+44 (0)191 2651110   info@skedaddle.com

The Azores - Lakes and Volcanoes

Self-Guided Road Cycling Holiday




8 days

Prices from

£855 P.P.
Located almost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the volcanic origins of these islands are reflected in the mountains and valleys covered by a rich and varied vegetation, lakes in ancient volcanic craters, natural swimming pools by the sea, black sandy beaches, active, steaming fumaroles and thermal hot water cascades and fountains. 
The trip starts following your arrival into Ponta Delgada, which is situated on the largest of the Azores islands; Sao Miguel or as it is more commonly known, The Green Island, due to its vibrant colour and dense vegetation. It's here that you spend your first few days exploring the roads and climbs of the west side of the island. These include the volcanic complex of Sete Cidades, with its amazing blue and green lakes and heated pools of Ferraria where you can enjoy a swim. Towards the end of the trip, you'll be travelling along the north coast of the island, visiting Ribeirnha, which takes it's name from the small river valley it resides in.
Midpoint we have scheduled in an optional non cycling day. With the Azores famous for whales and dolphins, you can head out on a boat for a spot of whale watching in the morning. In the afternoon there is the option of a jeep trip to Fogo Lake and to Caldeira Velha - a hot waterfall where it's possible to take a dip.
You also visit the village of Furnas where you stay for two evenings. From Furnas you are well placed to really experience the volcanic origins of the island around Furnas Lake, Caldeiras da Lagoa and the fumaroles as well as time to explore the botanical gardens. Your penultimate day of cycling takes you from Povoacao towards Nordeste, a great cycling journey through the amazing forestland of the Tronqueira, with amazing views over the whole island and the ocean and a visit to the Gorreana Tea plantation.
To end the trip in style and with plenty of miles in your legs we have saved a wonderfully steep climb for your last day, climbing straight up to a volcanic rim, but worry not - we reward you with a downhill all the way to the coast and the end of your adventure in the Azores - for now at least!

Holiday Highlights

  • Cycling to Sete Cidades – one of the biggest craters on the islands
  • Bathing in a volcanic heated pool in Ferraria
  • Pedalling up Lagoa do Fogo, the highest point of the archipelago
  • Taking a dip in the waterfall near the botanical gardens of Caldeira Velha
  • Sampling ‘Cozido das Furnas’ – a culinary Azorean speciality
  • Sipping tea at the Gorreana Tea Plantation

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Day 1
Arrival: Ponta Delgada Airport
Non Riding Day

Arrival at Ponta Delgada airport and transfer to your hotel. Today you have a free day to explore Ponta Delgada and its beautiful surroundings.

Once settled in we will meet you to provide your route notes and detailed schedule for your time in the Azores.

Tonight will be spent in Ponta Delgada. The hotel you are staying in is the most charming in town and is located right in the centre where you can find plenty of small restaurants and cafes serving local cuisine.

Day 2
Sete Cidades Loop Ride - choice of 2 routes
38 Miles or 50 Miles Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,200 or 1,600 Metres Approx

On this first day you will be discovering the west side of the island. You will go from Ponta Delgada to the crater of Sete Cidades, one of the biggest craters of the Azores and one of the seven natural wonders of the country. Leaving the city you soon cross the small village of Relva and have nice views over the coast. After that you start the climb to the top of the mountain. At the top of the mountain you will have amazing views over the craters and lakes.

Once reaching Sete Cidades village at the bottom of the crater you might want to enjoy your lunch break on the shore of the beautiful Blue Lake. After enjoying the area you will leave the craters through the west side heading to the coast. There you will have a couple of bathing opportunities, especially in Ferraria, where you can bathe in a magnificent swimming pool by the sea heated by a volcanic crack beneath it.

Taking the main road of the island, always parallel to the sea, you’ll head back to Ponta Delgada where you’ll stay once more.

Day 3
Ponta Delgada Circuit - choice of 2 routes
29 Miles or 37 Miles Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 850 or 925 Metres Approx.

Going straight north from Ponta Delgada you’ll soon be in the centre of the island and surrounded by lush green fields and friendly cows munching away. This is the most important milk production area of the region and it’s easy to see why. Still in the countryside you begin your cycle down to the north coast of the island. Here you keep close to the coast, passing by view points, old harbours, natural swimming pools and small traditional villages.

Crossing back to the south you soon go through some rural areas. Before arriving back into the centre of Ponta Delgada you have the opportunity to visit a traditional pineapple production plant. Did you know that the pineapples grown in these Azorean greenhouses take around 2 years before they end up in our local supermarkets!

Accommodation tonight is in Ponta Delgada.

