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Azores Bike Tour

São Miguel Island: Cycling Paradise Found

6 days / 5 nights Level: 3Price From: $4,595Collection: Classic

Tour Highlights

  • Encounter the island’s myriad landscapes by bike, including volcanic vistas, tropical waterfalls, vibrant wildflowers, and unusually lush coastal roads
  • Go whale- and dolphin-watching on a Zodiac boat ride with a marine biologist
  • Taste tea grown and harvested by Europe’s only organic tea plantation, a family-owned production since 1883
  • Join our larger-than-life friend Mario for a homemade dinner and wine tasting at his ancestral family home

Eat

Organic grass-fed beef, grilled limpets (sea snails) and octopus, cow’s milk cheeses, tropical fruit like pineapples and passionfruit, and steam-cooked Furnas stew called cozido

Drink

Aragonés and Antão Vaz wines, organic teas, sublime coffee, and local craft beer

Print Itinerary
  • Pre-tour

    São Miguel Pre-Tour Package

    Welcome to São Miguel, the largest of the lush islands that comprise the Azorean archipelago. We’ll meet you at the airport and deliver you to your home base: the Grand Hotel Açores Atlantico, one of the most iconic properties in Ponta Delgada. Celebrated for its prime location, the hotel is close to the island’s old town and faces the marina—which means ocean views to lull you to sleep tonight. Get settled, explore the historic center of town, and start tomorrow’s bike tour completely refreshed. In the morning, we’ll meet the rest of the group right at the hotel.

    Accommodations: Grand Hotel Açores Atlantico

    Price Per Person: $400

    To reserve call +1 888 396 5383

  • Day 1

    Having a Whale of a Time

    Your guides will greet you in Ponta Delgada. We’ll begin with a bike fitting and safety review, then head out of the city on a bike path that follows the shoreline to Vila Franca do Campo. The town of Vila Franca was the original capital of São Miguel until it was destroyed by an earthquake (and subsequent landslide) in 1522—today, it’s prospering once again thanks to orange and pineapple plantations. After a light lunch, we’ll set our bikes aside and board a boat in search of dolphins. If we’re lucky, we may even spot a sperm whale: our local guide is a marine biologist who sheds light on these aquatic residents of the Atlantic (and a few visiting species, too). Back on dry land, we’ll transfer to our first hotel, a sleek property in the volcanic village of Furnas. Tonight, we’ll take it easy with dinner together at our hotel.

    Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Ponta Delgada, Vila Franca do Campo, Furnas
    Accomplished: 15 miles / 25 km, elevation gain: 427 meters
    Longer Option: 28 miles / 45 km, elevation gain: 998 meters
    AccommodationsFurnas Boutique Hotel

  • Day 2

    Fumaroles and Furnas Stew

    After a super-local breakfast of island-grown fruit, Azorean tea, and bolo levedo (a Portuguese breakfast bread) we’ll be properly fueled for our ride out of the volcanic crater in Furnas. Bike past gurgling springs of steaming hot water and Furnas lake before coasting down the volcano’s outer slopes—a scene that’s all grass and grazing cows. As we follow the circumference of the crater, we’ll climb to the center of the island, then descend once again into Furnas. For lunch we’ll meet Paula, an enterprising young cheesemaker who shares a taste of her artisan cheeses. Take the afternoon to explore the hotel or the village of Furnas, then re-group for dinner. The theme of the day is all things volcanic, and our meal is no exception—we’ll dine on São Miguel’s most widespread dish, a stew cooked by volcanic steam in an underground oven.

    Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Furnas
    Accomplished: 23 miles / 38 km, elevation gain: 750 meters.
    Longer Option: 34 miles / 54 km, elevation gain: 1,026 meters
    AccommodationsFurnas Boutique Hotel

  • Day 3

    The East Coast Road

    Today we embark on an epic loop ride along the island’s eastern coastline, where the roads are lined with subtropical forests, blooming azaleas, blue hydrangeas, and fragrant wild roses. Along the way, we’ll stop in the mist of waterfalls at Caldeirões Natural Park and pause at lookout points over the Atlantic, imagining the 15th-century sailors who also gazed westward in search of America. Break for a lunch of grilled octopus and limpets (sea snails), harvested just this morning from the island’s rocky shores. Hop in the van after lunch, or keep riding right to the mouth of the volcano. This evening, dine on your own in the village of Furnas—our guides can readily recommend a few favorite restaurants.

