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Azores

Hiking on the Azores

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Merely the very tips of gigantic underwater mountains, each of the Azores’ nine islands are unique, beautiful and brimming with hiking possibilities. Walks in the Azores are simply wonderful. You will never tire of exploring this paradisiacal landscape of vast crater lakes, staggering sea cliffs, giant volcanoes and astonishing flora.

Hikes in the Azores explore a young, dynamic and volcanic land. Experience the traverse of huge, verdant volcanic calderas that cup gorgeous, shimmering lakes. Discover remarkably diverse landscapes, from humid laurel forests and green pastures to startling red deserts and barren igneous moonscapes.

It is a hiker’s dream. Ancient, rugged paths boasting astonishing scenery are everywhere. Water dominates this lush land. Towering waterfalls cascade from vertical cliffs; waves crash against magnificent rock formations. You are never far from the dramatic basalt shoreline or a beguiling grassy path to the heavens.

Intermediate
02:43
6.09 mi
Difficult
05:31
11.8 mi
Intermediate
04:41
9.13 mi
Intermediate
04:22
8.71 mi
Intermediate
03:39
7.72 mi
Intermediate
02:24
5.14 mi
Intermediate
02:10
4.61 mi
Easy
01:37
3.12 mi
Intermediate
01:29
2.41 mi
Easy
01:26
3.05 mi
Intermediate
03:38
8.04 mi
Intermediate
04:14
8.54 mi
Intermediate
03:16
6.56 mi
Intermediate
04:37
9.57 mi
Intermediate
02:06
4.29 mi
Easy
01:06
2.11 mi
Difficult
04:40
4.23 mi
Intermediate
02:10
4.64 mi
Intermediate
02:00
3.71 mi
Intermediate
04:49
8.86 mi

Top 20 best walks and hikes on the Azores

    1
    Intermediate
    02:43
    6.09 mi
    2.2 mph
    550 ft
    550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    2
    Difficult
    05:31
    11.8 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,625 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    04:41
    9.13 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,050 ft
    2,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    4
    Intermediate
    04:22
    8.71 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,775 ft
    1,775 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    5
    Intermediate
    03:39
    7.72 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,075 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    6
    Intermediate
    02:24
    5.14 mi
    2.1 mph
    750 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    7
    Intermediate
    02:10
    4.61 mi
    2.1 mph
    675 ft
    700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    8
    Easy
    01:37
    3.12 mi
    1.9 mph
    775 ft
    775 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    9
    Intermediate
    01:29
    2.41 mi
    1.6 mph
    550 ft
    550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    10
    Easy
    01:26
    3.05 mi
    2.1 mph
    450 ft
    425 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    11
    Intermediate
    03:38
    8.04 mi
    2.2 mph
    875 ft
    875 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    12
    Intermediate
    04:14
    8.54 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,600 ft
    1,600 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    13
    Intermediate
    03:16
    6.56 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    14
    Intermediate
    04:37
    9.57 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    15
    Intermediate
    02:06
    4.29 mi
    2.0 mph
    700 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    16
    Easy
    01:06
    2.11 mi
    1.9 mph
    525 ft
    525 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    17
    Difficult
    04:40
    4.23 mi
    0.9 mph
    3,150 ft
    3,150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    18
    Intermediate
    02:10
    4.64 mi
    2.1 mph
    650 ft
    675 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    19
    Intermediate
    02:00
    3.71 mi
    1.9 mph
    775 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    20
    Intermediate
    04:49
    8.86 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,850 ft
    1,825 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

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More Information

A majestic volcanic archipelago

Thrust above the junction of the Eurasian, African and North American tectonic plates, the Azores is an infant archipelago formed over the last eight million years.  Stretching 850 miles (1,360 km) across the Atlantic from Santa Maria in the east to Flores in the west, each island has its own special character and charm.

Nine unique islands

São Miguel is the largest island and many of the best hiking trails in the Azores are found here. Discover trails along the rim of green-carpeted calderas that cup turquoise lakes or set out on a coastal adventure to black basalt headlands and towering, forest-topped cliffs. Wherever you roam, São Miguel’s extravagant flora is sure to delight.

Santa Maria is the oldest island in the chain. Experience the shifting hues of the scarlet clays and pyroclastic rocks of Barriero de Faneca, a semi-desert landscape that is sure to enthral. Santa Maria’s coast boasts intriguing cliffs with wonderful columnar igneous formations.

Faial’s spectacular volcanic cone, Caldeira, is a majestic sight, bursting with fascinating flora. Rising (sometimes vertically) from the Atlantic, the long volcanic ridge of São Jorge is hiking perfection, with awe-inspiring ocean views from its trails. Cliffs plunge to flat and fertile lava fields known as fajãs, synonymous with the Azores and São Jorge in particular.

The most strenuous hikes in the Azores are those to the summit of Mount Pico, which at 7,713 feet (2,351 m) is the highest peak in Portugal. Routes on Graciosa are green and peaceful with compelling hillwalking, whilst Terceira is the place to go for a walk in the native laurel forests.

In the far west, tiny Corvo is dominated by Caldirao, a 984-foot (300 m) deep elliptical crater. Nearby Flores is a forgotten paradise of hydrangeas, glistening lakes and sparkling seas. You might even be lucky enough to spot a whale or dolphin off its nutrient-rich shores.

When and how to island hop

With one of Europe’s mildest winters but summers that remain warm rather than hot, walks in the Azores’ subtropical climate are gorgeous all year round. Rainfall is common and increases markedly from east to west.

To get between the islands you have the option of hopping on a turboprop plane or riding the waves on a ferry. Each island has an airfield, whilst the main airports are on São Miguel, Santa Maria, Faial and Terceira.


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