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Island Hopping in the Azores

Spend two weeks hopping between four colourful islands in the Azores Archipelago.

  • The Azores

  • 14 nights
  • Breakfast & dinners including 1 Cozido das Furnas in Furnas
  • Coast & Islands

    Landscape

    Wildlife & Nature

  • Jun

    Sep

Moderate

What does this mean?

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 26900

Book now from £3,449

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Walking grade

Grade 4

The lush, green volcanic backdrop that is the Azores offers us the perfect Grade 4 terrain. Typically there are full and half days of walking at a moderate pace over hilly ground. You'll walk on tracks, roads and paths; some will be stony, some grass and some steep in places. You'll spend days rambling by lakes and along the coast where the ascent is minimal. Other days see you exploring the volcanic craters from which descents can be steep at times. Walks will also take in elements of sightseeing, for example on Pico you may visit the Gruta das Torres lava tubes, and possibly the impressive underground volcano interpretative centre on Faial. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days of around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m but a couple of walks may see slightly longer descents of up to 900m. The maximum altitude you'll reach on this holiday is 1,020m.

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Classic Collection

Thoughtfully designed, meticulously planned, carefully graded, and expertly guided walking tours and hiking holidays along well-loved and off-the-beaten-track footpaths.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Visit four islands of the Azores Archipelago.
  • Most dinners taken in local restaurants and enjoy a traditional Cozido das Furnas dinner in Furnas.
  • Hike amongst dormant volcanoes, along beaches of black sand and follow wild, green paths.
  • Walk through a sea of colourful hydrangeas on the ridge of São Jorge with superb views of five islands.
  • Sail to the nearby island of Faial to explore Horta.
  • Enjoy subtropical gardens and hot sulphurous springs.

The Azores archipelago, located in the Atlantic ocean, rises from the violent meeting of three continental plates and is warmed by the passing Gulf Stream. You’ll walk amongst dormant volcanoes, along beaches of black sand and follow wild paths, encountering locals and the islands’ dappled cows. Spend two weeks hopping between four islands of the Azores Archipelago.

Your first island of exploration is Sao Miguel where you'll stay in the capital Ponta Delgada on the western end of the island. Sao Miguel is the largest island of the Azores, with the nickname ‘Ilha Verde’ the Green Island. It has an extraordinary landscape of green panoramas, untouched rainforest, turquoise lakes and craggy volcanic scenery. Black volcanic sand and sheer cliff edges set against the azure Atlantic Ocean create dramatic scenery. During your discovery of the island, enjoy a superb walk above the famous green and blue crater lakes and visit the pretty seaside village of Mosteiros. 

A flight takes you to the trio of islands in the centre of the Azores archipelago called Ilhas Traingulo. Here you'll visit the three islands of Sao Jorge, Pico and Faial. 

Fly to Sao Jorge, a charming island with dramatic scenery. It has a unique shape as the island is long and thin, only 4.5 miles at its widest point and 35 miles in length. The islands distinctive shape is impressive, and its mountain range runs along the centre of the island from end to end, creating a dramatic coastline with sheer cliff edges. Sao Jorge is known as the brown island due to its faja's which are coastal plateaus formed by lava flows and landslides, creating flat areas where you'll find coastal villages. 

Next, sail to Pico, the second largest island of the archipelago with the nickname grey island as it is home to Portugal's highest mountain called Pico, also a volcano, at 2531m above sea level. Pico is covered with black lava fields and its volcanic soil is rich in nutrients meaning the island is ideal for growing grapes. Its UNESCO world heritage wine region is very unique as vines run along the ground above small black rocks, very different to usual vineyard trellises! 

During your stay on Pico, take a short ferry crossing to the nearby island of Faial, known as the blue island. As you explore the island, you'll notice buildings and houses decorated with different shades of blue and the sea of blue hydrangeas decorating the countryside. 

Flying back to Sao Miguel, travel to the volcanic spa town of Furnas, a superb centre in the unspoiled eastern end of the island. Furnas is home to bubbling geysers, hot springs, geothermal swimming pools and one of the islands oldest calderas which has lain dormant since the 17th century. Your hotel is located in exotic subtropical gardens, a real gem to finish a fantastic holiday! 

Throughout the year there are an abundance of flowers blooming and blossoming throughout the islands. You may see Ginger Lilies, Dragon Trees, giant Echiums, colourful Hydrangeas and Rhododendrons, giant Ferns and Tree Heathers....and more!

