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!
Daily departures available, between 23rd March and 31st October in 2019. There are only direct flights from the UK on Saturdays; most other arrival dates will involve a change in Lisbon.
Season 1 For trips starting between (and inclusive of) the 23/03 and the 03/05, the 13/05 and the 31/05 or the 01/10 and the 31/10: £845 pp.
Season 2 For trips starting between (and inclusive of) the 04/05 and the 12/05 or the 01/06 and the 30/09: £995 pp.
Contact us on +44 (0) 191 265 1110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to check availability for your specific date.
Season 1: 23/03 – 03/05 – £845 pp
Season 2: 04/05 – 12/05 – £995 pp
Season 1: 13/05 – 31/05 – £845 pp
Season 2: 01/06 – 30/09 – £995 pp
Season 1: 01/10 – 31/10 – £845 pp
2 centre based / 7 nights hotels
5 days of riding
1 optional ride or optional activities on day 4
Airport and luggage transfers
Route notes and maps provided
Minimum 2 people
|1||Arrival: Ponta Delgada Airport||Non Riding Day|
|2||Sete Cidades Loop Ride - choice of 2 routes||38 Miles or 50 Miles Approx.||1,200 or 1,600 Metres Approx||B|
|3||South Coast Trip - choice of 2 routes||29 Miles or 37 Miles Approx.||850 or 925 Metres Approx.||B|
|4||Free Day||Optional ride - 29 Miles Approx.||1,165 Metres Approx.||B|
|5||Ponta Delgada to Furnas - choice of 2 routes||28 Miles or 36 Miles Approx.||1,000 or 1,300 Metres Approx.||B|
|6||Furnase/Nordeste Loop||55 Miles Approx.||1,850 Metres Approx.||B|
|7||Furnas to Ponta Delgada||30 Miles Approx.||765 Metres Approx.||B|
|8||Departure: Ponta Delgada Airport||Non Riding Day||B|
Meals: B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner | Please keep in mind the distances and ascent information provided are intended to be indicative and may vary from the actuals due to accommodation changes or when compared on different GPS devices and software
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)
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.
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
For those new to cycling or who don’t have a high level of fitness. Easy combination of flatter or gently undulating routes. For riders seeking a very relaxed tour. Beginners welcome. 20-40 miles / 30-60 kms per day.
On undulating or rolling terrain, occasional moderate / challenging climbs. No high altitude ascents & the odd short steep climbs. For semi-regular riders / relative novices wishing to gain experience & fitness. 40-50 miles / 60-80 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. 45-60 miles / 70-95 kms per day.
For cyclists with stamina & a good level of fitness. Long & challenging days with multiple tough or high altitude ascents, with steep sections over extended distances. Long & often technically demanding descents. Road riding for experienced riders. 45-80 miles / 80-130 kms per day.
Designed for cyclists with good stamina and a high level of fitness. Consecutively long, challenging days with multiple serious or high altitude ascents. Frequent steep or very steep stages occasionally over extended distances. Includes long and often technically demanding descents. Serious road riding for experienced riders. 60-100 miles / 95-160 kms per day
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.
Sete Cidades Loop Ride - choice of 2 routes 38 Miles or 50 Miles Approx. B
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.
South Coast Trip - choice of 2 routes 29 Miles or 37 Miles Approx. B
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.
Free Day Optional ride - 29 Miles Approx. B
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.
Ponta Delgada to Furnas - choice of 2 routes 28 Miles or 36 Miles Approx. B
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.
Furnase/Nordeste Loop 55 Miles Approx. B
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.
Furnas to Ponta Delgada 30 Miles Approx. B
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.
Departure: Ponta Delgada Airport Non Riding Day B
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.
We always do our best to stick to this itinerary but please be aware that we can't guarantee to follow this schedule exactly. Very occasionally events that are out of our control mean we have to make some changes, but we'll ensure you still have a great time!
We work in conjunction with a local partner to provide this holiday, combining their local expertise and Skedaddle’s experience in delivering cycling holidays worldwide. Together we will make sure that every element of your holiday is unforgettable!
An English speaking member of the local team will:
Of course you can also contact Skedaddle in the UK during your holiday.
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.
Breakfast is included on this tour.
We suggest that you take packed lunches with you each day, however on day 6 there may be an option to take a traditional cozido which contains beef, chicken, pork, spicy sausage, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrot, cabbage, green kale, etc. which is all cooked slowly for six hours by natural steam. The Azores is also famous for the pineapple that grows in special greenhouses in Sao Miguel. If you would also like packed lunches to be provided, please request this when booking and we may be able to cater for this.
