Walking Holidays in Portugal - Azores - Azores - Western & Central Islands


Holiday Highlights
  • Enjoy a day trip to the smallest Azorean Island of Corvo for an unforgettable crater walk
  • Walk to the most western point of Europe with masses of beautiful pink azaleas and hydrangeas
  • Sample the famous wine-stewed octopus on Faial and explore interesting museums


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Flores is the most western of the Azores Islands and is ‘pink’ due to the masses of beautiful pink azaleas and hydrangeas that grow all over the island. You will explore caldera rims and go up to the highest viewpoint Morro Alto at 911m with stunning scenery.


Corvo is the smallest of the Azores Islands and is home to several orchards and fruit trees. Your amazing walk here begins with a boat trip from Flores and then a short taxi ride up to the rim of the caldera, followed by an unforgettable walk around a lake filled crater back into town.


Faial is famous for its stewed octopus in wine amongst the Azoreans - you should most certainly try some! The walking here takes you to volcanic crater rims with breathtaking views and the opportunity to explore the lighthouse and museum which shows the history of volcanic eruptions.


Pico is the most volcanic of the Azores Islands and renowned for its almost perfectly coned mountain of Pico Alto standing at 2352m making it the highest peak in all of Portugal. Our adventurous walk takes you to the top of this fascinating mountain. You can also enjoy stunning walks through interesting fauna and picturesque villages.


São Jorge has the most-jagged coastline of the Azores Islands and offers spectacular waterfalls, lush ravines and the chance to explore the interesting fishing village of Velas.

Guided Walking

We include eight guided walks in a 14 night stay (two on Flores, one on Faial, two on Pico and three on São Jorge). Walks are from 3 - 9 miles in length and considered easy or moderate.

We offer guided walks to the most western point in Europe, past lakes and to the fields of the Fajã Grande in Flores. In Faial we offer a guided half day or a guided full day of the island which takes you to the highest point and stops at Capelinhos (the remains of the last volcanic eruption). We offer guided walks to lava fields and vineyards with stunning panoramic views over the mountain and ocean in Pico. In São Jorge we offer guided walks which take you up to the highest mountain on the island and to the western corner along stunning cliffs.


Please note guided walks require a minimum of 2 people. All walks include an English speaking guide and all necessary transportation.


Self-Guided Itinerary
(please note these are proposed itineraries,  they are subject to change if flight times change).

Day 1 Arrive São Miguel. Overnight São Miguel (B&B).

Day 2 Take a morning flight to Flores. This walk takes you to the most western point in Europe! This walk is full of contrasts from the crater lakes of the high moorland at about 600m high down to the town of Faja Grande on the coast. On a clear day the circular, somewhat eerie lakes are incredibly impressive, with good views up to the highest point of the island, Morro Alto at 911m.  When you reach the edge of the cliff and descend, there are jaw-dropping views down to the town of Faja Grande and the coast. Overnight Flores (HB – B&B if staying at Hotel Ocidental.

Ascent: 160m. Descent: 720m. Distance: 4.5 miles. Time: 3.5 hours.

Day 3 An amazing trip to the small island of Corvo (check weather conditions on arrival in Flores), a taxi ride up to the rim of the caldera, then an unforgettable walk around the lake filled crater and back down to the town. The skipper Carlos will advise you when a trip might be possible with regard to the weather and sea conditions. Overnight Flores (HB – B&B if staying at Hotel Ocidental.

Ascent: 200m. Descent: 750m. Distance: 6.75 miles. Time: 3.5- 4 hours.

Day 4 A gorgeous linear walk first along some interesting old ‘donkey trails’ through woodland up into the hills and down to the coast to a lovely sheltered lunch spot. Then either take the adventurous levada route or the more sedate version up into the hills behind Santa Cruz, and back down into the town with superb views over the town and the runway which bisects it! Overnight Flores (HB – B&B if staying at Hotel Ocidental.

Ascent: 650m. Descent: 840m. Distance: 7 miles. Time: 5 hours.

Day 5 Spend the morning exploring this lovely island of Flores before taking a midday flight to Horta (Faial). Check in to the hotel and take one of our walks to Rocha da Faja. This shortish walk is ideal as an introduction to the Fajas of the Azores. Overnight Faial (HB).

