- Transfers: transfers to and from airports and activities
- Ferry: ferry from Faial to São Jorge, ferry from São Jorge to Pico Island and ferry from Pico to Faial
- Accommodation: 4 nights in Hotel do Canal, 3 nights in Hotel São Jorge Garden, 3 nights in Hotel Caravelas
- Meals: 10 breakfasts, 4 lunches
- The following activities are included in the holiday: day tour of Faial Island, day tour of São Jorge, Caldeira do Santo Cristo hike, day tour of Pico Island with wine tasting (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
A note on flights: whilst flights to and from The Azores are not included in the holiday price, our team will happily provide a quote and arrange them for you. Simply ask one of our Travel Experts for details of the available options for you.
Situated in the centre of the Azores archipelago, the islands of Faial, São Jorge, and Pico make a triangle rich in natural beauty and local culture. This ten-night holiday gives you a full introduction to the region, with a few nights in each location and visits to the prime attractions.
On a tour of Faial, you will see the mighty volcanic crater of Caldeira which rises above the island. There will be a trip to the sea-facing Capelinhos volcano and the iconic Ponta dos Capelinhos lighthouse which stands below. While exploring Sao Jorge, you can look forward to the greenery of Sete Fontes Forest Park and the picture-perfect viewpoints of Fajã dos Cubres and Fajã do Ouvidor, as well as a series of welcoming local villages with handicrafts and traditional cooking.
Pico Island is famous for its wine production, and no trip would be complete without getting a taste – literally and figuratively! You will be shown the Criação Velha vineyards, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and also spend time with a producer of Verdelho do Pico wine, with the chance to try a sample.
The natural environment of the Azores makes it perfect for outdoor activities, so we have included a scenic hike to Caldeira do Santo Cristo. You can also add additional Faial-based hikes to your itinerary – these include a walk around the Caldeira crater and a journey along the Levada aqueduct route. Please see the ‘Personalise’ section for more information.
You can also book to go whale and dolphin watching or swimming with dolphins – both must-try activities in this part of the world, which is famed for its marine mammal life. Our optional activity selection also features thrilling canyoning and sea kayaking trips – more information can be found in the ‘Personalise’ section.
You will travel between the islands by ferry, taking in ocean vistas as you go. Throughout the trip, your accommodation will be in hotels based on or close to the coast, adding an Atlantic touch to your stay.
Image credits: Futurismo Azores Adventure
Arrival and Welcome
On arrival, you will be collected by our representative and transferred to Hotel do Canal, which faces the Atlantic waters. You can talk over your itinerary for the holiday and pick up recommendations for local attractions to visit during your spare time. Why not head to one of the nearby restaurants for a pleasant seaside dinner?Included Meals: None
Day Tour of Faial
After your first Azorean breakfast, you will be treated to a day tour of Faial by minibus or van (depending on the group size). Your guide will take you to the volcanic Caldeira, an immense crater from which you can look out to the ocean and admire the neighbouring Pico Island.
A trip will also be made to the volcano of Capelinhos on the tip of the Capelo peninsula, as well as to the famous Ponta dos Capelinhos lighthouse and the volcano information centre that sits at its feet. Going to the top of the lighthouse, you will be able to better appreciate a new section of Faial Island, its dark, rocky terrain formed in 1957 during an eruption. Lunch is included today.
Returning to your hotel, you can freshen up before heading out for dinner.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
To Sao Jorge Island
Having had breakfast, you will be transferred to the harbour for a ferry ride to São Jorge via Pico Island (ferry departs at around 9 am - time is subject to change). Have your cameras at the ready for snapshots of the Atlantic as you make your way across. The journey will take around two hours in total.
After being taken to your hotel and checking in, you can get straight to island activities. Abseil down waterfalls and slide along streams during a session of canyoning or you can also kayak over the sea, travelling to attractions in the area. All these optional activities can be booked with us in advance – please see the ‘Personalise’ section for more information.
You will either stay at Hotel São Jorge Garden or can upgrade to an apartment at Cantinho das Buganvilias. Please see the ‘Accommodation’ section and speak to our Travel Experts to find out more.Included Meals: Breakfast
Day Tour of São Jorge
Breakfast leads into a day tour of São Jorge (either by van or minibus - depending on the group size), featuring several of its most prominent sites. Marvel at the handicraft work of Ribeira do Nabo before continuing to the welcoming villages of Urzelina and Manadas. A stop will be made at the eighteenth-century Santa Barbara Church before breaking for lunch in a Calheta village restaurant.
