The Fogo Azores island lake boasts clear waters
The Fogo Azores island lake boasts clear waters

Azores: the Island of Sao Miguel

60 km
8 days | 7 nights
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
price from
€ 544
CO2 footprint
124 Kg/person
  1. Portugal
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode PTSW050

A journey to discover São Miguel, the largest among the Azores islands: a charming place, known for the variety of landscapes it offers - from fragrant forests of aromatic trees to vast pastures where cows graze, from Mediterranean scrubland to mountains, tea and pineapple plantations, and a deep blue sea where whales swim - all permeated by the typical volcanic charm of the Azores.

This journey takes you to explore the most fascinating corners of the island, from thermal pools to lakes in the craters of volcanoes: a world that unfolds before your eyes as you walk the paths that immerse you in the stunning nature of this island, which is both primitive and beautiful.

NOTE: this is a self-drive tour and requires a car to be rented on spot. 


  • Explore volcanic lakes with colorful thermal waters
  • Admire green and aromatic forests
  • Discover picturesque villages with their own character
  • Experience a seafaring culture linked to the depths of the earth
  • Enjoy the beautiful but rugged coastline, which also offers whale watching.


Day 1

Arrival in São Miguel

Arrival in São Miguel
On arrival in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, you pick up your rental car (not included, to be booked separately) and drive to the first accommodation in Capelas, in the north of the island. In case you arrive early, you’ll have time to take a stroll to get better acquainted with your surroundings

Day 2

The Crater of Sete Cidades, 12 km

The Crater of Sete Cidades, 12 km
A long drive of approx. 45 minutes will take you today to Sete Cidades, a picturesque village located in the Volcano with the same name and where you will park your car during the walk. A taxi driver will be waiting for you there to take you to the beginning of the walk, in Mata do Canario. After a demanding ascent, you surround the Lagoa Azul volcano, all the time with impressive views of the northern and southern coasts of the islands, the lake, the caldera and the target village down by the lake: Sete Cidades. Option of taking a detour to the amazing and well-known viewpoint ‘Boca do Inferno’

Distance: 12 km

Elevation gain: +130/-570 m

Day 3

Rota do Agua, 9 km

Rota do Agua, 9 km

Today’s route begins in Remédios, near Lagoa. After a 30-minute drive, you start an ascent along a dirt track and fields under the watchful eye of the ever-present cows of the island. On the ascent, don’t forget to look back to see Ponta Delgada and Lago in the distance! The most interesting part begins when you enter the wood through series of tunnels, and aqueducts that used to supply water to the alcohol factory in Lagoa and now are used for supplying water to the area. The highest point is Janela do Inferno, a vertical wall with a small spring and home for newts. On your way back to the accommodation don’t miss the chance to stop at the beach in Ponta Delgada

Distance: 9 km

Elevation gain: +250/-250 m

Day 4

Lagoa das Furnas and its Caldeiras, 12 km

Lagoa das Furnas and its Caldeiras, 12 km
Today you drive for approx. 40 minutes until Furnas. If Furnas is known for something, it is for its Caldeiras, hot springs where the ‘Furnas stew’ is boiled. Today’s walk begins in Furnas and surrounds the lake with the same name. If you feel quite fit, climb to the viewpoint at Pico do Ferro, where you’ll get magnificent views of the lake and the area. Don’t miss the chance to visit Jose do Canto Forest Garden, with a Gothic church and a waterfall! (tickets not included). The last demanding part of the route takes you to another viewpoint over Furnas, but this ascent/ descent on tarmac can be avoided. Also you can shorten the route if you leave the car by the lake (parking costs can be applied locally)

Distance: 12 km

Elevation gain: +150/-380 m

Day 5

Along the southern coast, 11 km

Along the southern coast, 11 km
Morning transfer to the beginning of the walk, just leaving Furnas. An easy woodland track and path that takes you at first to Ribeira Quente, a fishing village near Furnas. Then you will follow another well-marked coastal path towards Provoaçao. On the way: magnificent views of Sta Maria Island and fairy-tale woods that will provide shadow in hot days. Pick-up in the afternoon in Ribeira Quente or at the end of the route, in Lomba do Cavaleiro.

Distance: 11 km

Elevation gain: +500/-650 m

Day 6

Salto do Prego, 5 km

Salto do Prego, 5 km
After a 35-minute drive you will reach Faial da Terra. Today’s circular route is a short one and leads to Salto do Prego waterfall through a fairy-tale forest. For the return, you will take a detour to a picturesque village with no car access: Sanguinho. Have your camera ready, as everything there will catch your attention! If you return early to Furnas, visit Terra Nostra Garden or Poça da Beija: 2 thermal options. Terra Nostra’s pool is characteristic for its brownish colour (the water is rich in minerals). If you plan to visit the Botanical garden, it will take you at least 1 hour, so plan accordingly! In Poça da Beija you have more options and ample opening hours.

Distance: 5 km

Elevation gain: +330/-330 m

Day 7

Lagoa do Fogo, 11 km

Lagoa do Fogo, 11 km
On your way back to Ponta Delgada, you will stop mid-way to do a very interesting and varied route to Lagoa do Fogo. With good weather, you will have very nice views of the area of Vila Franca do Campo on your way up and down. First along dirt tracks, the path reaches a forest that is followed by a so-called Levada (water canal) almost until the lake. Once by the lake, take your time to breath fresh air and look at the seagulls flying around. Finish your day by the beach, where you can take a fresh drink, an ice-cream or a dip in the sea if you want! In the evening, soak up the atmosphere in Ponta Delgada.

