Experience the natural beauty of the Azores on its many hiking trails. We provide you with information about all the trails on the four largest Azores islands. We also highlight the best trails on the islands of Sao Miguel and Faial.
Each of the nine islands in the Azores archipelago has a number of “official” Walking Trails. The routes follow many of the footpaths used by islanders for centuries in their daily lives before cars were brought to the islands. They are maintained diligently by each island and well marked.
Every trailhead has a signboard which provides the following information:
- Description and map of the route and pictures of some highlights,
- Operational status (trails may be closed due to trail damage/reconstruction),
- Length (kilometers),
- Difficulty (easy, medium or hard), and
- Duration (walking time).
5 Best Sao Miguel Hikes
Sao Miguel has some of the best hiking in the Azores and is the most accessible to visitors. The largest and oldest island in the chain, Sao Miguel has the most trail options in the Azores.
With so many hikes to choose from, here are our top 5 recommended hikes in Sao Miguel.
- Sanguinho Trail
- Sete Cidades Hike
- Lagoa do Fogo Hike
- Furnas Lake Hike
- Nascentes de Santo Antonio Trail
The Sanguinho Trail (PRC09) is our number one pick of trails to be hiked in Sao Miguel. The trail, which originates in the town of Ribeira do Faial da Terra in eastern Sao Miguel, can easily be competed in an afternoon. The highlight of this trip is seeing the beautiful Salto do Prego waterfall up close. Take some time to admire the falls or even take a quick dip. Afterward hike to a hilltop to explore the intriguing village of Sanguinho abandoned in early 1970’s.
Sete Cidades Hike
The area around Sete Cidades is an amazing place for hiking. Two trails (either the PR03 Vista do Rei or PR04 Mata do Canario) follow the rim of the caldera. You’ll get amazing views of the blue and green lakes below before descending into the caldera and ending your hike in the town of Sete Cidades.
See our Sete Cidades article for more details about Sete Cidades hiking.
Lagoa do Fogo Hike
Another great caldera hike is located in the center of the island at Fogo Lake. Enjoy the relatively easy hike from the Lagoa do Fogo viewpoint parking lot down to the pumice beach at Fogo Lake. For a more challenging hike, tackle the 11 km Lagoa do Fogo Trail (PRC02).
For more details on how to hike this area, see our article on Lagoa do Fogo hiking.
Furnas Lake Hike
This circular hike around Lagoa das Furnas passes two nature areas: Jose do Canto Garden and Parque Grena. In these areas you can walk the nature paths to beautiful waterfalls. At the north end of the Furnas Lake, visit Caldeiras da Logoa das Furnas, where they cook the region’s famous Furnas Stew. For a longer day hike, you can incorporate these stops as part of the official 9.5 km Lagoa das Furnas (PRC06) hiking trail.
See our Furnas article for more details about Furnas Hiking.
Nascentes de Santo Antonio Trail
Along the north coast of Sao Miguel there are a number of hiking trails. Our pick is the historic Nascentes de Santo Antonio Trail (PR17).
Starting in the village area of Fonte Grande, descend to the set of concrete sinks which were used in the past by villagers for their laundry. Climb down further and walk along the coast to an old hydroelectric power plant. Continue heading east to the old fishing port called Santo Antonio. The trail follows the waterfront where you’ll come to a natural swimming pool. If you want, enjoy a swim here before proceeding back up the hill towards Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Rosario. Admire the quaint church and cemetery before ending your walk back in the town of Santo Antonio.
(Note: On our last visit to the island, the trail was under construction in the middle section. We were able to hike both the western and eastern sections of the trail separately and were still able to enjoy the trail.)
Sao Miguel Hiking
This chart gives you the details of hikes on Sao Miguel.
