- Ride a 1920s vintage car while touring the historic city of Porto
- Spend a day in the Douro Valley for wine tasting and a riverboat cruise
- Spot several species of whales with a biologist on a boat tour
- Hike on stunning trails and visit geothermal landscapes and hot pools
- Explore the São Miguel countryside on horseback before hitting the beach
|Day 1||Arrive in Porto, Explore||Porto|
|Day 2||Vintage Car Tour of Porto||Porto|
|Day 3||Douro Valley Wine Tasting & River Cruise||Porto|
|Day 4||Explore Aveiro||Porto|
|Day 5||Fly to São Miguel Island, Food & Wine Tour||São Miguel Island|
|Day 6||Tour the Furnas Valley||São Miguel Island|
|Day 7||Visit Gruta do Carvão & São Miguel's Beaches||São Miguel Island|
|Day 8||Whale Watching in the Azores||São Miguel Island|
|Day 9||Horseback Riding Tour, Sunset Cruise||São Miguel Island|
|Day 10||Depart São Miguel Island|
Day 1: Arrive in Porto, Explore
Welcome to Portugal! Touch down in Porto, where your driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel. Settle in and then head out to explore the country's second-largest city, or "second city." Porto is beloved for its colorful Ribeira (riverside), packed with port cellars and cafés, and the colossal Dom Luis I Bridge, which spans the Douro River. Don't miss the Livraria Lello, a bookshop with a distinctive spiral staircase said to be one of the real-life inspirations for Harry Potter's Hogwarts.
Day 2: Vintage Car Tour of Porto
This morning, your guide will pick you up in a vintage 1920s car for a tour of Porto. Travel along the cobbled streets lined with tiled churches and pastel-colored historic buildings. You'll pass some of the city's most iconic landmarks, from the Clerigos Clock Tower to Porto Cathedral. En route, your guide will give you an overview of Porto's history, culture, and architectural heritage.
Next, choose between heading toward the fishing village of San Pedro da Afurada or exploring the vibrant Foz neighborhood of Porto. Set away from the city's bustling center, Foz is home to pristine beaches and a striking lighthouse. End the trip with a port cellar tour, where you'll learn about Porto's fortified wine production and enjoy a tasting session.
Day 3: Douro Valley Wine Tasting & River Cruise
Today your private driver will be waiting to whisk you into the mountains and valleys of the famous Douro Valley wine region, where you'll visit traditional wineries accompanied by your expert guide. After a wine tasting, you'll have lunch at one of the valley's stately quintas (estates).
After lunch, it's time to hop aboard a riverboat for an hourlong cruise down the tranquil Douro River. Relax and admire the beautiful scenery of the valley and the steep, rolling hills along the riverbanks. You'll return to Porto afterward, where you can spend a leisurely evening in the city's lively Ribeira area.
Day 4: Explore Aveiro
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Head an hour south today to Aveiro, a peaceful fishing hub set along a coastal lagoon, the Ria de Aveiro. Aveiro is known for its network of canals traversed by wooden moliceiros, small boats traditionally used for harvesting seaweed.
Explore the city's quaint streets and historic center, filled with Art Nouveau buildings. Marvel at the grand cathedral with its bell tower and visit the Museu de Aveiro, which has an impressive marble tomb in a former convent. Take a cruise along the canals and head to the nearby beach to watch fishermen hauling in their nets. Afterward, head back to Porto for a final evening in the city.
Day 5: Fly to São Miguel Island, Food & Wine Tour
This morning starts with a flight to São Miguel, the largest island in the Azores archipelago. Fringed with lava-stained beaches, the volcanic islands are known for their crater lakes, mud pots, and thermal pools. The rich waters surrounding the archipelago are filled with marine life, including whales.
Check into your hotel ahead of this evening's food and wine tour. You'll take a guided walk through Ponta Delgada with a local, stopping at the trendiest eateries and neighborhood bars. Sample a progressive menu of fruit, honey, bread, pastries, seafood, artisanal meats, and homemade desserts—all washed down with a series of locally-produced wines.
Day 6: Tour the Furnas Valley
Discover the geothermal wonders of São Miguel today, from thermal pools to steam vents and fumaroles. Your first stop is the Pico do Ferro walking trail, which offers sweeping views of Furnas Lake. Move on to the Terra Nostra Botanical Garden, the oldest botanical garden in the Azores, where you can take a dip in the thermal pools and natural Jacuzzis surrounded by forest. Here you can try the local dish cozido, a stew slow-cooked underground using volcanic heat.
After lunch, continue exploring the volcanic landscape, visiting steam vents, fumaroles, and mineral fountains of various temperatures that gush from lava walls. You'll soon understand why this is one of Europe's richest hydrological regions. On the way back to Ponta Delgada, you'll have time to try some locally-grown tea at the Gorreana Tea Factory. If you still have some energy, there's time for an optional sea kayaking tour along the island's rugged coastline.
Day 7: Visit Gruta do Carvão & São Miguel's Beaches
This morning, hike to Gruta do Carvão, the largest lava tunnel on the island, which plows underground for more than a mile (1.6 km). Gaze at the cave's collection of stalactites and stalagmites in various colors. To get your blood pumping, head on an epic canyoning adventure where you'll cliff jump and rappel down waterfalls.
The afternoon is yours to savor São Miguel's beaches. Head to Praia de Santa Bárbara for over half a mile (1 km) of soft sand and enjoy a great lunch spot at the nearby Tuka Tulá Bar. At Praia de Água D'Alto, you'll find a vast stretch of sand backed by dramatic cliffs—a combination that makes it one of the most popular beaches on the island.
If you want to swim, the sheltered Vila Franca do Campo Islet is a bather's paradise and a favorite snorkeling location. At the same time, the oceans around Praia do Fogo remain warmer due to nearby hot springs. Praia dos Moinhos can't be beaten for tranquility, while Praia dos Mosteiros—with its dark volcanic sand and towering rocks emerging from the sea—remains one of the best photo-ops on the island.
Day 8: Whale Watching in the Azores
The Azores are among the top whale watching destinations in the world, with over 20 species found in the archipelago's waters. After breakfast, you'll board a boat to spot these fantastic creatures alongside biologists and naturalist guides. Search for whales and dolphins, discover the islands' coastline and sandy beaches, and take a tour around the islet of Vila Franca do Campo for a glimpse of its resident wildlife.
Tonight, you can relax with an optional trip to the Furnas Thermal Springs. On the way to the Furnas Caldera, you'll pass through the village and active volcanic landscape dotted with fumaroles. Stop for a typical Portuguese dinner and enjoy a long soak in the hot springs before returning to your hotel.
Day 9: Horseback Riding Tour, Sunset Cruise
Explore São Miguel on horseback today. Saddle up and join your guide for a scenic ride through the verdant Marta Santa area along quiet paths flanked by old stone walls. You'll be surrounded by stunning countryside and fragrant plants, like acacia and eucalyptus, while taking in the sounds of nature.
Spend the rest of the day as you please, lying on the beach, hiking, or exploring more of the island's geothermal attractions. Consider finishing the day with an optional sunset boat cruise. Watch the sun set the sky ablaze while the twinkling lights from Ponta Delgada town come alive. Sail back to the marina for one last dinner on the island.
Day 10: Depart São Miguel Island
It's time to say goodbye to the Azores! Your driver will take you to Ponta Delgada's airport in time to catch your homebound flight. Safe travels!
More Great Azores Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Azores? Check out these other Azores itineraries, explore different ways to spend 10 days in the Azores, or learn about the best time to visit the Azores.