  • Return flights from London to Ponta Delgada.
  • Internal flights between the islands.
  • Airport transfers.
  • En suite hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • Half board with dinners taken at local restaurants and in the hotel restaurants, including one Cozido das Furnas in Furnas.
  • All local transport required for the itinerary by private coach/public bus/taxi.
  • Services of a local guide at the Terra Nostra's botanical gardens.
  • Services of a Classic Tour Leader.
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to the Azores and Sao Miguel

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Fly to Ponta Delgada Airport on the green island of Sao Miguel. A short coach transfer takes you to your first hotel located a short walk from the picturesque harbour front and historic centre.

Transfer Time = 30m

Day 2

Sao Miguel: Discover Ponta Delgada

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

The itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule outlined below but please bear in mind that the order of the days may be amended, or walks substituted, due to weather conditions, attraction opening times, public transport timetables or changes beyond our control.

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    6.22 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200/730m

Your introductory walk on beautiful Sao Miguel takes you to the top of an enormous caldera, an extinct volcano, with superb panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and the tranquil blue and green lakes below. Later descend on winding paths and roads to the pretty harbour town of Mosteiros. If there is time at the end of the day, maybe take some time to explore picturesque Ponta Delgada.

Day 3

Sao Miguel: Lagoa do Fogo

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Lagoa do Fogo

Lagoa do Fogo, known as the Lake of Fire, was created by volcanic activity and is the highest elevated lake on the island.

  • Time

    4.5 hours

  • Distance

    8.2 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    760/720m

Today's walk will be at the top of the grade but you'll experience an overwhelming sense of achievement when you reach the serene Lagoa do Fogo! The first hour is a gentle ascent through glorious pine forests with tree ferns and swathes of ginger lily. Take your time to enjoy the pines as it is a very pleasant and beautiful walk. Along the way you will encounter different terrains from woodland and moorland with many panoramic views of the island. A tranquil blue lake is found in the cone of an extinct volcano and is a peaceful, often misty place to visit. On your descent you will follow a flowing levada of which the Portuguese islands are famous for.

Day 4

Welcome to Sao Jorge

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

After breakfast travel back to Ponta Delgada Airport for a short domestic flight to the "brown island" of Sao Jorge. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel by coach. In the afternoon take a short walk to the top of an extinct volcanic cone, allowing you to look down on the town and its picturesque harbour. 

Day 5

Sao Jorge: Piquinho Da Urze to Faja Des Cubres

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5.5 hours

  • Distance

    7.46 miles

  • Descent

    700m

One of the best walks of the holiday! Head from Piquinho Da Urze to Faja Des Cubres. The walk begins with a short visit to an impressive church engulfed by lava, offering a glimpse into the geological history of the area. The coach ride up the winding roads to nearly 700m opens to an enormous, impressive green valley past lush fields hedged with blue hydrangeas and scattered with contented cattle. There will be several stops to admire the panoramic views as you descend towards the azure sea. After lunch the walk follows an undulating path along the dramatic coast to another small church.

Day 6

Sao Jorge: Peak of Hope

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    8.7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    450/700m

Follow a path along the central ridge of Sao Jorge, where you venture along crushed lava tracks that cross grassy dramatic mountains to the ‘Peak of Hope’, a superb walk! On clear days, distant views of neighbouring islands such as Graciosa, Terceira, Pico and Faial will keep you company. Descend on very gentle pathways to a well deserved rest in a bar above the rocky harbour of Ouvidor.

Day 7

Sao Jorge: Faja Dos Vimes to Faja De S. Joao

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    6.22 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    600m

Today start your walk from the only coffee plantation in Europe! Follow a dramatic cliff top and coastal walk from Faja Dos Vimes to Faja De S. Joao. The area is well known for its wines, fresh fruit and colourful vegetables but it is not all farmland. The route will take you across three streams with an exciting section, picking your way across boulders and smaller rocks adds a new experience to the tour. This delightful but tough walk is something a little different! Finish in a delightful bar for a well deserved drink with a view!