|Sete Cidades Trails||Type/ Difficulty||Length / Hours||Altitude range|
|PR03 SMI Vista do Rei – Sete Cidades||Linear/ Easy||7.7 km/ 2:00||550 m|
|PR04 SMI Meta do Canario – Sete Cidades||Linear/ Medium||11.8 km/ 3:00||600 m|
|PRC05 SMI Serra Devassa||Circular/ Medium||4.9 km/ 2:00||100 m|
|PRC33 SMI Atalhos Vermelhos||Circular/ Medium||5.4 km/ 2:00||150 m|
|PRC43 SMI Pico das Camarinhas – Ponta Da Ferraria||Circular/ Easy||4.9 km/ 2:30||200 m|
|PRC20 SMI Rocha da Relva||Out and back/ Medium||5.5 km/ 3:00||160 m|
|North Coast Trails||Type/ Difficulty||Length / Hours||Altitude range|
|PR17 SMI Nascentes de Santo Antonio||Linear/ Medium||2.8 km/ 1:30||120 m|
|PR01 SMI Vigia de Sao Pedro||Linear/ Easy||6.5 km/ 2:00||40 m|
|PR21 SMI Padrao das Alminhas – Salto da Farinha||Linear/ Medium||4.9 km/ 2:00||140 m|
|PR27 SMI Praia da Viola||Linear/ Easy||4.8 km/ 2:00||250 m|
|PRC28 SMI Cha Gorreana||Circular/ Easy||3.4 km/ 1:30||375 m|
|PRC35 SMI Minhos da Ribeira Funda||Circular/ Medium||3.3 km/ 2:00||200 m|
|PRC36 SMI Pedra Queimada – Lajinha – Degredo||Circular/ Medium||6.6 km/ 2:30||200 m|
|PRC38 SMI Lombas D’El Rei||Circular/ Medium||4.4 km/ 2:00||200 m|
|East Coast Trails||Type/ Difficulty||Length / Hours||Altitude range|
|PRC09 SMI Sanguinho||Circular/ Medium||4.5 km/ 2:00||200 m|
|PRC07 SMI Pico da Vara||Circular/ Hard||12 km/ 6:00||600 m|
|PR11 SMI Ribeira do Faial da Terra||Linear/ Medium||5.9 km/ 2:00||400 m|
|PR18 SMI Vigia de Baleia||Linear/ Medium||7 km/ 3:00||500 m|
|PRC13 SMI Agua Retorta||Circular/ Medium||4.8 km/ 2:00||300 m|
|PRC31 SMI Lomba da Fazenda||Circular/ Medium||6 km/ 2:30||150 m|
|PRC40 SMI Quatro Caminhos do Faial da Terra||Circular/ Medium||7.5 km/ 3:00||500 m|
|Furnas Trails||Type/ Difficulty||Length / Hours||Altitude range|
|PRC06 SMI Lagoa das Furnas||Circular/ Easy||9.5 km/ 3:00||150 m|
|PR12 SMI Agriao||Linear/ Medium||7.6 km/ 3:00||250 m|
|Fogo Trails||Type/ Difficulty||Length / Hours||Altitude range|
|PRC02 SMI Lagoa doFogo||Out and back/ Medium||11 km/ 4:00||400 m|
|PRC29 SMI Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande – Salto do Cabrito||Circular/ Medium||8.5 km/ 2:30||350 m|
|PRC37 SMI Rota da Agua – Janela do Inferno||Circular/ Easy||7.6 km/ 2:30||150 m|
|PR39 SMI Quatro Fabricas da Luz||Linear/ Easy||2.1 km/ 1:30||150 m|
|PR41 SMI Rota da Agua – Pedras Brancas||Linear/ Medium||5.2 km/ 2:00||150 m|
|PR42 SMI Rota da Agua – Entre Tuneis e Condutas||Linear/ Medium||15 km/ 5:00||250 m|
3 Best Faial Island Hikes
Faial Island has some great trails. It is the 5th largest island and formed less than a million years ago. The Horta marina is world-renowned.
We recommend three, short, easy hikes which highlight some of the best places on Faial Island.
- Entre Montes Trail
- Morro de Castelo Branco Trail
- Caldeira Trail
Entre Montes Trail
Enjoy this short loop trail to all the highlights of Faial’s Monte da Guia Geosite, the peninsula at the south end of Horta. The trail takes about 1.5 hours. It is the perfect place to finish your day of touring.
We provide more details about the Entre Montes (PRC08 FAI) hike in our Faial Island article.
Morro de Castelo Branco Trail
Western Faial is a great place to hike. The Morro de Castelo Branco Trail explores some of the Varadouro Protected Area. You’ll have stunning views of Morro de Castelo Branco, a volcanic peninsula with sheer cliffs extending into the water. It is both a Faial Nature Reserve and an Azore’s Geosite. The circular trail takes about 1.5 hours.
See our Faial article for information about the Morro de Castelo Branco Trail (PRC05 FAI).
This circular trail along the Faial Caldeira rim offers stunning vistas at almost every step. The floor of the caldera has a cinder cone and two small lakes. Cabeço Gordo is the highest point of the trail. On clear days the Azore islands of Pico and Sao Jorge can be seen. This is a beautiful 2.5 hour walk.
For more details about this hike, see the Caldeira Trail (PRC04 FAI) section in our Faial article.
For information about things to see and do when visiting Faial Island, which includes longer hikes and full day hikes, check out our full Faial Island article.
