Tourist and resident information on Portugal, Madeira and The Azores

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Walking on the Azores Book Review

Paddy Dillon
ISBN-13: 978-1852849085
Cicerone; (2018)
287 pages

Walking on the Azores Book Review
Front cover

The Azores Islands are a lush archipelago that consists of nine islands floating in the North Atlantic. The islands are Portuguese territory and a whopping 1,450 km (900 miles) from Lisbon. Thus, they are literally in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to commercial air travel though they are easily reached; from Lisbon, for example, a flight takes less than two hours. From London, direct flights last just under 4 hours.

This comprehensive guide introduces 70 walking routes from the three island groups: the Eastern Group (São Miguel and Santa Maria), Central Group (Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial), and Western Group (Flores and Corvo).

Walking on the Azores Book Review
Back cover

The hikes range anywhere from hour-long strolls to a full-day out. Most follow a network of official waymarked trails on the islands. One of the highlights is a route that climbs Mount Pico (Montanha do Pico), which at 2,351 meters (7,713 feet) is the highest mountain on Portuguese territory.

In addition, the guidebook gives offers much practical information on travel to the Azores from the European mainland and between the different islands themselves. Moreover, there is ample information on getting around by public transportation. Full route descriptions are accompanied by 1:50,000 map extracts, with notes on eating and drinking spots, and local points of interest. The routes boast verdant green landscapes and fantastic volcanic landforms. Along the way, you will enjoy forests, rocky slopes, cliff coast, and waterfalls as well as a rich manmade heritage that includes churches, forts, windmills, and harbors.

Walking on the Azores Book Review

The climate of the Azores is mild, and therefore ideal for trekking year-round.

Each route comes with the following at the beginning of its description: start/finish (usually a village or building), distance, total ascent/descent, grade (1 = easy/short, 2 a bit harder, 3 the most demanding), time, refreshments, and access.

Finally, the introduction to the guide includes a primer on geology, flora and fauna, regional history, and basics for what to prepare for your hike. In addition, there are many beautiful color photos. The walks are generally quite easy. Visitors of all ages and fitness levels will be able to find more than one to suit their interests and ability.

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