Walking in the Azores
May 3 - May 18$3350
WALKING IN THE AZORES – Magnificent Volcanic Islands in the mid-Atlantic
One thousand miles off the coast of Portugal, smack dab between New York and Lisbon, lie the 9 islands of the Azore chain, recently identified as a hikers’ paradise, with great views, a varied landscape, unspoiled villages, and a rich human and geologic history. These volcanic islands were once undersea mountains, now covered with Laurasilva forest, a botanical garden full of bird and sea life. Folk traditions are alive due to centuries of isolation. Each island has its own unique landscape, food, culture and traditions.
In spring of 2020, a group of 16 CONC members will visit the largest 7 of these islands; San Miguel, Corvo, Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge, and Terceira. We will visit hot springs, blue and green caldera lakes, fantastic hydrangeas in multi colors, magnificent gardens and a volcanic landscape. Between islands, we will travel by air and ferry. On land, we will travel the landscape on foot. Islanders always looked toward the sea, but footpaths wound their way through the tortuous landscape for the inhabitants of each individual island, and for their horses, mules, and donkeys. Our trails will take us along the sea and into the mountainous interior.
Most hikes are in the easy to moderate range, but there is the opportunity to try some extremely rigorous hikes, especially on the islands of Pico, Terceira, and Sao Jorge. Other routes will take us along the levadas that water the crops, through stone walls protecting vineyards from the sea winds, past waterfalls and into old world villages. We may see some of the more than 20 species of resident and migratory cetaceans that pass nearby. We will experience the Cozida das Furnas on the island of San Miguel – a delicious meal of vegetable and meat stew cooked for 7-8 hours underground by volcanic steam and taste terrior specific wines. We may also visit Gorreana, the only tea plantation in Europe. We stay in villages in excellent hotels, such as the Terra Nostra hotel and gardens on San Miguel.
Many CONC members visited San Miguel prior to spending 2 weeks on the island of Madeira a few years ago and we all wanted to return. It felt like life in the 1950’s – so uncrowded, with less than 250,000 inhabitants on all 9 islands, and uncomplicated.
Trip dates are from 3 May to 18 May. Participants must depart the US no later than 2 May to arrive at Ponta Delgada on San Miguel island, our first venue, by 3 May. Trip price is set at $3,350 with 16 participants, which covers excellent accommodation in 2-person rooms and all breakfasts and dinners + 2 lunches from 3 May to the morning of 18 May, and all group inter-island transportation, including 4 inter-island flights, ferry trips to neighboring islands, comfortable air conditioned van transport on all islands from accommodation to trailheads, small contribution to CONC, and guide gratuity. An English-speaking guide will accompany the group on all hikes. Variations from the group itinerary are at personal expense. Not covered is air transport to Ponta Delgada, San Miguel island from the USA ($800-1,200 depending on airline and route), most lunches, beverages, passport, trip insurance to cover cancellation, medical/dental and evacuation (mandatory), and any deviations from the group itinerary.
For additional information or to request a spot on the trip, please contact Shari Hogshead at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 541-389-9110.