June 6 – 13, 2020
Lisbon Ext. June 3 – 6
About This Tour
The volcanic Azores archipelago, comprised of 9 islands, sits in the Atlantic Ocean about 900 miles west of Portugal and 2,300 miles east of North America. The Azores’ moderate year-round climate, natural attractions and aversion to over-development make this an ideal vacation destination. São Miguel is the biggest and the most populous island, made up of 6 volcanic complexes and municipalities. Pico is the second largest island, home to the highest mountain in Portugal which reaches an altitude of 7,700 feet. The vineyards of Pico are so distinctive, with a maze of stone walls forming corrals in which the grapes are grown, that they are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Terceira is the third largest island with its largest city, Angra do Heroísmo, dating back to the late 15th century and having UNESCO World Heritage designation. The small island of Faial is just 66 square miles, but the city of Horta is the liveliest and most eye-catching city of the Azores. This tour visits the four main islands and features their historical sites, coastal villages, mountains, volcanoes, and thermal pools. You can fly directly to the Azores from Boston or Toronto via Azores Airlines.
Some tour participants have indicated that they would like to visit Lisbon before arriving in The Azores, and especially because it is easy to book round-trip international airfare to that major capital. In response, we have created a brief, 3-day optional pre-tour extension which will introduce you to one of Europe’s oldest cities, Lisbon, as well as the beautiful old towns of Sintra and Cascais. Airfare to the Azores is not included in the extension price. A flight is suggested in the itinerary details for June 6, 2020. We hope you will join us on the mainland before we head to the Islands!
Lisbon Pre-Tour Highlights
- Cathedral Se - Lisbon
- Belem Tower - Lisbon *
- Jeronimos Monastery - Lisbon *
- Sintra Old Town *
- Cabo Da Rocca
Main Tour Highlights
- São Miguel Island
- Ponta Delgada
- Terceira Island
- Historical Centre of Angra do Heroísmo *
- Algar do Carvao cave
- Faial Island
- Capelinhos Volcano
- Caldera Walk
- Pico Island
- Landscape of Pico Island Vineyard Culture *
- Whale and Dolphin Watching
- Thermal Pools * UNESCO World Heritage Sites
LISBON PRE-TOUR ITINERARY
Arrive in Lisbon / Welcome Dinner
Plan your overnight international airfare to arrive in Lisbon, Portugal sometime this morning. A driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to our centrally located hotel. You will have the afternoon to relax, take a nap, or explore the area surrounding our hotel. This evening we gather in the hotel’s bar for introductions, then proceed to a restaurant for our Welcome Dinner. Afterwards, you may wish to sample some of Lisbon’s nightlife. (Dinner Included)
In the morning we embark upon a full-day sightseeing tour of Lisbon, providing an orientation to the city. We will catch a glimpse of all the main sights and visit some locations in more depth, while getting to know the key neighborhoods of the central city. Among the city’s sights, Cathedral Se is one of the most impressive. It is a large fortress dating from 1150 AD. Other major sites include Belem Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery (Lisbon’s two UNESCO sites). Here you can see the tomb of explorer Vasco da Gama and the monastery cloisters. We return to our hotel for a free evening. (Breakfast)
Queluz / Sintra / Cabo da Rocca / Cascais
After breakfast this morning, we drive west of Lisbon to see nearby historical sites. Queluz is a small city on the Portuguese Riviera, best known as the home of the 18th century pleasure palace of the Portuguese Royal Family. Sintra received high praise from Lord Byron who described it as “this glorious Eden” (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Cabo Da Rocca is a cape at the westernmost point of Portugal, with a white lighthouse overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, we see the seaside resort town of Cascais with its impressive old architecture and coastal charm. We return to Lisbon in the late afternoon for a free evening. (Breakfast)
Fly to Ponta Delgada
After breakfast at the hotel, we check out and transfer as a group to the Lisbon Airport for the morning flight to Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. This flight is not included in the tour cost, and we recommend the nonstop Ryan Air flight at 11:05am, arriving at 11:30am. If you prefer to fly Tap Air Portugal there is a departure at 11:20am, but it makes one stop and arrives at 2:40pm. The Ryan Air flight is nonstop and much less expensive. We will be met upon arrival and transferred to our hotel for a free afternoon. Tonight we meet the other members of the group and commence the main Azores tour. (Breakfast / Welcome Dinner)
