- Transfers: all transfers included
- Accommodation: 7 nights in Hotel São Miguel Park with the option to upgrade to the Marina Atlantico or the Grand Hotel. All the hotels are located in the coastal town of Ponta Delgada
- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 3 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 and half-day minibus tour of Lagoa do Fogo (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. You will bathe in a naturally heated spring at the Terra Nostra Botanical Garden. You will also be able to taste a ‘Cozido das Furnas’ stew – an Azorean piece of geothermal gastronomy that 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 or, if you have upgraded, in the Marina Atlântico or the Azor Hotel. All the hotels are located in the coastal town of Ponta Delgada.
*Snorkelling equipment is not provided, so we recommend bringing your own.
Image credits: Futurismo Azores Adventures
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 12th until the 19th of May 2023, so some places will be a bit busier than normal.
Please note: departures take place every Saturday between the dates listed below.
Next season’s dates and prices
|Departure dates between|
Sat 30 Mar 2024
Sat 26 Oct 2024
|Adults £ 1,095 To £ 1,225|
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 2; maximum 21 people.
Please note: if you choose to travel by catamaran during the whale watching, the maximum group size is 76 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 listed in this agenda is provided for guidance only, your final and detailed itinerary will be provided either with your final travel documents (which are uploaded into your online account around a week prior to departure) or upon arrival.
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
For the most up to date information on how the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your holiday please click here to view our Brexit information for British Passport holders.
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 & Payment 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 84 days prior to departure - Loss of deposit (including the full cost of flights or other services where paid at the time of booking)
- 83 to 43 days prior to departure - 50%
- 42 to 31 days prior to departure – 75%
- 30 or less days - 100%
The Azores - additional trip dossier information
You will be spending a lot of time in and on the water. To make your holiday more comfortable we recommend the following
- Take waterproof shoes or 'aqua' shoes
- We suggest you take seasickness tablets with you, in case a member of your family becomes seasick (especially on the zodiacs)
- The water in some of the natural pools is rich in iron and may discolour your swimwear so we do not recommend wearing newly purchased swimwear!
Arrival and Welcome
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.Included Meals: None
Sete Cidades Adventure Tour
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.
On the way, you will stop at various viewpoints to enjoy this beautiful landscape. One of the stops will be at the Vista do Rei, probably the most famous viewpoint of Sao Miguel Island from where you can enjoy the views of the two lakes and the surrounding landscape.
When you reach the lakes, you can cycle over a largely flat ten-kilometre trail, of which ten minutes will be spent moving uphill or you can kayak over the sparkling lake.
A picnic lunch is included today.
Back at the hotel, you can relax before heading out and sampling the local cuisine (not included).Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Thematic Tour of Furnas
Learn about the volcanic heritage of the Azores with today’s thematic tour to Furnas. After breakfast, your first stop of the day will be a highlight for tea-lovers. You will be taken to the 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.
You will then head to the Caldeiras das Furnas, where you will see the famous fumaroles and mineral springs. Make sure you try the water from each spring. You might notice the variety in tastes because of the different minerals present.
At lunch, you will get to try ‘Cozido das Furnas’, the classic Portuguese ‘cozido’ stew of slow-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. (Please take old swimming costumes as the mineral water will stain them a light brown colour).Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Whale Watching and Vila Franca Do Campo or Oficina Museu and Pineapple Farm Visit
Breakfast is followed by a morning whale-watching tour. You will usually enjoy the whale watching from a catamaran, however, some trips will be in a RIB boat. If you have a preference, please inform us in advance (restrictions may apply for pregnant women and people with lower back problems).
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 (except on the catamaran). Depending on luck, there will be a range of cetaceans that you might see. July and August are good months for spotting beaked and Atlantic 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. Snorkelling equipment is not provided, so we recommend bringing your own if you wish to 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.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Swimming with Dolphins and Free Afternoon
Once you have had breakfast, it will be time for a true bucket list experience: swimming with dolphins. A RIB 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 swim responsibly. Please note that you will need to bring your own snorkels and masks.
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.
Please note that restrictions may apply for pregnant women and people with lower back problems.Included Meals: Breakfast
Exploring Lagoa do Fogo
Today, you will enjoy amazing views of Lagoa do Fogo, the shimmering ‘Lake of Fire.’ Lagoa do Fogo is part of a marvellous natural reserve that stuns all with its beauty and the lake is one of the most beautiful lakes on the island.
Travelling via minibus will enable you to visit a viewpoint high above the vivid blue waters and then descend to the lake itself, stopping to bathe in a thermal pool en route. You can also visit the Salto do Cabrito waterfall – although it should be noted this can only be done on foot.Included Meals: Breakfast
Following breakfast, you have a free day to see more of São Miguel, also known as “The Green Island”.
You could remain in the area and explore Ponta Delgada on foot or book an excursion locally.Included Meals: Breakfast
After a final breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to João Paulo II Airport to catch your direct flight home.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Everything arranged by Artisan was second to none. Thomas at Futurismo was outstanding, very professional and friendly as well as a fount of all knowledge when it comes to all things Azores. To see four different species of dolphins was awesome but the icing on the cake for us was witnessing the magnificent Sperm Whales. This is a memory that will never be forgotten. A very special thank you for the wine and chocolates as a honeymoon gift from you and the hotel. It was a wonderful touch.
We have just returned from a week on Sao Miguel in the Azores. We were expecting something special, which is why we chose this holiday. However, the week wildly exceeded our expectations. The island is beautiful and amazing, as are the people. We loved everything! Of course, dolphin and whale watching were fantastic, but every day was special in its own way. Everything was superbly organised. Pick ups all happened on time, and while the days were full, we never felt rushed. The staff were so friendly, patient and knowledgeable. We are certain to go back there....
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 like the Sao Miguel park hotel.
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 knowledgeable and we learnt a great deal about the wildlife, geology, geography, culture and modern life of the Azores.
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.
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.