There are lots of tasty eating options in the Azores. Beef and pork are plentiful on the islands, as are the locally-caught fish and seafood. Tuna, swordfish, limpets and crab feature on many menus, as does marlin and sea bream.
There are some interesting local specialties including alcatra, a beef casserole served with a thin gravy and accompanied by sweet bread. On Sao Miguel, the speciality is a soft, sweet bread roll named bolos levedos, that can be bought at bread shops or any house displaying the sign ‘bolos levedos‘.
When it comes to drinks, the most famous wine grows in Pico whose vineyards have been recognised by UNESCO. There are also lots of tasty fruit liquors available to sample during your time here.
Vegetarians and people with specific dietary requirements can be catered for – please indicate at the time of booking if you have any dietary requirements.
There is no vehicle support on this tour, however your luggage will be transferred between your accommodation. We do provide a 24-hour emergency contact number for you to call if you encounter any problems during the trip. Please note that this may incur additional charges depending on the nature of the action required.
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.
The vast majority of airlines will charge you to transport your bike. This amount varies from carrier to carrier but we recommend always booking and paying for this in advance which will usually save you money compared to paying at the airport. Please contact your airline for specific details.
Most airlines will also require your bike to be properly packaged for transport. Most commonly this will be in a bike bag or box specifically designed for the job. There is a wealth of options when it comes to picking the right box or bag for your needs and we would be happy to discuss these with you. Please contact us if you require any help or advice.
We provide everything except a bike (unless you have opted to hire), personal equipment and clothing. If you are taking your own bike it should preferably be a road bike.
For our trips we recommend that your bike is fitted with a compact chainset, with a 28 tooth bottom sprocket as a minimum, to ease the climbing. It is imperative that your bike is in good mechanical order. If you are not mechanically minded, we advise you to take your bike to a local bicycle dealer for a service before your trip.
You will need to bring your own accessories including helmet, gloves and hydration pack / bottles for drinking water. It is also a good idea to bring shoes suitable for walking (along with your cycling shoes) as well as a light but waterproof rain jacket and a fleece / warmer layer for mornings and evenings.
While riding with Skedaddle it is compulsory that you wear a helmet. If you don’t have a helmet or don’t intend to bring your own we may, subject to availability, be able to provide one on request. You will not be permitted to ride unless you wear a helmet.
Please contact us if you are unsure whether your bike or equipment will be suitable.
The Azores are situated in the Atlantic Ocean between Portugal (1,500km/930 miles) and North America (3,800km/2360 miles) and are made up of an archipelago of nine lush green islands.
Originally thought to be part of the lost continent of Atlantis, the islands were discovered by the Portuguese and soon became an important link between Europe and the Americas. Because of their location, the islands have been able to maintain a traditional lifestyle, especially outside of the main towns. The pace of life is slow and tourism in its infancy. The volcanic formation of the islands created vast craters, lush valleys, vividly-coloured lakes, steep cliffs, jagged mountains, hot springs and geysers and combined to form a truly spectacular destination just perfect for cycling.
As part of Portugal the local currency in The Azores is the Euro. You can find up to date exchange rates by visiting www.xe.com
Whilst breakfasts are included, lunches and evening meals are not (unless requested) and you should budget for these accordingly. A nice evening meal costs around 25-30 Euros per person excluding drinks. A nice bottle of wine costs around 10 Euros in a restaurant, a beer approx. 5 Euros and soft drinks 3 Euros.
Whilst ATM’s, banks and exchange booths are available in the main centres such as Ponta Delgada it is better to have cash rather than rely on this method of payment. Any personal expenditure for things such as souvenirs depends very much on the individual.
Your banks may impose charges for using your card abroad and you should always warn your bank you will be travelling with your card prior to your trip.
We recommend you have a dental and medical check-up before the holiday. Basic information about vaccinations and preventative treatments can be found at travelhealthpro.org.uk.
UK residents are able to obtain medical treatment, should it become necessary, either free or at a reduced cost when temporarily visiting by using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC replaced the now redundant E111 and should be used in conjunction with a valid travel insurance policy.
You can no longer apply for your EHIC through the post office, this is now done through the NHS – www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC
Your allowable baggage is one main piece of luggage per person, other than your bike and a small day pack. Your main luggage should preferably be either a backpack / rucksack or ‘sports bag’ so as to assist in transportation. The day pack may be useful for carrying your additional outer-layer clothing, camera and snacks (etc) while cycling.
Please note, if you are flying, baggage allowances vary from airline to airline and all excess baggage charges must be met by you. Some airlines may only include cabin baggage as standard, and you will need to request hold baggage separately. With some budget carriers now charging for both cabin and hold luggage, please check with your airline for costs.