MAIN TOUR ITINERARY
Arrive in Ponta Delgada / Welcome Dinner
Plan your international flight to arrive at Ponta Delgada airport (search for flights using the code PDL), most likely in the early morning. A driver will meet you at the airport terminal after you have collected your luggage and transfer you to Hotel Marina Atlântico. Due to early flight arrivals, we have guaranteed early check-in and included breakfast in the hotel restaurant. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the town of Ponta Delgada on your own. Early this evening, our group will gather in the hotel bar for cocktail hour, followed by a Welcome Dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Ponta Delgada. (Breakfast / Dinner included)
After breakfast, we depart from the hotel at 9:00 am taking the mountain road towards the twin lakes. We stop at "Vista do Rei" a viewpoint where we can take in the remarkable scenery. Descending to Sete Cidades on the crater floor, we enjoy a leisurely walk along the shore of the blue lake or just take a coffee break. Continue along the south-west coast to “Miradouro do Escalvado” with a superb view of the fishing village of Mosteiros. Descend to the village of Mosteiros were you will witness the remarkable lava formations at the ocean coastline, beautiful summer homes, beaches and natural pools. The return to Ponta Delgada will be along the south coast through various parishes, concluding the day with a visit to one of the local pineapple plantations, and sampling their Pineapple Liqueur. Lunch at a local restaurant. The late afternoon and evening are free. (Breakfast / Lunch)
São Miguel to Terceira Island
After early breakfast, transfer to Ponta Delgada airport for our flight to Terceira Island. Upon arrival at the Lajes Airport, our tour begins from the airport in the direction of Praia da Vitória. We take the mountain road to "Serra do Cume" – a viewpoint where we stop for pictures. We continue by Porto Martins, stopping at São Sebastião, going on to Porto Judeu and Monte Brasil. We stop for a typical “Alcatra” lunch (slow roasted pot roast cooked with wine, bacon and garlic). After lunch we visit the "Algar do Carvão" cave. We continue to Biscoitos and the natural swimming pools of black volcanic rock, passing by several quaint villages. Finally, we arrive at our home for the evening in Angra do Heroismo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our hotel is within walking distance of the city center. Dinner is included at our hotel this evening. (All Meals)
Terceira Island to Faial Island
After early breakfast, we transfer to Lajes airport for our flight to Faial Island. Leaving the Horta Airport, we begin our tour going north in the direction of Capelinhos (the result of the last volcanic eruption that took place in the Azores, 1957/58). Visit Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre (with the opportunity to leisurely walk in the volcano). We stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Continue along the north coast and up to the Caldeira for a photo stop. Caldeira is a Natural Reserve, Site of Community Importance and a Special Protection Area. We continue down the mountain road, stopping at Espalamaca for an amazing view of the city of Horta. Finally, we arrive in Horta, a small city very well known for its cosmopolitan marina with its colorful paintings. After hotel check-in, the rest of the day is free to relax or explore the town. (Breakfast / Lunch)
Pico Island Excursion
After breakfast, we transfer to Horta Harbor for our ferry trip over to Pico Island (30 minutes). We arrive at Madalena harbor and drive by coach to Cabeço do Cão and various villages. We visit the volcanic rock formations at Cachorro and then continue to Sao Roque to visit the old whale industrial factory. Taking the mountain road from Cais do Pico, we cross the island through a mountain road up to an altitude of 3,000 feet, where we see endemic vegetation. We stop at Lagoa do Capitão to visit the Whale Museum, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. We drive along the island’s south coast to see the unique landscape full of vineyards and the volcanic rock walls that earned this area a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. We will make time to take a short walk between the vineyards and then visit the Wine Museum. Returning to Madalena harbor, we take the ferry back to Faial Island for a free evening at our hotel. (Breakfast / Lunch)
Faial to São Miguel Island
After breakfast, transfer to the Horta Airport for our flight back to São Miguel Island. Our transfer to Furnas and check in at the Hotel Terra Nostra Garden, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we drive to Vila Franca do Campo where we embark on a 3-hour Whale and Dolphin watching tour. At the end of the activity, we return to our hotel for a free evening. (Breakfast / Lunch)
