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  • Explore the incredible natural and man-made wonders of São Miguel, Faial and Pico
  • Marvel at the beautiful crater lakes of Sete Cidades and Furnas
  • Be awed by the mighty peak of Pico volcano, the highest point in Portugal
  • Experience the otherworldly landscape of Capelinhos and learn about the Azores’ fascinating volcanic origins at its superb museum
  • Discover Faial, nicknamed the ‘blue island’ for its profusion of hydrangeas
  • Stroll through Terra Nostra, a botanical wonderland, and take a dip in hot springs famed for their healing powers
  • Discover the UNESCO-listed volcanic vineyards of Pico and visit a wine museum
  • Tour the only tea plantation and pineapple greenhouse in Europe
  • Return flights from a selection of UK airports, plus all hotel transfers
  • Seven nights in four-star accommodation inclusive of all local taxes, with breakfast and one dinner
  • The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout

Selected departures from September to November 2019

 
At a Glance
7 nights in 4-star accommodation
Return flights & transfers
Programme of daily tours & visits
Daily breakfast & 1 dinner
Expert tour manager
Checked Luggage
 

Overview

Some 900 miles west of the coast of mainland Portugal are the Azores, an extraordinarily beautiful group of islands. The archipelago is often labelled ‘the Hawaii of Europe’ but these islands, which boast many of their own treasures, are still off the tourist trail and truly unspoilt. Positioned between the tectonic plates of Eurasia, Africa and North America, the Azores rose 20,000 feet from the depths of the Atlantic as a serendipitous result of spectacular volcanic activity. At every turn you’ll encounter awe-inspiring reminders of the power of nature: majestic volcanic peaks, immense crater lakes, flora-filled calderas and steamy thermal springs.

These emerald islands are largely covered in vegetation, as so much thrives in the subtropical climate and fertile soil. With about 60 endemic plants and over 700 varieties introduced from across the world, the Azores have become a garden paradise with enchanting blooms all year round. Numerous species of birds and marine life are found here, making the archipelago one of the best destinations for spotting a staggering variety of splendid creatures, from pint-sized sandpipers to gargantuan blue whales.

No one knows the actual date the archipelago was originally discovered, but it was first settled in the 15th century during the golden age of exploration, first by the Portuguese and Flemish, then other Europeans and the Americans. Along with Madeira, the Azores are an autonomous region within Portugal.

Our tour explores three of the nine major islands and their many highlights. São Miguel, the largest, is renowned for its beautiful crater lakes, hot springs and the Terra Nostra botanical wonderland, as well as Europe’s only tea and pineapple plantations. On Faial, we delve into the origins of the Azorean volcanoes and explore the barren, alien-like Capelinhos landscape created as recently as 1957. We travel to Pico, whose eponymous volcano was described by author Mark Twain as ‘a stately green pyramid, which rose up with one unbroken sweep and thrust its summit above the white clouds like an island adrift in a fog.’ We’ll see Pico’s astonishing UNESCO-listed vineyards, an impressive testament to the ingenuity of the hardy Azoreans. To make the most of the land, Azorean crops are grown by altitude and even flowers are used in original ways – we’ll see hydrangea hedges doubling as windbreaks, and pretty azalea and camellia borders lining the roads. The Azoreans take conservation very seriously, and the archipelago is the first destination to win a Platinum Quality Gold Coast Award for sustainability.

When it comes to food, the islands’ edible bounty is tremendous. The many microclimates yield an impressive variety of some of the healthiest fruit and vegetables you’ll ever see, and the endless pastures provide plenty of nourishment for healthy cows, from which come the most succulent beef and creamy dairy. And of course, all around the islands are the mineral-rich waters of the Atlantic Ocean, teeming with tuna, lobster, crab and so much more.

A visit to the Azores is a treat for your senses, and on our tour, you’ll get fascinating insights into the myriad marvels of these paradise islands.

Your Itinerary

Price Includes

The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are available at the relevant supplement. The price includes return flights, seven nights' accomodation with breakfast and one dinner, all local taxes, transfers and internal flights, all tours as mentioned, entrances to Holy Sacred at Carlos Machado Museum, Terra Nostra Park and garden, Capelinhos Volcano Exhibition, Whalers Museum, Whine Museum and the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager.

 

Personalise Your Holiday


 

Whale and dolphin watching - from £47 per person

The Azores islands are some of the most popular whale-watching destinations, as the nutrient-rich waters here attract a third of the world’s cetacean species. Take a boat trip to spot these majestic creatures – depending on season, you may see migrating species, such as blue whales and striped dolphins.

Please call us on 01283 742 300 for more information or to book this experience.

Useful Information

Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

Arrival airport First hotel location Transfer time Final hotel location Departure airport Transfer time
Ponta Delgada Ponta Delgada 15 mins Ponta Delgada Ponta Delgada 15 mins

Fact File

  • Currency: Euro
  • Deposit: £100 per person
  • Flight time:  Approx. 4 hrs 55 mins
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Time zone: GMT
  • Country: Portugal

Mobility

We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.


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