You will then spend the afternoon being shown the pretty parish of Ribeira Seca and the coffee plantation of Fajã dos Vimes. This comprehensive tour also includes trips to the viewpoints of Fajã dos Cubres and Fajã do Ouvidor, not to mention the Sete Fontes Forest Park with its splendid natural sights.
You can finish off the day by visiting a local restaurant or trying your hotel’s cuisine.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Caldeira Do Santo Cristo Walking Options
Today you'll have two options available for you as you explore Caldeira do Santo Cristo.
This area is stunning and offers spectacular coastal views and exotic flora and fauna.
The first option is a truly rewarding 10km walk. After a transfer of around 45 minutes you will begin you walk at a height of 700m on the Serra do Topo hillside. The route is initially steep as you descend (so this is ideal is best suited to regular walkers as walking poles and sturdy boots are recommended) but the views are well worth it and the gradient does become more gentle. When you reach the Caldeira do Santo Cristo you can take a dip in the lagoon and enjoy a picnic lunch as you will have passed the 6km mark. The lagoon is formed by a natural sea wall of volcanic rock. From here is it a further 4km to Fajã dos Cubres, where the walk ends. Fajã translates as ‘strip of land’ and you will see that this location is aptly named as it is a small strip of flat land with the peaks on one side and the sea on the other.
Option two is a relaxed walk from Fajã dos Cubres to Caldeira do Santo Cristo which is much flatter (100m in elevation approximately) and covers a total of 8km (4km each way). Lunch and swimming at Caldeira are both included.
Please let our Travel Experts know your preferred option at the time of booking. Minimum group size for both walking options is 2 people.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
To Pico Island
After breakfast, you will be taken to the harbour for the ferry to Pico Island, once again being treated to beautiful views of the water. The ferry ride will take one hour and twenty minutes in total, following which you will be transferred to your hotel (approximately 30 minutes).
Please note that depending on the availability and travel day the ferry will either depart in the afternoon or in the evening.Included Meals: Breakfast
Day Tour of Pico Island, Vineyards and Wine Tasting
Breakfast will be followed by a tour of Pico Island (either by van or minibus - depending on the group size), starting with the highly regarded vineyards of Criação Velha, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. From here, your guide will take you to the magnificent Gruta das Torres lava cave, born from volcanic activity and naturally shaped from cooled magma. Returning to vineyard culture, you will then spend time at a local wine producer of ‘Verdelho do Pico’, learning about the craft and sampling the finished product.
After lunch in a nearby restaurant, your tour will take you around more spectacular lava-formed structures and let you experience more of Pico's natural life. There will also be time to see the island’s smaller villages and historic fishing ports.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
With breakfast done, you can spend a full day in the Azores trying out more exciting optional activities. The archipelago is internationally famed as a site for whales and dolphins, and no visit to this part of the world is complete without a trip to spot them in the wild. Try a stunning whale and dolphin watching tour and feel the thrill of seeing these majestic animals in their natural habitat. Even better, you can book to swim with dolphins and get a closer experience. If you prefer dry land or have been fully taken by the hiking bug, we have options to go trekking the Caminhos de Santa Luzia or to climb up Pico Mountain. Please see the ‘Personalise’ section for more information.Included Meals: Breakfast
Ferry to Faial and Free Afternoon
Following breakfast, it’s time to head out on the beautiful waters again for your ferry ride back to Faial. The crossing takes approximately 30 minutes and is a brilliant vantage point to admire the islands from. Once you arrive at the island, you will be transferred to your hotel.
After checking in, you’ll have a free afternoon to spend as you please. See our ‘Personalise’ tab for more information or talk to one of our Travel Experts to discuss the best ways to fill your time.Included Meals: Breakfast
With breakfast finished, you will have the day free. You might like to explore more of Horta or to simply unwind in the hotel Jacuzzi. Better still, you can continue your adventures on Faial by booking an optional half-day or a full day hike on one of the island’s scenic routes. You can return to the Caldeira and walk around its rim or follow the old Levada aqueduct system ringed by greenery. Please see the ‘Personalise’ section for more information.Included Meals: Breakfast
After a last Azorean breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your journey home.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Personalise this tour
Half-day dolphin swimming (day 8)
Swimming with animals as intelligent and elegant as dolphins is simply magical. Wave goodbye to the television screen, watching first-hand how they glide underwater and hearing for yourself how they communicate.Read more
On this RIB boat trip (please note that restrictions may apply for pregnant women and people with lower back problems), you will be given a full safety briefing and learn how to use snorkelling equipment. You will also learn about the dolphins and how to swim responsibly with them in a natural environment. Your guides will then take you to a prime dolphin-swimming location. With luck, a dolphin group will be located, and you can get into the water to join these incredible creatures! Everyone will head into the water two at a time, and this will be done on three occasions during the trip.
