- Flights: return flights from São Miguel to Pico
- Transfers: all transfers included
- Accommodation: 4 nights in Hotel São Miguel Park and 3 nights in Hotel Caravelas
- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches
- The following activities are included in the holiday: swimming with wild dolphins, tour of Pico, two whale and dolphin watching activities, thematic tour (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Equipment, training, and supervision for all activities with expert local guides
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.
The Azorean Islands are relatively unheard of and because of this, their rugged landscape and thriving wildlife feel undiscovered by the masses. In fact, on arrival, you’ll feel like you’re one of the first to explore this volcanic wonderland.
During our many visits to the Azores, we’ve always been struck by the exceptional marine life and the outstanding volcanic terrain found here. That’s why we’ve carefully crafted this trip so that you experience the highlights of both land and sea as you travel across two of the largest islands.
The surrounding waters not only add to the postcard-worthy backdrops, but they are also home to a variety of marine life. You will enjoy two whale watching tours where you’ll be on the lookout for many different cetacean species, but your encounter doesn’t stop there. You’ll also have a real bucket-list experience when you get the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins in their natural habitat.
On land, it’s hard not to notice the volcanic presence on both of the islands you’ll visit. The island of Pico is named after the huge stratovolcano here, which is the highest mountain in Portugal. During a tour of Pico’s remarkable UNESCO status vineyards, you’ll have a great view of this impressive volcanic formation.
Back on São Miguel, you’ll stay in Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores. You can spend your free time seeing the city sights including historical monuments and botanical gardens. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a guided tour, view the ‘Personalise’ tab for all the ways you can explore with an expert local guide.
Credit: Futurismo Azores Adventure & Maurício de Abreu/Turismo dos Açores
Arrival and Welcome
You will arrive at João Paulo II Airport from where you will be transferred to your hotel just a short drive away (approximately 10 – 15 minutes).Included Meals: None
Swim with Wild Dolphins
After breakfast, you’ll head out on a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) in search of a true bucket list experience, swimming with wild dolphins. Before you board the boat, a presentation will show you how to use the snorkelling equipment provided and the best way to respect the animals while you swim with them.
These are highly intelligent creatures and a chance to swim with them in their natural habitat is an indescribable experience. As you enter the water, make use of the dolphin’s natural curiosity and let them approach you.
If you would prefer not to swim, you can remain on the RIB and watch the dolphins from there.
During the tour, each passenger is required to wear a life vest. Restrictions may apply for pregnant women and people with lower back problems.
This trip will take place in either the morning or afternoon, depending on sea and weather conditions. During your free time, you could choose another activity to fill your day. Click the ‘Personalise’ tab to find an excursion to suit you.Included Meals: Breakfast
Fly to Pico
Today you will fly to Pico. Times will be dependent on season and availability so you will either have a free morning or free afternoon to spend as you please. If the flight is direct, it will take approximately one hour. Be sure to grab a window seat and keep an eye out for other islands below.
Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. You could relax here for the evening or go out to explore and try some of the delicious local cuisine.Included Meals: Breakfast
Tour of Pico
After breakfast, you will be picked up from the hotel for your grand tour of Pico. You’ll start at the vineyards, Vinhas da Criação Velha which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll walk around the trails with Mount Pico standing tall in the background and then visit a typical winery which produces the local wine, ‘Verdelho do Pico’. Of course, you will get to sample some of the produce.
The tour continues to show off the best of the island and lunch is also included at a lovely local restaurant. As well as fishing ports and small villages, one of the tour highlights is a visit to Gruta das Torres, the largest lava tube in Portugal. You’ll have the chance to admire this impressive geological formation up close during a tour of its interior.
Your day will end at the Wine Museum of Pico Island to help you further understand the importance of the production to the Island’s economy.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Whale and Dolphin Watching and Thematic Tour
After breakfast, you will be picked up from the hotel and transferred around 40 minutes to Lajes do Pico, an old whaling village. From there, you will board a RIB for a whale and dolphin watching (restrictions may apply for pregnant women and people with lower back problems). There are many different species found throughout the year here including sperm, fin, and blue whale as well as common, bottlenose and striped dolphins among many others.
You will also spend time at the whalers’ museum to learn about how the Azores went from a pro-whaling nation to an area of conservation. As well as this, you’ll visit the old whaling station which is now a museum and then you will travel a short journey to a lookout point. Here, you’ll use binoculars to try and spot whales swimming in the waters. Lunch at a local restaurant is also included.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Fly to São Miguel
Today you will fly back to São Miguel. Times will depend on availability and season but you will either enjoy breakfast at the hotel before leaving or it will be boxed up to take with you.
The flight can be either in the morning, the afternoon or in the evening.Included Meals: Breakfast
Today you will head out on the waters once again for another chance of seeing the amazing marine life found in the Azores. As it’s all down to nature, you may see completely different species to those you saw earlier in the week. It’s not just whales and dolphins found in the waters either. You could also see turtles and seabirds.
A marine biologist will provide a briefing so you will learn more about the animals and historical facts of the Azores. Whale watching is usually done from a catamaran; however, some trips will be in a RIB. Please inform us in advance if you have a preference. Restrictions may apply for pregnant women and people with lower back problems.
This activity will either begin in the morning after breakfast followed by a free afternoon, or you will have a free morning and depart after lunch (not included) as it is all dependent on sea and weather conditions and availability. During your free time, you could opt for another activity. See our ‘Personalise’ tab for more details.Included Meals: Breakfast
Today it is sadly time for your Azorean adventure to come to an end. Depending on your flight time, you’ll either have breakfast at the hotel or it will be boxed up for you to enjoy at the airport.
Please note: SATA Airlines may change the flight schedule for logistical reasons closer to the departure date. This means that the order of the agenda may change.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Personalise this tour
Tour to Lagoa do Fogo (day 2 or 7)
See some of the highlights of São Miguel Island during this half-day van tour. You will go to the top of Fogo Mountain for spectacular views over Fogo Lake, a brilliantly-blue lake situated within the volcano’s crater. You will also stop at Caldeira Velha to relax in the thermal pool.
Sete Cidades Half Day (day 2 or 7)
This activity takes you to the west side of São Miguel Island and to the incredible twin lake, The ‘Lagoa das Sete Cidades’ or ‘Lagoon of Seven Cities’. Formed in the crater of a dormant volcano, you’ll experience how inviting the water is when you kayak or paddleboard across it. You’ll also cycle around the plush-green surrounding areas for an active way to enjoy the incredible nature here. There’s also a tougher cycling route, should you wish to take it on.
This tour will last approximately 3 hours.
City Tour Ponta Delgada (day 2 or 7)
This tour helps you explore the capital further. You’ll stroll around the centre of Ponta Delgada visiting different points of interest. The São Francisco Square, Conceição’s
Palace, the Church of São Pedro* and the Sacred Art Centre of the Carlos Machado Museum are just some of the sights you’ll see.
There is a small entrance fee to the Sacred Art Centre of the Carlos Machado Museum, payable locally.
The tour will last approximately 2 hours.Read more about this activity
Minimum: 4 people
*Please note, whenever a visit is not possible due to monument closure it will be, when possible, replaced with a different visit.
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Please note: the 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.
Departure dates: this trip departs on Saturdays during the date ranges displayed below
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Approximately 2 - 21 people. Please note, if you choose to travel by catamaran during the whale watching on Sao Miguel, the group size is maximum 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 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 31 days prior to departure - 60%
- 30 or less days - 100%