Guided Azores walking holiday and culture tour to Faial & Pico Is

9 day guided Azores walking holiday and culture tour to Faial and Pico islands with whale watching boat trips and much more! 18 to 26 May 2021.

9 days
£2,720 to 2,790
Guided Azores walking holiday and culture tour to Faial & Pico Is

The islands of the Azores, set far out in the Atlantic Ocean, enjoy a peaceful, slow-paced way of life that guarantees a relaxing holiday for visitors interested in exploring one of Europe’s quieter corners. We walk on two different islands, each with spectacular views and fascinating flora and geology.

In addition to enjoying two whale and dolphin watching trips (Azorean waters are renowned as a cetacean hotspot), we visit botanical gardens and interesting small museums, walk in the volcanic landscapes and taste excellent local wines and seafood.

During this 9 day guided Azores walking holiday and culture tour to Faial and Pico islands we are based in two very comfortable hotels, a 4 star historic Pousada and a well-appointed rural lodge with a pool and an excellent restaurant.

Price Includes

  • accommodation for Days 1 through 9, on a twin shared basis
  • meals (with wine at lunches and dinners) as listed in the daily notation
  • land transportation in a private vehicle, as described, except during free periods
  • ferry tickets between Pico and Faial islands
  • two whale and dolphin watching trips
  • entrance, sightseeing and guiding fees, as described in the itinerary
  • gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff and drivers

Price Excludes

  1. flights to and from Horta airport
  2. trip cancellation, medical or other insurance
  3. immunisations, prescriptions or other medical requirements
  4. passport, health and visa documentation
  5. personal expenses (laundry, alcohol other than wine with group lunches and dinners, free time activities, etc.)

What to expect

Itinerary for 9 day guided Azores walking holiday and culture tour to Faial and Pico islands

Day 1
D included
After meeting at the small airport on Faial Island in the afternoon, we have a short transfer to the colourful port of Horta, famous as the best harbour for trans-Atlantic yachts. We settle into our Pousada hotel, set within the walls of a 16th century fortress overlooking the harbour, and have time for a swim in the hotel pool before dinner in the elegant restaurant.

Day 2
B, L, D included
A cliff-top walk reveals the nest sites of Cory’s shearwaters, whose strange cries can be heard at night throughout the Azores, before a scenic drive northwest to Capelinhos, the site of a volcanic eruption in 1957. We walk on the new land formed there, with lava formations and colonising plants, and visit an excellent interpretive centre for a fascinating insight into the history of volcanoes on the islands. After a leisurely fish lunch by the water, we have some free time to explore the yacht harbour with boats from all over the world and perhaps sample a gin and tonic in the renowned Peter’s Bar.

Day 3
B, L, D included
A local biologist guides us on a walk high in the hills in search of endemic goldcrests and canaries, before we explore the Botanical gardens in the grounds of the Quinta de São Lourenço, devoted to the indigenous plants of the archipelago. After lunch in a local tavern, we catch an afternoon ferry for the 25 minute crossing to the island of Pico, dominated by its dramatic 2,351 m peak, an extinct volcano. A brief road transfer brings us to our rural lodge, a series of stylish wooden buildings in a conserved laurisilva forest, with views of the sea and the Pico volcano.

Day 4
B, L, D included
This morning, we walk gradually down an old cobbled trail on the north coast, via box forest and fields grazed by sheep, cattle and goats, to the shipbuilding village of Santo Amaro, where we visit the traditional handicrafts centre. A scenic drive delivers us back to our hotel with time to relax in the grounds and swim in the freshwater pool. This evening, we dine in the nearby harbour, combining sea views and seafood.

Day 5
B, L, D included
We drive to the south coast, pausing at a much venerated 17th century church, and visit the traditional whaler’s lookout tower and the Whaler’s Museum, documenting the centuries-old tradition of whaling in the archipelago, which ended in 1985. Following a light lunch, we have an introductory talk about cetacean research in the Azores and a 3-hour whale and dolphin watching trip by boat, hoping to find family groups of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius caviostris) and Atlantic, Bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins.

Day 6
B, L, D included
A second whale watching trip increases our chances of close encounters with the large pods of cetaceans offshore. We also see flocks of Cory’s shearwaters and, possibly, some leatherback turtles, Bulwer’s petrels and Portuguese Man o’War jellyfish. Returning to land for lunch, we walk from a high point in the centre of the island, seeing the Azorean endemic Rothschild’s buzzard soaring overhead, remnant laurisilva forest, dwarf juniper and endemic heather species and wonderful views.

Day 7
B, L, D included
Following a relaxed breakfast, we stroll amongst the lava-walled vineyards, with the opportunity to take a dip in a natural rock pool. In the Wine museum, housed in a former Carmelite convent, we taste Pico’s special wines and picnic beneath an impressive grove of dragon trees. Crossing back to Faial Island by ferry, we visit the local museum, with displays devoted to the history of early flying boats and the island’s role in trans-Atlantic cable transmissions, and settle back into our original Pousada hotel.

Day 8
B, L, D included
This morning, we walk a circuit of the outer edge of the crater of Faial’s central volcano, displaying extraordinary views down into the green basin. We are within the Caldeira do Faial Nature Reserve and encounter endemic plants (Daboecia azorica, Thymus caespititius) and the endemic Azorean birds, such as the chaffinch and blackcap. There is time to enjoy a swim in the hotel’s outdoor pool before our farewell dinner in a well-known local restaurant.

Day 9
B included
After a leisurely breakfast, and perhaps a stroll round the harbour your 9 day guided Azores walking holiday and culture tour to Faial and Pico islands comes to an end. We will transfer to the small island airport for our flights home.


Guided Azores walking holiday and culture tour to Faial & Pico Is: From £2,720 to £2,790 for 9 days

Enquire Now
£2,720 to 2,790 9 days
From £2,720 to 2,790 discount: %
Save up to £ (max saving per person)

Newsletter sign up