Ascent: 300m. Descent: 295m. Distance: 4 miles. Time: 2.5 hours.

Day 6 This walk in Faial is superb with stunning views and an opportunity to explore the crater rim of Cabeco Verde, ending at the Lighthouse and Museum in Capelinhos showing the history of the volcanic eruption.  This museum is underground beneath the existing lighthouse which was atop a two storey building engulfed by the ash of the 1957 eruptions. Overnight Faial (HB).

Ascent: 450m. Descent: 500 m. Distance: 4.5 miles. Time: 2.5-3 hours.

Day 7 Choose another of our walks on Faial, for example walk from the Caldera to Parque Florestal do Capelo. In good weather this is the highlight of walking on Faial. Walk around the rim of a volcano (dormant), the Caldeira crater, it is breathtaking along with views over Faial and to the ocean and islands in the distance. Overnight Faial (HB).

Ascent: nil. Descent: 800m. Distance: 10 miles. Time: 4.5 hours.

Day 8 Take the ferry over to Pico and enjoy an easy walk down the lower slopes of Mount Pico with interesting lava tunnels at the start and superb views over to Faial. Or you can opt for a more adventurous walk to the top of Mount Pico (2351m) guide compulsory, best arranged in advance. Overnight Pico (B&B – HB if staying at Whale’combe).

Ascent: 120m. Descent: 250m. Distance: 7 miles. Time: 2.5 hours (excluding the top of Mount Pico).

Day 9 Take a half day whale watching (optional extra) or take the following walk. This is a stunning walk but with mostly descents from 800m down to sea level.  The first section is very easy amongst wild scenery contrasting with the second half which is mainly down through interesting vegetation and forest leading to the picturesque village of Sao Roque. This could be a superb full day walk using your extra time to explore Sao Roque, visiting its Whaling Museum and maybe having a swim in the sea. Overnight Pico (B&B – HB if staying at Whale’combe).

Ascent: 45m. Descent: 825m. Distance: 4.5 miles. Time: 3.5 hours.

Day 10 For most of the year this is a dramatic coastal walk but an inland diversion has to be used for the last section from the 15th May to 30th July, the terns' nesting season. This is round the Eastern Point (Ponta Da Ilha) of the Island. Overnight Pico (B&B – HB if staying at Whale’combe).

Ascent: 60m. Descent: 75m. Distance: 3.75 miles. Time: 3.5 hours.

Day 11 Take a morning ferry from Pico to São Jorge, check in to your hotel and take the opportunity to explore the small fishing village of Velas, or take a walk to the top of a nearby hill for panoramic views. Overnight São Jorge (B&B).

Ascent: 130m. Descent: 590m. Distance: 7.25 miles. Time: 3.5 hours (excluding possible extensions).

Day 12 A real ‘must do’ walk with great variety from misty hills, lush ravines and waterfalls to high cliffs and an insight to life on the Fajas. Plenty of places to linger by the sea for a picnic so be generous with your time in arranging return transport. Overnight São Jorge (B&B).

Ascent: 100m. Descent: 700m. Distance: 5 miles. Time: 4 hours.

Day 13 An easy walk through meadowlands to the lighthouse at the far end of São Jorge. Although the lighthouse is of little appeal, the views from the cliffs are spectacular. Sit here for a picnic and feel the real remoteness of these islands. There are possible sightings of dolphins and whales. Overnight São Jorge (B&B).

Ascent: 200m. Descent: 200m. Distance: 6 miles. Time: 3 hours.

Day 14 Fly to São Miguel (Ponta Delgada). Choose from one of our many walks on this large and intriguing island. Overnight São Miguel (HB).

Day 15 Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

This map is for illustration purposes only and we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

Hotel Ocidental, Flores - 2 Star

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Located on the northern tip of Santa Cruz, this family run hotel is on the sea front just 500 metres from the airport and the town centre. The rooms are comfortable, and some feature a balcony overlooking the sea. Buffet breakfast and dinner are taken in the adjacent restaurant owned by the hotel owner’s brother. There is an outdoor swimming pool for guests to use. Wi-Fi is available in public areas.

All rooms feature television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.


