A magnificent cycling experience on the Atlantic island of Sao Miguel. You will cycle through the lushly green landscape, which beautifully covers the dramatic volcanic scenery that shapes the main island of the Azores. You will experience characteristic crater lakes, bubbling geysers and hot springs, all of which underlines that it is a volcanically created group island you are visiting. The natural underfloor heating of the island, plays an important role to the vegetation found on the island.
You will visit the only professional tea plantation in Europe, and experience the charming coastal cities, and the lively city life that blends in between boiling mud and hot springs on the inner island.
Just as Iceland, the Azores islands are situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and are the result of volcanic activity through 20 million years. It is only the last 5 million years that the islands have been visible above water, making them some of the youngest islands in the world.
The route: The daily bike routes are between 20-55 km per day. The terrain is hilly, and there will be a lot of ascents during the week, so although a daily distance may seem short, give yourself plenty of time to get comfortable over the hills. We recommend that you are in general good physical biking shape, and are able to sit on a bike 5-6 hours spread over a full day. The routes have been selected as the most appropriate for both terrain and traffic.
The transfer from the airport to the first hotel is included in the price.
The day begins with getting your bikes, which will be handed out at your hotel. Then you are suggested a shorter cycling tour in the area, which is a great way to get to know the surroundings and the village better. This tour will first lead you through the youngest volcanic area of the island, where winding roads will take you past the small volcanic peaks take you through the island's youngest volcanic area where the winding roads will lead you past the small volcanic peaks that characterize the area here. The route continues along the hillside of the nearby volcano of Sete Cidades. Along the way are plenty of beautiful photo stops with gorgeous views up to the north coast of the island. From here you head back down to Capelas and the hotel.
You will begin the day by cycling a few kilometers to the west, along the beautiful north coast, before turning onto a smaller road leading you up to the rim of the volcano Sete Cidades. The volcano covers an impressive area of about 110 km2, and on the way to the top you will experience some of the most fascinating views inside the volcano, with its lakes, craters and little hills. You will cycle a different route back down to the hotel on the coast.
On this day you will cycle to a hotel on the eastern part of the island. On the way there you will pass through some charming little villages, situated on the north coast. You will also pass Ribeira Grande, the second largest city on the Sao Miguel. As you continue east, you will pass the only professional tea plantation in Europe. It is possible to make a stop here, and visit the tea factory where you can taste a cup of their fine teas. From the tea-plantation you will cycle over the rim of the volcanic area of Furnas, where you will check into your next hotel.
Today you have two routes on your program. A morning tour at about 13 km, will show you the way to the special fumaroles and hot springs in the area. This route leads you along the shores of a crater lake and offers fine views cross the village of Furnas. Find your self a nice café or restaurant where you can enjoy a good lunch, before going on the next stretch.
In the afternoon, you will bike about 20km down some great winding roads into the valley where the village of Ribeira Quente is situated. Here you will find one of the most attractive beaches on the island. The temperature of the water is 16-18 degrees C in winter and up to 23 degrees C in the summertime, so this is an obvious place for a dip any time of year. In Ribeira Quente there are also a few restaurants serving fish freshly caught by local fishermen, and dinner could very well be enjoyed here before cycling back up to the hotel in Furnas.
The program of today is at your own disposal, with the opportunity to enjoy the unique nature of Furnas and maybe visit Furnas Monitoring & Research Centre, where visitors are introduced to the Valley of Furnas and the geology and volcanism of the lakes, and not least the native flora and fauna.
You can also try out the hilly terrain and cycle over the rim of the crater to the east. Here you will enter the extinct volcano Povoacao. The village situated here, was the first place the Portuguese settled upon arrival in the 15th century. Along the way you will be able to enjoy the views of the seven hilltops of Povoacao.
On the last cycling day of the trip, the route will lead you from Furnas along the shores of the crater lake Lagoa das Furnas, with its greenish tint, that beautifully matches the lush surroundings. The route continues south, where it slowly brings you down to the coast and towards the town of Vila Franca do Campo. On this route there are magnificent views of coastal villages and the unique crater island located in the sea, about 500 meters off shore.
The transfer from the hotel to the airport is included in the price.
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