30th July: Depart Malta
Meet at Malta International Airport for our flight to Porto and then to Azores Islands. (Flights will be purchased separately). During our adventure we will be staying on São Miguel island, the largest island of the Azores archipelago. Also known as ‘Ilha Verde,’ the Green Island, São Miguel encompasses Jurassic-like forests, volcanic peaks, azure lakes, large calderas and a dramatic coastline by the wild Atlantic Ocean. During our time here we will explore natural parks and spend time out in nature. So get ready for an active but pleasant adventure!!!
Our boutique hotel is located in the southern capital Ponta Delgada…a graceful blackand-white affair, with mosaic cobbled streets and intricate balconies meandering down to a marina lined with restaurants for the perfect dinner, and several bars for a relaxing drink in the evening.
31st July: Hiking in Praia da Viola (B = Breakfast , PL = Picnic Lunch)
Today we will head to the north coast of the island for a splendid trail. We will drive along the coastline for around 30 mins. The walk starts from the centre of the village, specifically from the church of Igreja Nossa Senhora de Rosario. We will cross streams, discover ancient water mills which will remind us of the ancient way of life, walk on black sand, and continue towards giant reeds until we reach a viewpoint to enjoy the astonishing Azorean sceneries. Here will stop for a picnic lunch and a good chat. Eventually we will reach Maia’s fishing port where the trail ends. But there’s more!!! We will reach the village’s natural pools for a refreshing swim. Snorkelling is also possible.
On our way to Ponta Delgada we will visit Europe’s only tea plantation, Gorreana, for tea tasting. Little-changed here since it opened in 1883! We will also visit the oldest tobacco factory in São Miguel. Today it has been turned into a museum to preserve the memory of this culture.
1st August: Swim with dolphins, Furnas hike or Canyoning, Volcano-cooked dinner and a night bathing experience (B, D = Dinner)
Get ready for a very exciting day! The Azores islands are known for attracting a large number of dolphins who are very interactive with swimmers. This morning we will board on a boat, jump in the Atlantic, swim with wild dolphins and relax into their blissful marine world. We will meet the playful dolphins and snorkel through crystal clear waters.
In the afternoon we have 2 activities to choose from; (everyone is free to choose their preferred activity)
– Option 1: Hike the Furnas
– Option 2: Canyoning Adventure
The Furnas Valley is a geothermal spot where mud pots bubbles steam amid the lush green landscape. We will go on one of the most scenic trails on the island where we will witness a placid crater and hot springs. The trail will take us along the peaceful lake and through a forest to a pretty waterfall. We will start at the mviewpoint of Pico do Ferro and hike down Furnas lake till we reach the smouldering fumarole. This is an opening in the Earth’s surface from which steam and volcanic gases are emitted. We will continue walking towards the village where we will be in mtouch with more volcanic manifestations. We will finish off at the 18th century Terra Nostra Park for a dip in the thermal pool with mineral-rich water coming from a volcanic spring at 35 to 40 degrees Celsius.
This is a very thrilling activity where we will combine adventure with the beautiful untouched areas of the island for a memory of a lifetime. Canyoning involves going down a stream using different techniques such as small jumps, slides, rappels and descending down the gorge. We will explore secluded areas of the natural landscape by following a trail through rock formations. We will navigate paths along streams, pools and waterfalls. The route we chose is suitable for first ntimers and we will adjust the trail according to the group’s needs.
Evening activity for all
After a full day of adventure we will come together as one group and experience the volcano-cooked Cozido, the most tantalizing dish in the Azores. This is a rich meat and vegetable stew, which is slow-cooked beneath the summering ground in the soil’s geothermal heat. It is prepared by lowering the pot in a hot spring heated by volcanic msteam. (vegetarian options are also available)
And after a hearty meal, what’s better than a contemporary night bathing experience in the soothing waters of a thermal spring? Feel reborn in misty waters and revitalise and restore the harmony between body, mind and nature.
2nd August: Lake of Fire ( (B, PL)
We will start the day with a nice breakfast at the hotel. Following this we will head to another wonderful location on São Miguel Island. Today we will hike in Lagoa do Fogo, translated to Lake of Fire. This is a crater lake and a protected natural reserve. The walk will take us to one of the most beautiful lakes on the island, and on the way we will pass through a variety of native and endemic vegetation and several springs. We will then stop at a viewpoint for a picnic lunch together. And later we will return to our starting point through a circular route whilst enjoying the majestic views of mthe Atlantic Ocean.
3rd August: Coasteering and kayaking (B, PL)
Today is another day full of adventure!! Our first activity is Coasteering. Coasteering involves walking along the coastline on foot and also by swimming. This will give us the opportunity to experience the beautiful coast and some of its inlets and caves, which few ever get to see. We have chosen a pleasant route so the activity is suitable for anyone who can swim. For the second part of the day we will experience the beauty of the island from a different perspective. Kayaking along the rugged coastline of the island is in fact one of the best ways to take a break and still enjoy having an outdoor experience. This will allow us to get up close and personal with high cliffs, little islands, caves, and many more whimsical rock formations that the sea has carved over the centuries. There are different routes we can take and the itinerary will be decided depending on the weather mconditions, but all incredibly fun!
4th August : Sete Cidades hike (B, PL)
The Sete Cidades are twin blue and green crater lakes nothing like we have experienced so far. The larger reflects the sky (Lagoa Azul), and the smaller mirrors the greenery of its surroundings (Lago Verde), making the site all the more phenomenal. After breakfast we will make our way to this part of the island. First we will make a stop to experience one of the most spectacular views, the viewpoint of Grota do Inferno. Then we will head to King’s View, which offers stellar views, to start our hike. We start our hike through the south rim, descending to the main crater and down the village next to the lakes. Here we will enjoy a picnic lunch and the quietness of the small village. Following this we will walk by Lago Verde and slowly start ascending whilst enjoying fine lookouts. We will then head to Ferraria to enjoy some natural hot baths in the ocean!
5th August : Porto (B)
This morning we will take a flight* to the charming city of Porto. Porto is a tawny port with an alley-woven historic heart, colourful tumbledown bell towers, charismatic locals and sumptuous food and wine. Upon arrival we will check in our hotel at the centre of town and then go on to explore this enchanting place. Porto will hold us captive with its laid-back vibe, narrow backstreets, sky high lookouts, and roof terrace bars, but it is its soulfulness which makes it even more special.
*Please note that flights will be purchased separately and individually.
6th August : Back Home
Our adventure has come to an end!
We ultimately hope to Experience all of this with you