Day 8

Welcome to Pico

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2.5 hours

  • Distance

    5.16 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    120m

Wave goodbye to Sao Jorge as you leave its picturesque harbour! The ferry journey takes you to the third island on your exploration, Pico, the grey island. The first thing you will notice about Pico is its very distinct dramatic mountain, quite an impressive picture! On arrival into Pico harbour a transfer will take you to your hotel. Transfer to Calhau and walk along a dramatic coastal path to town, passing volcanic landscapes, past windmills, lush vineyards and black craggy rock.

Day 9

Pico: Free day

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    3.73 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    130m

Today is a ‘free day’. Perhaps take to the narrow lanes of Pico on rental bikes, watch whales and dolphins from a local boat, hire a guide to ascend Pico itself, or relax by the pool. Additionally, your leader may well offer a walk around the old vineyards of Lajido. This is a short circular walk offering magic panoramic views of not only the coast but Pico's Summit. Along the route there are opportunities to visit a traditional wine cellar and distillery with time to relax at the end of the walk at a nice café with a refreshing drink.

Day 10

Pico: Santa Cruz and Lajes

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    6.84 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    360/370m

Today explore picturesque Santa Cruz and Lajes. Santa Cruz is renowned for its pretty harbour and its unique natural swimming pools surrounding its coastline. Lajes is a small historical town and was the first settlement in Pico, once the most important town in the Azores for whaling, an industry no longer continued on the islands.

Day 11

Welcome to Faial

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Faial

The last volcanic eruption of the Azores was on Faial island in 1957 and 1958. 

Venture back to the sea today as you take the local ferry for a day trip to the lush blue island of Faial. There is a great choice of walks and activities to do on Faial and your leader will make the best choice based on the local weather conditions. This could include visiting the engulfed lighthouse at the point where the last major eruption in the Azores took place just fifty years ago. Or maybe take a short walk through Horta and Lomba to the beautiful Botanic Gardens or take a trip to the caldeira rim for a dramatic circular walk and a picnic. There is so much to choose from!

Day 12

Return to Sao Miguel: Furnas

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Botanical Gardens

The Terra Nostra Botanical Gardens is home to an abundance of diversity and flora from all over the world, including North America, Australia, China and South Africa. 

Your final inter-island flight of the holiday takes you from Pico Airport back to Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel where you will transfer by road to the dramatic village of Furnas with its unique volcanic activity. Spend the afternoon exploring the extensive botanical gardens of the Hotel Terra Nostra with a local guide. If there is time, perhaps relax in the delights of the geothermal outdoor pool.

Day 13

Sao Miguel: Explore Furnas

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    5.72 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    350m

Start the day with a tour of Furnas town and see just how close you are to geothermal activity. The main walk will take you up to turquoise Furnas Lake. The walk is largely level but there will be some short sharp ascents and descents. At the lake, if we judge the time correctly, you can see the local cooks removing meals from the hot springs. A circular walk round the lake shores will bring you back to your hotel.

Day 14

Sao Miguel: Ribiera Quente to Povoacao

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    5.59 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    500m

Your final walk in the Azores is from Ribiera Quente to Povoacao. Follow a coastal route with some long ascents through lush vegetation and some descents mainly through verdant farmland. There will be beautiful panoramic coastal views from the dramatic high cliffs. The route finishes at the very attractive town of Povoacao with a beach and harbour waiting to be explored at the end of the day.

Day 15

Farewell

Meals

Breakfast

It is time to bid farewell to these extraordinary colourful islands as you return to Ponta Delgada Airport by coach to fly back to the UK.

Departure dates for your selected tour

3rd Jun 2024 - 17th Jun 2024 (14 Nights)

9th Sep 2024 - 23rd Sep 2024 (14 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Return flights from London to Ponta Delgada and internal flights
  • Airport transfers by road c. 30 minutes
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Hotel Sao Miguel Park

Your first Centre on Sao Miguel is Ponta Delgada, the capital of the island. It is a simple but picturesque fishing town with manor houses, a beautiful harbour, churches and mosaic floors across the promenade. Your hotel is close to many of the attractions in the area. A short stroll along the promenade and harbour front will take you to the centre of Ponta Delgada, perfect for a wander into town in the evenings. The attractive and lively old Portuguese colonial city and the new port complex are close to your hotel, only a short 10 minute walk away. In July, the Holy Spirit festival takes place where musical bands from many villages progress to the town centre from Largo do S.Francisco. There are many mini supermarkets, shops and bakeries in close walking distance to the town.

