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Azores Galore! 12 Excursions Eons in the Making

Last updated: Jan 12th, 2024


Lush, green and undeniably beautiful, the Azores stand alone in what they offer for the budding and ever curious geographic mind.

Not only does it tap into ancient forces and show them on a monumental and stunning landscape, but it also brings together the tantalising concepts of physical and human geography, weaving them together to showcase a cohesive natural picture.

There’s a whole truck worth of excursions on the islands sitting pretty in the Atlantic that embody these qualities, but we’ve took the time to distil them into some of the most engaging and impactful excursions you’re ever likely to find – all in one handy list!


‘There’s lots in the Azores with the opportunity to see something students are likely never to see again.’

Val Vannet, Field Study Tutor

 


 

A bed of pineapples.

Arruda Pineapple Plantation

Bursting with unspoilt natural vistas as far and as green as the eye can see, the Azores also boast their very own artisanal pineapple. Why is the pineapple grown on the Portuguese islands so valued?

Simple. It’s due to where it grows – in a greenhouse – and a result of an unprecedented fertility in the soil alongside precise maturation methods inside Sao Miguel’s plantations, giving you a super individual bit of fruit.

The best bit? You can tour them yourself and see the fascinating pineapple and its growth area in full view.

Steam rises from hot springs of Lagoa das Furnas Fumaroles.

Lagoa das Furnas Fumaroles

Uncover even more incredible geographic centred excursions with your next activity: Lagoa das Furnas Fumaroles.

The whole site is an active geothermal zone bubbling with fumaroles and mud puddles. A marker of how phenomenally active and hot it is are the restaurants that plant pots of stew in the ground in the morning, only to see them cooked by lunch and eaten by hungry diners soon after.

As an insight into secondary volcanicity and how humans use that geography for a yummy meal, the site is a must.


‘There’s an area of cooking where many restaurants come with a bucket of uncooked stew, create a depression in the ground and leave the stew there until they come back later to serve it up.’

Val Vannet, Fields Study Tutor

 


 

A pathway leads to green trees, with a building in the midground and high, green covered mountains in the background, of Furnas Valley.

Furnas Valley

The centre of Sao Miguel’s unique geothermal activity, the valley sits inside the Furnas volcano caldera and is a true testament to showing how geographic forces play out over a long period.

You’ll experience an active volcano (which last erupted in 1630), steaming fumaroles, majestic thermal pools and natural mineral springs. Breath-taking. Awe-inspiring. Educational. It’s got the lot.

 


‘There’s a place called Furnas which is really spectacular.’

Val Vannet, Field Study Tutor

 


 

Lagoa de Santiago, of the Sete Cidades Caldera complex, in the Azores.

Sete Cidades

One incredible thing about the Azores is that it keeps on giving – at least from a geographic perspective – and your next peek into an almost mythical world is one of the 7 wonders of Portugal in Sete Cidades.

Iconic and HUGE, the volcanic complex is a standout and perfect way to show the ancient timescales natural forces keep to. There are calderas formed thousands of years ago, gorgeously tempting twin lakes and a plethora of extreme beauty.

Think Insta photo and a unique chance to grasp the undeniable geographic forces at play. All wrapped up in one.


‘This is the caldera that’s the classic tourist image of the Azores and it’s really impressive.’

Guy Leaf, Field Study Tutor


 

Green slopes, with the Atlantic sea in the background, of the Gorreana Tea Plantation, on the Azores.

Gorreana Tea Plantation

Gorreana is an incredibly rare find as it’s one of the few tea plantations in all of Europe, which has been plying its trade since 1883!

As standard to the Azores, it’s breath-taking, but the brilliant educational aspects for geography school tours are abundant too. But what are they? The tea in part is a result of the following natural processes:

  • A humid & wet climate (it rains a bit!)
  • Mild temperature all year round
  • An acidic and volcanic soil

All geographic aspects, alongside the plantations skills as tea producers, allowing the production of green & black tea. Get the kettle on!