Free Day on São Miguel
Today is free to relax at your leisure. You might consider two different optional activities to fill your day. The first would be a stroll down to the center of Furnas village to the hot springs and to the thermal waters where you will find 32 different kinds of waters, some sulphurous, others calcareous; either hot, warm or cold. In the afternoon, you might want to visit the Botanical Garden of Terra Nostra for an unforgettable experience: either explore the garden grounds or swim in a natural thermal swimming pool within the botanical park, one of the most beautiful parks in the Azores. With more than 2000 trees in 13 hectares, its avenues of palms, viewpoints, serpentine canals, water lilies, mossy paths, tropical rhododendrons and camellias create a special ambience. This evening Toto Tours hosts a Farewell Dinner. (Breakfast / Dinner)
The tour officially ends after breakfast this morning. We provide your transfer to the Ponta Delgada airport in time to catch your flight back home. If you wish to extend your stay São Miguel Island, please let us know on your reservation form so that we can keep your room available for another night. (Breakfast)
Entry Requirements-- For U.S. Citizens a passport (valid for six months beyond your stay) is the only document required to enter Azores for stays of up to one month. No visas are required.
Immunizations & Health-— No immunizations are currently required for travel to the Azores, but it is wise to have your inoculations up-to-date. Is your tetanus booster current? A hepatitis-A shot may be useful if you plan to eat shellfish, which could pose a potential danger. If medication is required, pharmacies can be found in most cities, towns, and villages, and usually keep regular hours.Exit Requirements -- There is currently no separate departure tax required of visitors leaving the Azores other than that included with the cost of your airline ticket.
Making Travel Arrangements to the AzoresThree internal flights within the Azores are included in the tour price but your international airfare is not included. You will need to get your round-trip international air to Ponta Delgada’s João Paulo II Airport (airport code PDL) on São Miguel Island. We encourage you to work with Steven Goldberg at Frosch Travel in Chicago, who can help you choose the best flights to get you to and from São Miguel, Azores.
You will need to leave the U.S. or Canada by the evening of Friday, June 5, 2020, in order to arrive in Ponta Delgada early morning on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Departure is from Ponta Delgada on Saturday, June 13, 2020.
Steven Goldberg / Frosch TravelToll-Free in USA: 1-800-323-1276
International guests, please call +1-312-371-9686
When calling, please identify yourself as a Toto Tours participant. If you leave a message on Steven’s voice mail, he will return your call promptly. He will be happy to discuss your travel plans and help you decide when to purchase your ticket for the best rate.
NOTE: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible, we often must turn away last minute registrants because we relinquish hotel space and air reservations 8 – 12 weeks prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.
WHAT TO BRINGLocated in the North Atlantic, the Azores has a moderate, maritime climate year-round, with summers being pleasantly warm but never hot. The temperatures in June will range between lows of 60 degrees F in the evenings to 72 for daytime highs. Some cloud coverage is fairly common throughout the year and the annual median temperate is about 63°F. Due to the unpredictable weather, particularly in the higher destinations, waterproof jackets are recommended regardless of the time of year. This tour is casual, so you do not need to pack a suit or fancy duds. Try to pack light and bring only one piece of luggage plus your carry-on. Create mix and match outfits and think about layering! Pack any medications you require in a carry-on bag and leave expensive jewelry at home.
Suggested Packing List:
- Proof of citizenship. Passport required.
- Nice casual wear for dinners.
- Lightweight long pants & long-sleeved shirts for sun protection.
- Shorts for warm touring days.
- Socks, underwear for a week.
- Swimsuit for hotel pools and thermal baths.
- Sweater for cool evening temperatures.
- Lightweight waterproof jacket, shell or slicker.
- Personal toiletries, and bug repellant
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Camera, lots of digital memory, extra batteries.
- Ziploc Bags (sandwich size for documents, gallon size for wet items or toiletries).
- Electrical Adapter. The electrical supply in the Azores is 220 volts, 60 Hrz, the same as in Europe. You will need to bring an adapter to charge your cellphone or use your devices. Click here to see what type of adapter to bring with you.
