São Miguel, Faial, Pico & São Jorge Islands (8 Nights)
DAY 1 Arrival in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island
Transfer from Ponta Delgada Airport to Hotel in Ponta Delgada.
Lunch at local restaurant, afternoon at leisure.
Dinner at local restaurtant.
DAY 2 TOUR SETE CIDADES & LAGOA DO FOGO (Full day, 8hrs)
09:30 Departure from the hotel taking the mountain road towards the twin lakes. Stop at “Vista do Rei” viewpoint for the remarkable scenery. Descend to the valley of Sete Cidades, opportunity to leisurely walk along the shores of the green and blue lakes or just a coffee-break. The village of Sete Cidades (“Seven Cities”) is located on the west side of São Miguel Island. It´s one of the most beautiful natural settings in the Azores, composed by two lakes in the centre of a volcanic crater, about three miles across. Looking from the edge of the crater, one lake looks blue (reflecting the sky) and is called Lagoa Azul and the other appears green (reflecting the vegetation around it) and is named Lagoa Verde. Tour continues to Ribeira Grande for a walk through the town along the main street to the main square and enjoy the beautiful architecture of the city hall building. Stop for lunch at the local restaurant (not included).
After lunch you will drive up the mountain (altitude of 900m) to admire the magnificent view of the “Lagoa do Fogo” (Fire Lake) – one of the lakes on the island where you encounter nature in its pure state. On the way through, you will see many endemic plants and vast vegetation, there is a chance of seeing the traditional milking of cows. The return is along southern coast, enjoying a nice view of Ponta Delgada. The tour Continues to Fajã de Baixo to visit the pineapple plantations with various greenhouses, all showing pineapples at different stages of growth and the labour methods used to make them so sweet. Return to Ponta Delgada around 17:30. Dinner at local Restaurant.
DAY 3 TOUR FURNAS (Full day, 8hrs)
09:30 Departure from the hotel towards the town of Ribeira Grande. The first stop is at the “Santa Iria” – viewpoint where you can admire a beautiful view of the northern coast. Further on you will have a chance to visit the factory of one of the two unique tea plantations in Europe to taste some green and black tea and one of the best homemade ice-creams on the island! This factory is a real museum for specialists in ancient machinery. The next stop of the tour is at the “Pico do Ferro” viewpoint, which offers you a view of the whole valley of Furnas. Visiting the park Terra Nostra in Furnas Valley will be also an unforgettable experience. It is one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in Europe, with species of trees and plants from all over the world, where you will have a chance to swim in hot thermal pool. Afterwards, you will go up to the lake, where you can watch the pots of the “cozido” being removed from the steamy underground, where it cooks for 5 to 6 hours . Then you return to the valley for the “cozido” lunch at a local restaurant
After lunch, the tour goes on with a visit to the hot springs. There you will find more than 23 different kinds of water springs different by their temperature (some hot, some warm or cold), by composition, located on different levels of Earth. The variety of hot springs is also very interesting: some are muddy, some have clear waters, and others are just sulphurous steam. The return trip is through the southern coast, stopping at the village of Vila Franca – the first capital of the island. The return to Ponta Delgada is around 17:30.
Dinner at local restaurant.
DAY 4 – TOUR NORDESTE (Full day, 8hrs)
Full day tour to Nordeste (eastern part of the island). Eastern part of São Miguel is considered the best kept secret of the island. The oldest part of the island is known for its beautiful gardens, which are worth visiting and the view from them is breath-taking! For many, the eastern part of the island is the most beautiful part of São Miguel Island, with native and exotic vegetation, and forest clad mountains. Stop at Ribeira dos Caldeirões Park with beautiful waterfall surrounded by old watermills, picnic areas, coffee and gift shop, luxuriant natural vegetation and panoramic views. Continue to the village of Nordeste with opportunity for a short walk along the villageThe tour continues through the most beautiful part of Nordeste with an impressive view of magnificent valleys. There’s a stop at the “Ponta de Sossego” viewpoint. After passing through this beautiful coast we arrive to the village of Povoação. This enchanting village was the place where the first inhabitants had settled and where they started to clear the land for agriculture. 50 years after the first settlers arrived, most of today’s villages were already settled a fact which is worth noticing, considering how difficult communications were: only through mountain paths or by boat. Lunch at the local restaurant (not included).
Before the return you still have some time to walk around the village or for a coffee with so known “Fofas da Povoação” (traditional local éclairs). The return to Ponta Delgada is around 18:00.
Dinner at local restaurant.