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Price from £1,450pp
VISITING: The Azores BROCHURE CODE: 5512
All prices include: flights, transfers, accommodation, guided activities and meals; all as listed.
Experience the best of the Azores with this seven-night holiday on São Miguel Island. Swim with dolphins in their natural habitat and search for whales on a boat tour. Kayak over the beautiful Sete Cidades lake and cycle on its banks. Sample a ‘Cozido das Furnas’ stew, cooked using steam from the earth and visit the outstanding Terra Nostra Botanical Garden. You will also bathe in hot springs, and walk through part of the island’s longest lava tunnel.

What's included?

  • Flights: direct return flights from London to João Paulo II Airport, Ponta Delgada (flight routes subject to change)
  • Transfers: all transfers included
  • Accommodation: 7 nights in Hotel São Miguel Park
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches
  • The following activities are included in the holiday: Sete Cidades Adventure Tour, whale watching, Vila Franca do Campo visit*, thematic tour of Furnas, swimming with dolphins, jeep tour to Fogo, and Nordeste tour (the order of activities is subject to change)
  • Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
  • Equipment, training, and supervision for all activities with expert local guides

* If you are travelling outside 15th June to 15th September you will visit the Oficina Museu instead.


Ocean wildlife, volcanic culture, and outdoor activities: this seven-night Azores holiday to the island of São Miguel puts an exotic twist on your typical European getaway.

Marine animals inspire awe in just about everyone, and seeing them in their natural habitat is one experience that is sure to feature on your bucket list. Our itinerary allows you to tick it off three times – you will watch for whales from a tour boat, be taken to swim with dolphins in the Atlantic, and snorkel close to a colourful variety of fish and other underwater fauna when snorkelling at the islet of Vila Franca.

The rich volcanic heritage of the Azores is something you will be able to enjoy first-hand. Bathe in a naturally-heated spring at the Terra Nostra Botanical Garden and take a dip in Ferraria, a hot spring in the ocean. You will also be able to taste a ‘Cozido das Furnas’ stew – an Azorean piece of geothermal gastronomy which puts a twist on the traditional Portuguese ‘cozido’ by cooking it with natural steam.

The extraordinary island environments are perfect settings for activities. You will kayak on the crater lakes of the Sete Cidades Lagoon and cycle in the surrounding area. Slower-paced activities include walking through part of Sao Miguel’s longest lava tunnel and relaxing in the warm Caldeira Velha waterfall.

You will stay in the modern São Miguel Park Hotel in the coastal town of Ponta Delgada.


Image credits: Futurismo Azores Adventures
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Key facts

Duration:7 nights
Pace:Active
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  • Reaching João Paulo II Airport, you will be collected and transferred to your hotel. Check in, unpack and relax – your Azorean adventure is about to begin. 

  • A filling breakfast will have you all set for the Sete Cidades Adventure Tour. This day-long excursion takes you to ‘Lagoa das Sete Cidades’ on the west side of São Miguel Island. The ‘Lagoon of Seven Cities’ consists of two blueish-green crater lakes ringed by trees. Here, you will spend an hour cycling over a largely flat ten-kilometre trail, of which ten minutes will be spent moving uphill. You will also have a chance to kayak over the sparkling lake, and there will be a picnic lunch to keep you going.

    In the afternoon, you will be driven along the island’s coast with a stop at Ferraria, an ocean-based hot spring. When the tide is low, it will be possible to have a dip in its relaxing waters.

    Back at the hotel, you can relax before heading out and sampling the local cuisine (not included).

  • Breakfast is followed by a morning whale-watching tour in a zodiac. It is no understatement to say that the Azores are one of the best places in the world for this activity – so much so that everyone from the National Geographic to the BBC has paid visits.

    You will receive an in-depth briefing on safety measures and responsible observation prior to heading out on the tour; life vests and waterproofs will be provided. Depending on luck, there will be a range of cetaceans that you might see. July and August are good months for spotting beaked, Atlantic, and loggerhead whales, as well as striped dolphins. Sperm whales are also known to make an appearance at this time while bottlenose and common dolphins can be seen all year round.

    If you are travelling between 15th June to 15th September, lunch will be had in Vila Franca do Campo, a pleasant southern town. A refitted fishing boat will then transport you to the splendid islet of Vila Franca, which is a circle of green around a crater lagoon that is open to the sea. Receiving snorkelling equipment, you will go in to look at life under the water. Species found here include small red scorpionfish, rainbow wrasses, and Guinea-fowl puffers. 

