Backpacking in The Azores: Quad Tour To Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island

The Azores happened by fluke. I really didn’t plan this one. I was trying to visit Cape Verde Islands and it just made sense (and was cheaper on Ryanair loyal) to visit The Azores on route. So here I was! The Azores was a bonusball, extra trip and yet I still had three days here which was enough time to see the capital city, Ponta Delgada, enjoy a pub crawl, go to the beach at São Roque and do a thrilling quad tour in the countryside and mountains to Sete Cidades. I was based at Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Island.

Backpacking in The Azores: Quad Tour To Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island

Backpacking in The Azores: Quad Tour To Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island

I was staying at the Azor Azul Hostel in Ponta Delgada, which is the capital city of The Azores.

Backpacking in The Azores: Staying At the Azor Azul Hostel in Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island

Backpacking in The Azores: Staying At the Azor Azul Hostel in Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island

I teamed up with AC Adventures to do a quad tour of the east side of Sao Miguel Island, mainly focusing on a place known as Sete Cidades. Their office is easy to find – it’s by the harbour in Ponta Delgada. I booked on the Wednesday morning for the tour on the Thursday afternoon.

Backpacking in The Azores: Quad Tour with ANC To Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island

Backpacking in The Azores: Quad Tour with ANC To Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island

It was a half day quad tour, and lasted around 4.5 hours. We met at 13.30 at the tour offices by the coast. A bus took myself and four other tourists out to a depot location on the edge of the city.

The bus to the edge of the city

My quad for the tour to Sete Cidades

My quad for the tour to Sete Cidades

My quad for the tour to Sete Cidades

My quad for the tour to Sete Cidades

My quad for the tour to Sete Cidades

My quad for the tour to Sete Cidades

I was in a red Honda quad four by four for one person. The others shared quads between two. The last time I had ridden on a similar quad was on a dune buggy in Saudi Arabia, exactly four years earlier.

Quad Biking in Saudia Arabia on The Sand Dunes Near Shaqra

The quads were easy to start and drive, with only three options -drive, neutral and reverse. No gears. All you needed was to be over 18 and have an international driving licence. The first 45 minutes was driving out of the capital city up tarmacked roads. There were four quads in a row. Our guide led the way, with me behind plus the other two quads behind.

Backpacking in The Azores: Quad Tour To Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island

The first actual stop we made was atop a hill. On the left was a car park. On the right was an interesting building. An abandoned hotel, the Monte Palace Hotel.

Coffee Stop

First Stop

I grabbed a crappuccino and headed into this derelict empty hotel. It had inklings of my time backpacking in Chernobyl’s Pripyat city, or an abandoned cinema in Kyrgyzstan in glory days of whackpacking gone reluctantly by. I bring you the creeps of the abandoned Monte Palace Hotel, Eastern Sao Miguel Island, The Azores.

Monte Palace Hotel, Eastern Sao Miguel Island, The Azores

Monte Palace Hotel, Eastern Sao Miguel Island, The Azores

Monte Palace Hotel, Eastern Sao Miguel Island, The Azores

Monte Palace Hotel, Eastern Sao Miguel Island, The Azores

Monte Palace Hotel, Eastern Sao Miguel Island, The Azores

Monte Palace Hotel, Eastern Sao Miguel Island, The Azores

Monte Palace Hotel, Eastern Sao Miguel Island, The Azores

Monte Palace Hotel, Eastern Sao Miguel Island, The Azores

Monte Palace Hotel, Eastern Sao Miguel Island, The Azores

Then we admired the first of many viewpoints over the two large lakes here – Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning but dress up warm – it gets windy up there!

Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Another stop on the way down offers a great photo opportunity over the same two lakes.

Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Next we drive downhill on fairly well tarmacked roads down to the point where the two lakes meet. There’s a bridge between the two lakes. Here is calm, and we have time to chill out and admire.

At the point where the two lakes meet: Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue)

At the point where the two lakes meet: Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue)

At the point where the two lakes meet: Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue)

At the point where the two lakes meet: Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue)

We get back onto the quads for a drive through the “Seven Cities” (Sete Cidade). We stop lakeside at a chill out area. Here is a cool cafe called Green Love. I grab a cappuccino and a custard tart. I also make use of their Wi-Fi.

Coffee stop at Green Love, Sete Cidades

Coffee stop at Green Love, Sete Cidades

After this it’s time for an uphill ascent to the highest point on the tour. This is mostly on epic dirt roads, where focusing on the vehicle is important! It’s worth it for the views from the top, as you can see…

Views From the Top of Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Views From the Top of Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Views From the Top of Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Views From the Top of Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Views From the Top of Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Views From the Top of Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

Views From the Top of Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul (Lake Green and Lake Blue). Views are stunning.

On the way back down there is another stop plus we see an old aquaduct, plus some cows.

Backpacking in The Azores: Quad Tour To Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island

Backpacking in The Azores: Quad Tour To Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island

Aquaduct

Views on the way back down

Views on the way back down

Views on the way back down

Views on the way back down

After that it is back to base – all in all a very very enjoyable tour!! I recommend it!!

Here are the details for organising a Quad tour in The Azores:
+351 967 309 909
http://www.azoresholidays.pt/
http://www.azoresholidays.pt/en/
https://www.facebook.com/ANCAzoresHolidays/
Headquarter: Caminho da Serra Gorda, Milhafres, Arrifes 9500 – 000 Ponta Delgada (ANC Energia)
City Office: Avenue João Bosco Mota Amaral, kiosk in front of hotel Marina
How to get to us?
(+351) 296 247 171 | (+351) 967 309 909
[email protected]

Here are some videos from my Quad tour in The Azores:

Join 15,017 Monthly Readers! If you enjoyed this article and LOVE travel and SAVING money, get e-mail updates from Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel! (It’s Free) 😉 Jonny

2 thoughts on “Backpacking in The Azores: Quad Tour To Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island

  • Hi! My name is Rei from the Philippines. I’m 18 years old. Currently studying 1st-year college at Laguna State Polytechnic University. I recently came across your blog about your trip to TAzore. I was so inspired by your photographs and your writing that I decided to plan a trip to the same place.

    I was born and raised in the small town of Calamba, Laguna. It was in this town, nestled up with hot spring resorts, that I first discovered the joy of traveling. I would often go on road trips with my parents, passing through the mountain and falls in Laguna. I would marvel at the majestic views, the quiet forests, and the peaceful lakes that dotted the area. Since I was a child, I was fascinated by the world around me and its potential to take me somewhere new and exciting. The idea of seeing something new, of experiencing something different, was what drove me to want to explore, to learn more, to discover more. It is the same desire that drives me today, and it has taken me all over the world.

    Your blog has inspired me to travel more and see the world in a new way. I love to read about the places you’ve been to, and I’m excited to experience them myself. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I’ve learned a lot from reading your blog, and I’m excited to learn more. Please keep me posted, I am excited to hear back from you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

CommentLuv badge