine natural swimming pool and ocean. Transfer to Fajã dos Cubres for a coastal hike towards Caldeira do Santo Cristo. Enjoy the guide’s insights into the story of this magical place where clams grow in a salt water lagoon and surfers rock what are considered some of the longest waves in Europe. Then indulge in a special, local meal on a typical house terrace with ocean views and the sound of nearby waves breaking. Hike back to Fajã dos Cubres and transfer to the hotel to check in before dinner. Enjoy a delicious dinner on your hotel terrace, overlooking the ocean and Pico Mountain.

About Cantinho das Buganvilias

The Cantinho das Buganvílias Resort is located in Carregadouro, near the village of Velas and the local airport. Just 200 meters from the sea, offers guests a fantastic view of Pico and Faial Islands and an immersion with nature. There is a restaurant, gym, both indoor and outdoor pools, jacuzzi.
Day 7: São Jorge / São Miguel Island / Furnas
Austin Adventures - Sao Miguel - Portugal Vacations
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Start the day with a visit to a local cheese factory to learn about São Jorge’s delicious cheeses. Walk to a local coffee plantation in Fajã dos Vimes (a Fajã is a land formation of volcanic origin that are very conductive to plant growth). Return to Velas to lunch at a local restaurant. Transfer to the airport for flight to São Miguel Island then transfer to Furnas. Savor a traditional barbeque at a site overlooking the sea while enjoying a “Viola da Terra” (traditional Azorean guitar) live music performance. Indulge in a private night bath in the naturally iron-rich hot water that has a temperature of 35-40ºC, an exquisite experience! Drinks served under the stars complete this perfect moment of relaxation.

About Terra Nostra Garden Hotel

Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, in the heart of São Miguel Island, is often considered to be the best Hotel in the Azores, having won many international accolades. Located in Furnas Valley, it is nestled in one of the world’s best “Green Retreats,” as deemed by Condé Nast Traveler. The hotel’s Art Deco interior also introduces contemporary elements and materials, integrating it with their lush Terra Nostra Garden. The hotel offers reading and game rooms, indoor heated pool, gift shop, outdoor thermal pool, two outdoor jacuzzies, laundry services, room service, babysitting (on request), free admission to Terra Nostra Botanical Park, and free Wi-Fi.
Day 8: Furnas / Furnas Lake / Salto do Prego
Furnas / Furnas Lake / Salto do Prego
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Shop for dinner ingredients at the local market. Bike the Furnas Lake rim and discover the abundance of endemic plants. Stop at Caldeiras da Lagoa das Furnas (Furnas Lake Calderas), where we cook the famous “cozido das Furnas”. Absorb a cooking class to prepare this special meal, using the ingredients we purchased at the market and which will cook underground for six hours using only geothermal heat. After a picnic lunch, transfer to Faial da Terra for a 2.5h hiking tour of the island interior. Reach Salto do Prego’s waterfall and enjoy refreshments. After the hike, savor a coffee in town as we mingle with the locals. Free time to dip in the amazing tank of iron-rich hot water in front of the hotel. Your dinner will be served at the hotel in the beautiful art-deco restaurant, with views of the iconic botanical park. After dinner, a cocktail workshop with local ingredients awaits.
Day 9: Lagoa do Fogo / Caldeira Velha / Ponta Delgada
Austin Adventure - Ponta Delgada - Portugal Vacation
Meals Included:  B, L
Overnight: No Overnight
After breakfast, enjoy a van tour of Lagoa do Fogo. You’ll have awesome views from atop Fogo Mountain of the lake within the volcano’s crater and over the island and ocean (this vivid blue lake is known as one of the most beautiful lakes of the island). Upon descent, we’ll stop where you can take some time to bathe and relax in Caldeira Velha’s thermal pool which is surrounded by endemic fauna and flora. After lunch, we will transfer to João Paulo II Airport. *Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.
Dates, Rates
& Details

Stop daydreaming and start planning your adventure today. Confirmed departure dates and rates are listed below. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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  • 9 days/8 nights
  • Next Departure: May 11, 2019
  • From $4,298 / person
  • ($980 single supplement)

Confirmed Departures

  • May 11, 2019 - May 19, 2019
  • Sep 7, 2019 - Sep 15, 2019

Recommended Travel Months

CALL (800) 575-1540 for details

Additional Trip Information

Arrival & Departures

Please plan on arriving early on the day of your trip departure (or, to be safe, at least one day prior to your trip departure). Day one of your itinerary starts at São Miguel airport depending on your arrival time. Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the São Miguel airport or your São Miguel hotel.

