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

The Azores - Island Discoverer

Guided Family Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,225 P.P.
Child Discount Applies
Portugal

The Azores - Island Discoverer

Guided Family Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,225 P.P.
Child Discount Applies
BOOK NOW
This is an easy paced family cycling holiday in the Azores, located almost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The volcanic origins of the islands are reflected in the mountains and valleys covered by a rich and varied vegetation, lakes in ancient volcano craters, natural swimming pools by the sea, black sandy beaches, active steaming fumaroles, and thermal hot water cascades and fountains.
Your 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. It is here that you will spend your first few days, exploring the trails on the west side of the island. These include the volcanic complex of Sete Cidades, with its amazing Blue and Green lakes and pools of Ferraria where your family can enjoy a swim.
This Azores family holiday is more than just cycling though - we have planned in a day's hiking in Faial da Terra, where you can swim in a waterfall! We have also arranged an exciting day offering something slightly different for your family. In the morning, you'll swap your cycling shades for binoculars and head out on a boat for a spot of whale watching; later on, in the afternoon, we will take a jeep safari to Caldeira Velha, a hot waterfall where you can take a dip.
This really is a trip designed with families in mind and we're sure it'll be an unforgettable experience for children of all ages, and parents alike! If you're not travelling with a family, then we also have a self-guided and guided leisure version of this trip available. 

Holiday Highlights

  • Taking in the stunning Blue and Green Lake of Sete Cidades
  • Sampling tasty Cozido de Furnas at the Caldeiras da Lagoa
  • Sipping tea at the world famous Gorreana Tea Plantation
  • Going on an exciting whale watching adventure
  • Walking through the lush vegetation of Faial de Terra
  • Splashing about in the hot waterfalls

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So many highlights! Cycling round the rim of a volcano, swimming in a waterfall, whale watching and many more. The guides were extremely knowledgable and very friendly.

Stuart, Derbyshire

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Ponta Delgada airport - transfer to Ponta Delgada

Following your arrival into Ponta Delgada airport you will be transferred to your charming hotel in Ponta Delgada town centre. Depending on flight times, the day is yours to spend at leisure exploring the town and come the evening you’ll be able to sample your first meal at one of the small restaurants in the city.

Day 2
Sete Cidades Loop Ride
11 Miles / 18 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

This morning your guide will meet you at your hotel to chat through your upcoming holiday and to provide your hire bikes. We will transfer by vehicle to Sete Cidades, from where we’ll start today’s ride, taking us to the western side of São Miguel. During today’s ride we will have the chance to learn about the legendary love story behind the formation of the lakes of Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde.

Along the way, we’ll pass several view points where you’ll have superb views over the coast, before descending to the bottom of the crater; once at the bottom, it’s time to explore the tranquil (and flat) lakeside routes! We will most likely have lunch on the shores of the Blue Lake of Sete Cidades. After lunch we‘re back on the bikes and we’ll visit the church of Igreja São Nicolau. From here, we’ll transfer by vehicle to a beautiful view point, previously used for spotting whales and dolphins!

Another transfer will take us to Ferraria where the family can switch cycling shorts for swimming costumes and take a swim in a seaside pool – often heated by a volcanic crack, it’s a great place to relax! The heat of the water is dictated by tide times, so we’ll do our best to make sure we arrive at the perfect time. Once we‘re dried off, we’ll load the bikes onto the vehicle and whisk you back to Ponta Delgada.

Day 3
Whale Watching and Jeep Safari
Whale Watching and Jeep Safari
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

This morning we will be picked up from our hotel for a whale-watching excursion. During our time at sea, we’ll 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. The Sperm Whale is the whale most frequently seen, but we might also get the chance to see migrating whales such as the Blue Whale, Pilot Whales and even Orcas!

In the afternoon, it’s time for our Jeep Safari (approx. 3.5 hours). Having been picked up from whale watching, we will have lunch in Ribeira Grande. Then the wonderful jeep safari begins, combining highland and flatland where we will witness Azorean nature at its best. 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. We will also spend time at Caldeira Velha, a warm waterfall where we can swim in the steaming waters.

Please note that should conditions not be suitable for whale watching then we may alter timings, or even switch days around, so as to give us the best opportunity to undertake the whale watching.

Please note, whale watching and jeep safari are only available for children aged 2 and over.

Day 4
Faial de Terra - Hiking
4 Miles / 6 kms Hiking (Approx 2 hours)
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Faial de Terra is a small village belonging to Povoação, in the South East of São Miguel Island. Our walk today starts along a steep, narrow road that leads us to Sanguinho, a village that was abandoned in the early 70s and is now being restored. The rest of the trail is in the woods, with some short ups and downs, between very dense vegetation (giant ferns!). This really is a walk where we’ll be surrounded by nature!

Reaching Salto de Prego waterfall, we can have a refreshing dip before, or after, our picnic lunch. When we’ve finished our hike, we’ll head back in the support vehicle and head back to the hotel where you can relax and explore the local surroundings.

Day 5
Furnas Lake and Caldeiras da Lagoa Loop Ride
11 Miles / 18 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Today’s ride begins in the centre of Furnas. We’ll soon reach Caldeiras da Lagoa. This is where natural hot springs are used as ovens. It’s a local tradition to boil (only with steam) a meat and vegetable stew, known as Cozido, in huge pots which are placed underground for up to seven hours. We’ll continue onto Furnas Lake; watch out for the majestic views as we circle the lake. On the way back to the hotel, we’ll retrace our steps a little so that we arrive back into Caldeiras da Lagoa in time to see the Cozido being removed from the ground. We’ll head back to the hotel, in time for lunch, to have our first taste of Cozido.