You'll stay in the four star Hotel Sao Miguel Park near the centre of Ponda Delgada. This contemporary hotel has a highly rated restaurant and bar. Hotel facilities also include an outdoor and indoor pool, sauna, jacuzzi, massage room and gym.

You'll stay in standard single and twin bedded rooms. Rooms are decorated with simple contemporary pale colours and include:

  • Ensuite facilities
  • Air conditioning
  • Telephone
  • TV
  • Free WIFI
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe 
  • Some rooms have a balcony

Hotel Sao Jorge Garden

You'll stay in the three star Hotel Sao Jorge Garden, located next to the coast with great views across the island, the ocean and to Pico mountain, the highest point of the islands. It is near the harbour and within easy walking distance of the town of Velas, with its restaurants, shops, ferry port and other amenities. 

The hotel has an outdoor saltwater swimming pool (not always in use) that you can cool off in after a day of hiking the trails. Or you can relax on the terrace that overlooks the beautiful grounds, or perhaps take a drink in the bar and lounge. 

You'll stay in twin, double and single bedded rooms with the following facilities:

  • Ensuite facilities with a bath and shower
  • TV
  • Telephone
  • Balcony
  • Air conditioning
  • Free WIFI 

Hotel Caravelas

Madalena is an attractive village and very pleasant to explore. It has a variety of shops, cafes and also has a wine museum! There are also many rockpools which are popular for swimming. Your hotel is located a short walking distance from many small and large supermarkets, cafes and bakeries. 

You'll stay in the Hotel Caravelas, located only 100 meters from the harbour front and with wonderful views to Faial Island. This three star hotel is well equipped with a bar and a 24 hour front desk. You can unwind in the games room, or the seasonal outdoor swimming pool (please be aware this may not be open during your holiday). There is also a gym and steam room.

Room facilities include

  • Ensuite bathroom
  • Air conditioning
  • TV
  • Telephone
  • Free WIFI
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar

Hotel Terra Nostra

You'll stay in the award winning Hotel Terra Nostra, a sleek and stylish modern hotel located in the Terra Nostra Botanical Park and surrounding verdant gardens. Furnas is a dramatic place to stay with its bubbling calderas’ and there are not many hotels in the world where you can have breakfast and stroll out into the garden for a dip in their own geothermic pool. Furnas is small but includes restaurants, shops, souvenir shops and a variety of other services.

The hotel's interior design is influenced by art deco style creating comfort and exclusivity perfectly integrated with the lush Terra Nostra Garden, which you have free unlimited access to. The spacious hotel also has a reading room, games room and gift shop. Perhaps relax in its Turkish bath, steam room, jacuzzi, indoor heated pool or outdoor thermal pool in the botanical park (both pools are seasonal and may not be open during your holiday). 

You'll stay in twin and single bedded rooms which include: 

  • Ensuite facilities
  • Air conditioning
  • Phone
  • TV
  • Mini-bar 
  • Hair dryer
  • Free Wi-Fi

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

The lush, green volcanic backdrop that is the Azores offers us the perfect Grade 4 terrain. Typically there are full and half days of walking at a moderate pace over hilly ground. You'll walk on tracks, roads and paths; some will be stony, some grass and some steep in places. You'll spend days rambling by lakes and along the coast where the ascent is minimal. Other days see you exploring the volcanic craters from which descents can be steep at times. Walks will also take in elements of sightseeing, for example on Pico you may visit the Gruta das Torres lava tubes, and possibly the impressive underground volcano interpretative centre on Faial. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days of around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m but a couple of walks may see slightly longer descents of up to 900m. The maximum altitude you'll reach on this holiday is 1,020m.

Walks & Excursions

Local Transport Costs

In the holiday cost, we've included all local transport expenses related to the advertised activity programme for your convenience. If there are additional visits or excursions to enrich your experience, you can choose to participate and cover the costs locally. Depending on the itinerary, local transport may involve a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses, and ferries.

Optional Excursions

At your destination, you may have the option to book various local excursions and activities through a local operator. It's important to note that we are not involved in these activities or excursions, and we do not operate, supervise, or control them in any way. Your contract will be directly with the local activity supplier, and we bear no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

As you plan your holiday budget, it's essential to account for expenses such as drinks, meals not covered in the holiday price, entrance fees not included, optional local excursions, and any souvenirs or additional services like laundry. For a rough estimate, budgeting around £10-£20 per person per day for lunches and drinks is a helpful guideline.