    If you are travelling outside 15th June to 15th September, lunch will be had in the Ponta Delgada Marina. You will then be driven to Capelas for a trip to Oficina Museu, where you will learn about Azores life in the mid-twentieth century, observing how island culture and lifestyles developed over time. There will also be the opportunity to watch local craftsmen making typical pieces of art. Rounding off your day is another cultural experience: a visit to some of São Miguel’s pineapple farms. The favourite fruit of the Azores takes two years to reach your plate – a delicious product that is well worth the wait.

  • Learn about the volcanic heritage of the Azores with today’s thematic tour to Furnas. After breakfast, there will be a transfer to Lake Furnas for a walk along its banks. You will then go to the town, which has a variety of hot springs – the water in each one supposedly having a different flavour.

    At lunch, you will get to try ‘Cozido das Furnas’, the classic Portuguese ‘cozido’ stew of slowly cooked meats and vegetables with an Azorean twist: preparation using natural steam from the ground.

    Following that, there will be a look around the exceptional Terra Nostra Garden. This visit will finish with the chance to get into the iron-rich waters of a geothermal pool, which has a soothing temperature between 35°C to 40°C.

    The final location of the day will be a highlight for tea-lovers. You will be taken Gorreana Tea Estates, one of Europe’s oldest remaining tea plantations. In addition to seeing the growing areas, you will have an opportunity to try some of the produce.

  • Once you have had breakfast, it will be time for a true bucket list experience: swimming with dolphins. A zodiac boat will take you out to locate a group of these highly intelligent marine mammals. Day 3 had you searching for them from a boat – now you should hopefully be able to get closer. Before entering the water, you will be given a presentation on how to use the provided snorkelling equipment and swim responsibly.

    We have left the afternoon free for you to spend as you please. You could remain in the harbour area and head for lunch in one of the coastal cafés, or transfer back to your accommodation and eat in a restaurant nearby or on-site. If you have been left in the mood for more swimming, make the most of the pools at your hotel. A session in the spa facilities will be a wonderful alternative, as will wandering around the streets of Ponta Delgada or Furnas, depending on where you are staying.

  • Today, you will be taken around different areas of São Miguel Island after breakfast. The first stop is Gruta do Carvão, a two-kilometre lava tunnel which is the longest of its kind on the island. There will be a guided walk through a 100-metre section of this fascinating place, followed by lunch in the town of Lagoa close by.

    During the afternoon, you will visit Lagoa do Fogo, the shimmering ‘Lake of Fire’. This is a part of a marvellous natural reserve that stuns all with its beauty. Next is a trip to the Caldeira Velha waterfall – bathe in its comforting, warm water. You will also look at the smoking fumaroles of Caldeiras.

  • Breakfast leads into a tour of the Nordeste (‘North-East’) part of São Miguel, which has long been renowned for its colourful flowers and magnificent landscape. Your first stop will be at the Salto do Cavalo’s peak: a lovely viewpoint which overlooks Furnas Valley.

    A trip to the Priolo Environmental Centre follows learn about its dedicated conservation work and protection of the endangered Azores bullfinch. Interactive exhibitions will immerse you in the natural life of this region. Afterwards you will enjoy a nice lunch in a local restaurant in Nordeste.  

    The village of Povoação is your destination for the afternoon. Have a try of ‘Fofas da Povoação’, which are gorgeous vanilla-cream pastries with a chocolate topping – local delicacies much like Continental éclairs.

     

  • After a final breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to João Paulo II Airport to catch your direct flight home.

Included in price

Hotel São Miguel Park

Nights: 1-7

This centrally located four-star hotel is a short distance from Ponta Delgada’s beautiful Botanical Gardens and just ten minutes from the airport. Its open and spacious rooms offer fine views and a summery feel. Tuck into delectable buffets of Azorean cuisine at the on-site restaurant and take an invigorating break at the hotel’s health club. 

Hotel facilities

  • Switch your swimming between the hotel’s indoor and outdoor pools

  • Book a therapeutic massage treatment, relax in the Jacuzzi, or freshen up in the spa.

  • Maintain your gains in the well-equipped Fitness Centre.

  • Sample cocktails from the hotel bar and fill up on Azorean cooking at the restaurant.

Room Type

Twin/Double Room: These have a twin or double bed. The bathroom has a shower, toilet, and hairdryer. The room also comes with cable television, internet access, and a telephone, as well as air-conditioning, a safe, and a minibar. 

Image credits: Futurismo Azores Adventures

We include more, no hidden costs

On each of our holidays you will see a clear outline of exactly what's included in the price of your holiday. We never use 'headline' or 'lead-in' prices like so many tour operators, as we prefer to include as much as we can, rather than see our clients incur considerable additional costs in our destinations.
Price guarantee

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 £150pp) 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.

Dates
Sat 06 Apr 2019
to Sat 13 Apr 2019
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Adults£ 1,560 Single Adult£ 1,920
Sat 13 Apr 2019
to Sat 20 Apr 2019
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Adults£ 1,585 Single Adult£ 1,955
Sat 20 Apr 2019
to Sat 27 Apr 2019
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Adults£ 1,485 Single Adult£ 1,855
Sat 27 Apr 2019
to Sat 04 May 2019
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Adults£ 1,585 Single Adult£ 2,045
Sat 04 May 2019
to Sat 11 May 2019
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Adults£ 1,585 Single Adult£ 2,045
Sat 11 May 2019
to Sat 18 May 2019
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Adults£ 1,640 Single Adult£ 2,115
Sat 18 May 2019
to Sat 25 May 2019
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Adults£ 1,505 Single Adult£ 1,890
Sat 25 May 2019
to Sat 01 Jun 2019
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Adults£ 1,820 Single Adult£ 2,295
Sat 01 Jun 2019
to Sat 08 Jun 2019
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Adults£ 1,640 Single Adult£ 2,115
Sat 08 Jun 2019
to Sat 15 Jun 2019
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Adults£ 1,640 Single Adult£ 2,115
Sat 15 Jun 2019
to Sat 22 Jun 2019
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Adults£ 1,640 Single Adult£ 2,115
Sat 22 Jun 2019
to Sat 29 Jun 2019
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Adults£ 1,640 Single Adult£ 2,115
Sat 29 Jun 2019
to Sat 06 Jul 2019
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Adults£ 1,785 Single Adult£ 2,255
Sat 06 Jul 2019
to Sat 13 Jul 2019
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Adults£ 1,820 Single Adult£ 2,290
Sat 13 Jul 2019
to Sat 20 Jul 2019
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Adults£ 1,785 Single Adult£ 2,255
Sat 20 Jul 2019
to Sat 27 Jul 2019
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Adults£ 1,855 Single Adult£ 2,325
Sat 27 Jul 2019
to Sat 03 Aug 2019
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Adults£ 1,920 Single Adult£ 2,390
Sat 03 Aug 2019
to Sat 10 Aug 2019
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Adults£ 1,930 Single Adult£ 2,400
Sat 10 Aug 2019
to Sat 17 Aug 2019
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Adults£ 1,855 Single Adult£ 2,325
Sat 17 Aug 2019
to Sat 24 Aug 2019
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Adults£ 1,820 Single Adult£ 2,290
Sat 24 Aug 2019
to Sat 31 Aug 2019
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Adults£ 1,850 Single Adult£ 2,320
Sat 31 Aug 2019
to Sat 07 Sep 2019
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Adults£ 1,850 Single Adult£ 2,310
Sat 07 Sep 2019
to Sat 14 Sep 2019
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Adults£ 1,820 Single Adult£ 2,290
Sat 14 Sep 2019
to Sat 21 Sep 2019
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Adults£ 1,765 Single Adult£ 2,235
Sat 21 Sep 2019
to Sat 28 Sep 2019
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Adults£ 1,610 Single Adult£ 2,070
Sat 28 Sep 2019
to Sat 05 Oct 2019
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Adults£ 1,585 Single Adult£ 1,995
Sat 05 Oct 2019
to Sat 12 Oct 2019
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Adults£ 1,485 Single Adult£ 1,815
Sat 12 Oct 2019
to Sat 19 Oct 2019
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Adults£ 1,450 Single Adult£ 1,790

Please note: Our holiday prices are based on the lowest available airline fares. These fares can sell out quickly and, as a result, prices may increase and supplements may be applicable. We recommend booking at the earliest opportunity in order to secure the best possible fares and flight times.

For our full booking terms and conditions please click here

Holiday group size (approximate)

Minimum 2 people

Holiday group size (approximate)

Minimum 2 people

Group sizes
Most of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate. Minimum numbers are detailed on each holiday page and are always approximate. Group sizes for tailor-made holidays will vary for each of the activities. For private departures, you may also be joined by other guests during the activities unless you have discussed specific private activities with us.