- A good book for your flights and free time.
MONEY MATTERSThe Azores economy is tied to that of Portugal, so the currency used is the standardized Euro. Currency can be exchanged at airports, banks and hotels. ATMs are available in the cities and large villages, while most hotels and restaurants accept credit cards.
Tipping in the Azores: Leaving tips in restaurants and cafes is not common here. However, if you really want to thank an obliging waiter, you can add round 10% of the sum to your total bill.
THE TOTO SPIRITToto Tours provides Adventure Travel Experiences as differentiated from tours in the traditional sense. Adventure Travel allows (even encourages) you to be an active participant. Adventurers can be identified by certain traits. They are:
- fun-loving optimists who have a sense of humor and accentuate the positive;
- good natured realists who are willing to accept situations as they exist;
- undaunted by the unexpected, like occasional delays or bad weather;
- willing to forego some of the amenities we normally take for granted;
- eager to try new things & test limits;
- not whiners!
Travel InsuranceWe recommend you purchase travel insurance with Travel Guard to cover for unforeseen events prior to and during your trip. Please follow the link below or call us for more information.
MAIN TOUR PRICING
(Tour prices per person)Price: $3,400 in double occupancy hotel accommodations.
Private Room: $800 additional, for a total tour price of $4,200.
(Paying a single supplement is not required. Toto Tours will try to match you with a roommate if you are traveling alone and prefer to share a room. If this is not possible, a single supplement will be applied to your reservation before the final payment date.)
(Due at time of registration for the tour. May be paid with a credit card.)
Remaining Balance (main tour): $2,800 double / $3,600 single
Remaining Balance Due: March 18, 2020 (80 days prior to departure)
(Full payment required with reservation form if enrolling after this date.)
Note: The tour price does not include bank service charges for processing credit card payments and assumes that the balance of the tour price will be paid by check. If you would like to pay the final balance with a credit card, a 4% service charge will be applied. Let us know if you wish to pay by credit card, and we will adjust your invoice accordingly.
Included: 7 nights hotel accommodations; hotel transfers; hotel breakfasts daily plus Welcome & Farewell Dinners; other meals as listed in the itinerary; three internal flights between Azores islands; ferry transportation; ground transportation in climate controlled vehicles; sightseeing activities and entrances as listed in the itinerary. This is a fully guided and escorted tour.
Not Included: Round-trip international airfare to Ponta Delgada, Azores (PDL); ground transportation for sightseeing on your own (taxis, local guides, etc.); meals and optional activities not specifically listed in the itinerary; camera fees; alcoholic beverages; insurance; laundry, telephone calls, faxes, or any other expenses of a personal nature. Tips to drivers and guides and other conveyance attendants are not included; tipping guidelines for our group tips will be provided prior to departure.
LISBON PRE-TOUR PRICING
(Extension prices per person)Price: $1,200 in double occupancy hotel accommodations.
Private Room: $350 additional, for a total tour price of $1.550.
Deposit: $200 in addition to the $600 deposit for the main tour for a total initial deposit of $800.
Remaining Balance (main tour + extension): $3,800 double / $4,950 single
Remaining Balance Due: March 18, 2020 (80 days prior to departure)
(Full payment required with reservation form if enrolling after this date.)
Note: This tour extension price does not include bank service charges for processing credit card payments and assumes that the balance will be paid by check. If you would like to pay the final balance with a credit card, a 4% service charge will be applied. Let us know if you wish to pay by credit card, and we will adjust your invoice accordingly.
Included: 3 nights hotel accommodations; hotel breakfasts daily plus Welcome Dinner; transfers between airport and hotel; ground transportation in climate controlled motorcoach; sightseeing activities and entrances as listed in the itinerary.
Not Included: International airfare to Lisbon, Portugal (LIS); domestic flights between Lisbon and the Azores; ground transportation for sightseeing on your own (taxis, local guides, etc.); meals and optional activities not specifically listed in the itinerary; camera fees; alcoholic beverages; insurance; laundry, telephone calls, faxes, or any other expenses of a personal nature. Tips to drivers and guides and other conveyance attendants are not included. Tipping guidelines for our group tips will be provided prior to departure.