Looking for the best hikes in the Azores? You’ve come to the right place; this group of Portuguese islands is a paradise for hikers.
With its stunning landscapes, lush forests, and breathtaking views of the ocean, the archipelago offers trails for all levels – from the Pico Mountain trail to the ominous-sounding Lake of Fire.
Why tackle these Azores hikes? Well, with its rugged terrain, the Azores provides plenty of opportunities for exploration. Not to mention that the Azores boasts unique wildlife, including whales, dolphins, and monk seals – many of which you can spot from the paths on the island.
So, let’s dive into the best hikes in the Azores you need to add to your itinerary.
Best Hikes in Azores
Pico Mountain Trail, Pico
Distance: 6.3km • Difficulty: Hard • Map
The most iconic of all Azores hikes is the Pico Mountain Trail.
Open all year round, this hiking path is extremely popular, so you’ll likely be making the journey with tens of locals and tourists alike (and this is more like hundreds in summer).
The route flows through the nature reserve, where the highest mountain in Portugal sits as the jewel of the landscape. Its crater, Pico Grande, contains a small cone, which you might just be able to catch a glimpse of during your Azores volcano hike.
Don’t underestimate how difficult this trail can be – though, it’s well worth the blood, sweat (and hopefully no) tears you’ll shed on the way to the top. The views of the lush greenery below are the ultimate reward.
Lagoa do Fogo Trail, São Miguel
Distance: 6.3km • Difficulty: Moderate • Map
The first of many gorgeous hikes in the Azores island of São Miguel is the Lagoa do Fogo trail (aka, the Lake of Fire). It’s a well-maintained dirt track trail that is clearly marked and flanked with an abundance of gorgeous flora and fauna.
This path winds its way around a tranquil lake – but don’t let its idyllic setting trick you into thinking this is an easy jaunt through the landscape. In fact, it’s actually a pretty tough hike that takes around 2 hours to complete.
Once you’ve reached the beautiful lagoon, the descent can be a little bit slippy – hiking shoes with good grip are a necessity on this trail.
Salto do Prego Waterfall Trail, São Miguel
Distance: 4km • Difficulty: Easy • Map
Looking for one of the easiest Azores hikes? Look no further than this stellar São Miguel offering to Salto do Prego Waterfall.
This hike is super special; you’ll get to pass through orchards belonging to families who live in the area (no nabbing apples, you!) and, although the route can be slightly steep in some areas, it’s relatively easy to complete.
Oh, and you’ll also get to cross some picturesque wooden bridges along the way. The gem of this route is the namesake waterfall, nestled in the middle of the forest, that greets you around halfway.
Bring your camera – trust us on this one.
Miradouro da Boca do Inferno, São Miguel
Distance: 2.4km • Difficulty: Easy • Map
When it comes to the best hikes in Azores’ São Miguel island, this one overlooking a huge crater lake, is a top contender.
The impressive Lagoa do Canário and the Miradouro da Boca do Inferno are the two main attractions of this short hike – and you would be a fool to miss out on spotting them both in around an hour.
They’re both situated in the Forest Park of Mata do Canário, so expect plenty of lush greenery on your hike.
Fajã dos Cubre, São Jorge
Distance: 9.5km • Difficulty: Moderate • Map
Let’s hop on over to the island of São Jorge for this next stellar Azores hike.
This is a straightforward linear route suitable for most hikers – though it gets a little slippy in parts – starting at the Serra do Topo Wind Farm, and traversing the Caldeira de Santo Cristo.
Fascinatingly enough, the fajã was found by the local watersports community and is now a popular spot – head here to watch surfers do their thing.
Janela do Inferno, São Miguel
Distance: 7.7km • Difficulty: Moderate • Map
This Azores hiking trail might be popular amongst hikers and mountain bikers, but don’t worry – head here early in the day and it’s quiet enough for you to enjoy. It’s a moderate trail, though it’s manageable for most trekking enthusiasts to complete.
As with every hike in the Azores, the vistas are incredible – head up towards the Chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, which boasts sweeping views of the south coast of the island.
That’s not all, though – the star of this very beautiful show is the Janela do Inferno – a vertical wall dotted with springs and cavities caused by water erosion. A natural pond sits at the bottom, filled with plenty of adorable critters.
Oh, and a word of warning: Pack a flashlight for this loop route, as you’ll pass through plenty of tunnels along the way.
Poço da Ribeira do Ferreiro, Ilha das Flores
Distance: 1.3km • Difficulty: Easy • Map
Peel yourself away from São Miguel for a moment and onto the island of Flores for an incredible (and very easy) Azores hike amongst some of the archipelago’s most beautiful natural wonders.
There are plenty of waterfalls to admire on the way – though they can be obscured slightly in cloudy weather, so check your app ahead of time.
The vast majority of this trail takes place on a public path (PR02 FLO Lajedo – Fajã Grande), therefore it’s clearly marked and easy to follow, while the route has a very gentle incline, so it’s manageable whatever your level of fitness.
That said, the path does get pretty slippery when wet, so remember your comfiest shoes.
Salto do Cabrito, São Miguel
Distance: 10.9 km • Difficulty: Moderate • Map
Forgive us for saving what might just be the best Azores hike until last. This one is a fairly challenging out-and-back trail through the area of Ribeira Grande – it’s a long hike (taking around 3-4 hours to complete), but the payoff is more than worth it.
São Miguel is famed for its stunning waterfalls and natural beauty, and this Azores hike seriously impresses. Expect to see waterfalls, majestic vistas, and plenty of wildlife along the way.
Better yet, because this trail is so vast, it’s likely you’ll have the entire hike to yourself.
Azores Hikes: What to Know Before You Go
Which Azores island has the best hiking trails?
You can’t really go wrong, no matter which Azores island you visit. We love Pico island purely for the mountain trail, though you’ll find some epic treks on São Miguel and São Jorge, too.
What to pack for Azores hiking
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a total newbie, there are a few non-negotiables to bring with you. A good pair of hiking shoes is crucial (though you can likely get away with comfy trainers on many of these Azores hikes), as is plenty of water and snacks.
Remember to pack plenty of suncream, too – most of these trails are unshaded, so you’ll be out in the sun for hours at a time.
Best time to hike in Azores
The best time to visit the Azores is from March to October, when the weather is mild and the days are long.