Bespoke Portugal Bike Tour

The Azores

Launch Photo Gallery
Located three-quarters of the way across the Atlantic between New York and Lisbon, the islands of the Azores are exotic gardens of fragrant flowers and Japanese cedars, hot springs and crater lakes. Our route on Săo Miguel Island hugs coastal cliffs and forested mountainsides for challenging, rewarding cycling. We’ll spend a week exploring the island’s natural wonders: the Val das Furnas, a luxuriant green valley of geysers and steam vents; the secluded beaches and picturesque fishing villages of the coast; and a botanical park with flora from around the world. Our farewell celebration includes a dressage demonstration of high-stepping Lusitano horses.
  • Highlights
  • Itinerary
  • Trip Feedback
  • What's Included
  • The ultimate off-the-beaten-path European biking vacation
  • Challenging cycling through exotic terrain
  • Hawaii-like landscapes combined with European culture
  • Volcanic hot springs, cinder cones, and crater lakes
  • Colorful Saints’ Days festivals and processions
  • Europe’s only tea plantation
  • 200-year-old botanical park at Hotel Terra Nostra
  • Traditional cozido feast cooked in a volcanic steam vent
  • Dressage demonstration of dancing Lusitano horses
  • The closest point in Europe, just a 4-1/2 hour flight from Boston

Day 1: Morning transfer from Ponta Delgada airport to the seaside village of Caloura, where our hotel overlooks the rugged cliffs of the south coast. Our warm-up loop leads through the vineyards to Caloura harbor and a volcanic black sand beach. (0 or 5 mi.)

Day 2: Follow the coast to Vila Franca for a swim in an ocean lagoon formed by an extinct volcano. A spectacular climb leads over Pizőes Pass en route to Furnas. Three-night stay at Hotel Terra Nostra, a lovely resort reflecting the architecture and romantic spirit of the 1930s. Relax with a stroll through the adjacent botanical park, a 200-year-old refuge of winding paths, lily ponds, and exotic trees and flowers. (20 or 32 mi.)

Day 3: Panoramic views along a secluded forest track as we traverse the rugged interior to Nordeste. Afternoon return option visits coastal miradouros and Povoaçăo, the village of the Azores’ first settlers. Reward yourself in a mineral-laden hot spring said to be curative for the legs! Traditional cozido dinner cooked in the “natural ovens” at Furnas Lake. (29, 42, or 50 mi.)

Day 4: Free day to explore the Furnas geyser basin area and swim at Ribeira Quente, whose waters are naturally warmed by a steam vent hidden beneath the sea. An optional ride or hike follows a hydrangea-lined ridge with views to both sides of the island. (0, 11, 21, or 28 mi.)

Day 5: Spin past picturesque fishing villages, beaches, and windmills along the north coast. Along the way, visit Europe’s only tea plantation and pedal to a blissful soak under a hot waterfall! A challenging option climbs to the miradouro at Lagoa do Fogo (“Lake of Fire”). Two-night stay in the capital city of Ponta Delgada, where our stylish hotel fronts the new marina. (25, 31, or 43 mi.)

Day 6: Our grand finale leads to the remote lakeside village of Sete Cidades, then along the volcanic rim to Portal do Vento (“Windy Pass”) for a downhill sail back to Ponta Delgada. (38 or 43 mi.)

Day 7: Free morning to visit Ponta Delgada’s colorful market, beautiful parks, or outstanding museum of native folk and fine art. Our farewell lunch at the Quinta Pico da Cruz is followed by a dressage demonstration of their purebred Lusitano horses. Late afternoon transfer to Ponta Delgada airport.

“Pristine tropical beauty in an old-world European setting. Spectacular vistas and serious fun!”
– R.S., Pennsylvania

“A get-away-from-it-all adventure. No serious bicyclist or reasonably-fit athlete should miss this one!”
­– D.S., Pennsylvania

“My definition of a great bike vacation is the feeling of being transported to another world. This tour did that exceptionally well!”
– N.W., Colorado

“The beauty of the island speaks for itself, but it was our guides who brought Săo Miguel alive with their knowledge of history and their enthusiasm for biking.”
– S.M., Illinois

“The Azores are unbelievable and unlike any place I’ve ever been. Between the scenery and the people it was impossible not to have a good time.”
– B.P., Illinois

Selected by National Geographic Adventure Magazine: "Wild Horizons: The 25 Greatest Adventures To Do Now"

  • 6 nights accommodations in three- and four-star resorts and hotels (double occupancy, private bath)
  • 4 dinners with wine, 2 picnics, farewell luncheon, and all breakfasts
  • Use of a top-quality 27-speed Marin hybrid bicycle
  • Detailed maps, written directions, and background information
  • Choice of mileage options every day; total mileage of 112 to 201 miles
  • Two experienced, multilingual Portuguese guides
  • Support van to carry luggage, provide snacks, and offer assistance and lifts
  • Lusitano dressage demonstration
  • Tea plantation tour
  • Transfers to and from Ponta Delgada Airport at specified times
  • Gratuities for all accommodations and group meals
  • Comprehensive tour preparation information and training tips
  • Easy Rider cycling jersey and water bottle
  • Airfare is not included.

Price: US$3350 for
7 day/6 night guided bike tour.
Single supplement: $600.

2022 Season
See our Azores Bike & Hike combo tour offered through the Bicycle Adventure Club. 2022 dates TBD; contact us for details!

Ponta Delgada Airport

Activity Level: 3, 4. Hilly to mountainous terrain.

See more Portugal bike tours.