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Best Hiking Trails in Azores

Overview

The Azores are a group of nine islands sitting in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean belong to Portugal.  Considered the ‘Hawaii’ of the Atlantic (although the same is also said of the another stunning Portuguese island – Madeira), there are beautiful mountain hiking trails on all of the islands. The main islands for hiking are São Miguel, São Jorge and Flores. The best months for hiking in the Azores are May – September.  Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in the Azores. 

Capital: Ponta Delgada

When To Hike in Azores?

May – September: Driest June – August
October: Some rain
November – April: Cold and rainy

Climate: Subtropical oceanic – mild climate throughout the year.  Some of the islands have better weather than others

 

Azores Weather – Portugal.net

Accessibility of Hiking

Easy – Medium: Many trails are well marked but not all of them, and maps that are available are not very detailed.  Some trails are best done with a guide (particularly long distance ones). 

Azores Trails | This is the official site that lists most of the trails on the islands

Transportation Required: Car; public transit.  Many trails can be accessed by public transportation (in summer months), including beginning and ends of multi-day hikes.  However, a car can take you to many places that are not served by public transit and also make it easier to get to and from day hikes.

Where to stay in Azores for hiking:

  • Sao Miguel: Ponta Delgada
  • Sao Jorge: Velas
  • Flores: Santa Cruz das Flores
  • Pico: Madalena
  • Terceira: Angra do Heroismo
  • Santa Maria: Vila do Porto
  • Graciosa: Santa Cruz da Graciosa
  • Corvo: Vila do Corvo
  • Faial: Horta

Top Places to Hike in Azores

All of these lush islands have hiking trails on them. The best islands for hiking, in terms of quantity as well as quality are São Miguel, São Jorge and Flores. Sao Miguel is the largest island and has the most developed trail network, and Sao Jorge not only has a good trail network but is easy to get to Pico and Flores from there. Highest Mountain: Mount Pico (2351 m) on Pico island

Filter out hiking places of Azores by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Flores Island

  • Part of the Western Group of islands
  • The greenest of the islands, sees lots of rainfall
  • Four trails

Terceira Island

  • Part of Central Group of islands
  • Nine trails

Faial Island

  • Part of the Central Group of islands
  • Nine trails

Pico Island

  • Part of Central Group of islands
  • Home of Mount Pico, highest peak, which requires a guide to climb to the peak
  • Fourteen trails

São Jorge Island

  • Part of Central Group of islands
  • Long skinny island with eight trails including a long distance one 

São Miguel Island

  • Part of Eastern Group of islands
  • Largest island with greatest number of trails with 28 trails

Azores's Long Distance Trails

Long distance hiking trails in the Azores take the form of Great Routes and there are seven of them, Great Routes of Azores

  • Great Route of Santa Maria – 78.6 km, considered medium
  • Great Route of São Jorge (GR01) – 40 km, considered medium
  • Great Route of São Jorge (GR02) – 52 km, considered hard
  • Great Route of Graciosa – 40 km, considered medium
  • Great Route of Flores – 47 km, considered hard
  • West Great Route (Terceira) – 31.2 km, considered hard
  • Faial from Coast to Coast – 36.8 km, considered hard

Azores's Walking & Hiking Resources

Azores Hiking Books:

  • Walking on The Azores: 70 routes across Sao Miguel, Santa Maria, Terceira, Graciosa, Sao Jorge, Pico, Faial, Flores and Corvo, Cicerone Guide, by Paddy Dillon, 2019, Cicerone Press
  • Azores: 77 of the finest walks on the coast and in the mountains, by Roman Martin, 2016, Rother 
  • Walking in the Azores: Landscapes of Azores: 5 car tours, 60 long and short walks, 8th Edition, by Andreas Stieglitz, 2018, Sunflower Guide
  • Lonely Planet Portugal, 11th Edition, by Gregor Clark, Duncan Garwood, Catherine Le Nevez, Kevin Raub, Regis St Louis, Kerry Walker, 2019, Lonely Planet Global Limited

 

Azores Hiking Associations:

  • Azores Trails | This is the official site that lists most of the trails on the islands.  The trail for Pico is not listed likely because it is the most strenuous of all the trails and requires extra caution, permit, and guide

 

Best Hikes in Azores:

You can find more details on hiking these trails in the hiking guidebooks, official hiking websites from the country/region, trail maps/apps or other websites:

  • Sete Cidades – Sao Miguel
  • Praia – Lagoa de Fogo – Sao Miguel
  • Mount Pico – Pico
  • Misterios Negros Trail – Terceira
  • Faial da Terra/Salto do Prego – Sao Miguel
  • Serra Devassa – Sao Miguel
  • Caldeirao – Corvo
  • Serra do Topo Caldeira do Santo Cristo – Faja dos Cubres – Sao Jorge
  • 10 Volcanoes Trail – Faial
  • Miradouro das Lagoas – Poco do Bacalhau – Flores

Easy Hikes in Azores: 

  • Santa Espirito – Maia – Santa Maria
  • Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande – Salto do Cabrito – Sao Miguel

Azores Hiking Websites:

 

Azores Weather Websites:

 

Azores Official Tourism Site:  

 

Azores Hiking Apps: 

 

Azores Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Caving
  • Beaches
  • Natural swimming pools
  • Hot springs

Other Important Points

  • Distance between groups of islands is large; need to take a flight or loooong ferry ride