Please bring swimwear, a towel, a hat and sun cream, and water.
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approximately)
Minimum age: 18 years
Group size: Maximum 16 people per boat
Half-day Caldeira hike (day 9 or 10)
Sat in the middle of Faial Island is the Caldeira: a great volcanic crater 2000 metres in diameter, with a depth of 400 metres. This easy guided hike takes you around the crater rim, with views of both the inside and outside of this incredible natural feature.Read more about this activity
Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes (approximately)
Distance: 7 kilometres (around 4.3 miles)
Full-day Pico mountain climb (day 8)
For a real challenge with rewarding views, you can book to make your way up Pico Mountain on this guided full-day excursion. Beginning at Casa da Montanha, the ‘Mountain House’ at an altitude of 1200 metres, you will follow your guide to the summit, where a lunch break will be had. Should weather allow, you will be treated to a spectacular view of the surrounding four islands and the gleaming Atlantic Ocean – a fitting and fulfilling way to enjoy the natural beauty of the Azores.Read more about this activity
As this trail is steep and rocky throughout, we do not recommend it for people with knee or ankle problems.
A packed lunch is included.
Hike duration: 6 hours, 30 minutes (approximately)
Hike distance: 10 kilometres (around 6.2 miles)
Half-day levada hike (day 9 or 10)
The Levada aqueduct system on Faial Island stretches to about ten kilometres, forming a hiking trail rich with natural sights. It is a much-praised work of engineering, part of which was damaged in an earthquake of 1998. You will walk up to and return from this area on an easy eight-kilometre guided route, taking in the Azorean fauna and flora that can be spotted along the way.Read more about this activity
Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes (approximately)
Distance: 8 kilometres (around 5 miles)
Minimum number: 3 people
Half-day canyoning (day 3)
São Jorge Island offers a variety of waterfalls and streams which are perfect for exploring on a canyoning trip. Following a thorough safety briefing and training, you will be guided on a natural course of jumps and slides, abseiling like adventurers and making your way through the water by either walking or swimming – all with the help of an experienced guide team.Read more about this activity
You will be provided with helmets, wetsuits, and canyoning equipment. Be sure to wear a bathing suit or swimming shorts as well as waterproof boots. Carrying a towel and a change of clothes and footwear for after the activity is essential.
Duration: 4 hours (approximately)
Minimum age: 18 years
Maximum group size: 6 people
Image Credit: Azorean Active Blueberry
Half-day sea kayaking (day 3)
Kayaking the waters around the Azores is a fantastic way to appreciate the coastal beauty of the islands and enjoy the Atlantic environment.Read more about this activity
Travel the seven-kilometre route from Calheta to Fajã dos Vimes and you will be stunned by the grandeur of the cliffs that line the shore. Reaching your destination, you will have a chance to look around the area’s famous coffee plantations and taste what they grow, as well as to see local handicrafts.
You will use sit-on-top two-person kayaks and will receive full safety instructions and training before setting off with your guides. In addition to the kayaks, you will be provided with paddles and life vests. Be sure to wear a bathing suit or swimming shorts. Carrying a towel and a change of clothes and footwear for after the activity is essential. We also recommend keeping sunscreen and a cap with you.
Duration: 2 to 3 hours (approximately)
Minimum age: 18 years
Maximum group size: 6 people
Availability: Spring and summer (weather dependent)
Half-day whale and dolphin watching (day 8)
Observing cetaceans in their natural habitat is an awe-inspiring experience, and the Azores is internationally recognised as one of the best places to do so. On this three-hour excursion, you could spot members of over 25 different whale and dolphin species, depending on luck and the time of year. Turtles and aquatic birds might also be spotted along the way, making it a superb marine wildlife opportunity.Read more about this activity
Prior to boarding the RIB boat (please note that restrictions may apply for pregnant women and people with lower back problems), you will be given a full safety briefing by your guiding team of biologists, as well as information on the different whales and dolphins and rules for respectful observation. Life vests will be provided, and we recommend wearing comfy, waterproof clothes supplemented by warm layers and waterproof jackets. It is also well worth carrying a hat, sun cream, and water.
Duration: 3 hours (approximately)
Minimum age: 18 years
Group size: Maximum 16 people per boat
Full-day Caminhos de Santa Luzia hike (day 8)
This full-day guided excursion is definitely one for lovers of history and culture – and also for lovers of wine! The Santa Luzia hiking route takes you over old paths once used by people to transport goods around Pico Island. In some places, marks left by horse carts from long ago can still be seen, lasting as a connection to the past.Read more about this activity
The route will also take you through a couple of the island’s famous vineyards – these being of such cultural importance that UNESCO has listed them as a World Heritage Site. The day will be rounded off with a visit to a local wine producer, as well as to the Wine Museum – perfect for any oenophiles.
