Overview for Azores Island Hopping
The Azores are a spectacular archipelago in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, offering lush landscapes, unspoilt natural beauty, volcanic peaks and dormant craters. Our Azores island hopping tour takes in three of the most beautiful islands: Pico, São Jorge and Faial island, which are located in close proximity. Each of them is unique, however. On Pico you will take in the highest mountain in Portugal; on São Jorge enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of its Fajãs, and on Faial there is the Caldeira crater in the heart of the island and the most recently active volcano of the Azores, Capelinhos.
- Hopping from island to island
- The stunning volcanic peak of Pico, the highest mountain in Portugal
- The magnificent and unspoilt landscapes of Sao Jorge
- Faial and the Caldeira crater
Itinerary for Azores Island HoppingGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrival Pico Island
Private transfer from the airport of Pico to your first accommodation in the south of the island. If you arrive early, you will have enough time to try spotting a whale in the sea from this special eco-friendly hotel or, weather permitting, relax by the swimming pool.
Day 2: Pico: Along the Southern Coast
In the morning, our driver will pick you up to go to the starting point of the route, just above Silveira village. Being the highest mountain of Portugal, the Pico volcano with its 2351 metres of height will accompany you along most of the route. The second part of the route follows the coastline back to the hotel, showing some of the best kept secrets of the southern coast of the island.
Walking for the day: approx. 3.5 to 4 hours, 13 km ↑100m ↓290m
Day 3: Pico: Caminho dos Burros
Today you head to the centre plateau of the island. This route takes you down to the northern coast with great views of the Pico Mountain, São Jorge Island in front and you pass through a fairy-tale forest you will never forget. The taxi will pick you up from a bizarre beach with no sand, but full of round stones shaped by the sea.
Walking for the day: approx. 2.5 to 3 hours, 10 km ↑100m ↓800m
Day 4: Pico: Lagoa do Capitão or Vineyards Walk
On your last day on Pico Island, the taxi picks you and your luggage up at the hotel and takes you to the start of the walk. For today you have 2 options:
- Option 1: An amazing route from Lagoa do Capitão lake down to São Roque, first along red dirt tracks but them downhill through an amazing forest. In order to avoid a long demanding descent, it is better to opt for the other option. The taxi will pick you up at the end of the walk to go to the harbour
- Option 2: A route along the eastern coast of the island through World Heritage vineyards. This route ends in the harbour in Madalena (Note: this route can also be left for the last day, when you return to Pico from Faial and in case your flight departs in the afternoon. Extra cost for the transfer might apply, to be paid on the spot to taxi driver).
Once on São Jorge, a taxi will take you to your next accommodation.
Walking for the day: 3 hours, 10 km ↑0m ↓770m (option 1) or 2.5 hours, 9 km ↑100m ↓100m
Day 5: São Jorge: From Pico da Esperança down to the Coast
The driver will take you to Pico da Esperanza, the highest point of the island (1053m). This easy but relatively long walk will boast magnificent views of the four islands around São Jorge: Pico, Faial in the south and Graciosa and Terceira in the north. The route ends in Fajã do Ouvidor, where you cannot miss the natural blue volcanic pools by the coast. You can avoid the last demanding descent and wait in the previous village for the transfer back to Velas.
Walking for the day: approx. 5 hours, 18 km ↑300m ↓1000m
Day 6: São Jorge: The Northern Coast
Today a 50-minute transfer takes you to the beginning of this unforgettable walk. Following a trail passing through endemic vegetation, you descend to the Fajãs (flat arable portions of land by the sea) of Caldeira do Santo Cristo, known for its tasty clams, and Fajã dos Cubres, both of them with crystal clear lagoons. On the descent, don’t miss a refreshing waterfall and a balcony with great views to the first Fajã.
Walking for the day: approx. 3 hours, 11 km ↑150m ↓700m
Day 7: Faial: Monte de Guia
Today you leave for Faial island. In the morning, a taxi will pick you up and take you to the harbour to take the ferry to Horta, where a taxi will also be waiting for you. Option for doing a short and easy route in Hortas or just relax on the beach or by the marina of this peaceful village.
Walking for the day: approx. 1.5 hours, 4.5 km ↑160m ↓160m
Day 8: Faial: Caldeira Crater
After a 30-minute transfer you arrive in the Caldeira crater, which is 2 km wide and 500m deep. It is the highest point of Faial Island and in good weather provides clear views of Graciosa, Sao Jorge and Pico Islands. The route goes along the edge of the crater and then downhill along a red dirt track through the forest. A levada (water canal) will guide you before ascending to another crater, Cabeço do Fogo. A descent through the Reserva Florestal de Capelo will take you to the picnic area near Capelo, where the route ends.
Walking for the day: approx. 3.5-4 hours, 13 km ↑150m ↓700m
Day 9: Faial: Capelinhos Volcano & Lighthouse
Transfer to the south coast for a short walk to the Capelinhos, site of a tremendous volcanic sea eruption in 1957, which lasted for 13 months! Take a short but amazing walk to the Capelinhos Lighthouse and take in the volcanic landscapes. Continue your walk along the southern coast until Varadouro and relax by the natural swimming pool. Transfer back to the hotel in the afternoon.
Walking for the day: approx. 3 hours, 12.5 km ↑300m ↓400m
Day 10: Back to Pico. Departure
Your arrangement comes to the end today after breakfast. Ferry to Pico and transfer to the airport. If you flight is in the afternoon, you can do the optional Day 4 vineyards walk before departing.
Hotels for Azores Island HoppingGo to top of page
Accommodation is in three welcoming 3 or 4-star hotels; you will spend three nights on each island. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included every day. When no restaurant location is available on route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before.
Travel for Azores Island HoppingGo to top of page
The most convenient airport to fly into is Pico airport.
Complimentary private transfers from/to Pico airport are included in your package.
The return journey to Funchal airport from Funchal takes about 1 hour. The taxi costs around EUR 30 and takes about 30 minutes.
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers are included (maximum one piece of 20 kg per person).
A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have a valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.
Up-to-date travel advice on Portugal is available here.
Trip Info for Azores Island HoppingGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Easy to Moderate
This walk is graded easy to moderate and includes daily walks of between 5-16 km following footpaths, tracks and coastal paths. This tour is suitable for people that are in good physical condition. Although the daily distances are not that far, you should be aware that there are some elevation gains on all of the walks (read more about difficulty grades).
The walks mostly take place on coastal or inland footpaths and at times rocky tracks. Some of them are marked. However, please be aware that the trails are often poorly maintained and after rain can be slippery. It is therefore a good idea to bring hiking boots with good grips. You can always call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime if you need assistance.
When to Go
This trip is available during the whole year, you can start on any date you wish, subject to hotel availability. Always bring a warm outer garment for walks on the caldera rims and ridges as it is can get cooler at the higher elevations.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat/Baseball cap
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
Included for Azores Island HoppingGo to top of page
- 9 overnight stays with breakfast included in welcoming 3 or 4-star hotels
- Luggage transfers as needed
- Transfers according to the programme, including boat fares
- Detailed travel and tour documents (1 set per room)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable.
- This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost.
Please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above to see the price of the holiday and the different options, extras and supplements for your desired dates.
- Flights and airport transfers
- Tickets for Capelinhos Visitor’s Centre
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme