Almost at the midpoint in the Atlantic between Europe and North America, the Azorian Archipelago isolation ensures an enthralling visit to any naturalist. The nearer shore in Europe provides much of the common ancestry but distance and time has ensured that new island species have evolved.
The Azores Bullfinch is the most well-known avian example but amongst the plant life there are many… Azorina vidallii, Ammi seubertianum, Pericallis malvifolia, Spergulariaazorica, Tolpis succulenta, and the rare maroon-flowered Lotus azoricus. The massive volcanic crater of Sete Cidades contains twin lakes that attract an eclectic assortment of migrating ducks, herons and egrets, and around the lagoas we’ll find the big endemics – Angelica lignescens and Rumex azoricus, and we’ll see two special orchids too, Platanthera pollostantha and Platanthera micrantha. A large part of the original habitats of the Azores still remain, particularly in the mountainous areas – the laurel forests are superb and we’ll explore too the fabulous peat bogs of the Graminhais plateau. The Australasian tree-fern Dicksonia antarctica is naturalised here, growing alongside its native counterpart Culcita macrocarpa, the Woolly Tree Fern. Lurking in the green-fringed boggy ponds is the tiny Citrine Forktail. Amazingly all of these tiny (barely an inch long) damselflies on the Azores are now known to be female and they reproduce by parthenogenesis! A wonderful range of ferns including the Killarney fern is found amid the Laurel forests of Fogo, a volcano with an astonishingly beautiful crater lake. The Azores are justly famed for their marine wildlife too and we’ll have two Pelagic trips to explore this rich natural heritage. Sperm Whales are resident and we’ll see groups of Common and Bottle-nosed Dolphins. The distinctive Risso’s Dolphin is as common here as anywhere and we’ll probably encounter some migratory species, notably Striped Dolphins, and hopefully once or more of Fin, Minke and Blue Whales. Cory’s Shearwaters are plentiful, whilst Bulwer’s Petrel, Little and Great Shearwater are possibilities. We’ll also visit Caloura’s colony of Common and Roseate Terns, and an evening visit to Ribeira Quente will allow us to listen to the amazing sounds of Cory’s Shearwater coming back from the sea to their nests.
In addition to first class flora and fauna in beautiful landscapes, this tour offers the opportunity of sample very tasteful wines and local cooking, and the locally grown tea is rather special too!
Dates and Prices
15th June - 22nd June 2024 (8 days)
* doesn't apply if you're willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged
Endemic Flora. Also Birds and Cetaceans. Just a little culture too…
One leader will accompany a group of up to 6, two leaders up the maximum of 12.
All flights. All accommodation, transport and meals in the Azores. Services of your leaders. Please note: items of a personal nature, including insurance and tips, are not included.
Flower and bird checklists are available.
Located in the centre of Ponta Delgada, the Hotel Alcides is an easy walk to the historic city centre as well as the island’s botanical garden. A buffet breakfast includes various regional products, and the world-famous “O Alcides” restaurant in the hotel serves both fresh meat and fresh local fish and seafood. After four nights here we move to Povoação for a three night stay at the Hotel do Mar. This Beautifully situated hotel is right by the sea in charming and quiet Vila da Povoação, the first village to be populated in São Miguel Island. The rooms are large and bright with balconies and sea views, and there’s an outdoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, bar, and an excellent restaurant. All rooms on this tour have en suite facilities.
Generally easy, no more than three or four miles in a day.
UK flights are direct from London Heathrow to São Miguel (Ponta Delgada) on the Azores. Indirect routes from other regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
This is one of the driest times of year to visit the Azores, with just occasional rain, and in general it should be warm and sunny with daily maxima around 20°C.
Contact us to check if there is availability for the number of places you require. Click on the ‘Book this Tour’ button on this page to be taken to the online booking form or contact us and we will send one to you which you can complete and send back to us. You will receive confirmation of your place, and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. This will contain up-to-date health information.