    Meals: Breakfast / Lunch
    Destinations: Furnas, Provoação, Nordeste, Lomba da Maia
    Accomplished: 35 miles / 56 km, elevation gain: 1,044 meters
    Longer Option: 54 miles / 87 km, elevation gain: 1,950 meters
    AccommodationsFurnas Boutique Hotel

  • Day 4

    Le Tour du Tea

    Oranges were first planted on São Miguel in the 16th century and were the island’s principal export until 1842, when a blight wiped out the industry. It was a watershed moment that led to economic reinvention: dairy farming became a new mainstay, and crops like pineapples, passionfruit, tobacco, and tea also thrived. This morning, we’ll take a look at one of the island’s “new” trades, riding north to Europe’s only tea plantation. The Mota family has been growing black and green tea on volcanic island terraces since 1883, and our visit includes both a fascinating history and a refreshing tea tasting. Afterwards, we’ll continue riding west along the coast, passing through fishing villages en route to our lunch spot: a family-run seafood restaurant that’s considered a can’t-miss experience. Our next hotel is just a bit further down the coast, and we’ll arrive in time for poolside sunbathing or a spa treatment. This evening, our colorful friend invites us to dine with him at his 200-year-old family home. Mario, a marine biologist and winemaker, will regale us with his captivating life story of travel, love, and wine.

    Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: São Bras, Ribeira Grande, Rabo de Peixe
    Accomplished: 28 miles / 45 km, elevation gain: 782 meters
    Accommodations: Hotel Pedras do Mar

  • Day 5

    Seven Cities

    Today’s route is all about the island’s most enigmatic volcano: Sete Cidades. Start out with a moderate and steady climb up the southern slope of the “Seven Cities”—though there are magnificent views of the lakes and village below, this landscape’s lore is tied to a melancholic love story from which the volcano takes its name. Descend to a charming inn for a light lunch of fresh salad and local cheese. From here, you may choose to call it a day and hop in the van. For those who wish to keep riding, we’ll climb the western flank of the crater, followed by a glorious downhill that ends on the coastal road. Gradually we’ll arrive at our hotel, breezing past the lookout points where watchmen used to alert fishing crews to whale sightings. The ride’s perfect finish is matched by tonight’s ocean view apéritif and memorable final dinner.

    Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Sete Cidades, Bretanha, Santa Bárbara
    Accomplished: 45 miles / 72 km, elevation gain: 1,237 meters
    Accommodations: Hotel Pedras do Mar

  • Day 6

    Adeus São Miguel

    Your guides will transfer you back to the island capital of Ponta Delgada. You may wish to stay a little longer in order to experience São Miguel a few other ways—perhaps diving, hiking, or golfing.

    Meals: Breakfast

DuVine itineraries may be subject to slight route changes, hotel substitutions, and other modifications.



Arrival Details

Airport City: Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Portugal Pick-Up Location: Grand Hotel Açores Atlantico Pick-Up Time: 9:30 am
Departure Details

Airport City: Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Portugal Drop-Off Location: Ponta Delgada airport or your Ponta Delgada hotel Drop-Off Time: 11:00 am
Travelers Take Note

The Azores is an emerging destination, which is a key part of its charm and appeal. As a result, local service at boutique-style hotels may be more relaxed, on par with the overall disposition of the island.

Due to limited bike availability in this destination, guests will be asked to provide bike information and requests upon booking.

Any scheduled tour can be made private. Your group, your dates. Go Private

2019Single Supplement From: $450
2020Single Supplement From: $550

See our cancellation policy

Accommodations

  • Thoughtfully selected accommodations that reveal the true character of the region
  • Luggage transfers

Meals

  • Daily breakfasts, all lunches, nutritious snacks, and après velo cocktails
  • 4 gourmet dinners at our favorite local restaurants and renowned culinary establishments
  • Carefully selected local wine, beer, or spirits with every meal

Activities

  • Wine tastings and activities as outlined in the tour itinerary
  • Entrance fees to historic sites, museums, parks, and all other exclusive events
  • Gratuities for baggage, porters, and hotel service

Gear

  • Top-of-the-line bicycle selection
  • Bike helmet
  • Complimentary DuVine gear, including a custom cycling jersey, DuVine t-shirt, water bottle, and drawstring bag
  • GPS in most destinations

Support

  • Expert bilingual guides with extensive local knowledge
  • Support vehicle that follows the day’s route, distributes refreshments, and offers lifts
  • Pick-up and drop-off before and after your tour from predetermined meeting points
  • Daily bike maintenance to ensure optimal performance
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Crossway 15-MD

Manufacturer: Merida

Type: Hybrid

Reacto 4000

Manufacturer: Merida

Type: Road

Electric Assist

Type: E-Bike