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Walking at the Azores

A walking vacation is rather a more common thing in the European countries than it is in the United States.  In Europe, you will find walking tours maps and guidebooks sold as commonly as hiking trails information is sold in the United States.  If you are interested in walking at the Azores, you can find many excellent guides to help you to determine the best places to go and stay.

One thing to keep in mind while walking at the Azores is that each island is different.  The terrain of the different islands can be very different as well.  If you are not accustomed to a lot of this type of exercise, it’s important to prepare well in advance by choosing good shoes and clothing.  Lastly, be careful to watch for dehydration.  Drink plenty of water.  Each of the islands has numerous walking tours, but some of the more popular draw dozens of people each year. Because of volcanic and construction activity in the islands, it’s wise to find the most current guidebook available, so you won’t be disappointed if the routes are no longer accessible from an outdated tour book. One other point to note is that the Himalayan ginger spreads rapidly and may have overgrown some of the older trails, making them hard to discern.

walk walk track

The walking holidays at the Azores can be either guided or independent, and can be either circular, so that you can come back to a starting place—helpful if you drive to the starting place; or linear.  Usually you will arrange for a taxi to drop you off at the start of the walk and pick you up at a predetermined place further down the trail later in the day.

Walking tours are perhaps the best way to see the Azores, even for those only moderately fit.  Whether you are most interested in walking through history such as in the Angra do Heroísmo, a UNESCO World Heritage City, or photographing the scenic views of mountain and sea, or viewing unique and beautiful plants and birds—Azores walking tours provide an unusual vacation.


An example of an independent walking tour of the island of Flores will guide your around the entire length of the west coast over two days.  On the way, you will pass spectacular waterfalls, abandoned villages and luxurious subtropical forests.


Santa Maria is less visited than some of the other islands, so walking at the Azores is a great way to see the sights of this beautiful archipelago. You can visit the tiny Nossa Senhora de Lurdes church.  Another walk is from the top of Pico Alto, the island’s highest point down to the hamlet of Sao Pedro


In Sao Miguel the walking tours might include visits to the thermal ponds, a tea plantation, a hot waterfall or the Lake of Fire crater.  The twin craters of Sete Cidades with one green and one blue lake make a relatively easy walk. If you are able to time your walk to participate in one of the many festivals, you’ll find even more of interest.

© Azoresweb 2006