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The Azores

The Azores are a fantastic ‘alternative’ destination for geography tours, with its variety of craters, lava caves, hot springs and geothermal power. It is equally special for biology study and is a European centre for whale watching tours.

Here are more details of an example tour itinerary as a starting point, but at Kipling Tours, we can tailor-make any itinerary just for you.

Call or email us to start planning your trip

  • Day 1

    Fly to Sao Miguel - Lava Tube

    You have an early morning flight from the UK where on arrival on the island of Sao Miguel you will be met and transferred to your hotel before embarking on a short guided tour of the town of Ponta Delgada, the largest settlement in the Azores.  Sao Miguel was first settled in the 1400’s having been discovered by sailors returning from India.  It quickly became a Portuguese trading port and the Azores themselves became a key producer of sugar, tea and oranges for the European market, particularly the UK.  The age of the settlement is reflected in the historic buildings that can be found dotted throughout the island and many of the unusual native fruits can still be found in the local fruit markets. This afternoon you visit the Gruta do Carvao Lave Tube, a cave created as the result of a volcanioc eruption. You also have a short city tour. Following this tour you transfer to your hotel for check-in and a chance to relax before dinner at your hotel.

  • Day 2

    Tea Plantation, Terra Nostra and Furnas

    This morning you begin with a visit to a traditional tea factory where you can see the whole process from harvesting, and proessing right up to actually tasting the finished product. Many of the machines are British and date from the mid twentienth century. You then continue to the attractive Terra Nostra Botanical Gardens which has a large, artificial geothermal lake where you can bathe in the warm waters.   The brown colour of the water is due to iron oxides produced by the volcanic rocks and not just mud. The water depth is no more than waist deep, and in addition here are several smaller ‘hot pots’ where the temperatures are a little higher. Take time here to explore the beautiful botanical gardens which have been created from plants imported from around the world.

    After lunch you continue to the large volcanic region of Furnas in the east of the island. Lagoa das Furnas is one of the island's three massive volcanic lakes and this huge caldera has a town situated in the bottom of it. While there has not been any major volcanic or seismic activity in the crater over the last few decades, the volcanic system is still active today.  There are numerous fumeroles and hot springs and small, bubbling geysers.

    You return to Ponta Delgada and time permitting can visit a Pineapple Farm where the unique Azorean pineapples are grown under glass. Dinner this evening is at your hotel.

  • Day 3

    Wahle Watching and Waterfall Hike

    The Azores is one of the top whale and dolphin watching places in the World and this morning you head out on a boat from the port of Ponta Delgada for an exciting whale watching tour. Many whale and dolphin species either live in the waters around the Azores or use the area as a migration route. Whale watching is extremely well coordinated in the Azores, to the extent that lookouts are used on the coast using binoculars who guide boats to the best locations. Sightings are never guaranteed of course, but the Azores are renowned for being as reliable as it gets, and it would be unlucky if you did not at least see pods of dolphins.

    This afternoon you drive towards the volcanic lake of Lagoa do Fogo. You stop at the viewpoint known as Pico da Barrosa to admire the magnificent view over the lake. On a clear day you can also see across the whole island to its north and south shores, one of the few places on the island where you can do this. Building is very tightly controlled in this area so it retains its unspoilt beauty. Your next stop is at the hot springs of Caldeira Velha which has a real Jurassic Park feel about it and where there is also a waterfall. The small visitor centre provides information about the unusual biodiversity and geo-diversity of the caldera. As well as visit the fascinating biosphere reserve with its unique microclimate and many exotic species, you may also be able to try the hot springs.

    You continue this afternoon with a short but scenic hike to the waterfall at Salto do Cabrito. The linear route takes about an hour to complete and along the way you will see a small HEP project. In the evening you return to your hotel for dinner.

  • Day 4

    Sete Cidades & Ferraria

    Today you have a scenic bike trip at the beautiful Sete Cidades volcanic lake which is a large lake situated in a volcanic caldera. The route follows generally flat, easy ground and on good bike trails. You take a generally circular route that starts and ends at the bridge that crosses the lake.

    After a picnic lunch you drive along the rugged south coast of the island to Ferraria where, conditions there is a unique hot springs bathing area that has been created as a result of a volcanic fissure from which the surrounding ocean water is heated.. You can spend some time studying the impressive coastal geology and landforms including arches, stacks and blow-holes. In the afternoon you return to Ponta Delgada for some free time to explore the town on your own before dinner at your hotel.

  • Day 5

    Geothermal Power - Departure

    This morning you check out of the hotel and drive towards the north coast of Sao Miguel towards Ribeira Grande where you visit the geothermal power station which is located in this vicinity. The tour includes the control room where one of the staff will explain how the power station produces electricity, and you can then visit the perimeter of the plant where various explanatory notice boards give further information. You then travel to Ponta Delgada Airport for your return flight back to the UK via Lisbon.

Prices start from

£895 for a 5 day tour

Half board basis based on flights with TAP Portugal Airlines. We include local guides, all admission and all local transfers by private coach

includes flights

Flights are currently offered by TAP Portugese Airlines via Lisbon or SATA direct from London.

  • Hotel Ponta Delgada

    Centrally located 3 star hotel in Ponta Delgada

    Located close to the centre of town, the Hotel Ponta Delgada is an economical yet comfortable hotel with indoor heated swimming pool.

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