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Discover the beauty of the Azores!

Azores, Portugal - June 20-29, 2022

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The Azores are a collection of 9 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, 948 miles from the coast of Portugal.  These gorgeous islands are under 5 hours from the east coast of the United States.  The Azores are often compared to the natural beauty of Hawaii and Iceland. Each island has its own unique characteristics. Experience the magnificent volcanic lakes, hot thermal waters and vineyards planted in black lava fields. It is impossible to see all of the islands in one trip, so we will focus on Sao Miguel and Terceira Islands.

Sustainable Tourism in the Azores

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While the Azores are starting to become a hot spot for European travelers, they are still considered a well-kept secret. They have become well known, however, for their sustainable tourism. In fact, they were selected by National Geographic as the 2nd best islands in the world for sustainable tourism. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council recently held their 2019 Global Conference in the Azores. As sustainable travelers, we will all do our part to help protect the islands while we are there. We will keep paper usage to a minimum at the villa, reusable lunch bags will be provided, travelers will bring a water bottle, etc.  

Initial Itinerary

The beauty of small-group travel is that our itinerary can be flexible (with the exception of days involving air travel). It allows for hiking enthusiasts to truly explore the island and for others to just soak in the beauty.  It also allows for changing plans based on weather conditions, which can be rather unpredictable in the Azores. The itinerary will be finalized once we know who is traveling and what activities they are hoping to include.  Until then, this is the itinerary we are starting with. 

 

Activity level for this trip: Flexible -  you decide how much activity you want, but must be able to climb stairs, get in and out of a van or jeep, and walk up to a mile. The terrain may be rough at times so women with back problems should consult their physicians.

SUNDAY/MONDAY, JUNE 19-20

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We will all fly out of Boston together on Sunday evening, June 19th, for an overnight flight with an early morning arrival into Ponta Delgada. We will check-in to our "home" for the next 5 nights where you will have a chance to relax, sleep, adjust to the time change (4hrs), or explore the area on your own. We will then gather at home for a delicious Welcome Dinner, prepared by a local chef. (Meals: B,L,D)

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TUESDAY, JUNE 21

Our day will begin with a relaxing breakfast at home at a reasonable hour (I promise, we will not rush you out the door at some ungodly hour.) We will then spend the whole day with one of the best local tour guides on Sao Miguel, starting around 10am. We will explore the west side of the island, the highlight of which will be visiting Lagoa das Sete Cidades, "Lagoon of the Seven Cities," twin lakes found in the crater of a dormant  volcano. These lakes are so ecologically different that one appears green and the other blue.  We'll also visit the city of Ribeira Grande, with its unique historical center dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
(Meals: B,L,D) 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22

After breakfast, we will head out with our fabulous tour guide once again for another exciting day on the road.  We'll head east this time, as we explore the Furnas area, known for its crater lake, thermal pools, and quaint villages. We'll have the opportunity to eat the traditional Azorean stew, Cozido das Furnas, cooked underground with volcanic heat. Our day will include a visit to a traditional pottery factory, as well as a tea plantation (the Azores is the only place in Europe where you can see a tea factory.) (Meals: B,L,D) 

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Sete Cidadas

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THURSDAY, JUNE 23

You've got the day to yourself and options are limitless!

  • hiking

  • whale watching

  • kayaking

  • swimming with the dolphins

  • biking, to name a few

If you would like, our tour guide will be happy to help you plan your day. You may decide to just relax at the house or head out on your own. The choice is yours.  (Meals: B) 

FRIDAY, JUNE 24

We'll reunite with our tour guide and travel along the north coast of the island to Nordeste, boasting mountains, woods, waterfalls, belvederes that rise over the sea, beautiful villages and a multitude of flowers. Nordeste, known for its remoteness, is the least visited part of the island, yet offers magnificent coastlines, and is the oldest geological part of Sao Miguel Island. (Meals: B,L)

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SATURDAY, JUNE 25

No need to wake up early! We'll have the morning to relax before heading to the airport in the afternoon for a short flight to Terceira Island. We will arrive at Terceira by mid-afternoon and go straight to our new 'home' for the next 4 nights. After settling in, and perhaps exploring the local area, we will be driving to the home of a local family where we will enjoy (and help prepare) a fabulous traditional meal cooked in a wood-fired oven made of lava stones! Here we will learn more about their life and culture on the island. (Meals: B,L,D)

SUNDAY, JUNE 26

The day will be spent with our expert guide, a native of Terceira Island. The tour will be customized to our preferences, taking the weather into consideration. We will learn about the culture and history of Terceira, explore the natural beauty of the island, and have the unique opportunity to go inside one of the only two volcanos in the world that actually allow you inside. (Meals: B,L,D)

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MONDAY, JUNE 27

Another day of exploring with our tour guide. We'll explore the city of Angra do Heroismo, founded in 1478, one of the three capital cities of the Azores. We'll visit Sao Mateus Fishermen's village, a picturesque finshermen's community where we will learn about the history of the island's whalers, and spend time with the locals to get a true sense of being an islander.

TUESDAY, JUNE 28

This day is reserved for you. There are so many things to explore on Terceira Island. You can go hiking or biking, or head out on the water for some whale watching.  Our guide will be happy to make recommendations. (Meals: B,L)

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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29

Sadly, our trip comes to an end. We will fly back to Boston where we say goodbye to new friends, with the hope that our paths will cross again some day. 
(Meals: B)

I am happy to video chat with you to help you decide if KWT is right for you.

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