WONDERS OF THE AZORES PHOTO TOUR
Join us and discover the WONDERS OF THE AZORES on this 8 day photo adventure. Explore the beauty and unique landscape of São Miguel and Terceira Island.
dates: 22 – 29 September 2021
Guided by local photographer Bruno Ázera and Kah-Wai Lin for Viking International Photo Tours
In this crazy current Covid-19 world, it is natural that you might feel frightened of travelling. Here’s why you should consider this Photo Adventure in the Azores. It’s considered One of the safest destinations in Europe in 2021 from the European Best Destination Organization.
“In 2021, Azores is one the safest, most surprising, and comfortable destination. In this new reality, the 9 islands of Azores distinguish themselves by the security they offer”
Explore the beauty of the Azores and its pristine islands with this one of a kind 8-day photo adventure workshop. Suitable for all levels of photographic knowledge, our goal is to show you the most photogenic locations in the Azores, away from the tourist crowd while staying in accommodations that provide you with the best experience.
The Azores are nine beautiful volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic ocean. The archipelago is green, volcanic, and remote. With breathtaking landscapes in its purest state and one of the largest whale sanctuaries, provides exceptional conditions for photography during any time of the year.
We will travel by private shuttle and commercial flights as we explore the different photographic sights of São Miguel and Terceira Island. All transportation, local flights between islands, and accommodations are included in the workshop cost to make it as easy and stress-free as possible. This allows our participants to concentrate on enjoying and capturing the unbelievable scenery of the islands. The Azores are considered one of the best Whale Watching spots in the world, so we have to make the most out of it. We head out to the Atlantic in a charter boat just for the group tour with the guys at Futurismo. Their team of professional and enthusiastic experts share the same passion for the Azores as we do.
Immerse yourself in the amazing culture, the warm-hearted people, and the photographic gems of the Azores islands. From volcanic villages, hot springs to whale watching, as long as you have a sense of adventure, then this is the perfect travel photography tour for you.
One of the main topics that travellers also talk about when visiting the Azores, is that you don’t waste time driving from one location to another. Every photography spot is close by, in some cases just a 20-minute drive or less. Throughout the tour, your expert photo guides will be on hand, sharing their knowledge with you both in-field and out to ensure that you’ll have a well-rounded learning experience.
Although we have a specific itinerary planned, we also allow some flexibility to take advantage of photographic opportunities we encounter along the day.
DAY 1 / SÃO MIGUEL / ARRIVAL
We welcome you at João Paulo II airport in Ponta Delgada. Upon arrival, due to Covid-19, you go through all the necessary health checks at the airport. We provide the transportation to your hotel. You have the morning to relax or explore by yourself the city and we will pick you up later for a delicious lunch in a local restaurant.
After lunch we head to the oldest tea plantation in Europe, Gorreana Tea factory. Get to know the factory and explore its surroundings. The landscape here is unique, the shape and texture of the green tea leaf’s creates endless photography possibilities.
We make our way northeast to the beautiful and rugged landscape of Nordeste, exploring amazing places along the way like Ribeira dos Caldeirões and Poço Azul.
Next, is the Arnel lighthouse and its surrounding seascapes. You will be amazed by the views at Ponta do Sossego and Ponta da Madrugada, the ideal locations to also fly a drone.
To finish our first day we head back to the north coast for sunset.
DAY 2 / SÃO MIGUEL
Our second day starts at Lagoa do Fogo, one of the highest points of the island. It usually tends to be cloudy or foggy during the day and ultimately ruin any potential view to be had, so we try your best early in the morning.
We head down to Salto do Cabrito waterfall. A place where you can explore it’s environment and play with long exposure photography.
Your jaw will drop with the next location. Bring your swimwear and enjoy a dip at Caldeira Velha hot springs pools. Surrounded by exotic green vegetation that looks unreal, this is a small paradise that you won’t forget.
Next, we travel west and explore the volcanic crater of Sete Cidades, two multi-colored lakes of Lagoa Verde and Azul. It’s an incredible sight and the best way to have a sense of the surrounding area. If you have a drone, Lagoa do Canario by air reveals a really interesting shape.
Further along the dirt road, we arrive at one of the highlights of the Azores, Boca do Inferno viewpoint. The crater lakes of Sete Cidades can be viewed from several different viewpoints, but it’s hard to beat this spot. Not to mention, it doesn’t require much effort to reach the overlook.
For sunset, we drive through Sete Cidades down to Mosteiros beach to capture the last light of the day in a beautiful seascape photography location.
DAY 3 / SÃO MIGUEL
We start our day at Vila Franca do Campo, home to the Instafamous Nature Reserve Site of Vila Franca Islet. A drone here is highly recommended, the overview of the islet is fantastic from above.
