"Pastoral Delight" Região Autónoma dos Açores by AnitaJRT

Região Autónoma dos Açores Travel Guide: 609 reviews and 2,029 photos

The traveler versus the tourist

We feel so lucky to have visted the Azores during the off season. While the cities are still congested the countryside was virtually empty and many times we were the only car on the road.

While these islands are quite small, you could spend days exploring . . . full of culture and history we found the locals to be quite helpful. Of course being from the US, we weren't quite prepared for the price of fuel. Even with a tiny rental car, it took $30-40 to purchase 1/2 of tank of gas.

Where this photo was taken, Island of Terceira, we followed signage to this area -- over a fence, past cows and hiked in. No one for miles.

Our Itinery from Abreu Tours

Day 1
Boston, MA / Sao Miguel

Day 2
Sao Miguel / Faial Island
Morning arrival in Ponta Delgada, with a short connecting flight to Horta. Time to explore this picturesque harbor town with its panoramic views of nearby Pico. The city is often visited by private sailboats making transatlantic voyages, and the pier has become an open 'art gallery' where each crew leaves a visual trace of its stay.

Day 3
Santa Cruz das Flores
Relax and take life in the slow lane. Explore this thinly populated and rugged wild landscape, possibly the most majestic in the Azores. Visit the villages of Santa Cruz and Lajes in the south where deep valleys are punctuated with volcanic crater lakes and caves and dramatic peaks.

Day 4
Ilha das Flores / Horta
After breakfast, drive to the airport for a quick flight to Horta where you will be met and transferred to your hotel, or pick-up your rental car. Rest of day at leisure with time to explore this picturesque harbor town with it's panoramic views of nearby Pico. The city is often visited by private sailboats making transatlantic voyages, and the pier has become an open 'art gallery' where each crew leaves a visual trace of its stay.

Day 5
Horta
Stopping at a belvedere "miradouro" with a beautiful view of Horta. Continuing up into the hills takes you to the central "caldeira" of the island. Visit "Capelinhos", the haunting site of the 1957/58 volcanic eruption that occurred offshore. Return to Horta via Varadouro, a local spa with natural pools.

Day 6
Horta / Ilha do Pico
Start your visit of this island at Cachorro Arches, an impressive array of marine caves. Pass through the "area of mysteries" with evidence of ancient volcanic eruptions to the village of St. Roque. Cross through the interior of the island to visit Lajes (lunch) and visit the old whale-hunting facilities. Return to Madalena along the southern part of the island and return by ferry to Horta.

Day 7
Horta / Terceira Island, Azores Islands
Drive to the airport for a quick flight to Terceira, the third island to be discovered in the group, hence its name. UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.

Day 8
Terceira Island, Azores Islands
Visit the interior of the island and "Algar do Carvao" and the "Christmas Cave", then head north to the coastal village of Biscoitos with its wine museum and natural pools. Return to Angra via S. Sebastio and Praia da Vitoria.

Day 9
Terceira Island, Azores Islands / Santa Maria
Drive to the airport for your flight to Santa Maria.

Day 10
Santa Maria da Feira
Drive through the delightful countryside dotted with white houses, many with tall cylindrical chimneys, reminiscent of architectural styles of early settlers from southern Portugal. The island has pretty beaches and some of the oldest buildings in the Azores, dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.

Day 11
Santa Maria / Sao Miguel
Arrival in Ponta Delgada airport where you pick up your rental car to your hotel in the bustling capital city of the Azores. Rest of the day to relax and explore this city on your own.

Day 12
Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands
The locally hosted option includes a half-day tour including Ribeira Grande and its cultural center and Church. Then continue to Lagoa do Fogo ("Fire Lake"). Formed by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century, today it is a majestically beautiful lake. Return via Lagoa. Spend the rest of the day strolling through the tourist heart of S?o Miguel

Day 13
Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands
Depart on your half-day tour to a pineapple plantaion and the Sete Cidades region, a beautiful area boasting twin lakes, one green, one blue. This eastern side of Sao Miguel reminds many visitors of alpine settings, the silence punctuated by ringing cowbells on cattle grazing the hillsides.

Day 14
Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands
Your final day is at leisure. Spend your time at a local caf? and enjoy people-watching, stroll around or shop in the historic center of Ponta Delgada.

Day 15
Sao Miguel / Boston, MA

http://www.abreu-tours.com/programacao.aspx?cat=AZ&prog=134

  • Last visit to Região Autónoma dos Açores: Feb 2005
  • Intro Written Jan 21, 2006
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  • Avieira67's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2006 at 2:57 PM

    Dear friends, When are you leaving to Botwana? I am leaving to northern Italy and Slovenia on february 24. Also I am learning some Chinese to my travel to China on April. My best regards, António

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