Are you looking to escape to nature while exploring a new destination? Then the Azores should be at the top of your list. With breathtaking, peaceful landscapes and stunning ocean views, the Azorean archipelago offers a variety of distinctive hikes. Here are our five favorites that we’ve chosen just for our clients. Quest Travel Adventures Hiking Tour gives you a sample of some of these hikes or we can customize an itinerary for you.
1. Pico da Vara on São Miguel Island
Hike to the highest point on the island of Sao Miguel - 1105m above sea level - where you have amazing views over the island, including the town of Povoacão, where settlers first arrived on the island in the 15th century. The trail climbs through forests of Japanese cedar and plains of natural grass. Difficulty: Hard, 8 miles
2. Sanguinho Trail on São Miguel Island
This relaxed hike takes you through the “lost village” of Sanguinho, where you will find abandoned stone buildings and traces of traditional farming. The highlight of the hike is a stop at Salto do Prego waterfall. The waterfall is famous for its fresh, crystal water, and is the perfect place to have a picnic lunch and take a dip on a hot day. Difficulty: Medium, 6 miles
3. Descent into the Crater on Faial Island
This hike takes you into the crater of an inactive volcano - a truly fascinating experience. Hike trails bordered by hydrangea hedges as you ascend to the crater’s edge via old supply paths from the village of Cedros. Over 1,000 feet deep and 1.5 miles across, the crater leaves a lasting impression, as will the views of the island from the highest point. Difficulty: Hard, 10 miles
4. Chambre Rock Lava Trail on Terceira island
Located in the center of the island, this hike highlights the vegetation and volcanic rock formations Terceira has to offer. Along the trail, you will observe the landscapes of the Azores: beautiful hedges of hydrangeas, diverse forests of cedars, and pastures with locally raised animals. This trail has two main attractions. First, you encounter the Rocha do Chambre, a section of the Pico Alto caldera. Second, the Algar do Carvão lava caves: naturally formed lava tubes found in only a few places in the world. Difficulty: Medium, 7 miles
5. Pico Mountain on Pico Island
Regarded to be the hardest hike in the Azores, the ascent of Pico Grande takes you to the highest point in the Azores (also the highest mountain in Portugal). The unusual terrain and dynamic weather add challenging obstacles to this climb. Lots of loose gravel, often unmarked trails, hard lava rock, and frequent fog make this hike one to remember. Even with all these hindrances, this is a must-do hike if you love hiking and are visiting Pico Island. As it is fairly easy to get lost, all hikers must first register and have a GPS tracker. Also, hiring a guide is strongly recommended and is something that we can arrange for you. On average, the journey takes an experienced hiker 8 hours to complete from the Mountain House registration area (round trip). Difficulty: Very Hard, 7 miles
For hiking lovers, the Azores is a must-visit destination. Not only does the Azores have extraordinary hiking, but they are also home to the most impressive waterfalls in the world and the famous geothermal hot springs. Contact us today and enjoy the fresh air while hiking a nature lover’s paradise. Quest Travel Adventure is an Atlantic Island Specialist, with over 10 years of experience in small group travel to the Azores.