Currency in Portugal

The currency in Portugal is the euro. We recommend you take some euro cash with you until you reach an ATM as credit cards may not be accepted in some towns and rural areas so please ensure you always have cash with you.

Tipping

In your holiday price, we've included tipping for our local suppliers, covering hotel and restaurant staff, local guides, and drivers. Should you wish to make an extra contribution for a specific service, this should be given directly to the recipient at your discretion.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader plays a crucial role in enhancing your holiday experience, and they share your passion for exploring the world on foot. In addition to being resourceful and organized they are also well-travelled and deeply enthusiastic about showing you new destinations.  Your tour leader takes care of all the local administration, ensuring you can fully enjoy your holiday without worrying about the logistics. While leading group holidays, they always keep in mind that each group is composed of individuals. Each tour leader brings their unique style, talents, and professional background to the table. Rest assured, they are all trained, qualified, experienced, and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting, and inspiring as possible. Remember, your leader, while on holiday, is your first port of call for any issues, ensuring a smooth and worry-free experience for you.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will meet with you to review the programme for the next day. This is your chance to discuss details and ensure that the planned activities align with your walking ability. If you have any concerns about clothing or equipment, feel free to bring them up during this discussion. If, for any reason, you prefer not to participate in the organized group program, please inform your leader. Your preferences are important, and your leader is there to make sure your experience aligns with your expectations.

Your Travel Details

We fly from London to Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel and return. Some holiday dates operate with direct flights and some operate with flights stopping in Lisbon. Inter-Island flights are included. 

The transfer from Ponta Delgada Airport to our first Hotel in Ponta Delgada will take approximately 20 minutes whereas our return transfer from Furnas to Ponta Delgada Airport will take approximately one hour.

Travel in the Azores is by road, air and sea, as shown in the itinerary. 

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements

If you prefer to arrange your own flights from a non-UK or regional airport or travel to your holiday destination by rail or car, you may qualify for 'land only' reductions, and we can provide details upon request. Feel free to reach out to us for more information.

Before finalizing any independent travel arrangements, especially if you're doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended travel date, please check with us first to ensure your holiday has been cleared to operate. If you plan to join your holiday locally, kindly inform us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you're joining and leaving your holiday overseas, we assume, unless you specify otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.

Although airport transfers are not included for those making independent travel arrangements, you may have the option to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time. If interested, contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.

Please be aware that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be eligible for the group transfer. Additionally, we'll need your flight number, arrival time, and departure point to ensure the group leader can meet up with you. If you have a mobile, please ensure we have the number, and it is turned on while you are traveling for effective communication.

Hotel Transfers

When you book a Flight-Inclusive holiday, transfers between the airport and hotel and back are included. On some holidays, where we offer various flight options, the transfer vehicle may wait for all flights to land before transferring to the hotel.  

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

If you're booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, rest assured that details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be clearly outlined in your 'Final Travel Documents'. These will be sent to you approximately 10 days before your departure, ensuring you have all the necessary information for a smooth and well-prepared journey.

Personal Details Check

To ensure the accurate administration of your holiday arrangements, kindly verify that the personal details we have for you are current and correct. Confirm that you've given us all the necessary information for securing your travel and accommodation. Please review your passport details, date of birth, and any other pertinent information crucial for the management of your holiday.

Additionally, please make us aware of any dietary allergies or intolerances you may have. Your well-being is important to us, and this information will help us make appropriate arrangements for your meals during the trip.

You can access and update the provided information or add missing details through the "Manage My Booking" feature on our website at www.rambleworldwide.co.uk. Alternatively, reach out to our Sales and Reservations team at +44 (0)1707 331133. Upon receiving your booking confirmation, promptly check the details. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable holiday experience.

Passports and Visas

European Passport Advice

If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must meet the Schengen area rules.

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For some Schengen countries your passport may need to be less than 10 years old during your whole visit, and the 3 months at the end of your visit may need to be within 10 years of your passport’s issue date.

Check both the issue date and the expiry date in your passport. If you renewed your passport early, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. This could affect the requirement for your passport to be less than 10 years old.

Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.