In order to get the most out of your trip, you need to choose a holiday of the right grade and make sure you‘re prepared. The amount of preparation and training you need to do will depend on your own experience, your level of fitness and the type and grade of holiday you are going on.
Do feel free to contact us if you would like to talk this through in more detail.
The weather in the Azores has no major extremes but can be changeable. Temperatures are stable, usually around 12-13°C/53-55°F in winter and 22-24°C/71-75°F in summer. As you would expect in places where the climate is dictated by the ocean, you can get four seasons in one day, so don’t be surprised if you experience sunny days, mixed with a bit of rain, a smattering of low cloud in the morning and a breeze by late afternoon.
A full passport is required for visiting this destination. If this is not currently held it is your responsibility to obtain this in good time. Please visit www.fco.gov.uk for the most up to date entry requirements.
It is a condition of your trip that you are covered by a medical and personal accident insurance policy that includes repatriation to your home country and cover for all planned activities, including where appropriate costs related to any relevant local rescue services. If you are a UK resident, you could contact our recommended insurance provider:*http:/www.campbellirvinedirect.com/saddleskedaddle* who offer travel insurance specifically designed to cover travel with Skedaddle. Alternatively, we will require details of your chosen policy including the policy name, your policy number and the 24hr medical emergency number, before the start of your trip.
We’re passionate about pedallin’ and there is no better way to soak up a country, its culture, see its wildlife and its people, than by bike! Whether you’re travelling in our small guided parties of around 6 – 16 people or riding self-guided with friends or family, our handpicked destinations and a flexible approach ensure you’ll have a wonderful holiday!
‘Fun‘, ‘friendly’, ‘professional’, and ‘personal’, are words that are used time and time again by our customers. Going that extra mile for our customers isn’t an obligation – it’s just what we do, ‘nowt’s a bother’. Skedaddle holidays are designed to relax and recharge, challenge, thrill, exhilarate and chill-out. We are able to cater for all levels of experience and fitness. If you’re young or old, man or woman, a super fit experienced rider or a relative novice, we have a holiday for you!
Our holidays provide great cycling in magnificent destinations. Whatever your passion, whether off-road, road or leisure cycling, small group or self-guided. We take great care of all those who travel with us. Whether going alone, or with friends or family, all enjoy the Skedaddle experience.
We recognise our responsibility to the people and places we visit. Our philosophy is ensuring that your holiday can have a positive impact on the places you visit. Developing our approach to how we run our holidays is an ongoing process.
To let us know your thoughts on our approach, email us at email@example.com or call us on +44 (0)191 265 1110
The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 for Saddle Skedaddle, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for the following:
1. non-flight packages commencing in and returning to the UK;
2. non-flight packages commencing and returning to a country other than the UK; and
3. flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the UK, which are sold to customers outside of the UK.
1, 2 and 3 provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled. 1 and 3 provides for repatriation. Please note that bookings made outside the UK are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Saddle Skedaddle.
Saddle Skedaddle Ltd is a Member of ABTA with membership number Y6297. ABTA and ABTA Members help holidaymakers to get the most from their travel and assist them when things do not go according to plan. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. The travel arrangements you buy from us aren’t covered by ABTA’s scheme of financial protection. For further information about ABTA, the Code of Conduct and the arbitration scheme available to you if you have a complaint, contact ABTA, 30 Park Street, London SE1 9EQ. Tel: +44 (0)20 3117 0500 or www.abta.com
Before you book we recommend that you carefully read the trip notes, itinerary and our booking conditions.
To book your place on this holiday we suggest contacting us to check availability on the specific date you are interested in. If you have reduced mobility please contact us to discuss how this holiday might fit your needs.
You can make a booking on our website www.skedaddle.com/uk If you have made a booking with us before you can use your online account or we can send you a booking form by email or in the post.
On booking, a non-refundable deposit of £200.00 per person is payable. If you book less than 56 days before departure full payment is due on booking.
You can pay online as part of the booking process, by credit/debit card over the telephone, by cheque or by bank transfer (contact us for details firstname.lastname@example.org).
The balance for this holiday is due 56 days prior to departure. If you have previously made a payment by card we will take your balance, and any surcharges, from the same card when this falls due. If you would prefer to pay via an alternative method please let us know. You can also log into your My Account and make a payment online at any point.
On receipt of your booking, we will send you by email acknowledgement of your booking.
Along with the confirmation, we will send pre-departure information about your trip with Saddle Skedaddle, including health and medical considerations, suggested reading, and also general information about the country, climate, people, etc. Access all this information by logging into the My Account area of our website, www.skedaddle.com