- Taking in the stunning Blue and Green Lake of Sete Cidades
- Enjoying the natural swimming pools and the fishing port at Lagoa
- Sampling tasty Cozido de Furnas at Caldeiras da Lagoa
- Cycling the trails of the Tronqueira forests
- Sipping tea at the Gorreana Tea Plantation
- Bathing in the thermal pools of Ferraria
This holiday exceeded our expectations. The views of the crater and the Atlantic ocean were spectacular!
Following your arrival into Ponta Delgada airport you will be transferred to your charming hotel in the town centre. Your local representative will provide your route notes and a schedule for your time in the Azores. Depending on your arrival time, you’ll hopefully be able to sample your first meal in the Azores at one of the many small restaurants in the centre of town.
- Meals: Breakfast
After the delivery of your bikes, we will transfer you (approx. 25 minutes by van) to the starting point for today’s ride, Santa Bárbara beach in Ribeira Grande.
You’ll pass one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Azores, Miradouro de Santa Iria, which makes the uphills worthwhile as the views are stunning across the Atlantic Ocean, as well as to the nearby beach of Santa Iria. This makes for a great snack spot before you continue a little higher, following quiet country lanes on your way to Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande. You will come across a number of fumaroles, a mineral water spring and a bubbling water pool…certainly not one to swim in! You’ve got plenty of time to explore the fumaroles (openings in the Earth’s crust from where steam is emitted).
A slight uphill detour will take you to the dam of Fajã do Redondo and from here there is a fun descent (off road on hard-packed earth) which takes you to Ribeira Grande City. Alternatively you can head back to the nearby Santa Bárbara beach for a dip! We’ll pick you up from either spot for the transfer back to your hotel (approx. 25 minutes).
- Meals: Breakfast
Today we will pick you from your hotel and transfer you to Sete Cidades (approx. 35 minute transfer). During the ride you will have chance to learn about the legendary love story behind the formation of the lakes of Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde.
The route provides superb views as you pedal around the craters’ rims. It’s great cycling and we’d recommend taking a picnic for some lunch on the shores of the Blue Lake! Following lunch you may wish to explore the tranquil, lakeside routes before heading to the small village of Sete Cidades where you are able to visit the church of Igreja São Nicolau.
There’s a treat in store now as it’s time to switch from your cycling kit and into your swimming costumes for a dip in a swimming pool by the sea. Heated by a volcanic crack it’s a great place to relax after a day in the saddle. With the heat of the water dictated by the tide times (low tide is best) we’ll do our best to make sure you know when it’s best to arrive. Don’t worry, there’s also a man-made heated pool! We’ll pick you up and transfer you back to your hotel (approx. 35 minute transfer).
- Meals: Breakfast
Today has been scheduled as a rest day. In the morning you might like to go whale watching (in total approx. 3 hours). If you choose this option, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Marina Pêro de Teive. During your time at sea, you will have the opportunity to watch some of more than twenty species of whales, dolphins, and other marine species. The Sperm Whale is the whale most frequently seen, but you might also get the change to see migrating whales such as the Blue Whale, Pilot Whales and even Orcas!
In the afternoon, you might like to do a Van Tour (approx. 3.5 hours). This trip includes time at the fascinating landscapes of Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake). This huge blue lake is around 2km long and 1km wide and fills the ground of an extinct crater. Surrounded by high mountains and luxuriant endemic vegetation, this mystical lake is now a nature reserve. You will also spend time at Caldeira Velha, a warm waterfall where people often swim in the steaming waters.
Of course, you may wish to just relax completely for the day or take your bike for a quick spin. Please note that should conditions not be suitable for whale watching then it may be best to alter timings, or even switch days around, so as to give you the best opportunity to undertake the whale watching. Tonight you’ll stay in Ponta Delgada.
- Meals: Breakfast
After negotiating Ponta Delgada’s narrow streets you’ll soon be on the seafront from where you can join the traffic-free cycle path which takes you to the small town of Sao Roque, before heading on to Lagoa. Once in Lagoa you might well be able to spot local fishermen returning home in their traditional boats. Lagoa makes for a nice lunch spot and you can either try out one of the small restaurants by the harbour or buy supplies in the town itself. Lagoa also has some natural swimming pools by/in the sea should you fancy a dip.
