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Azores Self-Guided Bike Tour of São Miguel


The Azores self-guided bike tour takes you through some of the best trails and most beautiful scenarios of Sao Miguel Island. This tour is tailored to give you peace and mind by giving you all the information you need to optimize your biking days. It also provides transfers between hotels and 24/7 assistance.

Itinerary:

Day 1 - Arrival

Arrive at Ponta Delgada airport and transfer to hotel. Free day to explore Ponta Delgada and surroundings. Stay at Hotel Colegio, an award winner of most charming in town and it is located in the center where you can find plenty small restaurants and cafes with local cuisine.

Day 2 - Ribeirinha - Caldeiras - Ribeira Grande

Extension: 23 Km - Duration: 5 hours - Difficulty: 3

Ride through the north coast of the Island. Start in Ribeirinha parish and paddle through a coastal track until arriving at one of the outlooks (“vigias” ) used to sight and signal whales in the ocean back when hunting was allowed in the Azores (banned in 1986). The vigias are now used for science and sports whale watching activities, using the same methods as before, using powerful binoculars and radioing the whale watching boats with the coordinates of the great mammals. Afterwards, stop in one of the most beautiful viewpoints in São Miguel, the Miradouro de Santa Iria. Take the road back heading to Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande (Ribeira Grande is the second largest city in São Miguel, and “caldeiras” are hot springs or calderas. Take a short ride through a traditional cobble stone road lined by platanus trees and streams. Once reaching the Valley of Caldeiras , you’ll find a micro climate and an endemic Laurel forest, a type of subtropical or mild temperature forest, found in areas of high humidity. At the end, visit the fumaroles and rest for a deserved snack. The tour finishes back at Ribeira Grande city. Overnight in Ponta Delgada.

Day 3 - North and South Coast

Extension: 45 Km - Duration: 6 hours - Difficulty 3

The trail starts in Ponta Delgada and pedal until reaching Pinhal da Paz park where the adventure begins. Cross to the north coast of the island along beautiful landscapes looking over the ocean and coastline. Ride through Pinhal da Paz where one can observe several types of local vegetation such as Japanese cedars, azaleas, bamboos, fava tree, acacias, pines, cactus, palm trees, ferns, camellias, laurels and other endemic and non-endemic vegetation. Following the coastal trail observe and visit old whalers’ village and take a short rest on an inviting black sand beach, typical of São Miguel volcanic origin. Afterwards, continue through the south coast passing some deep green pastures bordered by lava stone walls that contrast with the blue ocean. Once reaching Lagoa city, a ride to the local port riding through natural swimming pools is highly suggested. Watch the typical fishing boats unloading their catches and mingle with the locals. The day ends with a ride back to the hotel in Ponta Delgada.

Day 4 - Sete Cidades and Surroundings

Extension: 25 Km - Duration: 5 hours - Difficulty: 3

Explore the West side of São Miguel and the volcanic complex of Sete Cidades. For the first 25 kilometers you will have the opportunity to learn about the fauna, flora, and history of the volcanic formation of the island. Inevitably you will hear the legendary love story behind the formation of the post-card beautiful Sete Cidades twin lakes. Along the route, you will have superb views over the several lakes and the coastline as we pedal through the rim of extinct volcano craters. Lunch can be had on the shore of the blue lake of Sete Cidades. At the end of the journey it is recommended that you stop in Ferraria, to enjoy bathing on this magnificent swimming pool by the sea heated by an underground volcanic crack. From the hotel to the beginning of the trail: 35 km. From the end of the trail to Ponta Delgada passing through Ferraria: 40 km. Overnight in Ponta Delgada.

Day 5 - Free Day

Explore Ponta Delgada or go on a whale watching or Jeep Safari half day trip.Luggage transferred to Terra Nostra Garden Hotel. Overnight in Furnas.

