The Azores is fast becoming the go-to destination for adventure enthusiasts and offers a myriad of holiday pursuits over the summer months. Just a three-and-a-half hour flight away, this volcanic archipelago is a unique destination, enriched with emerald-green scenery, beautiful rugged landscapes and fascinating geology which makes for an awe-inspiring backdrop to any activity-based escape.
From £998 per person based 4-sharing
Daily (Apr-Oct) flights from London Gatwick to Ponta Delgada, São Miguel. 7-days car hire . 7-nights Furnas Lake Apartments, Furnas SC. Four excursions included: Whale & Dolphin Watching; Rock Climbing; Canoeing; Bike tour (Sete Cidades) and SPA (Ferraria). Note: Supplement for Swimming with dolphins (01Jun-30Sep) is £62 per person from Vila Franca do Campo.
Saturday - Arrive at Ponta Delgada airport and transfer to your hotel.
Sunday - Whale & Dolphin Watching - Depart at 08:30 for a whale and dolphin watching trip (3-hours). The Azorean waters attract an impressive number of cetacean activity - 24 of the world’s 80 species have been sighted off the islands’ coast, including pods of Sperm, Pilot, Backed, Fin, Sei, Humpback and Blue whales. The emphasis of these trips is not only to see the mammals in their natural habitat, but also on teaching and conservation. A marine biologist will introduce the cetaceans and discuss their habitat, communication and behavioural patterns.
Free afternoon. Why not explore the delights of Furnas? This spa town is one of the largest thermal water sources in the world, and in addition to its beautiful azalea bordered lake, is home to a 30 acre botanical garden of great international importance. Terra Nostra garden was the brainchild of Thomas Hickling the US Consul General stationed in São Miguel. The park originally opened in 1780 and features thousands of botanical samples from as far as Asia as well as a large swimming pool fed by naturally heated water.
Monday - Rock Climbing - Drive to the meeting point in Ferraria for a 09:30 start. The challenge of natural rock climbing requires strength, co-ordination and agility. The wall has several areas with different degrees of difficulty, which means that it is suitable for both experienced climbers and total novices (duration 2hr 30mins).
In the afternoon, take a drive to visit Sete Cidades. This extinct crater is an enchanting natural wonder, which has two lakes - one blue and the other green. The best place to enjoy the majesty of the lakes is from the view point ‘Vista do Rei’ which offers spectacular panoramic views.
Tuesday - Canoeing - Drive to the meeting point in Furnas for a 10:00 start. Take a couple of hours to enjoy the stunning and peaceful landscape of Furnas Lake. Learn to glide above the water, at your own pace, and experience the natural beauty of this volcanic crater.
Free afternoon. Opportunity to visit Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake). Located in the centre of the island, this beautiful lake is one of the grandest natural attractions on São Miguel. Approximately 2km long and 1km wide, this extinct crater was formed during an eruption in 1563. Declared a nature reserve, Lagoa do Fogo is surrounded by high mountains and luxuriant endemic vegetation. Hikers can follow the well marked trails down into the crater to admire the transparent waters and white sandy beaches.
Wednesday - Swimming with Dolphins (optional) - Day at leisure. Book an experience of a lifetime and swim with dolphins in their natural habitat. Water babies should take the plunge and swim alongside Common, Bottlenose, Risso and Atlantic Spotted dolphins in the blue Atlantic waters ten miles off shore. Summer months are the best to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime experience, as this is when the sea is at its calmest and dolphins are most numerous. During the rest of the three-hour trip, those onboard will also be able to spot Sperm, Pilot and Beaked whales, and possibly even sea turtles.
Thursday - Bike tour (Sete Cidades) and SPA (Ferraria) - Morning departure from Sete Cidades by mountain bike. Pedal along trails through this volcanic massif and discover beautiful landscapes of dense and verdant vegetation and with lakes and the shimmering blue of the ocean as a backdrop. The trails are selected depending on each person’s fitness level and technique. Lunch stop (included). In the afternoon, enjoy the facilities of the SPA Ferraria, famous for its healing thermal waters. The Spa experience includes use of a sauna, Jacuzzi, Turkish bath and thermal indoor and outdoor pools – sea water temperature about 38ºC.
Friday - Day at leisure. Free day to explore the island or sit back and relax by the pool with a good book.
Saturday - Transfer to Ponta Delgada airport for the return flight home.
Price is based on 2- sharing and subject to a minimum number of participants.
- Supplement for Swimming with dolphins is £69 per adult and £50 per child (5-11yrs) from Vila Franca do Campo
- Saturday scheduled flights 4 April -17 October 2015 with SATA international from London Gatwick to Ponta Delgada
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