A packed lunch is included.
Hike duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes (approximately)
Hike distance: 10.5 kilometres (around 6.5 miles)
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Please note that festivities of the Holy Christ of Miracles (Santo Cristo dos Milagres) are taking place from the 15th May until the 21st of May 2020, so some places will be a bit busier than normal.
The departure days for this trip are Mondays from the 1st of April until mid-May and from mid-September onwards, as well as Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays from mid-May until mid-September.
|Departure dates between|
Wed 01 Apr 2020Enquire
Mon 20 Apr 2020
Tue 21 Apr 2020Enquire
Wed 30 Sep 2020
Thu 01 Oct 2020Enquire
Wed 14 Oct 2020
Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices
To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-reservation by paying only £50pp. The provisional departure dates, prices and itineraries remain subject to change. We will contact you when the final dates, prices and itineraries are confirmed and you will have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. Should you wish to proceed then a further deposit (typically of £250pp) will be payable at this stage. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your initial £50pp payment. Our Travel Experts will happily provide you with full terms and a complete quotation.
|Departure dates between|
Thu 01 Apr 2021Enquire
Mon 19 Apr 2021
Tue 20 Apr 2021Enquire
Thu 30 Sep 2021
Fri 01 Oct 2021Enquire
Wed 13 Oct 2021
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Approximately 2 - 21 people
We always try to provide an approximation of the group size you can expect to be with for the duration of each of our holidays. It may be that you are joined by others for parts of your holiday (such as transfers and particular activities) but the above number reflects those you can normally expect to be with from beginning to end. If group size is something which is particularly important to you, please speak to our Travel Experts and they can suggest the best holidays for you.
Tailor-made holiday group sizes will vary for all activities as will the group size for any additional activities you book.
Minimum and maximum age
If a specific minimum age applies to this holiday, it can be found in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page.
Unless otherwise stated in the in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page, the minimum age for participation in an Artisan holiday is typically 8 years old (there may be younger children in some destinations who have booked with other companies). If an adult-only environment is important to you, then please contact our Travel Experts and they will advise on the best dates and destinations for you. If you are looking for a holiday designed specifically for families then please see our sister company www.activitiesabroad.com
The order of activities is always subject to change and guests will be provided with their final itinerary upon arrival. The trip dossier is standard to the holiday and does not account for any amends, additions or personalisation to an itinerary. Clients should refer to their booking documents for this information.
Medical History and Advice
We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.
In order to give us the best possible chance to do this we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.
In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.
Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.
Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.
It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.
If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.
The UK Foreign Office Advice
Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice
We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.
The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/
The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html
If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.
If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.
If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.
If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.
Booking activities locally
Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).
When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern.
In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time. You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.
Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.
Brexit information for British Passport holders
We have no reason to believe that our holidays will be impacted after Brexit and so it is business as usual for us. The European Commission has stated that no aircraft will be grounded, even if no deal is reached between the EU and the UK.
However, the Foreign Office are advising people take the following steps so please review this information and take any necessary action.
The relevant points include:
- check your passport
- get travel insurance which covers your healthcare
If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change. If your adult passport was issued over 9 years ago, you may be affected. You should use this tool to check your passport is still valid for your trip before booking travel.
Adult and child passports should have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on your date of travel. If you renewed your passport early, extra months would have been added to your new passport. Any extra months on an adult passport will not count towards the validity requirement, so some passport holders will need to have more than 6 months remaining in order to travel.
You will also need to double check your travel insurance as after Brexit there is no guarantee your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be accepted.
Flight schedule changes and connecting transportation
On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.
Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.
Booking your own flights - cancellation disclaimer
If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.
If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.
Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.
Terms and Conditions
Our full booking terms and conditions can be found on our website: https://www.artisantravel.co.uk/booking-conditions
Additional Cancellation Terms and Conditions
Please note that the following cancellation terms supersede those mentioned in section 7 of our general booking terms and conditions.
- More than 63 days prior to departure - Loss of deposit (including the full cost of flights or other services where paid at the time of booking)
- 63 to 26 days prior to departure - 60%
- 25 or less days - 100%
The guided tours of the islands were all brilliant because the guides were so good and really made it come to life but for sheer grandeur and emotion, the whale watching was supreme. We really appreciated that the tours were hosted by small specialists and marine biologists - it felt respectful of the islands. Kayaking with Dina was good too as was a very wet hike with her. The Azores is a marvellous holiday destination and feels very special. Your guides made this accessible and enjoyable - they have clearly been well chosen and we appreciated that.