From here you can proceed to Vila de Agua de Pau, before cycling on towards the coast and to Caloura, a summer destination for the locals. You can take the optional transfer back to your hotel, or if you prefer you can ride back, retracing your earlier route. We will pick you up from your hotel in Ponta Delgada in the late afternoon and transfer you to your second accommodation of the week in Furnas (approx. 45 minute transfer).
- Meals: Breakfast
Today’s ride begins in the centre of Furnas, as you cycle to Caldeiras da Lagoa. This is where natural hot springs are used as ovens. It’s a tradition for locals to boil (with steam) a meat and vegetable stew, known as Cozido, in huge pots which are placed underground for up to seven hours. You continue on, circling the lake’s shores. On the way back to your hotel, you’ll retrace your steps a little so that you arrive back into Caldeiras da Lagoa in time to see the Cozido being removed from the ground. Once back at your hotel, there’s a chance to have your first taste of Cozido (please note that reservation is necessary 24 hours in advance – this costs approx. 20 Euros).
This afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to explore the superb botanical gardens of the hotel and then take a relaxing swim in an iron-rich, heated swimming pool. Your accommodation tonight will once again be in Furnas and there’s no better way to end your day than a short wander to the pool for a final dip before bed.
Should you fancy a few more miles in the saddle today, there are some steep sections to take on should you wish, with the extra distance very much up to the individual rider.
- Meals: Breakfast
To make things a little easier on the legs today we have arranged a transfer to a viewpoint with the best views over Furnas village and the coast. From here you’ll begin cycling through the countryside of Nordeste, passing the base of the highest peak of São Miguel (Pico Vara at 1105m) and witnessing some incredible views in all directions. Once at the top you are in for a real treat and from here it is all downhill to Nordeste. In Nordeste you can stop for lunch and wander round the small town.
It’s here that we will meet you and will load up your bikes for the return transfer to Ponta Delgada (approx. 30 minutes). On the way we will stop at Ribeira dos Caldeirões to check out the waterfalls, watermill and levadas, before continuing along the coast to the Gorreana Tea Factory, which is renowned throughout the world for the production of organic tea (especially Green Tea).
- Meals: Breakfast
Sadly your time in the Azores is at an end, but not before breakfast and hopefully some time to explore a little more! We will transfer you to Ponta Delgada airport in time for your return flight.
During your time in the Azores, you will be cycling on a variety of terrains. These will vary from quiet, asphalted and mostly traffic-free countryside and coastal roads / lanes (approx. 50% of the route), to wide ‘off road’ trails which, whilst not asphalted, are well compacted (approx. 40% of the route).
At certain times (on 2 of the cycling days) there will be slightly bumpier / rougher sections, but these are non-technical. About 12% of the route is traffic free.
This trip is a grade 3, as although the distances are quite short, the terrain can be challenging in parts. Day 4 around Sete Cidades will prove the most challenging, with the most difficult terrain, although the day can be made slightly easier.
Do contact the office to discuss the terrain / routes and for more information relating to the above.
Leisure Cycling Grade
Distances generally between 20-45 miles / 32-72 kms per day
For the leisure cyclist with a good level of physical fitness
May include some steeper, cheeky climbs and possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc)
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?
Although you may not cycle everyday, you do keep yourself relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on your bike at the weekend. Your preference is perhaps for flatter terrain but you don’t mind tackling some hills, and the occasional steep climb if you can take it at your own pace. For those happy to tackle some ups and downs, and possibly some sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc) we’d recommend our grade 3 trips. We’d generally expect those on a Grade 3 holiday to have a decent level of physical fitness and be comfortable with some longer days in the saddle.
Representatives brought the island to life with their knowledge of all aspects of life on Sao Miguel and made us feel at home with their warmth, humour and kindness.
Dates & Prices
Daily departures available from June to October.
There are only direct flights from the UK on Fridays and Saturdays; most other arrival dates will involve a change in Lisbon.
June to September – £1075 per person
October – £995 per person
If you are travelling in a group of 4 or more people, we can offer you the discounted rates of £1030 per person (June-Sept), £950 per person (Oct).