This afternoon we 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. Our accommodation tonight will once again be in Furnas and there’s no better way to end your day than with a short wander to the pool for a final dip before bed.

Day 6
Furnas to Ponta Delgada
11 Miles / 18 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

This morning we will pick you up from Furnas and we’ll drive to visit the Tea Plantations. Following a stop here, we head on to one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Azores, Miradouro de Santa Iria. From this lofty vantage point you’ll have great views across the Atlantic Ocean, as well as to the nearby beach and thermal baths of Santa Iria, precariously situated on the cliffs below. These ‘viewpoints’ were where whales used to be spotted when whale hunting was still allowed in the Azores. Don’t worry, whale hunting has been illegal since 1986, with the emphasis in the Azores very much focused on conservation nowadays.

We will then get onto our bikes for the first time today, pedalling towards Praia de Santa Bárbara beach. The afternoon is yours to have fun on the beach with your family, then when everyone’s ready, we’ll be there to transfer the group to our hotel in Ponta Delgada.

Day 7
Rest Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

Today is yours to to do with as you please, whether that be relaxing completely, or filling it to the brim with all sorts of leisure activities. You could consider riding your bikes in the Pinhal da Paz area or in the surroundings of Ponta Delgada, or you could visit an ethnographic museum which will have you feeling like you’ve travelled back in time, or you can even swim with dolphins!

(If you’d like to cycle today, please do let your guide know as bikes may be picked up the night before if not requested!)

Day 8
Departure from Ponta Delgada - Transfer to Ponta Delgada airport
  • Meals: Breakfast

Sadly your time in the Azores is at an end, although depending on flight times you’ll hopefully have time to spend some final hours exploring! We’ll transfer you to Ponta Delgada airport in time for your return flights.

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The Cycling

Terrain

During your time in the Azores, you will be cycling on a variety of terrain. These will vary from quiet, asphalted and mostly traffic-free countryside and coastal roads / lanes (around 60% of the route), to wide ‘off road’ trails which, whilst not asphalted, are well compacted. At certain times there will be slightly bumpier / rougher sections, but these are non technical. Approximately 17% of the route is traffic free. Day 2 (your first day of riding) will prove the most challenging, with more downhill, off-road sections. We recommend mountain bikes, with 2.0 tyres, for this tour.

scenic-cidades-lakeside-route-azores-family-cycling-trip.jpg

Family Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 1: Easy

Distances generally between 10-20 miles / 15-35 kms per day

For those looking for an accessible cycling holiday

Manageable daily distances

Predominately flat terrain

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?

If your little ones are new to cycling, or perhaps you haven’t ridden your bike for while, then the relaxed rides on our Grade 1 holidays might be for you. Of course no route can be pancake flat the entire way, with some gentle slopes being inevitable, but if you‘re looking for short, daily distances on mostly flat terrain, (with plenty of time to go at your own pace and explore your destination), then these holidays would be a good place to start. We’d expect those on a Grade 1 holiday to be able to ride their bike confidently and generally be fit and healthy.

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Extremely efficient, professional, helpful, customer focused and friendly – the best service I’ve ever had from a travel company!

Alison, Berkshire

Dates & Prices

We have various children’s discounts available dependent on children’s ages, rooming arrangements and family size.

Please contact us on +44 (0) 191 265 1110 or info@skedaddle.com to check availability for a specific date and for a full quote for your family.

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

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) Full tour service, including English-speaking riding guide and support vehicle

D) Unless stated otherwise, at least one leader qualified in first aid

E) 1 x morning whale watching (on day 3) – children aged 2 and over

F) 1 x afternoon jeep safari (on day 3) – children aged 2 and over

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

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

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Group 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)

Due to the close proximity of the airport to your accommodation, we are able to do various pick-ups throughout the day (between 09.00 and 23.00), so you have some flexibility with your arrival and departure time.

Ryanair offer a direct option from London Stansted (STN). If you‘re flying from the US, there are direct flights from Boston (BOS) with Azores Airlines and TAP Portugal.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your holiday. Please check with us before booking any flights, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday.

Accommodation

On this trip you will stay in two 4* hotels.

The first is located in Ponta Delgada city centre; with a games room, a swimming pool and also a sauna and jacuzzi, there’s plenty for all the family. The second is a charming hotel located in Furnas, with a reading room, games room, and a heated indoor swimming pool. You will also have access to the Terra Nostra Botanical Park.

There are triple and quadruple rooms available for your family, on request; please note if sharing a quadruple room, this will be two interconnecting rooms in Furnas.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to hire. These bikes are typically Merida Big Nine 300 or Specialized Hardrock / Myka mountain bikes with knobbly tyres and a relaxed riding position. Please note, hire bikes in the Azores have a crossbar frame – it is not possible to provide a step-through frame on this trip. If you do decide to hire we can include a helmet on request; please request helmets when making your booking.

For children we can provide child bikes which are generally Cannondale mountain bikes. As trailers and tag-alongs are not available for this tour, we ask that children are able to cycle autonomously on a bike with 20” wheels, both uphill and downhill. Child seats are available on request.

Hire bikes are equipped with a water bottle holder, and your guides will be carrying all necessary spares, such as puncture repair kits and spare inner tubes. Bikes will not have panniers, and so we recommend bringing along a rucksack to carry any daily essentials you may need.

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News, Reviews & Stories

A letter from the Azores

Read Lucy's acrostic poem about her trip to the stunning Azores!

Sound bites from the Azores…

Azores: A green and bubbling land

Reviews

8

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