Why choose to ride the Azores?
Three quarters of the way across the Atlantic ocean between New York and Lisbon, lies the archipelago known as the Azores. A rugged and dramatic landscape of volcanoes, cliffs and valleys. Time slows down here: the locals count it in hundreds of thousands of years, in terms of the volcanoes that together have formed the Azores. Being at the junction of the Eurasian, North American and African tectonic plates, the Azores are a geological hotspot where the vegetation is lush all year round and the slopes of an alpine greenery are dotted with fat spotted cows.
The islands’ beauty is rare, and timeless; the volcanoes bring to mind the Miocene epoch, but in human terms there is a sense of 1950s-era innocence. The continuing restless volcanic activity seems to fill you with radiant energy and the salty, clean winds treat you to the world’s best free facials. Our route on the lush island of São Miguel, the largest in the archipelago, embraces cliffs along the coast as well as protected forest hills, providing challenging and very rewarding cycling and hiking. We will spend a week exploring the island’s natural beauty: Furnas Valley, a lush valley filled with volcanic fumaroles and natural mineral springs; the tranquil beaches and picturesque fishing villages along the coast; and a botanical garden with diverse flora from around the world.
You will walk inside volcanoes, and around them, and cycle along empty roads fringed with millions of azaleas and hydrangeas. It is hard to imagine a place better suited to nature lovers, fans of adventure sports, or anyone looking for a beacon of sustainability.