Top 7 Hiking Trails On The Islands of Azores, Portugal

things to do in azores
Contributing Writer
| 6 min read

Azores (Portuguese Ilhas dos Açores) is an archipelago situated in the region of Macaronesian Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Azores is touristic and a popular area, as it has two UNESCO Would Heritage Sites: Angra do Heroísmo and a wine area on the Island of Pico. The archipelago is the furthermost region of the European Union.

The archipelago consists of nine islands, and all of them are of volcanic origin. The highest mountain of the islands and simultaneously of the whole of Portugal, is Ponta de Pico, and stands 2,351 meters (7,713 feet) above the sea. This archipelago has a predominantly subtropical climate, with strong winds. In summer the temperature is around 24°C (75°F), while in winter, about 16°C (60°F). The Azores is a perfect place surrounded by beautiful, breathtaking nature.

If you are looking for things to do in Azores, Portugal, why not go on an adventure by hiking and climbing along these scenic trails.

1. Faja Grande in Flores Island

Flores is the westernmost island of the Azorean archipelago. The main town is Santa Cruz Das Flores. A lot of cliffs and smaller islands surround the Flores’s coastline. The island is simultaneously the westernmost point of the whole of Portugal.

Faja Grande Faja Grande is located in the municipality of Lajes das Flores in the Azores. It’s a place with a small population, but it’s one of the centers of this municipality a little less than 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from the municipal seat. People talk about this place being pure beauty. There is such an unusual nature that will take your breath away. Waterfalls, stunning views of the coastline, forests, and mountains. The Faja Grande is not affected by tourism so far and it’s just a small paradise in Portugal.

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2. São Jorge Island

The São Jorge Island is one of the Islands of the Azorean archipelagoes also called “Triangle”. It’s an archipelago of three islands - São Jorge, Pico, and Faial. There is a huge difference in relief of the Island. The western part is filled with cliffs, while the east is way smoother. The same difference is between the northern and southern coasts. The North is full of sharp cliffs, while in the South is flatter. The mountains are widespread along the ridge of the island and the highest point is the Pico da Esperanca. With 1,053 meters (3,454 feet), the Pico da Esperanca provides fantastic views around the island and other islands in the triangle. The island features countless things to do, mainly if you are looking for adventure. Things do to here:

Lagoa da Faja de Santo Cristo To this place leads a couple of trails. Just choose one of the trails and in a while, you will find yourself in the middle of amazing landscapes and views of the ocean and valley. This place is an untouched natural area and also spot for the surfers!

Piscina Natural da Faja do Ouvidor These popular pools are situated on the shores of the Island. The rocks are sharp but there are little paths, which lead to the areas for relaxing. The place features showers and also lifeguards are present.

Arco Natural de Velas The impressing arch, located within walking distance to the center of Velas. This place is worth a quick stop, for it’s another beautiful nature site on the Island.

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3. Faial de Terra on São Miguel Island

Faial da Terra
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Matias Raita used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Faial da Terra is a civil parish in the municipality of Povoação. It’s located on the southeastern coast of the island of São Miguel. The Faial da Terra has no more than 400 inhabitants, and the main source of income is from agriculture. The village lies between the two mountains and from the front side, is almost touching the Atlantic Ocean! Close to the village, you can find another community of houses known as Sanguinho, that provide some stunning sceneries. The recommendation for a visit: waterfalls at Salto do Prego, the highest point of Pico da Vara.

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4. Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Island

Ponta Delgada is the largest Capital City of the Azorean archipelago. The city is situated on São Miguel Island, with a population of almost 70 thousand people. Things to do in Ponta Delgada:

Caldeira das Sete Cidades The largest freshwater lake in the Azores. It is composed of green and blue, crystal clear lagoons. In 2010 it was designated as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.

Lagoa das Empadadas Two lakes, Lagoa das Empadadas Norte and Lagoa das Empadadas Sul, surrounded by wonderful nature. It’s a calm place that offers some great options for hiking. The access there is easy, however, it’s still a peaceful place, not overrun by tourists.

Lagoa do Fogo This is the deep volcanic crater with a lake at the bottom. This place is appreciated mainly by adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. You can walk through a 14 kilometers (8.6 mile) long trail, which starts on the Praia da Ribeira and finishes on the top of the crater. From the top, you will be able to see some fantastic overlooks. The area is a protected nature reserve and there are not populated places here. It’s just breathtaking, untouchable nature.

Sete Cidades Sete Cidades is a civil parish in the center of Ponta Delgada. The Sete Cidades is located in the middle of a volcanic crater also called Sete Cidades. It is the largest area in the municipality of Ponta Delgada, although, the population is still only around 800 people.

Mosteiros Mosteiros, the civil parish of Ponta Delgada, is the westernmost settlement on São Miguel Island. In the Mosteiros you will find two beaches and some open pools. The Praia Mosteiros is located on the windy coastline with sharp cliffs. Access there is simple, just by walking from the Mosteiros. This beach is also a great spot for surfing.

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5. Ponta de Pico on Pico Island

Azoren (14)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bjoern.Hoernitz used under CC BY-SA 3.0

On the Pico Island is a lot of things to do. From beautiful, hidden natures to historic towns, which represent the local culture, cuisine, and folklore. There are many breathtaking landscapes, but the most famous and also the symbol of the island is a volcano called Pico (Ponta de Pico). The Pico is 2,351 meters (7,713 feet) tall and it’s the biggest mountain of Portugal. The climb to Pico is challenging and requires a certain physical condition. Anyone who wants to hike to the top must register with the Civilian Protection Office. It’s recommended to hire a guide who can keep you safe. You can reserve your tour on the website below.

Ponta de Pico tours

Website: Ponta de Pico tours

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6. Monte Brasil on Terceira Island

Crater of Monte Brasil
Source: Photo by user David Stanley used under CC BY 2.0

Monte Brasil, surrounded by two bays (Bay of Angra and Bay of Fanal), is the remnants of a volcano and peninsula. The Bay of Fanal used to be a defensive point and that’s why you find here constructions of various forts. The highest point, located over the city, provides a bunch of panoramic views around the island and on the clearest days, it is possible to see a Pico mountain as well.

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7. Island of Santa Maria

Santa Maria Island is situated on the south of the island of São Miguel. The island is well known for the beautiful white sand beaches and weather of high temperatures. Because of the location, the island is warmer and drier than others and is also called “Sunshine Island”. Places to visit:

Barreiro da Feneca Barreiro da Feneca is a red colored desert. It is usually called “red desert” and it’s a protected area of the Azores. The next places to see in the red desert are the Bays of Raposo, Tagarete and Cré.

Ribeira de Maloás An unusual geologic formation that came into being through the contact of the sea with the lava flow. The Ribeira de Maloás is a part of a 20 meter (65 foot) high waterfall.

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Natural heaven on earth!

If you are an adventure enthusiast, then the Azores will be heaven for you. Countless breathtaking landscapes will touch your adventurous heart. You can choose from the easy hiking trails to the challenge of climbing to the top of Ponta de Pico. It’s for anyone, from average travelers to experienced climbers. Just pure, natural heaven on the earth!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Veronica, hailing from the enchanting city of Prague in the Czech Republic, is an ardent traveler with an unwavering passion for exploring not only her own beautiful country but also diverse...Read more

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