If your selected date has not yet reached minimum numbers, you will be informed at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date has not reached the required minimum numbers nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you and discuss the various options available to you. We will always do all we can to operate a holiday and in some cases, we may be able to operate the holiday by combining your itinerary with that of other guests for some activities (this may mean that the maximum group size is increased but this will be discussed in full with you).

If we are unable to operate the holiday, then you will be offered the chance to transfer to an alternative holiday or date (subject to availability). If the alternative is more expensive you will be asked to pay the difference, if it is cheaper then you will be reimbursed. You will also be offered the option to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies paid.

Minimum age

Unless otherwise stated in the 'Key Facts', 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

Single supplements

Please note that some of our holidays may incur a single supplement. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts who will provide you with a quotation. 

Medical history and advice

You must inform us at the time of booking if any of your party has a disability, medical or behavioural conditions which could affect their own participation in the holiday or indeed that of the other people on the holiday.

We cannot be held responsible for any incident or event arising from your failure to do so.

Reduced mobility
If you have a reduced level of mobility, then please contact our Travel Experts to discuss the suitability of this holiday in relation to your requirements.

Experience and fitness
Any activities included in your itinerary are all designed for beginners. Full instruction and tuition are provided for all activities and you do not need to have any previous experience. For example, you need never have set foot on a pair of skis of any kind before a cross-country ski tour. We have adults of all ages and fitness levels taking part in our holidays.

We do highlight certain itineraries where an increased level of fitness is required. If you have any questions at all with regards to fitness levels please get in touch and talk to one of our experts. You can find further details in our trip preparation section online. You must inform us at the time of booking if any of your party has a disability, medical or behavioural conditions which could affect their own participation in the holiday or indeed that of the other people on the holiday.

Guides and safety
It is essential when partaking in any activity that you listen very closely to, and abide by, the instructions provided. Nobody knows the environment better than our activity providers who work here almost every day.

Consequently, their knowledge and experience are unsurpassed. If there is anything that you are unsure of during a safety briefing or that you would like to clarify with the guides, please make this clear to them immediately before starting the activity.

There may be rare occasions when our guides consider local conditions unsuitable for a certain activity. Hence, your itinerary may be subject to change at short notice, but we will always endeavour to firstly find a replacement on the day and secondly, to provide the cancelled activity later in your stay whenever possible. Very occasionally it proves impossible to provide the activity in which case you will be refunded when you return home.

Our guides' word on activities is always final and your safety is their principal concern at all times, please respect their decisions. By following their instructions, your safety and enjoyment during each activity will be greatly enhanced.

You must inform us of any medical conditions that may affect your participation in an activity at the time of booking.

Booking activities locally
In almost all our destinations, you can book and pay for additional activities locally. Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss that occurs through any activities that are booked in your destination (see our terms and conditions for further details).

Please always ensure that your safety is your primary concern when arranging any such activity.

Car hire
If your trip includes car hire the named driver must have a credit card registered in their name which they can present when they collect their car along with their driving licence, as a deposit will be held on the credit card. Please see your trip dossier for full details.

Traveller Reviews

We had an amazing holiday! 18 August 2018 by Jade West & Edward Evans

We had an amazing holiday! We enjoyed all the activities and seeing the landscape. We particularly liked the tour guide Dina as she had so much knowledge, and would give us little bits of interesting information even during the bus/jeep journeys. We liked how the dolphin and whale tour guides were respectful of the animals by approaching slowly and leaving when there were too many boats. We also
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like the Sao Miguel park hotel.
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We enjoyed our Azores Experience very much 21 July 2018 by Stephen and Carol Wray

We enjoyed our Azores Experience very much. A week was long enough to do everything we wanted to. Our accommodation at Casa Hintze Ribeiro was very spacious and comfortable if a little noisy at night as it was situated in the heart of the town but this was great for eating out in the evening. We loved exploring the stunning scenery of the interior of Sao Miguel island. Our guides were very
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knowledgeable and we learnt a great deal about the wildlife, geology, geography, culture and modern life of the Azores.
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Seeing and swimming with dolphins and whale watching was amazing. 07 July 2018 by The Allen Family

Seeing and swimming with dolphins and whale watching was amazing. There are lots of them out there! Also really enjoyed the kayak and crater lake activity day.

Loved the variety of different things we did 02 September 2017 by The Roberts Family

Swimming with dolphins was just incredible. We were very lucky and swam with dolphins on three occasions in the two hours we were out. On one occasion, we were swimming with hundreds of dolphins; it was just incredible.



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