Meals

Breakfast and dinners are included in the holiday charge. Breakfasts are taken at your hotels and are usually continental style buffet breakfasts. The tea in the Azores is recognised internationally as world class as it is organic and totally free from any chemicals as the natural tea diseases do not survive on the island's climates, so be sure to try some of the delicious tea! 

Dinners will be taken in local restaurants during your stay in Ponta Delgada, Sao Jorge and Pico, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the local cuisine, a great way to explore the area and immerse ourselves in the culture! Sometimes these will be buffets and sometimes they will be set meals. The Azores have a unique microclimate which encourages the growth of delicious fruit and vegetables such as pineapples, cherry red peppers, bananas and passion fruits. The Azores are well known for their fresh fish and cheeses, such as the Sao Jorge cheese with its unique spicy and salty taste.

You'll dine in the hotel during your stay in Furnas where we can enjoy many traditional delicacies. The hotel is famous for its Furnas stew cooked underground by the natural volcanic steam of Furnas Lake! One evening in Furnas you will enjoy a Cozido das Furnas, a traditional meal in the Azores where the food is cooked underground using volcanic geothermal heat for a number of hours. The dish typically contains various different meats and vegetables. 

Vegetarian options are available if we are advised in advance so please contact our Sales & Reservations department. However please be aware that Portuguese food mostly consists of meat and fish. We do make suggestions on what ingredients to consider to produce a well-balanced and tasty meat and fish free meal, however vegetarian and vegan options can sometimes lack protein and carbohydrates.  You can, however, guarantee that ingredients will be fresh and locally sourced.

Lunches are not included in the holiday price but these can be taken as picnics or in local cafes.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity in Portugal

Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/

Water To Go

Opting for filtered water from a reusable bottle with its built-in water filter, like the Water-to-go bottle available at www.watertogo.eu, is a sustainable alternative to single-use sealed water bottles. Simply refill it from any water source and contribute to saving the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

Exciting news: Water-to-go has introduced two new bottles to their collection. The Active bottle is designed to fit bike water bottle holders, and the Sugarcane bottle is an even more planet-friendly option. Crafted from fibrous cane, a by-product of liquid extraction, it undergoes a process to create plant-based plastic. Explore the details on the Water-to-Go website for this innovative new range.

As a token of appreciation for your commitment to the environment, we've secured an exclusive 15% discount with Water-to-Go for you. Visit www.watertogo.eu and use the code RWW15 during your order.                        

Note: If you're booked on a long-haul holiday departing after November 1, 2023, you'll receive a complimentary Water to Go bottle, sent to your home address 2 or 3 weeks before your holiday. Thank you for being a part of our sustainable journey!

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

Many local libraries stock a selection of travel guides and books which may offer you more information. Apart from any books available in local libraries, the internet is now an excellent resource for information about holidays in the Azores. You may find the below websites, books and programmes useful. 

Maps of the areas we visit (1:200 000 scale) are available locally and at specialist map shops in the UK.

The Azores website  and the Azores Tourism Website are great ways to read about the islands and the various places we will be visiting. 

There are a variety of guidebooks available on the Azores, including:

Azores (Bradt Travel Guides) by David Sayers and Murray Stewart

Azores: Rother Walking Guide by Roman Martin

Walking on the Azores by Paddy Dillon

There are also a variety of programmes based on the Azores too including:

Davina McCall: Life at the Extreme. Episode 2 sees Davina travel to the Azores to learn more about its animals. 

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area including:

Ben Fogle Adventure in the Azores - Unravel Travel TV

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: themapshop@btinternet.com

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements in destination can change, and it's crucial for you to take responsibility in staying informed. Ensure that you consult a professionally qualified source and comply with any health requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before your departure. Your GP can provide advice on vaccinations. Stay proactive about your health preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

Health Advice for Portugal

No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Portugal. 

You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK. 

You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus. 

Dengue fever exists in Portugal; please take normal precautions against mosquito bites.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

It’s a condition of booking that you obtain adequate travel insurance, from a reputable provider, to undertake the holiday, including UK trips chiefly due to the cancellation element of cover.

The policy must cover the period from the date of booking to the last day of your trip and should include, as a minimum, cover for: medical expenses (including the consequences of a Covid positive test result), mountain rescue including helicopter rescue, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment and shall not have exclusion clauses limiting cover for the activities you will partake in on your trip, including altitudes reached in the holiday arrangement. It is your responsibility to check that your policy is adequate for the nature and destination of the holiday booked.