Next we drive to Lagoa das Furnas, a spectacular crater lake where you will have the chance do photograph mud pools and other steaming geothermal features. The newly renovated Grená Park with its “pure and untouchable vegetation” it’s next on our list. Depending on the weather we do the hike to Salto do Rosal waterfall.
We will try the famous local dish known as Cozido at Vale das Furnas restaurant, which is unique to this town and is cooked by volcanic steam, as well as the sweet muffins called bolo lêvedo.
Terra Nostra Park is our next spot and considered one of the most beautiful gardens in the world, with the added bonus of having thermal pools. Be sure to bring your swimwear, with temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius, provides a sensation of rest and relaxation for the rest of the day.
We’ll finish our day exploring the beautiful landscapes at Ribeira Quente.
DAY 4 / SÃO MIGUEL
The Azores are considered one of the best Whale Watching spots in the world, so we will make the most out of it. Early in the morning we head out to the Atlantic with the guys at Futurismo in a charter boat just for the workshop group, a trip designed just for photographers at the best light of the day. Plenty of room to explore and capture all the best moments without any distractions.
We head back for lunch and enjoy the free afternoon for yourself because tomorrow we travel to another island.
DAY 5 / TERCEIRA
Early morning flight to Terceira Island. Home of the Unesco world heritage site of Angra do Heroísmo. After setting in at our accommodation, we have some free time to enjoy the city, before heading out and discovering the Island. The viewpoint of Monte Brasil is the perfect spot to start.
After lunch we go straight to one of the highlights of the Island, Algar do Carvão. The only volcano in the world that you can walk inside it. Unfortunately, tripods are not allowed, so bring the fastest and widest lens you have.
Five minutes up the road we stop at the Black Forest. A unique location due to its dense vegetation, light has a really hard time penetrating these trees. Depending on the weather, photographing here is never the same.
Along the way we explore beautiful forest roads, some of the best hidden gems are found here. Depending on the weather, we head up for sunset at Serra de Santa Bárbara, the highest point of the Island and a really awesome spot to finish our day.
DAY 6 / TERCEIRA
Big views and seascapes, that’s our plan for the day. We start early with a drive to Serra da Ribeirinha. On top of the southern rim of a volcano, we have a panoramic view of the coast. With Serra do Morião and Serra Santa Bárbara on the right side, overlooking Monte Brasil and two more Islands in the background, São Jorge and Pico.
Next, we head to one of our favorite locations of the Azores, Pico Dona Joana. The volcano cones with Ilhéu das Cabras in the background is one of the most unique perspectives you will see in the Azores.
At noon, we arrive at Praia da Vitória to have lunch and enjoy the view of the beach. Terceira Island is known to have the best food of the Azores, so we have to make the best out of it.
After lunch we head out to the north part of the Island, to Ponta do Mistério. One of the Islands most attractive coastal areas. A mysterious green-glazed lunar landscape, with the blue Atlantic ocean in the background, creates an amazing sight.
For sunset, we visit the popular summer spot of Biscoitos. A picturesque town, known for its wine growing region and even more for its beautiful natural pools. The rugged black colored lava fields sculpted by waves makes for really interesting landscapes.
DAY 7 / TERCEIRA
Discover Ponta das Contendas lighthouse and it’s surrounding seascapes. A beautiful area with a not so common brown and black colored rock for the Azores. Depending on the weather, there is also a cave only accessible by sea that provides really interesting photo opportunities.
Next in our list is another underground beauty, a lava tube called Balcões cave. We will teach you how to achieve the most out of our scene using flash photography together with natural light.
After lunch we can enjoy the surrounding area, followed by a small hike through endemic vegetation.
Considered the most beautiful viewpoint in Portugal, we reserved the best for last. The unique view to the interior of the island, known as the “patchwork”, consisting of walls of volcanic stones dividing the farmer fields into square-shaped figures, makes Serra do Cume the epic spot to photograph the last light of the day.
To finish this tour the right way, I’ll cook a Portuguese style farewell dinner with my family.
DAY 8 / TERCEIRA / DEPARTURE
Unfortunately, it’s time to say goodbye and fly home. Transfers to the airport are arranged based on the hour of your flight with no additional costs.
We hope you cherish all of these amazing memories and fantastic photographs from the Azores.
During our visit to the Azores we will be staying in Hotel of Verde Mar & Spa and Hotel Terceira Mar in Angra do Heroísmo, home of UNESCO World Heritage.
Bruno Ázera is a nature and landscape photographer from Terceira Island with years of experience in the field. Being a local, he leads photo tours and adventures in Azores.
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