Faial Island Hiking Trails
Here are the full details of the hiking trails on the island of Faial.
|Name||Type/ Difficulty||Length||Altitude range|
|PRC08 FAI Entre Montes||Circular/ Easy||3.4 km/ 1:30||75 m|
|PRC05 FAI Rumo ao Morro de Castelo Branco||Circular/ Easy||3.7 km/ 1:30||100 m|
|PRC04 FAI Caldeira||Circular/ Easy||6.8 km/ 2:30||100 m|
|PRC01 FAI Cabeco do Canto||Circular/ Medium||2.6 km/ 2:00||150 m|
|PR07 FAI Caminhos Velhos||Linear/ Hard||17.5 km/ 7:00||900 m|
|PR06 FAI Dez Vulcoes||Linear/ Hard||19.3 km/ 5:00||900 m|
|PRC09 FAI Ribeirinha||Circular/ Easy||8.3 km/ 2:30||400 m|
|PRC02 FAI Rocha da Faja||Circular/ Easy||5 km/ 2:30||250 m|
|PR03 FAI Levada||Linear/ Easy||7.6 km/ 2:30||75 m|
|GR01 FAI Faial Costa a Costa||Linear/ Hard||36.8 km/ 12:00||900 m|
Terceira Hiking Trails
Terceira is the third largest island in the chain and is almost circular. Its main city, Angra do Herosimo, is the historical capital of the Azores and the first Portuguese UNESCO World Heritage city. The city’s port is protected by Monte Brasil, an ancient volcano. There are picnic spots, viewpoints and the hiking trail PRC04 TER Monte Brasil.
Here are the full details of the hiking trails of Terceira.
|Name||Type/ Difficulty||Length||Altitude range|
|PRC01 TER Misterios Negros||Circular/ Hard||4.9 km/ 2:30||100 m|
|PR02 TER Baias da Agualva||Linear/ Easy||3.8 km/ 2:00||100 m|
|PRC03 TER Serrata||Circular/ Medium||6.8 km/ 2:30||500 m|
|PRC04 TER Monte Brasil||Circular/ Medium||7.4 km/ 2:30||150 m|
|PR05 TER Fortes de Sao Sebastiao||Linear/ Easy||5.7 km/ 2:30||150 m|
|PRC06 TER Rocha do Chambre||Circular/ Medium||8.8 km/ 2:30||200 m|
|PRC07 TER Passagem das Bestas||Circular/ Medium||4 km/ 2:30||100 m|
|PRC08 TER Relheiras de Sao Bras||Circular/ Easy||5 km/ 2:00||100 m|
Pico Hiking Trails
Pico’s rich volcanic soils and warm microclimate led to the development of viticulture in the 15th century. Pico Island Vineyard Culture earned UNESCO World Heritage site designation.
Mount Pico, the highest point in Portugal rising 2,351 metres above the island, is a near-perfect cone-shaped dormant volcano. Hiking Mount Pico is considered by many to be the ultimate hiking experience in the Azores.
Here are the full details of the hiking trails of Pico.
|Name||Type/ Difficulty||Length||Altitude range|
|Pico Mountain Trail||Linear/ Hard||6.3 km/ 5:00||1100 m|
|PR01 PIC Caminhos de Santa Luzia||Linear/ Medium||10.5 km/ 3:00||225 m|
|PR10 PIC Santana – Lajido||Linear/ Easy||8.7 km/ 2:30||200 m|
|PR13 PIC Lagoa do Capitão||Linear/ Medium||9.3 km/ 3:00||750 m|
|PRC08 PIC Ladeira dos Moinhos||Circular/ Easy||3.4 km/ 1:15||170 m|
|PR02 PIC Caminho dos Burros||Linear/ Medium||8.9 km/ 3:00||750 m|
|PR03 PIC Ponta da Ilha||Linear/ Hard||6 km/ 3:00||40 m|
|PR07 PIC Caminho das Voltas||Linear/ Easy||5.8 km/ 2:00||450 m|
|PR18 PIC Nove Canadas da Ribeirinha||Linear/ Easy||8.7 km/ 4:00||400 m|
|PRC09 PIC Prainha do Norte||Circular/ Easy||7.8 km/ 2:30||125 m|
|PR15 PIC Mistérios do Sul do Pico||Linear/ Easy||8.5 km/ 3:00||50 m|
|PR17 PIC Quintas e Ribeiras||Linear/ Medium||12.5 km/ 4:00||200 m|
|PRC11 PIC Calheta do Nesquim||Circular/ Medium||8.6 km/ 2:30||200 m|
|PR19 PIC Caminho das Lagoas||Linear/ Easy||22 km/ 7:00||600 m|
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