Traveling the Azores Archipelago: Sao-Miguel, Faial, Pico and Flores
August 21-31
11 days
Going out into the ocean in search of whales and dolphins, scenic trekking, visiting volcanoes
Easy difficulty level
2650 EUR
The Azores is a small archipelago one and a half thousand kilometers from Portugal, where tourists fly from different parts of our planet to see whales. The Azores received an EU prize for wildlife conservation. Silence reigns here, permeating the picturesque, mysterious caves and canyons, untouched shady parks, forests and lakes.

People also go to the Azores to catch whales, of course. Seeing a whale is an amazing experience that will be remembered for a lifetime. We have been specializing in "whale watching" travel around the world for many years - not only showing whales, but also talking a lot about their lifestyle and modern problems of the population. The tour will include a whale program: going out into the ocean to search for whales, popular science lectures, and the opportunity to swim in the open ocean with dolphins.

The whale program is complemented by visits to the natural attractions of the islands of San Miguel, Faial, Pico and Flores. The tour format involves active recreation, with a rich daily program with trekking, hot springs, swimming in waterfalls and natural pools. Travelers become adventurers exploring these amazing islands.
Whale watching
The Azores is a place with a large species diversity of cetaceans.
Sperm whales. The archipelago is located in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, where depths of 1 km begin almost close to the shore. Due to its volcanic origin, its bottom is dotted with faults in which deep-sea squid live - the favorite food of sperm whales. Several thousand sperm whales live near the islands all year round, so encounters with the planet's largest predator are very high (at least based on the experience of our trips).
Blue whales. The Azores are located in the middle of the Gulf Stream, that is, on the route of animal migration. Every year, baleen whales migrate in search of plankton. Due to the great depths, they pass close to the islands. Here you can find blue whales, sei and fin whales, humpback whales and about 20 other species of cetaceans. It is especially good to observe migrating whales in May, since after a hungry winter at the equator, they feed on the road and swim much more slowly.
Swimming with dolphins in the open ocean
The Azores are home to many different species of dolphins, including some quite rare ones. The nutrient-rich water attracts many species of fish, and of course, predators follow them. Off the coast of islands, dolphins often gather in groups of several hundred individuals. The animals are quite friendly and swim close to the diver.

There are frequent encounters with killer whales and sharks. In many places, before heading out to sea, guides say the common phrase "you never know who we might meet." In the Azores this is not marketing, but it really is.
Volcanoes and ecotourism
There are 1,766 volcanoes in the archipelago. There are no active volcanoes on the islands, but there is plenty of everything related to volcanic origin: fumaroles, mountain lakes in craters, natural mineral waters and healing hot springs. We cannot say whether the springs are truly healing, but swimming in the hot water is a pleasure.

The Azores are a paradise for ecotourism lovers. Local residents treat nature with great reverence. Here we have not heard about environmental pollution; there are no large enterprises, industries or recreational infrastructure here. The distance from the mainland provides the islands with a unique humid climate. Moving along a mountain serpentine road under a clear sky, you may accidentally find yourself in a small cloud. The feeling of the real Silent Hill: there is complete silence around, and the outstretched hand is hard to see.

A special attraction is the local farms. We have never seen such a number of cows in any other country in the world. Interestingly, the cows apparently consider themselves mountain goats and often graze on almost vertical slopes with the ocean in the background.
Comfortable and safe
A trip to the Azores is accompanied by a high-quality European level of service: good roads, delicious food, neatly trimmed lawns, well-groomed parks and beautiful European houses. Food prices are lower than in most EU countries due to preferential taxation. As in any small towns in Europe, it is absolutely safe here, and the locals, who have not been spoiled by tourists, are very welcoming and friendly.
Day 1 / Arrival in Ponta - Delgada
Meeting at Ponta Delgada airport. Check-in. Rest after the flight and free time. Introductory briefing.

We are in the capital of the Azores - Ponta Delgada. The once ordinary fishing village is today the main port of the island of Sao Miguel. The capital is considered a tourist center for lovers of pristine nature and the largest inhabitants of the deep sea.
Day 2 / Lake Lagoa das Sete Cidades and swimming in the hot bay of Ponta da Ferraria
The largest body of water on the island, Sete Cidades, is located in the crater of the Sete Cidades Massif stratovolcano. This is a double lake, which consists of two lagoons - Lagoa Verdi (Green Lake) and Lagoa Azul (Blue Lake). The color of the lagoons differs not only in name, but also in reality. Together with the abandoned hotel located nearby on a hill, they are one of the calling cards of the Azores.

On the west coast of the island of San Miguel, among piles of volcanic lava, there is Ferrari Bay, which is called the "hot ocean". The hot springs are located right in the ocean. First you are in a stream of heated underground waters, and after a second you are cooled by the waves of the Atlantic. For children there is a swimming pool with hot thermal water. The bottom of the bay was formed by lava, so in order to avoid scratching your feet on the uneven stones, it is better to take slippers with you. Don't forget that staying in hot springs for more than half an hour is not recommended.
Day 3 / Out to the ocean
Going out into the ocean for half a day. Goal: whale watching.

Always keep your camera ready so you can take pictures of a whale that comes up to breathe. From a distance it can be seen by the characteristic fountain above the surface. If you're lucky, we'll see the tail or jump of this giant.

The afternoon is reserved for relaxation in the hot springs.
Day 4 / Lake Furnas, Terra Nostra hot springs and Cozido cooking
The most famous dish in the Azores is Cozido das Furnas, which we will prepare. It is a stew of vegetables and meat that is simmered in a large, bagged pan for about 6 hours in volcanic sand.

