Hut-to-hut trekking on the Azores? The Alps or the Pyrenees spring to most people’s minds when it comes to staying in mountain huts on a long-distance hike. The Azores are not well-known as a hiking destination. And even those who do know may not have heard of the Atlantic’s best kept secret when it comes to hiking: the Grande Rota de Santa Maria. The island of Santa Maria is the soul of the Azores and encapsulates everything that is great about this remote archipelago. Think balmy temperatures, evergreen forests, steep sea cliffs, sleepy villages and of course a volcano. This epic 5-day hiking route on Santa Maria has it all.
The best way to explore Santa Maria is on foot. Thanks to its modest size you can circumnavigate the entire island in 5 days. And the great thing is, you can leave your tent at home. After each stage you can check in one of the cozy shelters scattered along the route. The Grande Rota de Santa Maria must be one of the most diverse trekking routes in the Atlantic Ocean. You’re never far from the dramatic coastline, with rugged windswept cliffs and both black and white sand beaches. And at the heart of the island you can climb the island’s highest peak, Pico Alto. Vamos lá!