Once you have obtained your travel insurance, please provide us with the name of your travel insurer, the policy number and the insurer’s 24 hour emergency assistance number.

In the event that you fail to obtain suitable Travel Insurance we shall not be liable for any costs incurred or claims made against us due to your failure to comply with this term.

If travelling outside the UK you must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if reasonably requested to do so by RWH Travel staff, tour leaders or suppliers. No refunds will be made should you be excluded from the walking programme through being uninsured or you being unable to demonstrate that you are insured.

Our house broker MPI should be considered for whom we are an affiliate and contact information is on our website and will be referred to in your booking confirmation.

If you are travelling to an EU country or Switzerland please also ensure that you have either an existing valid EU EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) or a valid UK GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card). You can apply for a UK GHIC free of charge on the NHS website at https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/cra/start.

EHIC & GHIC Cards

Starting January 1st, 2021, you, as a UK traveller, can continue using your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) throughout its valid five-year period, granting you access to medical assistance during your holiday until its expiry date. Be aware, though, that this coverage will no longer extend to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland. In case you don't have a valid EHIC, you can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replace the EHIC as it gets phased out.

It's essential to emphasize that the EHIC/GHIC, while valuable, should not be regarded as a substitute for comprehensive medical or travel insurance. For your peace of mind and comprehensive coverage, considering additional insurance is highly recommended.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is your go-to for the latest info on security, local laws, and the nitty-gritty of passports and visas at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Make sure to take a quick peek at the current advice for your upcoming destination—it'll only take a few minutes.

When you're out and about, stay aware of your surroundings. Take smart precautions with your credit cards and passport, and maybe tone down the flashy accessories. Less is more, especially when it comes to carrying cash—just enough for the day will do. Consider using a money belt for that extra layer of security. Stay alert, stay safe, and make the most of your travels!

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We are dedicated to promoting responsible travel practices that prioritise the well-being of both the environment and local communities. We believe in the transformative power of travel and aim to minimize our ecological footprint by selecting eco-friendly accommodations, encouraging waste reduction, and supporting sustainable transportation options where possible. Our walking tours are designed to immerse participants in the local culture, fostering meaningful connections with the communities we visit. We strive to leave a positive impact by engaging in responsible tourism activities, respecting local customs, and contributing to the preservation of natural landscapes. Through our commitment to responsible travel, we aim to create enriching experiences for our guests while actively contributing to the conservation of the destinations we explore.

The Ramble Worldwide Outdoor Trust

Unlike many other tour operators, we take pride in our unique approach. Ramble Worldwide channels its surplus profits back into various outdoor, walking-related, or environmental conservation projects in the UK through our own trust. When you choose us, you contribute to this impactful initiative.

The primary focus of our Trust's financial support is directed towards Britain's premier walking charity, The Ramblers. They play a crucial role in advocating the benefits and significance of walking to the British public. Additionally, our Trust invites applications for small grants from local organizations in the UK that require support for walking-oriented activities. This encompasses initiatives such as establishing footpaths and bridleways, funding for the reconstruction of bridges and refurbishing huts, and bursary funding for organisations that support individuals to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors..

For more comprehensive details, please visit the 'About' section on our website and click on the Charitable Trust link. Your choice to travel with us goes beyond a memorable vacation; it contributes to meaningful projects that have a positive impact on our community and environment.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Kindly share a mobile phone contact number with us. We'll utilize this solely for crucial communication pertaining to your holiday arrangements.

Ensure your mobile phone remains switched on and easily accessible when en route to the airport or during transit delays. This way, we can promptly reach you with any last-minute updates concerning your travel plans.

In consideration of others, we request that you switch off your mobile phone during walks or make an effort to limit its usage. Additionally, during group meals, please minimize the use of mobile devices. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone on the journey.

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Useful Information

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Portugal

  • Capital

    Lisbon

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Language

    Portuguese

  • Time Difference

    UTC, UTC +01:00

  • Flight duration

    3hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    11°C

    Avg. Rain: 109mm

  • February

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 93mm

  • March

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 75mm

  • April

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • May

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 52mm

  • June

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 26mm

  • July

    21°C

    Avg. Rain: 12mm

  • August

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 16mm

  • September

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 44mm

  • October

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 91mm

  • November

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 111mm

  • December

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 120mm

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