Chance to walk inside volcanoes and discover Europe’s westernmost point among new and unusual offerings
Sunvil Discovery, the UK’s leading specialist to the beautiful, mid-Atlantic Azores, has released its enticing 2015 realAzores brochure.
The new brochure features flexible itineraries in carefully-selected small hotels, pousadas, apartments and self-catering cottages across all nine islands of the Azores (Sao Miguel, Santa Maria, Terceira, Sao Jorge, Graciosa, Pico, Faial, Flores and Corvo) and showcases Sunvil Discovery’s unrivalled expertise, gained through over 25 years’ experience of providing the very best, responsibly-created holidays to this scenic Portuguese archipelago.
For 2015, new highlights include an exhilarating walk that uncovers Sao Miguel’s fascinating geology and ventures inside volcanoes and a
rewarding foray to the remotest isles of the Azores, Flores and Corvo – located at Europe’s westernmost point.
Says Rosanna Melaragni, Sunvil Discovery Product Manager: “The Azores is the world’s first destination to be awarded the Platinum Quality Coast Award (2014-5), in recognition of its high-quality coastline and number of sustainable tourism programmes. The islands are an eco-paradise, offering a diverse, unspoilt playground for lovers of the great outdoors. New activities and experiences, coupled with a direct weekly flight, make them an appealing option to seasoned travellers seeking untouched and little-known corners of Europe.”
NEW 2015 ITINERARIES
Walking Inside Volcanoes, Sao Miguel
Startling emerald green crater lakes, gushing waterfalls, bucolic villages and exotic vegetation from all five continents feature on this volcanic-themed hiking holiday that uncovers the fascinating geology of Sao Miguel. The flexible itinerary can be extended to take in geological highlights further afield, such as the extraordinary lava caves on Pico, Graciosa and Faial.From £911 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), seven nights’ B&B, all transfers and six half-day, self-guided walks with trail descriptions and maps. Graded easy to medium.
The Western Islands of Flores & Corvo
Venture to the remotest, westernmost, and perhaps most beautiful islands of the Azores. On Flores, explore walking trails fringed by hydrangeas that lead to impressive waterfalls and verdant valleys. Here it is possible to walk the entire length of Europe’s westernmost coastline, a unique proposition. And on Corvo, a mere dot in the Atlantic, don’t miss the awe-inspiring caldera (pictured left). From £992 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), four nights’ B&B, three nights’ self catering, all inter-island flights, transfers and boat tickets, and three days’ car hire.
Sun and Nature Walking Holiday on Sao Miguel & Santa Maria
Santa Maria, known as ‘The Island of the Sun’, is the starting point for this two-centre itinerary. Flatter, warmer and older than its counterparts, it was here that Christopher Columbus sought refuge on his return from America. Coupled with Sao Miguel, this walking holiday seeks out some of the best scenic walks that the islands of the Azores have to offer. From £1,063 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), seven nights’ B&B, inter-island flights, all transfers and six half-day, self-guided walks with trail descriptions and maps. Graded easy to medium.
Cycling Holiday on Sao Miguel
Use pedal power to cover more ground and enjoy breezy coastal paths, pretty fishing villages, gentle hill climbs and wonderfully bucolic, unspoilt vistas. There’s also a tempting chance to enjoy a Cozido das Furnas, a tasty, traditional meal that’s slow cooked in volcanic fumaroles at Furnas. From £990 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), seven nights’ B&B, airport and luggage transfers, mountain bike hire, complete with route map, bag and puncture repair kit.
A rural and cultural experience – Terceira & Sao Miguel
Glean a unique insight to rural island life on Terceira and uncover the intriguing history of Angro do Heroismo, the island’s quaint, 15th century UNESCO-listed town. An exhilarating catamaran cruise along Sao Miguel’s dramatic south coast concludes the trip (£56 supplement). From £1,191 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), seven nights’ B&B, all inter-island flights, seven days’ car hire, some meals, tours and entrance fees.
NEW 2015 PROPERTIES
Casa de Almagreira, Santa Maria
A typical Azorean house located in a peaceful valley in central Santa Maria, close to Praia Formosa, classified as one of the most pristine, high-quality beaches in Portugal. Activities offered include canyoning, coasteering, diving, guided walks and jeep tours. From £998 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), inter-island flights, seven nights’ B&B and transfers.
Vila Belgica, Faial
Perched high on the hillside overlooking the ocean and Mount Pico (Portugal’s highest mountain), family-run guesthouse Vila Belgica is just a five-minute drive from Horta, Faial’s cosmopolitan port and well-known stopover point for transatlantic sailors. From £912 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), inter-island flights, seven nights’ B&B and transfers.
Sitio da Assumada, Flores
A family-run and eco-conscious cluster of newly-built self-catering cottages, set against a backdrop of towering cliffs and waterfalls in Faja Grande, a tiny seaside village. From £1,043 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), inter-island flights, seven nights’ self-catering and car hire.
The lead-in price for a week in the Azores is from £640 pp (two sharing), staying at the Hotel Talisman on Sao Miguel. It includes direct scheduled flights on Saturdays (Gatwick) with SATA International, transfers and seven nights’ B&B.
Direct weekly SATA International flights run from Gatwick to Ponta Delgada, on Sao Miguel, from 4 April to 17 October 2015. Alternatively, TAP Portugal offers flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester to Ponta Delgada – via Lisbon – throughout the year. An overnight stay in Lisbon may be advisable, depending on flight times, and offers the opportunity to explore and enjoy the lively Portuguese capital city.
To order the new 2015 Sunvil Discovery Real Azores brochure, please call 020 8758 4747. For further information, or to speak to an Azores expert, call 020 8758 4722 or visit www.sunvil.co.uk.
Sunvil has pioneered many specialist destinations in its 45-year history and has been at the forefront of environmental initiatives and Sustainable Tourism for well over 25 years. Sunvil consistently promotes owner-managed hotels and local tourism enterprises across all destinations in which it operates. Sunvil also uses local suppliers and representatives wherever possible and encourages its suppliers, through many initiatives, to protect and treasure their local environment.