trekking Azores Trails
Azores (Island of São Miguel)
a soul sculpted by the sea

The Azores Trails are a network of routes approved by the Regional Government of the Azores, guaranteeing safety and reassurance to walkers. The Azores archipelago is composed of 9 islands of emerald colour, immersed in the Atlantic Ocean about one third of the distance between Lisbon and New York. By many considered to be the remainder of the mythic continent of Atlantis, the archipelago was discovered in the XV century by Portuguese navigators during their journey towards the new world and soon became one of the favourite harbouring points between Europe and America. The volcanic origin of the islands is the main reason for their fascinating savage appearance: ancient craters filled with crystal clear lakes, dark cliffs that are hurled onto the Atlantic waters, rugged mountains, sulphur springs and fumaroles are the elements that make up an unique natural scenario in the world, harsh and often inaccessible but always refined from flowers that grow throughout the year, from pastures bordered with hedges of hydrangeas and typical rural houses of white.

The São Miguel island climate allows for a pleasant stay all year round, due to a tepid, oceanic, subtropical climate with mild temperatures during the all of the four seasons.

The landscape of São Miguel is marked by two mountain areas separated by a low altitude valley. Dubbed by many as the Green Island, its landscape is made up of extensive fields and patches of forests and groves that are intertwined in the valleys of streams and difficult to reach areas. The Cryptomeria stands out on the island’s productive vegetation and reaches large dimensions in dense woods that are one of the most iconic images of São Miguel. The original flora still survives in small areas, with native and endemic species such as the Azores heather, faya, laurel and holly, serving as shelter for the Azores Bullfinch, and making up a palette of different shades of green that spread out along the horizon.

In order for everyone to be able to experiment the Azores Trails, the famous rules and signalling from the Grande Randonnée (Grand Route) are used, with the exception of the colours of the signposts (yellow and red, instead of white and red). The paths were carefully chosen and prepared so you can enjoy your daily walks reassured and safe.


1st Day - Ponta Delgada Airport / Furnas

After your landing at Ponta Delgada Airport, you will be transferred to Furnas, where you will be able to rest and get prepared for your journey ahead. Accommodation, dinner and stay overnight at the hotel.

2nd Day - Furnas / Lagoa das Furnas / Furnas

Beginning of the walking tour in Furnas, from which you will go to the Lagoa das Furnas, where you will be able to see geysers, fumaroles and thermal water springs, often used by the inhabitants to cook due to their high temperatures (Difficulty – Easy; 9,2km). Return to Furnas, accommodation, dinner and stay overnight.

3rd Day - Furnas / Lagoa do Fogo / Vila Franca do Campo / Ponta Delgada

In the morning, transfer to Lagoa do Fogo walking path (Difficulty – Somewhat Difficult; 17km), with amazing high altitude points that allow to gaze the beautiful São Miguel landscape, until you reach Vila Franca do Campo, from which you will get on a boat ride to the Ilhéu of Vila Franca, a small island 10-15 minutes away from shore that has an almost perfectly circular lake. Return to Vila Franca do Campo and transfer to Ponta Delgada. Accommodation, dinner and stay overnight at the hotel.

4th Day - Ponta Delgada

Take the day to take a look around the capital of São Miguel or participate in one of the many activities it offers: horse riding, cycling and golfing are ideal for relaxing, but for those in the need of some action can rent a quad-bike, go on a “safari” on a 4x4 SUV or go paragliding to reach the skies and have the best sight available of São Miguel. If these ideas don’t suit you, just sit back and relax. Accommodation, dinner and stay overnight.

5th Day - Ponta Delgada / Mata do Canário / Sete Cidades / Ponta Delgada

From Ponta Delgada you will take a transfer to the path of Mata do Canário (Difficulty – Easy; 11km), where you will reach the highest point of the northern hillside of Sete Cidades’ Blue Lake. The path ends at the town of Sete Cidades, where you will get the chance to take a look around and go for a stroll. Transfer to Ponta Delgada, accommodation, dinner and stay overnight.

6th Day - Ponta Delgada

During your last day on the island of São Miguel, you will take part on one of the most famous traits of the Azores, whale watching. Depending on the time of the year and weather, you will be able to see more than 5 species of cetaceans, such as the blue whale and dolphin. Return to the hotel, accommodation, dinner and stay overnight.

7th Day – Departure from Ponta Delgada Airport