Day 4
Free Day
Optional ride - 29 Miles Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,165 Metres Approx.

Optional Fire Lake Ride

Today you can visit Lagoa do Fogo’s natural reserve to enjoy nature at its very best. Lagoa do Fogo is the highest point you are able to reach in the island by bike, and getting there is via one of the steepest climbs too. But it’s well worth it, since you will have some amazing views once at the top. Make sure you have your cameras ready!

Your day on the bike starts by crossing the island from Ponta Delgada to the area of Ribeira Grande. Halfway up your climb you’ll pass an area called Caldeira Velha, a botanical garden boasting rich and dense vegetation. Here you’ll find an iron rich waterfall where you can go for a dip and soothe yourself in its warm waters.

Still going up you’ll have superb views of the crater and the lake below. After reaching the high point you’ll then descend the mountain towards the south coast and head back to Ponta Delgada.

Optional Tours – Whale Watching / Jeep Safari

Morning – Whale Watching Option: (3 hours approx /55 euros per person approx)

Following breakfast, you will be picked up at the hotel at 08.30 for your short journey to Marina Pêro de Teive. During your time at sea (around 2.5–3hrs) you will have the opportunity to watch some of more than twenty species of whales, dolphins, and other marine species that can be found in the Azores.

Before the boat trip there will be a briefing to explain which species are likely to be observed as well as information about conservation, whaling history and of course safety procedures on board the boat.

The waters around the Azores have several resident dolphins such as the Short-beaked Common Dolphin, the Common Bottlenose Dolphin and Risso’s dolphin as well as summer guests like the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin and the Striped Dolphin. Although the Sperm Whale is the whale seen most frequently, you might also see migrating Baleen whales, among them the Blue Whale, especially during early spring to late summer, as well as more rare encounters with Pilot Whales and even Killer Whales.

Afternoon – Jeep Safari Option: (3.5 hours approx / 40 euros per person approx )

Collection at 14:00 for a wonderful jeep tour combining highland and flatland and the nature of the Azores at its best. The tour includes time at the fascinating landscapes of Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake) located in the centre of the island and one of the island’s main attractions. This huge blue lake is around 2km long and 1km wide and fills the ground of an extinct crater, whose caldera was formed during an eruption in 1563. You will also spend time at Caldeira Velha, a warm waterfall where you are able to bathe in its steaming waters. During the trip you’ll also stop in Ribeira Grande city and visit the local liquor factory.

Day 5
Ponta Delgada to Furnas - choice of 2 routes
28 Miles or 36 Miles Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,000 or 1,300 Metres Approx.

Today you leave Ponta Delgada and ride to Furnas and your next accommodation. Initially heading east you ride close to the ocean and as you would expect, there are lots of opportunities to take a dip. Along the way you’ll pass by beaches, natural swimming pools and even small traditional fishing harbours. As you progress further along the coast there are great viewpoints and after passing the village of Vila Franca do Campo equally stunning views of the interior of the island.

On the way down to the valley of Furnas your route takes you lakeside from where you’ll witness some of the amazing volcanic activity of the area.

During your stay in Furnas you will have the opportunity to experience the volcanic origins of the island, swim in a thermal pool, taste different types of water and enjoy the astonishing landscape of this magical place. You may also wish to taste the famous ‘Cozido das Furna‘. This traditional Azorean meal is cooked slowly for around 6 hours after being buried in soil / sand where it is heated naturally.

Today your luggage will be transferred to your hotel in Furnas.

Day 6
Furnase/Nordeste Loop
55 Miles Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,850 Metres Approx.

This will be your longest cycling day of the week as you’ll be riding through the oldest and highest parts of the island. First stop is the village of Povoação, where the settlement of the island started in 1432. From here you ride upwards and enjoy beautiful views of both the coast and the amazing dense forest areas that cover this part of the Azores mountains and hillsides.

The route then passes into the village of Nordeste which is renowned for its flowers. After visiting Nordeste you soon arrive at an old road which takes you through a series of small villages where you can watch the locals going about their daily rituals. On the way back you will also pass by a waterfall and an old watermill area.

Finally you cross the mountains to begin your ride back to Furnas taking in even more amazing views and sights along the way.

Tonight is spent in Furnas once more and there’s no better way to end the day, than with another dip in the hotel’s thermal pool.

Day 7
Furnas to Ponta Delgada
30 Miles Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 765 Metres Approx.

Today it’s time to say goodbye to Furnas, leave the steaming waters of the town behind and take a steep climb straight to the top of the rim of the crater. Your reward is not only the amazing views, but the superb descent all the way down to the northern coast.