Distance: 11 km

Elevation gain: +480/-480 m

Day 8

End of the programme

End of the programme
Your arrangement comes to the end today after breakfast.


Is this for me?

This journey is designed for those who want to experience the thrill of exploring a tropical island without traveling overseas: the Azores are known for their pristine nature and volcanic charm, wild yet still accessible.

Although the daily distances covered are not too long, this trip is recommended for those without stability or vertigo issues, as the walk takes you through forests and unstable terrains, and the views are spectacular but could be bothersome for those with such concerns.

It's a self-drive journey, which means that a car needs to be rented on-site. Alternatively, transfers are available at an additional cost, which we can include.


What is included

  • 7 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B with breakfast
  • transfers as described in the day by yday program
  • maps and detailed description of the itinerary
  • Medical and luggage travel insurance
  • 24h phone assistance

What is not included 

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated
  • visits and entrance fees - tips
  • personal expense
  • possible sojourn taxes
  • everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.

Optional Services

These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.
  • extra nights (have to be booked in advance)
  • whale watching (has to be booked in advance)


We work with 3* hotels, B&Bs and farmhouses that reflect our way of experiencing travel: they are comfortable and characterful structures, which we choose one by one, managed by passionate and welcoming people.

Unless otherwise specified in the travel listing, all provide private en-suite rooms with breakfast included.


Capelas: Hotel Vale do Navio

Comfortable and modern room, a local cuisine that you can enjoy while looking at splendid views of the gardens. It has an outdoor pool, a gym with indoor swimming pool and a masaje service to have a perfect relax at the end of the day. Not far, you are also alble to visit the natural sea pools of Poços de São Vicente, located at the port that was used for whaling in the early 20th century.

Furnas:Hotel Vale Verde

Located in the emblematic valley of Furnas, Hotel Vale Verde is a small hotel with only 11 years of existence, but that has been gaining some visibility that may lead to be considered as one of the best accommodation sites of our island.

Ponta Delgada:Hotel Canadiano

Canadiano Hotel is a living and evolving organism. Up-to-date and ready for the challenges of a new era of tourism - like a living being of nature - it grows, flourishes and develops constantly.

What to bring

Clothing and other items
You will need your regular walking/cycling gear, including some sort of reflective garment. For the evenings, smart outdoor style trousers (or shorts) are invaluable, as are quick-dry t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town.

Take as little as possible to avoid potentially lugging a heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs at the end of the day. Please be aware that laundromats (“Laverie”) are not common in rural areas, so plan to do handwashing of small items.

Lightweight walking shoes/ trainers
For wearing around towns & villages. They can also be a back-up pair.

Socks & underwear
Take only good quality socks with quick-dry and insulating qualities. Road test them before you go on the trip. Take a suitable quantity of underwear as washing facilities are limited.

Warm jacket, hat, gloves
Bring a fleece, Polartec or warm layers for the evenings especially in spring or autumn; be sure it is totally suitable for your needs.
A fleece jacket which blocks the wind (Wind-stopper) is the most preferable. In the summer months a lightweight jacket is suitable for evenings.
If you are cycling/walking in mountainous or coastal areas, even in the height of summer, the weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly and you should be prepared for fog, mist, rain, snow or hail at any time. Always take an extra layer with you, as well as a warm hat and gloves.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
If you are caught in heavy rain, with good waterproof clothing you should remain dry. Remember that most garments will lose their properties over time. Few will remain waterproof for more than five years and many deteriorate in three years or less. We recommend a rain jacket with a good hood and collar and waterproof or thermal walking/cycling trousers or tights.

Dress code
In general, you should wear suitable clothing when entering a church (in many places, it is considered unacceptable to go inside wearing shorts or a tank-top). We suggest that women carry a shawl to cover up bear shoulders or low-cut tops. It also comes in handy when your shoulders get sunburned!

It is considered inappropriate for men to go without a shirt / T-shirt (other than at the beach).

Trekking poles (adjustable)
Highly recommended. A pair works best, depending on what you are comfortable with. If you suffer from back or knee pain this should be considered essential. Remember to practise walking with your pole(s) on different types of terrain in the months preceding your trip.

Walking boots
The importance of good footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your boots should be sturdy and of good enough quality to handle all types of terrain. Lightweight boots, (cordura/leather boots) which have Gore-Tex or sympatex water-proofing are most suitable for this trip. They should provide good ankle protection and be well broken in. Waxing leather boots regularly prolongs their life.

Walking tops & trousers
We recommend walking trousers and shorts and quick-dry wicking t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town. Wicking T-shirts are fast drying, keep moisture away from your skin and are available at outdoor stores. You should also bring one pair of loose-fitting trousers to wear in cities and for evenings out, etc. Shorts or zip-off trousers are useful in warmer weather.

Practical info

How to arrive

Llegada a Ponta Delgada

Upon arrival, pick up your own rental car at the airport (not included)

Return form Ponta Delgada 

Drop your rental car at the airport

Mobile App

Use the SloWays APP for iOS and Android smart phones in combination with the written documentation provided.

The App has the detailed tracks and maps that you can use offline and without roaming. Thanks to the phone’s internal GPS, you can check your exact position on the map, so you always know exactly where you are. It also helps you self-navigate you way while travelling. More information on how to use the App inside the roadbook documents.

The navigation features include:

  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track.
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates
  • Possibility to record and take georeferenced photos of problems on route alerting fellow travelers
  • Hotel information
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Historical background

Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

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Touroperating S-Cape Countryside Travels srl Borgo Allegri 16R 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
VAT Nr 05227330486

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