Day 6 - Furnas Thematic Tour

Extension: 20 Km - Duration: 3 hours - Difficulty: 2

Experience the volcanic origins of the island, swim in a thermal pool, taste different types of water and enjoy an astonishing landscape of this mythical place. The route begins in the center of Furnas and continues through a road that leads to Furnas Lake. We will then reach Caldeiras da Lagoa (Furnas lake calderas) a place where the famous “cozido das Furnas” (Furnas stew) is cooked in underground silos, with the steam of the fumaroles for six hours. After stopping for a short while, the ride proceeds allowing to enjoy some majestic views of the hills and lake while circling the lake shore. On the way back to Furnas, we will visit the fumaroles in more depth and eat the “cozido” (not included in price - upon request). In the afternoon there’s time to visit the unique, world renowned botanical garden of Terra Nostra park, where a relaxing swim in the park’s huge warm, iron rich (giving it a peculiar rust color) thermal waters is highly recommended. Overnight in Furnas

Day 7 - Nordeste

Extension: 35 Km - Duration: 5 hours - Difficulty: 4

This route starts in Povoação and ends in Nordeste. Ride ancient trails used to reach the woods to fetch vegetation to provide cattle fodder, produce charcoal and allow a footpath to other parishes. Pedal through pastures, roads flanked by platanus trees, valleys and streams. Approaching Nordeste the trail you ride through the amazing forestland of Tronqueira where rich endemic native species resemble the forests that existed on the island before the discoverers arrival. The trip finishes in Nordeste village known as the most blooming village in São Miguel. From the hotel to the beginning of the trail: 15 km. From the end of the trail to Ponta Delgada: 74 km, passing in Ribeira dos Caldeiroes and through the tea plantation fields (Camellia Sinensis plant). Opportunity to visit the centenary Gorreana tea plantation the only existing tea plantation in Europe and taste its organic tea world renowned for its antioxidant properties. Transfer of your luggage to Hotel. Overnight in Ponta Delgada.

Day 8 - Transfer to airport for return home

  • Rates are per person in US dollars
  • Dates shown are for tour land departure. If you are taking an overnight flight to reach the tour departure city plan to book your flight one day earlier than date shown on table
  • Rates do not include Airfare. Please choose the yes box in the reservation process when it prompts you if you wish us to quote package with Airfare.

Included

  • 6 nights hotels
  • Breakfast
  • Daily buffet breakfast and hotel tax;
  • Island map and detailed itinerary description (delivered in Sao Miguel);
  • Luggage transportation between hotels;
  • Local assistance when needed.

Not included

  • Airfare to Sao Miguel (please contact us for airfares and schedules);
  • Meals other than breakfast. Half board and drink supplements quoted upon request;
  • Transportation of the bikes between hotels;
  • Travel Insurance (highly recommended). Please contact us for a quote.

Helmets

The company provides cycling helmets. Cycling helmets are a legal requirement in Portugal. If you feel more comfortable you can bring your own.

Bike Rental

Should you chose not to use your own bike, the company provides Mountain Bikes (man/woman) with the specifications bellow. Contact us for daily rates and bike specifications.

Clothing

Guests should bring waterproof wind-breakers, proper clothes for cycling, warm sweater, swimming suit and towel, sun block, backpack, water bottle (to refill).

Meals

Possible to include on the package and delivered at the hotel in the morning. Requested 24 hours before ride time.

Additional days

Extra days can be added with additional quote.

Important Notes

This cycling holiday in the Azores involve 5 days fun peddling  of around 20 - 45 Km/day. The difficulty level is between 2 and 4 (out of 5) and the path is in general off the beaten track but it can also involve some typical cobble stone roads and few asphalt parts that connect the trails. Climbing parts can take a maximum of 400 m. In some routes guest can opt for a shorter ride or carry on till the end.
bicycle man azores
Terra Nostra Furnas Park - Sao Miguel Azores Portugal
Agua D'Alto beach - Sao Miguel Azores
Martiz and Portas da Cidade Ponta Delgada - Sao Miguel Azores Portugal
sao miguel nordeste village azores

Comfort Hotels

Ponta Delgada - Hotel Apartamentos Gaivota

Located in the center of Ponta Delgada and next to Portas Do Mar, this hotel offers panoramic views of the marina right in the capital of the Azores Archipelago.

All rooms at Hotel Apartamentos Gaivota have hardwood floors and elegant furnishings. Each of the air conditioned rooms features a cable TV, and a minibar.