Once here you’ll need to follow the coast and head to the city of Ribeira Grande. On the way the views are stunning and you’ll pass some great viewpoints as you pick your way through the small villages of the region.

Today you also have the opportunity to visit the Gorreana Tea Factory and taste the local tea. This tea plantation is world-renowned for its organic tea with its antioxidant properties and is a great place to recover for a while!

Once in Ribeira Grande you can visit the small town or you may prefer to head to the beach for a little sun and surf. Suitably refreshed and replenished it’s time to head back to Ponta Delgada. Time to reacquaint yourself with your original hotel and head out once more for some delicious food to round off what will have been a great day and week on the bike.

Day 8
Departure: Ponta Delgada Airport
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

Sadly your time in the Azores is drawing to a close and it’s time to bid a fond farewell to the island as we transfer you back to Ponta Delgada Airport and your onward flight connections.

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The Cycling


In general you will be cycling on quiet, countryside asphalt roads, however there will be some very short distances on cobblestones. To cope with the cobbled sections we would recommend that riders avoid super lightweight racing tyres and opt for a slightly more robust tyre such as a puncture resistant 25c.

azores road3.jpg

Road Cycling Grade

Grade 3 : Moderate

45-60 miles / 70-95 kms per day

For riders with experience, good fitness & a decent level of skill

Some features that may be experienced more frequently in a higher grade tour

Most days include a couple of significant climbs

Some long days & some steep to very steep sections

Not for beginners

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

You’re definitely not a novice rider, you’re fit, you ride regularly at weekends, sometimes staying on the bike for much of the day, you love your bike! You also enjoy a challenge and if you haven’t already done so you’re keen to attempt a semi-serious to serious mountain pass or two. You’re as comfortable with the prospect of descending from the top of a col as you are with the idea of climbing it and you’re confident that you have the skills to do so safely. You’re not necessarily a “racer” but you can crank up the pace a little when it’s necessary and you don’t mind forgoing a coffee stop if the schedule demands it occasionally. You probably own and use clipless pedals. You have good control of your bike and can take a drink from a water bottle without having to unclip and put your feet on the ground. Whilst you find a full day in the saddle fulfilling you’re not obsessed and as much as you are looking forward to the riding on your holiday, you’re also looking forward to a little local culture and cuisine. Grade 3 would be a good option for you.

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Dates & Prices

Daily departures available, between 01st April and 31st October in 2020.

There are only direct flights from the UK on Saturdays; most other arrival dates will involve a change in Lisbon. 

Season 1 2020 For trips starting between (and inclusive of) the 01/04 and the 05/04, the 13/04 and the 30/04 or 01/10 and 31/10: £855 pp

Season 2 2020 For trips starting between (and inclusive of) the 06/04 and the 12/04, or the 01/05 and the 30/09: £995 pp

Contact us on +44 (0) 191 265 1110 or email info@skedaddle.com to check availability for your specific date.

Choose your date
Start Date
End Date
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
8 days

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in 4* hotels

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Local representative (with welcome meeting)

D) Detailed route notes and maps

E) Luggage transfers

F) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Ponta Delgada airport (PDL)

G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Ponta Delgada airport (PDL)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Single room (available if required)

D) Travel insurance

E) Meals not stated in the itinerary

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities, etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Optional whale watching on day 4 (approx. 55 euros)

J) Optional jeep safari on day 4 (approx. 40 euros)

K) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday.

For this tour we ask that you fly into and back from Ponta Delgada airport (PDL). Please arrive between 09.00 and 23.00 and depart after 10.00.

For those flying from the UK, there are direct flights from London Gatwick (LGW) with SATA and from London Stansted (STN) with Ryanair. These are on Saturdays only. Ryanair are also offering direct flights in the summer from Manchester (MAN) (Fridays only). If you‘re flying from the US, there are direct flights from Boston (BOS) with Azores Airlines, and from New York (JFK) with Delta.

There are also connections via Portugal with Portugal’s national airline TAP from London and Manchester; on most of these flights, you will need to connect in Lisbon.

Please check with Skedaddle before making any travel arrangements. Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for your transfers.


Accommodation on this holiday will be in two 4* hotels, located in Ponta Delgada and in Furnas. The accommodation will be in twin or double ensuite rooms, unless you have selected the single room option.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or you would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to hire. These bikes are typically Specialized Allez, Roubaix and Tarmac road bikes equipped with Shimano Tiagra/105. If you do decide to hire we can also include a helmet. Please request a helmet when making your booking. If you ride with clip-in pedals please bring your own pedals with you and we will fit them to the hire bike for you.

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