Start: Aldeia da Fonte (Pico Island) Finish: Faial Island
Taxi transfer from the airport of Pico to your first accommodation in the south of the island. If you arrive early, you will have enough time to try spotting a whale in the sea from this special nature hotel or, weather permitting, relax by the swimming pool.
In the morning, the taxi driver will pick you up to go to the starting point of the route, just above Silveira village. Being the highest mountain of Portugal, the Pico volcano with its 2351 m high will accompany you along most of the route. The second part of this route follows the coastline back to the hotel showing some of the best kept secrets of the southern coast of the island.
You have the option of starting the route at three different points.
Challenge: 16 - 12 - 8 km / 10 - 7,5 - 5 mi, 4.5 / 3.5 / 2.5 hrs, 25 / 25 / 10 m ascent, 770 / 280 / 90 m descent
Today you head to the centre plateau of the island. This route takes you down to the northern coast with great views of the Pico mountain, São Jorge Island in front and through fairy-tale forest you will never forget. The taxi will pick you up by a special beach with no sand, but full of round stones shaped by the sea
Challenge: 9 km / 5,5 mi, 4 hrs, 100 m ascent, 800 m descent
On your last day on Pico Island, the taxi picks you and your luggage up at the hotel and takes you to the start of the walk. For today you have 2 options:
OPTION A: An amazing route from Lagoa do Capitão lake down to São Roque, first along red dirt tracks but them downhill through an amazing forest. In order to avoid a long demanding descent, it is better to opt for the other option. The taxi will pick you up at the end of the walk to go to the harbour
Challenge: 8.5 km / 5 mi, 3.5 - 4 hrs, 25 m ascent, 770 m descent
OPTION B: A simple route along the eastern coast of the island between World Heritage vineyards. This route ends in the harbour in Madalena (Note: This route can also be left for the last day, when you return to Pico from Faial and in case your flight departs in the afternoon. Extra cost for the transfer might apply, to be paid on the spot to taxi driver)
Challenge: 8.5 km / 5 mi, 2.5 - 3 hrs, 100 m ascent and descent
Once on São Jorge, a taxi will take you to your next accommodation.
The taxi driver will take you to Pico da Esperanza, the highest point of the island with 1053 m high. This easy but long walk will boast magnificent views of the four islands around São Jorge: Pico and Faial in the south and Graciosa & Terceira in the north. The route comes to an end in Fajã do Ouvidor, where you cannot miss the natural blue and volcanic pools located by the coast. You can avoid the last demanding descent and wait in the previous village for the taxi back to Velas.
Challenge: 17 km / 10,5 mi, 6.5 - 7 hrs, 250 m ascent, 1000 m descent
Today a 50-minute transfer takes you to the beginning of this unforgettable walk. Following a trail with endemic vegetation you descend to the Fajãs (flat arable portions of land by the sea) of Caldeira do Santo Cristo, known for its tasty clams, and Fajã dos Cubres, both of them with crystal clear lagoons. On the descend, don’t miss a refreshing waterfall and a balcony with great views to the first Fajã.
Challenge: 9.5 km / 6 mi, 4 hrs, 50 m ascent, 650 m descent
Today you leave for Faial island. In the morning, a taxi will pick you up and take you to the harbour to take the ferry to Horta, where a taxi will also be waiting for you. Option of doing a short and easy route in Hortas or just relax on the beach or by the marine of this peaceful village.
Challenge: 4 km, 1.5 hrs, 160 m ascent and descent
After a 30-minute transfer you arrive in the Caldeira. With 2km / 1,2 mi wide and 500m deep it is the highest point of Faial Island and in good weather provides clear views of Graciosa, Sao Jorge & Pico Islands. The route goes along the margin of the crater until it starts going downhill along a red dirt track through the forest. A Levada (water canall) will guide you before ascending to another crater: Cabeço do Fogo. A last descend through the Reserva Florestal de Capelo will take you to the Picnic Area near Capelo, where the route ends.
Challenge: 13.4 km / 8,5 mi, 5 hrs, 150 m ascent, 700 m descent
Today you continue with the last part of the official ’10 Volcão route’ until Capelinhos lighthouse. On the way you’ll see other different craters before reaching the monogenetic volcano of the Azores: Capelinhos, which last erupted in 1957. At the Visitor’s Centre you can learn all the history about this singular place.
Challenge: 6 - 13 km / 3,5 - 8 mi, 2.5 / 4.5 hrs, 200 / 300 m ascent, 350 / 400 m descent
Continue your walk along the southern coast until Varadouro and relax by the natural swimming pool. Transfer back to the hotel in the afternoon.
Your arrangement comes to the end today after breakfast. Ferry to Pico and transfer to the airport.
Built in a passionate way, the Aldeia da Fonte hotel is integrated in the magnificent and stunning Nature of Pico Island . With six volcanic stone houses leaning over the cliffs to the Atlantic Ocean, among lush gardens, it is a haven of choice, halfway between the Old and the New World
The São Jorge Garden Hotel has 58 rooms overlooking the sea and the gardens.
Located in the city of Horta, the newly renovated Hotel Horta offers views of Pico Island. It offers rooms with balconies, a large garden and an outdoor pool. Rooms at Horta are decorated in neutral tones and well equipped.
You can start on any day of the week from April to December. Prices on request from 23/12 to 31/12
The nearest airports are Pico airport (PIX), fliying from Lisbon (LIS), and Faial airport/Horta (HOR) with scales from Lisbon
GPS tracks are available on request.