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Hiking in the Azores Islands: Best Hiking Trails

Hiking in the Azores Islands: Best Hiking Trails  5 December 2022 | Guides, Portugal | 70 mins Pinterest Facebook Reddit Twitter Hiking in Azores has become one of the best ways to explore these enchanting tropical islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It is no surprise that most of their visitors choose to step on the hiking trails. There are more than 80 official hiking trails in the Azores that offer stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Or the serenity of the almost untouched Azores islands. Or, you get to pass by some of the most tranquil forests… I will not spoil this for you no more, so without further ado I urge you to read on this Azores hiking guide: Navigate to: Hiking The Azores Azores islands hiking can be a rather pleasant experience. Beautiful views, rather mild tropical climate, happy people all around and a much appreciated serenity all around. The hiking trails in the Azores are quite easy to hike… with a couple of exceptions. Each trail has different lengths, landscapes, difficulty level or altitudes, but you can choose which trail to hike based on your preferences. Anyway, to help you with this choice, I suggest you follow through this detailed Azores hiking blog … Official Azores hiking trails When it comes to hiking the Azores islands, it is always good to stick to the official hiking trails. “What does it mean?” you ask. Well, the official hiking trails in the Azores are the ones that are approved, maintained, and signed by the Azores Tourism Board. Their only purpose is to guarantee the safety and reassurance of the hikers in the Azores islands. The Azores Tourism Board is a very useful website, which can give you lots of information on the hiking trails in the Azores. There you can find lots of leaflets with step-by-step explanations & detailed maps to easily navigate through the islands. 7 Days Itinerary for Sao Miguel Learn the ins and outs for visiting the Azores Greenest islands… Read More… Off the beaten path hiking trails You can easily get off from the official hiking trails in the Azores. That’s simply because, even the off beaten paths look like right way to go. However, these paths are not marked or maintained by the Azores Tourism Board, which makes them not officially approved or safe. However, even if you happen to slip on one of these paths, do not worry. You can always easily navigate yourself back to the proper ones. Personally, I use MAPS.ME, which a map application you can use offline and in the middle of nowhere. It has proven itself useful and has gotten me out many times from trouble. Hiking Trails in The Azores So, you might be wondering now which is the best island for hiking in the Azores islands or which are the best hiking trails in Azores. Well, the Azores Islands are a hiking heaven, thus it might be quite hard to answer this question, that is why you have this Azores hiking itinerary at hand… The Azores islands have so many hiking trails, so it can be quite difficult to decide where to go. Nevertheless, it is good to point out that the São Miguel island has 22 open hiking trails with stunning views to choose from. This makes it one of the best Azores island for hiking in that aspect. However, Pico has 13 hiking trails and one of them leads you to the highest peak in Portugal, which is also tempting. Last but not least, there are also 5 Grand routes on 5 of the Azores islands to hike on. Thus, having this information at hand – it can be quite difficult to decide where to start, but you can always start somewhere. Check below for best hikes in Azores… Best Stays in the Azores Experience the tranquility of the islands by staying close to their shores… Book Now São Miguel Hiking Trails São Miguel island is probably the best island in the Azores archipelago for hiking. Most of the hiking trails in São Miguel are leading to beautiful landscapes of the ocean or the whole island. Some of them are going through thick laurel forests. Others are leading to hidden waterfalls and ancient ruins. Having this in mind, Sao Miguel hiking can never be boring or dull… As promised, I’m sharing São Miguel best hikes! And some of the best hiking trails in Azores islands! SAO MIGUEL HIKING TRAILS MAP Sao MIguel Island Hotels Find out the best hotels to stay in Terceira Island! BOOK NOW Vista do Rei – Sete Cidades Hiking Trail Vista do Rei to Sete Cidades is for sure a hiking trail you should try. To be quite honest, it is one of the best hiking trails in Azores and is a must see! It goes through the islands highlights and starts at Vista do Rei viewpoint, which overlooks both of the Sete Cidates lakes. Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul are the two most photographed lakes on the islands. They are laying in huge volcano craters that are no longer active and are in close proximity to the ocean. Thus, the view over the lakes is quite stunning.  