Far out in the Atlantic Ocean, roughly one-third of the distance between southern Europe and the East Coast of the USA, lies a 9-island archipelago called the Azores Islands. Here, the tips of some of earth’s tallest mountains poke above the ocean surface from the bottom of a deep ocean at a juncture of three major tectonic plates.
The depth of the ocean (nearly 4 miles) and the moderating influence of the Gulf Stream attract a wealth of sea life, including many species of cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises). The latitude of the islands combines with the moderating Gulf Stream influence and rich volcanic soil to produce a Garden-of-Eden effect. Luxuriant vegetation is an extraordinary feature of the Azores.
The volcanic nature of the islands also produces a tremendous topographical variety: emerald green valleys dotted with a plethora of prolific dairy cows, black lava beaches bearing the pounding of a starkly contrasting and unusually clear blue surf, mysterious meandering lava caves, and a fascinating variety of lagoons and lakes…all explored on a well developed system of trails and dirt roads.
Six hundred years ago, under the patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator, Portuguese mariners became the first to develop the ability to sail the open ocean, out of sight of land. In their relentless quest to round the cape of Africa in search of trade treasures of the East, they happened upon this blessed archipelago. Hence, though over 800 miles from Portugal, it fell under the jurisdiction of Lisbon and is today a part of the nation of Portugal.
Step into a different dimension and join us on this island-hopping odyssey in search of the heart of the Azores on a brand-new Walking Adventure for 2023!
- Airport to hotel group transfers on first day
- Three inter-island flights
- Roundtrip cruise from Faial to Pico Island
- All land travel as outlined by motorcoach
- Accommodations in tourist class or better hotels
- 16 meals: all breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners as denoted (BLD)
- 7 walk routes–all IVV
- Walking fees for those collecting IVV walking credit, if sanctions approved
- WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
- Cultural & historical expertise of a national guide throughout
- Local guides at Captiaes-Gereais Palace and Algas do Carvao Cave
- All tipping for local guides, coach drivers, and group meals
- Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $750. We also provide a roommate matching service.
- Lagoa das Furnas – Sao Miguel
- Parque Terra Nostra bicentennial botanical garden – Sao Miguel
- Angra do Heroismo UNESCO World Heritage Site – Terceira
- Captiaes-Gereais Palace – Terceira
- Amelias pastries with baking demo – Terceira
- Monte Brasil Natural Reserve – Terceira
- Agualva Bay – Terceira
- Algar do Carvao volcanic cave guided walk – Terceira
- Peter’s Sports Café – Faial
- Whaling Station in Porto Pim – Faial
- Monte da Guia – Faial
- Pico Island wine cellar & Verdelho wine tasting – Pico
- Pineapple Plantation tour & tasting – Sao Miguel
- Lagoa das Sete Cidades – Sao Miguel
- Azorean fruit liqueur tasting – Sao Miguel
- Cha Gorreana Tea Plantation – Sao Miguel
- More fun and educational stops than we can list!
- Whale watching cruise (Day 8)