Caldeira Velha on the Azores

Lagoa do Fogo & Caldeira Velha

Packed with panoramic views, Lagoa do Fogo sits inside a caldera from the age-old Agua de Pau stratovolcano of Sao Miguel.

Feeding into prehistoric geography, the massif the lake is located on gives centuries of tantalising insight into how the monumental forces of Mother Nature unfold.

After those lifetime & unforgettable views are absorbed, take a dip in the hot springs of another geothermal wonder in Caldeira Velha whilst surrounded by lush green vegetation reminiscent of a primordial, Jurassic world. Simply gorgeous.

Gruta do Carvao on the Azores.

Gruta do Carvao Lava Tube

Completely immerse yourself in an ancient lava tube, which is also the largest on Sao Miguel.

Caves like this gift a fascinating window into the islands rich and complex volcanicity, like basaltic lava flows – you’re in for a treat!

Stuffed with geological marvels, unearth lava bridges, stalactites, stalagmites, columns, spongy lavas, lava balls, branching galleries and a truck worth more. The walls and ceiling are multi-coloured too!

Exhibits from inside the Vulcanological and Geothermal Observatory on the Azores

Vulcanological & Geothermal Observatory

To round it all off and cement the learning and outstanding memories of your geographic school trip to the Azores, engage students with an insightful observatory focusing on two aspects of geography central to the Atlantic state.

Discover the geological story of Azores and Sao Miguel by unearthing the different types of eruptions and seeing examples of eruptive materials and volcanic minerals.

Then absorb even more with an insightful exhibition on fossils and the formation of Earth and the evolution of life.


‘It’s a very, very good introduction to what the Azores are all about.’

Guy Leaf, Field Study Tutor

 


 

Adrenaline-fuelled Activities?

The Azores have them too! Check out some of the most action-packed you can find below.

A group descends a natural rock wall in Ribeira Natural Park on the Azores.

Ribeira Natural Park Canyoning – Ascend & Descend in Beauty

Get ready to immerse you and your students in an enthralling landscape perfect for activity by canyoning.
Trek to the top of Ribeira dos Caldeiroes in Nordeste, through gorgeous, forested areas, and then descend by abseil downside the majestic rock painted in green.

A physical exercise injecting an incredible amount of energy into your tour, with a healthy dashing of beautiful surroundings. Stunning.

A Kayak in the foregrounds with waters of Sete Cidades lakes in the background.

Kayaking in an Ancient Wonder: Sete Cidades!

Remember the pre-historic land formations of Sete Cidades and its riveting waters? You can kayak in them.

Ready yourself and your pupils for an activity they won’t forget at all!

People walk around the trails of Sete Cidades in the Azores.

Biking on Vintage Trails – an Age-old Route

Once you’re done in the water why not hit the perimeter of Sete too, all whilst on a bike?

Exhilarating and gargantuan, expect uplifting activity and sumptuous views all in one!

How’s that for a memory?

Dolphins jump out the sea.

Whale & Dolphin Watching – Up Close with Nature’s Giants & Guardians!

Get up close and personal with some of nature’s BIG players and majestic, iconic swimmers. Say hello to whales and dolphins in this, quite simply, unforgettable experience in the gem-like waters of the Atlantic.

Because of the resident sperm whale and dolphin population native to the Azorean waters, you’re in with a very good chance of seeing and getting up close with them – migratory orcas even appeared on the trip of one of our Field Study Tutors!

Bring your camera because the people back home might not believe this one.


‘A highlight is the whale watching trip with dolphins playing around. Very cool.’

Guy Leaf, Field Study Tutor

 


 

Azores – Give Me More!

There’s one word to describe Azores: WOW. Simply and truly a beautiful and unique place bursting with geographic themed excursions prime for education. The isles also offer adrenaline-fuelled activity designed to create memories by the bucket.

If you’re looking for a good old chinwag about this mysterious, untouched paradise in the pristine blue waters of the Atlantic, then we can’t wait to chat all things Azores. Call us today and let’s get the ball rolling.

 

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