Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Hike, Kayak, Canyon and Whale Watch in the Azores

Travel by land and sea around the Azorean island of São Miguel and top it off with some spectacular whale and dolphin watching

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Trip Ref #10100

Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Hike, Kayak, Canyon and Whale Watch in the Azores

Travel by land and sea around the Azorean island of São Miguel and top it off with some spectacular whale and dolphin watching

DURATION
6 nights
LOCATION
Azores
ANNUAL LEAVE
1 week off work
SEASON
Jun-Oct
GROUP SIZE
Up to 12 people
MEETING POINT
João Paulo II Airport
ACCOMMODATION
Hotel
DIFFICULTY
Moderate

You don't need any previous experience or high level of fitness, just a fun mindset and a taste for adventure.

Hike along spectacular coastal trails and get sweeping Atlantic views from the highest point on Sao Miguel

Jump, scramble, slide and abseil your way through the canyons of Ribeira dos Caldeirões and stay in 4-star boutique hotels

Get a close encounter with the Azores' teeming population of whales and dolphins

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking, local guides

Accommodation

6 nights in cosy, art deco hotels

Meals

6 breakfasts and 4 lunches

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Equipment

All your canyoning, coasteering, kayaking, SUP and mountain biking equipment

Permits

All permits and entry fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

The Area

Logistics

Starts

Ponta Delgada Airport

Anytime on Day 1

Ends

Ponta Delgada Airport

Anytime on Day 7

Transfers

Airport transfers are included, so please let your host know your flight times. Transfers are only included if you arrive or depart on the start and end days of the trip. If you would like to arrive early or extend your stay, your host can arrange airport transfers for an extra cost.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Ponta Delgada Airport from airports across the UK and Europe.

What about all the carbon?

We mitigate 4x the carbon generated by all our customer flights annually through our partnership with Cool Earth.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 6

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Breakfasts in both hotels are a plentiful, high quality continental-style affair with fresh juices, teas and coffees. Lunches will be picnics in beautiful locations, generally consisting of baguette sandwiches or salads with dried snacks and fruits. There are also plenty of restaurants to choose from in both Furnas and Ponta Delgada for dinner, including traditional Azorean and international cuisine.

Vegetarian, vegan and most other dietary requirements can be accommodated.

What is the accommodation like?

Furnas

You'll stay in a twin-share room at the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, considered one of the best hotels in the Azores. The hotel is adjacent to the Terra Nostra Botanical Park, complete with a geo-thermal lake and guests are free to wander the grounds. The hotel has a wellness spa with indoor and outdoor pools, perfect for winding down at the end of each day.

Ponta Delgada

You'll stay in a twin-share room at the Hotel do Colégio, a boutique hotel set in a 19th century manor house. The hotel has a highly regarded restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool and spacious, quiet guest rooms. It's also perfectly located in the historic centre of Ponta Delgada.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (it is subject to availability).

Day 1

Welcome to the Azores

Catch your first glimpse of the beautiful Azores archipelago as you approach Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel island. Drive through rolling hills forged by ancient volcanoes and powerful trade winds to the town of Furnas and spend the rest of the day enjoying your boutique hotel and the adjacent botanical gardens – plus your choice of indoor or outdoor pools.

Day 2

The highest point on Sao Miguel

Hiking

4hrs · 7km · 284m up · 865m down

Kick start your Azores adventure with a big hike to Pico da Vara, the highest point on Sao Miguel island. Starting at Algarvia in the north east of the island you'll ascend for 7km through cedar woodland and open grasslands and see some unforgettable coastal views. Look across the island from the top and you’ll see the valley of Povoação, the majestic crater of Furnas Volcano and the volcanic massifs of Fogo and Sete Cidades.

Day 3

Hike the Agrião Trail

Hiking

4hrs · 5km · 148m up · 395m down

Follow the Agrião Trail as it weaves its way through streams and over wooden bridges along the south east coast, including some steep climbs and narrow descents. Enjoy the views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Povoação volcanic crater and end the day on the beach at Ribeira Quente. Grab a drink in this quaint village and then head back to the hotel in time for an evening's recharge.

Day 4

Canyoning at Ribeira dos Caldeirões

Canyoning

3hrs

Set off first thing for Ribeira dos Caldeirões, a protected reserve in the north east of the island and a 100% natural adventure playground. Hike, scramble, jump, slide and abseil your way across, with your expert guide on hand to help you navigate whilst filming and photographing the adventure. Dry off, grab some lunch and then drive to Ponta Delgada where you’ll check into your second boutique hotel. The afternoon is now yours to explore the town's many cafes, bars and ice cream parlours or just relax at the hotel.

Day 5

Whale watching and sea kayaking

Wildlife Watching

2-3hrs

Kayaking

2-3hrs

Witness one of the Azores natural treasures - the huge population of whales found in its nutrient-rich waters. During spring time, you can see migratory species such as Fin, Sei and Blue Whales, while Sperm Whales and huge numbers of dolphins can be found all year round. A marine biologist will talk you through what to look for out on the water and explain the island’s cutting edge approach to sustainable and responsible tourism. Return to the water after lunch, this time on a sea kayak and hopefully see some more of your dolphin friends.

Day 6

Atlantic Coasteering

Coasteering

3hrs

Jump straight into the Atlantic Ocean and coasteer your way along the wild, volcanic coastline. You'll scramble, dive and swim your way along the tide line and cliff dive into the water. After lunch, head to Sete Cidades - one of the Azores' picture postcard spots (and one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal) and enjoy an activity of your choice – hike, SUP, kayak or bike.

Day 7

Say goodbye to the Azores

Enjoy a last breakfast on the Azores and then head back to the airport in time for your flight home.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.

What do I need to bring?

Bags

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack/drybag

Clothes

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts/T-shirts
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses, sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking boots (worn-in)
  • Sandals

Kit

  • Universal travel adapter
  • Earplugs
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle x1 litre
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Water purification tablets or treatment system

This one is all about a fun mindset rather than any previous experience or a high level of fitness. You just need to enjoy being active for a large part of the day, in an outdoor environment with some moments of adventure and adrenaline.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Being surrounded by a huge expanse of sea and influenced by the warm Gulf Stream gives the Azores a mild climate that's pleasant all year round, with the best months to visit from April to October. The average winter temperature is 13°C, occasionally dropping to around 4°C at night (frosts occur only above 1,000m). In summer, meanwhile, the average temperature is 23°C, with a maximum of 27°C.

Rain can and does fall in every month, but it's rarely persistent and usually fleeting. If it is raining in the morning, do not despair as there could be clear skies and sunshine by lunchtime. Of course, the reverse is often true!

The sea temperatures are lowest in February and March at 15–16°C and highest in August and September, with an average of around 22–24°C, but are still a welcoming 21°C even in October.

Your luggage can be safely left in both hotels while you're away doing activities. You'll just need a daypack and/or drybag for the daytime.

Tap water in the Azores is completely safe to drink, so you can fill your bottles up at the hotel and at various points throughout the trip. Your guides will factor in water refill spots during the hikes and activities.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but the norm in the Azores means there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice however, we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

Tour guide – 5-10 Euros per day Local specialist activity guides & Driver – 5 Euros per day

Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specifically designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want them to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly likeminded.

“I cannot recommend this highly enough! The people on the trip were amazing. Easily the best trip I’ve ever been on!” Charlotte, 2019, Trustpilot.

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Transferrable Deposits

Cancel up to 31 days before departure and we'll transfer your deposit into credit for a future booking.

Free Date Changes

Free date changes up to 31 days before departure.

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