Azores walking vacation, Portugal

“Verdant vineyards, simmering calderas, tea plantations and sunken volcanoes; if you're wishing to experience four of the Azores then this walking tour is a natural choice.”

Highlights

Santa Luzia Vineyards | Faja dos Cubres | Trupes do Capelo | Capelinhos Volcano | Scrimshaw Museum | Lagoa do Fogo | Sete Cidades | Vista do Rei | Lake Furnas | Terra Nostra Botanical Gardens | Optional activities include: climbing Mt Pico, swimming with dolphins or half day whale watching |

Map

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
20 May 2017
US $ 2015
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
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03 Jun 2017
US $ 2245
excluding flights
5 spaces left
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08 Jul 2017
US $ 2245
excluding flights
9 spaces left
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19 Aug 2017
US $ 2245
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
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02 Sep 2017
US $ 2245
excluding flights
Available
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16 Sep 2017
US $ 2245
excluding flights
Available
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19 May 2018
US $ 2095
excluding flights
Available
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02 Jun 2018
US $ 2325
excluding flights
Available
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07 Jul 2018
US $ 2325
excluding flights
Available
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18 Aug 2018
US $ 2325
excluding flights
Available
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01 Sep 2018
US $ 2325
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Available
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15 Sep 2018
US $ 2325
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Available
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Our top tip:
The weather in the Azores can be pretty changeable, especially if you're visiting in spring to watch whales. It's worth investing in a quality pack-o-mac so you're prepared for all eventualities.
Trip type:
Small group. Maximum size 16. Minimum age 16.
Activity level:
Moderate. Average walking distance of 9km on 5 days.
Accomm:
2 x good standard hotels with en-suite facilities.
Included:
Accommodation, transport, listed activities and tour leader throughout.
Meals:
All breakfasts and 5 lunches.
Solos:
Single hotel rooms available.
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Azores walking vacation, Portugal

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Leaders & local suppliers
Both companies used for our whale and dolphin watching tours respect the animals during times of feeding or resting by maintaining a distance and avoiding any interference. We use a small family-run company in Ponta Delgada who use small boats and in Horta the company plants a tree every time they go to sea to help reduce the carbon impact. Our hotels source as much local food as possible and conserve energy where possible. Leaders are employed locally and are very conscious of environmental concerns so they ensure clients follow them in the best practices to reduce our footprint.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.

Activity
Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a walking trip. It is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem and our trip leaders encourage clients not to stray from paths to minimise this.

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