This video is a quick summary of the various islands we visited on the Azores over 3 weeks in 2015. Each one had its own character and we had a hard time determining our favorite.
Our first stop was Flores, the western-most island and about 120 nm away from our next stop. While Flores is relatively small and provides only basic facilities, it has a lot to offer and we highly recommend a stop-over.
Faial was our next stop and with Horta clearly the center for ocean going vessels. Just across the straight was Pico, offering great vistas from Portugal’s highest mountain.
While our stay in Sao Jorge was brief, we enjoyed the quaint village and interesting public pool.
Our final stop, Terceira, had a lot to offer with UNESCO world heritage site, Angra do Heroismo, and lots more. It is also one of the few islands with a direct connection to Boston.
Distance traveled: just over 200nm
In case the YouTube video does not play in your country, try the link below:
We took the ferry from Horta to Madalena, Pico, yesterday. It took about 30min to cross the Canal do Faial and cost 3,40 Euro one-way. As there are no real facilities for visiting yachts, most cruisers take that ferry.
As with all the other islands we visited before, Pico has its own character as well. Its peak, Pico, is very symmetrical and visible from far away. It is the highest mountain in Portugal. It dominates the look and feel of the island. Most of the time, it is covered by clouds as it creates its own climate. We were lucky to see it quite often during our trip and also from Horta before – across the canal.
We started our rental car toutripr with a guided tour through a cave nearby Madalena and then drove small winding roads to the highest outlook on Pico (from where hikers make it all the way up to the peak). From there we had amazing views to Faial, Sao Jorge and Graciosa, as well as many smaller vulcanos surrounding Pico.
After a bath in a natural rock-pool on the North Shore, where most of the UNESCO world heritage vineyards are located, we crossed the mountain ridge one more time to get to Lajes. Lajes is a town with a deep history of whale hunting. It has very nice museums that explained the techniques and lifestyle very well. There was a lot of smoking and drinking involved in the old days…
We rounded the day off with another bath in a rock-pool and a nice dinner at the harbor in Madalena. The ferry back was pretty full and the 20min walk to the marina a nice finish to another perfect day.
Sphere of the entrance to the cave: link
We arrived in Horta and now sit comfortably in a slip. No more bracing our selves to perform easy normal functions, taking 20 minutes to get dressed, and being wet 24/7. We are spending time relaxing and painting our mural on the harbor wall in Horta. Ulf, Peter, and uncle Danny visited Pico Island yesterday. The 2 whaling museums were quite interesting. Whaling in the Azores was a major part of life until the 1970s. The island is covered with vineyards and our taxi driver brought us to his home and served us the most delicious home made wine.
Today Corinna cleaned and oiled the teak woodwork on Tioga. The rest of the crew enjoyed a horseback ride through the country side. Ulf, better known as The German John Wayne was a wonder to watch as he rode off into the sunset. We topped off the day with a steak dinner and some local wines aboard Tioga. We will finish the night with our duty of our daily visit to Peter’s – the famous sailors bar here in Horta.
Last night there was an Olympic competition of snoring, between Ulf and Uncle Danny, with Ulf winning Gold, Silver, and Bronze! Uncle Danny was disqualified when he took a sleeping pill which is considered a PED in this competition.
Nicky and the Captain took a late afternoon swim and Nick did get 2 jellyfish stings. After applying vinegar and seawater the pain did lessen.
We have moved from sailors to Tourists, and soon some of the crew will leave and a new crew will arrive. The leaving crew very envious of the incoming crew.