A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in 4* hotels
B) Meals as per the itinerary (B-Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) English-speaking local representative (with welcome meeting)
D) Detailed route notes and maps
E) Luggage transfers
F) Transfers from hotel to/from cycling trail (as per the itinerary)
G) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival/departure day from/to Ponta Delgada airport (PDL)
What's not Included
A) Bike rental (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 5 (approx. 50 Euros) – payable locally
J) Optional van tour of Lago do Fogo on day 5 (approx. 40 Euros) – payable locally
K) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days
Portugal - exploring this gem by bike
Here's why we love it so much! Enjoy the stunning beaches, wine, food and culture of this beautiful country...
Simple pleasures of a cycling holiday
That is what life is about and our cycling holidays are packed with these moments...
David, Baltimore, USAA fantastic trip helped by the Saddle Skedaddle representative!
The Skedaddle representative Paulo made this trip fantastic. He was our guide, our chauffeur, and our host on his home island. He could not have been more helpful and agreeable to anything we wanted to do. He was knowledgeable on every subject about the island we asked him about – geology, history, current events, everything.
Favourite was day 2 – the ride around Sete Cidades. The ride was fun and the views were amazing! A swim in the lake to finish the ride and cool down was perfect. Day 4 – Ponta Delgada to Caloura is a close second. This ride was fairly flat, with the only real uphill about 1/2 way through the ride. Again, beautiful scenery along the whole ride. My family agreed that the best part of the ride was the end; finishing at the fishing port of Caloura, having a fresh fish lunch and swimming in the clearest, bluest, ocean water.
Bruce, CanadaWe always recommend Skedaddle!
This holiday exceeded our expectations. It was a holiday that combined cycling with amazing views of the island with other activities such as swimming and visiting interesting island features. Technically this was a self-guided tour, but much of our enjoyment was due to our excellent support guide, who kept us entertained and informed with all sorts of island information and suggestions. He also was very accommodating and catered to our schedule and interests. The services provided by Saddle Skedaddle were excellent. All the accommodations were comfortable and the staff were very friendly. We enjoyed the variety of terrain that we were on: smooth pavements, cobblestones, and gravel roads. Day 2 was our favourite day. We had views of the crater and the Atlantic ocean which were spectacular. The trip notes were excellent and provided us with a good feel for what to expect. Booking was easy and all our questions were answered promptly. We often have chats with our friends about our cycling trips, and we always recommend Skedaddle to handle all the arrangements.
The circuit of the crater Sete Cidades was pretty mind-blowing, but we also loved the final ride to Nordeste on the gravel track. We loved the representative, Paulo – very friendly and helpful. Always where and when he said he was going to be.
David, AustraliaThe best guide we have ever had!
We have travelled all over the world on sporting, tourist and business trips. Our guide, Nuno, in the Azores was the best we have ever had. He was knowledgeable and passionate about the Azores and its culture, nothing was too much trouble for him and he was always helpful and enthusiastic. He aded greatly to our enjoyment of the holiday.
Roger, StaffordshireGreat balance of challenges and relaxation time!
This time around I described the trip to my lads as “a holiday with cycling rather than a cycling holiday.” If you want lots of KM then you may want a different experience. For me this was perfect as we were taken from our hotel to a cycling point and then delivered back to our hotel at a time of our choosing, which meant that on each day we always wound down over a long lazy lunch rather than in the next hotel room. Sometimes cycling hotel to hotel can mean you miss out on the sights and scenery. This was perfect as it had enough challenges but was balanced with relaxation time.
lorna, OrkneyExceptional level of service!
I wouldn’t normally bother with a survey of this sort but on this occasion I feel I must owing to the exceptional level of service provided by your representatives Nuno and Ines.
They brought the island alive to us with their knowledge of all aspects of life on Sao Miguel and made us feel at home with their warmth, humour and kindness. They are fantastic ambassadors for your company and I would not hesitate to recommend Skedaddle to anybody considering a holiday with you.
Brian, West SussexThe service made my holiday...
The representative was fantastic, knowledgable, kind, experienced, considerate and he knew when to tell you things without intruding. Nothing was too much trouble for him, and he went out of his way to make the holiday a success. I would recommend him and his company to anyone, and use them again. They brought the Islands to life.