Then, going forward, slowly but steadily, following the signs you will go down the way to the village of Sete Cidates. There you can go closer by the lakes or visit the nearby church – the Igreja de São Nikolau. Vista do Rei – Sete Cidades Hike Overview          📍  Starting Point: Vista do Rei Viewpoint         🏞️ End Point: Sete Cidade village         🗺️ Type of hiking trail: Linear         🥾 Distance: 8 km         ⌚ Time: 2 hours         🧗 Difficulty: Easy Mata do Canário – Sete Cidades Hiking Trail Similar to the Sete Cidades hike, Mata do Canario goes along the Sete Cidades lakes, but from the northern side of the island. It starts from the Canário lake where you can stop by for a bit of peace and quiet, and then start your trip up the slope. To go to Sete Cidades, you need to follow the dirt road from Canário lake until you hit the road. During this hike, you will see an ancient aqueduct and also the Pico da Cruz viewpoint, which gives a nice look over the Santiago lake. Then, follow the sign that says Sete Cidades to climb a couple of more peaks around the lakes and go down the village of Sete Cidades. Mata do Canário – Sete Cidades          📍  Starting Point:  Canário lake         🏞️ End Point: Sete Cidades village         🗺️ Type of hiking trail: Linear         🥾 Distance: 12 km         ⌚ Time: 3 hours         🧗 Difficulty: Medium Praia – Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trail Lagoa do Fogo is the second best spot on the island of Sao Miguel after the lakes of Sete Cidades. This mystical lake, surrounded by laurel vegetation brings back some Jurassic Park vibes all the way to its beach. Although, this hiking trail can start from almost anywhere, its official starting point is a dirt road close to farming lands and pastures. Then, a steep climbing awaits until you reach the Ribeira da Praia – a spacious meadow with slopes on both side and a small river in between. Finally, following the pathway you will reach the banks of the Lagoa do Fogo. For those who do not want to walk a lot, it is best to arrive very early in the morning at Pico da Barrosa. From there you can observe the lake from above, as well as the seagulls that are settled in these lands. To reach the beach, you just need to walk down to it. However, you can walk around the pathways and even spot the Vila Franca do Campo islet and many other parts of the island. Praia – Lagoa do Fogo Hiking Trail          📍  Starting Point:  Pico         🏞️ End Point: Lagoa do Fogo         🗺️ Type of hiking trail: Circular         🥾 Distance: 11 km         ⌚ Time: 4 hours         🧗 Difficulty: Medium Sanguinho Hiking Trail Sanguinho hiking trail or the Salto do Prego hike, as it is known, is among the best Sao Miguel hikes. It provides some of the most tranquil pathways and is going entirely through a forest leading to the Salto do Prego waterfall. This hiking trail starts at the bus stop of the Faial da Terra city. It follows an old pathway going through thick laurel vegetation and some ancient ruins. Along the way there are some steep climbs, which are not necessarily hard to climb. However, be very careful of the road ahead, as it might be very slippery. Eventually, you end up at a crossroad where you can choose to go to Salto do Prego waterfall or Cagarrão waterfall. Or you can do both! Your choice! Sanguinho Hiking Trail​​          📍  Starting Point: Faial da Terra         🏞️ End Point:Salto do Prego/ Cagarrão         🗺️ Type of hiking trail: Circular         🥾 Distance: 5 km         ⌚ Time: 2 hours         🧗 Difficulty: Medium Lagoa das Furnas Hiking Trail Тhis circular hiking trail around the lake of Furnas is a quite mystical walk away from the crowds. It attracts many hot spring enthusiast and people that want to dive in the culture of the Azores islands. You can start your journey at the crossroad of rua Largo das Três Bicas and slowly go down the street. The real trail starts once you reach the paved road that goes around the crater lake. Along this hiking trail you will cross the Chapel of Nossa Senhora das Vitórias. A gothic construction, built in the 19th century. It is architecturally rich religious temple devoted to Our Lady of the Victories. According to the story, a rich farmer issued the building of this church, as his beloved wife was sick of an incurable illness. Nowadays, the chapel is a memorial of the great fights we deal with on a daily. Going forward, you will cross the garden Mata Jardim José do Canto and by the house Casa dos Barcos. Then, follows the Furnas Monitoring & Research Centre along with some leisure places where you can have some rest or even picnic. Eventually, you will end up at the so called Caldeiras, which is literally translated as kettles or boilers. This is the place where the famous traditional Cozido à Portuguesa is made using the heat of the Furnas volcano. Lagoa das Furnas Hiking Trail          📍  Starting Point: Largo das Três Bicas         🏞️ End Point: Furnas city         🗺️ Type of hiking trail: Circular         🥾 Distance: 10 km         ⌚ Time: 3 hours         🧗 Difficulty: Medium Chá Gorreana Hiking Trail I bet you have not hiked around a tea plantation before! Well, now’s your probably once in a lifetime chance to do so! This circular hiking trail is a bit unusual for the avid hiker, but one to remember! It starts at the Chá Gorreana tea factory, which has a quite rich history. The tea plantation was built in 1883 and is the oldest tea plantation in whole Europe. Nowadays, it is in fact the only tea plantation that produces fine green and black tea in Europe. Its history goes back to the 1750 when the Camellia sinensis was brought to the São Miguel island from the East. The people of the island, along with Lau-a-Pan, a Chinese tea producer planted the first tea plants. Now, the hiking trail of Chá


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