Guests can enjoy their breakfast in the privacy of their room, while using the free internet. The hotel is surrounded by restaurants and cafés with terraces. Packed lunches are also available.

The ocean pools of Ponta Delgada and the city's public pools are less than 165 ft away. Ponta Delgada Airport is 2 miles away, and the hotel offers a car rental service on site.

Boutique Hotels

Ponta Delgada - Hotel Talisman

Located in Ponta Delgada's historic center, this charming hotel overlooks a beautiful park and boasts a rooftop pool. Modern facilities include a fitness center and a solarium.

Reflecting São Miguel’s rich past with its traditional interior, Hotel Talisman has a cozy lounge with a fireplace and a winter garden. Guests can also relax on the terrace or in the spacious flower garden.

With its 2 large dining rooms and an outdoor area, the Palm Terrace Restaurant offers a broad variety of regional and international flavors. There is a poolside bar and sports pub for informal drinks.

The Talisman’s air-conditioned rooms come with cable TV and minibars. Each unit is spacious and bright. Some feature separate living rooms.

The hotel’s 24-hour staff can advise on Ponta Delgada’s attractions including local architectural treasures, such as palaces, churches and the Carlos Machado Museum, situated 600 meters away.

Superior Hotels

Ponta Delgada - Azor Hotel

azor hotel ponta delgada room

Featuring 123 rooms overlooking the Atlantic, the Azor Hotel is a lively and modern hotel with an outdoor swimming pool located in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel.

Each modern room is equipped with air conditioning, soundproofing, a minibar and a flat-screen cable TV. Private bathrooms come with a bath or shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.

Guest may enjoy a revitalizing breakfast every morning and the À Terra restaurant serves a varied à la carte menu with typical delicacies. In the evening guests may relax at the on-site bar.

Spa and Wellness facilities as well as a conference centre will be opening soon. Taking advantage of the natural surroundings of the São Miguel Island, a great variety of outdoor adventures and local experiences may be arranged.

Within a 15-minute walk, guests will find landmarks like São Brás Fort and São Sebastião Mother Church. Sete Cidades Lagoon is 15.5 miles away and Ponta Delgada Airport is 4.7 miles away. 

azor hotel ponta delgada curbside viewazor hotel ponta delgada marina viewazor hotel ponta delgada bathroom

 

Booking your vacation

  • Early booking is advised. Availability of accommodations and inter-island flight is limited especially in summer months
  • If hotels named in itinerary are not available at time of booking, alternate similar same rating properties will be confirmed, and subject to new quote.
  • Order of islands visited may need to be altered due to flight schedule changes
  • Unless otherwise indicated, sightseeing tours are by private car with English speaking driver. Other languages are available upon request
  • Quotations with different hotels have a non refundable deposit of $50. Deposit will be credited towards final booking price

Booking your Vacation with Air

  • International airfare for this package is additional to price shown on Rates table. Departure cities are limited to those serviced by SATA International (Azores Airlines)
  • If you want a quote for airfare to be included make sure to check yes when prompted during the booking/reservation request process

Booking Conditions

  • A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of $200 per person per vacation is required to book and hold space for you
  • Final payment is due 45 days before departure
  • Option to pay full price up front is available

Cancellation Policy - Land Portion

  • $200 per person if canceled up to 45 days from day of departure
  • 25% of total reservation if canceled 15 to 45 days from day of departure
  • 50% of reservation if canceled 7 to 14 days from day of departure
  • No refunds if canceled less than 7 days or less from date of departure

Cancellation Policy - Airfare

  • Airfare cancellation terms and conditions will be provided to you before ticket is booked

I want to book. What do I do next?

  • Click on the Book Now button to send your reservation request
  • No payment will be collected at this time
  • Our travel Associate will contact you via email to answer any questions and book your Package
  • If you don't plan to book at this time please click here to contact us with any questions or concerns about your trip or your holiday

Booking Changes

  • A fee of $35 per person, per transaction, will be charged for any revision or alteration made to a reservation after the booking is confirmed. 
  • If the change increases the value of the booking, the $35 per person fee will be waived

Travel Insurance

  • We strongly recommend you purchase travel/cancellation insurance