Activities

Hiking: Up to 11km with one mountain climb to 7713ft (a climb of 3,776ft), some technical hiking. Please note that the Casa da Montanha trail is technical because most of the way is very steep and rocky. At this time of the year the top of the mountain is unlikely to be covered with ice and snow, but the nights are cold. This hike is not recommended for people with knee or ankle problems. Picnic dinner and camping gear included. Biking: Easy to moderate. No significant climbs or altitude Kayaking: Easy to moderate lake kayaking. Discovery: Learn about the fauna, flora, history, and volcanic formation of the island. Explore oceanic pools heated by volcanic vents. Spot up to 25 cetacean species, along with turtles, seabirds, and other marine life, during a whale watching excursion. Discover the seafaring history of this island archipelago. Tour Horta City, their famous marina, and the infamous Peter’s Café for tales of whalers and sailors that called this island home. Cook your own meal over hot stones at a Horta restaurant. Learn about the formation of the Azores’ longest lava cave formed from the flow and cooling of subterranean magma rivers. Explore the Vinhas da Criação Velha vineyards to learn about this unique style of vineyard and the varietal found here. Visit a local cheese factory and discover São Jorge’s delicious cheeses. Walk to a coffee plantation in Fajã dos Vimes to learn how volcanic soils are very conductive to plant growth. Savor a traditional barbeque at a site overlooking the sea while enjoying a “Viola da Terra” (traditional Azorean guitar) live music performance. Indulge in an exquisite private night bath in the naturally iron-rich hot water that has a temperature of 35-40ºC. Shop for dinner ingredients at the local market. Bike the Furnas Lake rim and discover the abundance of endemic plants. Stop at Caldeiras da Lagoa das Furnas (Furnas Lake Calderas), to cook the famous “cozido das Furnas”, using ingredients you purchased at the market and which will cook underground for six hours using only geothermal heat. Learn how to make specialty cocktails with local ingredients. Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to explain the details of each activity, answer any questions, and demonstrate the use of all equipment. Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, your guides will help you select the distance that’s right for you.

Meals

The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price. Included in the Trip Price
  • Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
  • All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions.
  • Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
  • Any necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
  • Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
  • Austin Adventures T-shirt, luggage tags and luggage service.
  • Pre-departure and packing information.
  • Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees.
Not Included in the Trip Price
  • Gratuities to Austin Adventures guides.
  • Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
  • Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
  • Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
  • All types of personal insurance.
  • Personal expenses.
Pre-departure Information:  After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.  
Photos
Testimonials
Testimonials
With over 20-years of experience in the adventure travel industry, we've perfected the recipe for crafting award-winning small group trips and custom itineraries on all seven continents. On every departure, we aim to exceed your expectations with best-in-class service, expert guides and the finest in regional cuisine and accommodations. From first-time travelers to seasoned alumni, our guests agree that on each Austin Adventures journey , the hardest part truly is going home. We're happy to share that 99.26% of these travelers say they'd join us again...and again...and again. But don't take our word for it. Our guests say it best:
Austin Adventures planned everything to a "T". I could NEVER have planned and executed this trip on my own. There were so many extra touches. ” Cathy G., Baltimore, MD
Traveling with Austin Adventures takes all of the stress out of going on vacation! ” Jake B., Austin, TX.
Best vacation experience ever. Having my trip planned for me so I could just sit back and relax was the best choice ” Amy L., San Diego, CA
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Regions we visit in Europe: , , ...

A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
  • 1. Explore oceanic pools heated by volcanic vents.
  • 2. Spot up to 25 cetacean species, along with turtles, seabirds, and other marine life, during a whale watching excursion.
  • 3. Discover the seafaring history of this island archipelago.
  • 4. Cook your own meal over hot stones at a Horta restaurant.
  • 5. Shop for dinner ingredients at the local market.
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