While the delicacy is being prepared, we will take a swim in the Furnas thermal complex surrounded by mountains, which is located in the hollow of an extinct volcano. Let's take a walk through the Terra Nostra Natural Park - this is 12 hectares of land, where about 600 plant species grow, 10% of which are endemic.
Day 5 / Going out to the ocean for swimming with dolphins
Going out into the ocean to swim with dolphins.

Various species of dolphins can be found in the Azores. Some schools move fast enough and you won't be able to swim with them. Others are more sociable - we will jump to them. If you are lucky, we will see a bat-ball, a manta ray or a turtle, with which you can also swim.
The water is quite cool, so you can't do without a wetsuit, they are available on site, short and thin suits are suitable for August. Tubes and masks are also available in required quantities.
In order not to disturb the animals, the number of people in the water at the same time is limited, so we will divide into groups and jump in turns. Everyone will have enough time to swim properly. Dolphins are quite sociable animals and often swim very close. Especially if you can dive and swim some distance underwater. We recommend turning your head 360°, then you are more likely to see something special.

Afternoon – hot springs, Lagoa de Fogo lake and tea plantation.
Lagoa do Fogo or Lake of Fire is the second largest lake on the island. It is located in the crater of a volcano, surrounded by amazing natural landscapes. There are hot springs in the northwest.
Chá Gorreana is a family business, supported by five generations since 1883. The factory produces about 33 tons of tea per year, which is exported to mainland Portugal, as well as Germany, France, Italy, the USA, Canada and many other countries.

Day 6 / Flight Ponta-Delgada – Horta (Faial Island), trekking
Flight Ponta-Delgada – Horta (Fail Island)

Receiving cars, checking into a 4* hotel.

Trekking: Caldeira is a huge crater of an extinct volcano. Its diameter is more than 2 km, and its depth is 400 m. In good weather, it offers excellent views of the neighboring islands of the central group (although it can rarely be seen without clouds or fog). Even if the neighboring islands are not visible, this is a great place for lovers of landscape photography.

We will trek around the crater in a nature reserve that was the first in Portugal to receive the EDEN (European Destination Excellence) award.
Day 7 / Free day. Activities to choose from
Free day - a trip to Pico Island (by ferry) is offered.

Climbing the Pico volcano, which will take the whole day. Those who are not ready to climb the volcano will go sightseeing in Pico: the Whaling Museum, the Gruta das Torres cave, the Lajido da Criacao Velha and Lajido de Santa Luzia vineyards.
Pico is the second largest island of the archipelago. Here is the highest mountain in Portugal - Pico, which gives the island its name. Thanks to its vineyards and unusual landscape, Pico is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In addition to the production and trade of wine, for a long time one of the main activities of the islanders was whaling, which is now prohibited.

Trekking through vineyards (7 km) with views of windmills, a UNESCO heritage site, natural lava pools.
Day 8 / Visit to Capelinhos volcano
Visit to the Capelinhos volcano, which erupted in 1957. Visit to the Museum of Volcanology. Climbing to the old lighthouse.

Capelinhos is the visiting card of the island. Here you can see the results of the volcanic eruption in 1957. The leaked lava formed a new island, which was later connected to the shore, thereby increasing the area of Faial by 2.5 square kilometers. Volcanic activity lasted 13 months.
Day 9 / Flight Horta – Flores. Visit to the Morro Alto e Pico da Sé nature reserve
Flight Horta – Flores

Receipt of cars, check-in. Hotel Vilas do Mar

In 2009, the island was included in the list of UNESCO biosphere reserves. Here, mountains and flowering valleys, lakes with hydrangeas along the shores, rocks cut by grottoes, calderas of extinct volcanoes harmoniously complement vineyards, pastures and farms.

Natural reserve Morro Alto e Pico da Sé, optionally visit the whaling museum.
Day 10 / Trekking to the Poço Ribeira do Ferreiro waterfalls. Lava pools
Trekking to the Poço Ribeira do Ferreiro waterfalls. This is a real miracle of nature: more than 20 waterfalls in one place, and all around are amazing plants, a lake, peace and quiet.

Lava pools are an opportunity to enjoy the ocean with protection from the waves.
Day 11 / Departure
Departure from Flores Island
We saw whales, swam with dolphins, climbed to the highest point in Portugal and tasted the famous Portuguese wine. Thank you for sharing this experience with us! See you on a new journey!
The order of days and the program within a day may vary. For example, access to the ocean depends on the height of the waves and the presence of whales/dolphins. Visiting observation platforms - from the fog.
In addition to the main points indicated, for every evening, if there is any strength left, a cultural program has been prepared:

Lecture from our biologist about whales.
A story about our other travels.
Watching themed films.
Much more.
Price & Dates:
2650 EUR
21-31 August, 2024

Accommodation on the island of Sao Miguel, Faial, Flores
Flight Ponta Delgada (Sao Miguel)-Horta (Faial), Horta (Faial)-Flores.
Going out into the ocean in search of cetaceans, observation
Swimming with dolphins in the open ocean
Entries to all parks, museums, hot springs, taxes and fees
Preparation of Cozido
All transfers according to the program
Accompaniment by a Team Trip guide throughout the entire route
Not included
Flight to and from Ponta Delgado from Flores
Meals not specified in the program
Medical insurance
Visa fees
additional information
About country
Ocean water temperature is approximately 18 degrees
Air temperature is approximately 20-24 degrees
To visit the Azores you will need to apply for a Schengen visa yourself (Portugal)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Socket type: C (photo), F (photo), voltage 220V
What to take with you
International passport, printed air tickets
Lightweight trekking boots (or sneakers)
Pants, sweatshirt (it can be cool in the mountains)
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