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Hotel das Flores, Flores - 4 Star

Located to the north of the main town Santa Cruz and opposite the whaling museum, Hotel das Flores has stunning views over the Atlantic and the neighbour island of Corvo. First opened in 2009, this hotel has a lovely swimming pool and bar area available to all guests. The hotel restaurant serves excellent local food for breakfast and dinner.

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Pousada da Horta, Faial - 4 Star

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The Pousada was fully renovated in 2004 and is housed in a 16th century historic fort. The hotel is well located on the harbour front of Horta. Buffet breakfast is served daily and can also be enjoyed on the poolside terrace. They also have an on-site restaurant which serves delicious local dishes.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone, air conditioning and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer. 

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Hotel Do Canal, Faial - 4 Star

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Located on the ocean front, this boutique hotel has great panoramic views over the city bay and Mount Pico. The staff are very friendly and welcoming, you will relax here in no time. Breakfast and dinner are taken in the hotel restaurant which serves local specialities.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone, safe, air conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.


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Whale'come, Pico - 2 Star

Located in Lajes do Pico, you can stay at this characteristic hotel if you have opted to pre-book the whale watching excursion. Some of the comfortable rooms offer lovely views of the sea or mountains. Breakfast and dinner is taken in the on-site cosy restaurant.

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Alojamento Bela Vista, Pico - 3 Star

Situated in Lajes do Pico this lovely hotel offers bright, comfortable rooms, some with mountain or sea views. The communal sun terrace has beautiful views over rooftops towards the sea and Mount Pico. Buffet breakfast is taken in the hotel and dinner in a nearby restaurant behind the church facing the sea.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone, air conditioning and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer. 


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Hotel Caravelas, Pico - 4 Star

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Located on Madalena, Pico Island, Caravelas is just opposite the ferry terminal surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on 3 sides and overlooks Faial Island. The pleasant rooms feature private balconies with ocean, courtyard or Mount Pico views. Buffet breakfast is taken in the hotel and dinner in a nearby restaurant. There is an outdoor swimming pool available for guests to use.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone, air conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.  

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Hotel Casa do Antonio, São Jorge - 2 Star

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Located only 100 metres from the harbour and 15 minutes’ drive from the airport, this small hotel was lovingly created by the owner Antonio Pedroso a local artist, keen walker and musician. There are 8 spacious rooms many with views across the harbour. There is a larger tower room available at a supplement which has a harbour view and a bath. A delightful breakfast is taken in the hotel.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone, air conditioning and private bathroom with WC and shower.


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Hotel São Jorge, São Jorge - 3 Star

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Located in the harbour town of Velas, Hotel São Jorge is just 15 minutes’ drive from the airport. All the spacious rooms face the sea with a view of Pico and its iconic volcano from the balcony. Buffet breakfast is taken in the hotel. There is an outdoor swimming pool open in the summer.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone, air conditioning and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer. 

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Hotel Vila Nova, São Miguel - 3 Star

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This charming hotel is well located near the harbour of Ponta Delgada. Local buses and the guided pick up point are very close (if you have opted for guided walking). There is a lovely outdoor swimming pool (seasonal) for guests to use. You can enjoy a buffet breakfast and dinner in the modern Atlantis Restaurant which serves a selection of local and international dishes.

All 102 rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone, air conditioning, safe and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

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Hotel Do Colégio, São Miguel - 4 Star

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This beautiful hotel is located on a quiet side street within the historical centre of Ponta Delgada yet is still within easy walking distance of all the places of interest. The building dates back to the 19th century and was later adapted to house a private school; it was also the first address of the Regional Conservatory of Music with some of its original features maintained. There is also an outdoor swimming pool for guests to use. You can enjoy breakfast and dinner in Cantina do Colégio Restaurant which serves a signature cuisine made from locally grown ingredients. 

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone, air conditioning, safe and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer. 


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Availability Information

Walking is possible all year around in the Azores. Spring is early so April and May are good times and Autumn extends into November. Being islands in the middle of the Atlantic it does tend to rain with the wettest months from October to March. The driest are July and August. There is only a 9°C variation (15 - 24°C) in average day time temperature between the coldest and warmest months so it is never very cold nor are there any prolonged hot days.

Please note our best to go information is generally referring to the walking which may fall in the early or late season in some places. This may mean that not all tourist facilities will be open at the time you visit. 

When to book your walking holiday in Portugal - Azores - Azores - Western & Central Islands

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