A Local's Guide to Mountain Biking The Azores

mountain biking azores, planning a mountain bike trip, multi-day mountain bike trip, mountain biking portugal, locals guide to mountain biking
March 9th, 2016

Planning a multi-day mountain bike trip can be overwhelming and time consuming. Researching popular trails suited to your skill level, types of accommodation that fit your budget and needs, as well as understanding the culture, people and cuisine of any destination is important before you jump on a place or hit the road. For mountain bike expeditions, where the majority of your time will be spent out in the elements - it’s also important to research the best time to visit, the weather conditions, what gear to bring, the local language and how easy it is to travel by foot, land, water or air when you arrive.


Taking all of this into consideration, and recognizing the amazing first-hand experience and knowledge of our kick-ass guides, we would love to share some local knowledge from  The Azores!  Our guides  are located around the world, and are constantly exploring new trails, shredding singletrack and researching  the best local destinations, cuisine, accommodations and tourism partners to give our riders the best mountain bike adventure of their lives!  Enjoy this local's guide to mountain biking the Azores! 

So, let's get to it!

Meet local guide - Carlos Dos Santos!

A Lead Guide for our Paradise Island Enduro Trip in the Azores, Carlos has a wealth of knowledge from years of experience guiding in The Azores, is an avid mountain biker and thrives off introducing the beautiful landscape, trails and amazing cuisine to other mountain bike enthusiasts. Carlos was born on Sao Miguel Island and grew up in a small town near Sete Cidadas. After working as a Chef, Carlos was able to save up some funds and  buy his first full-suspension mountain bike --- and then he fell in love. He describes The Azores as 'a little slice of heaven' where the amazing trails, delicious food and spectacular scenery is never far away.

mountain biking the azores

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the 'basics' about the azores

The Azores are composed of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean about 1,360 km (850 mi) west of  Portugal.

Language - Portuguese

How to Say "Good Morning" - Bom dia!

Time Zone - UTC--01:00

Airport Code - SMA

mountain biking the azores

mountain biking the azores - top 5 trails 

1. the cathedral

The Cathedral has everything a mountain biker can ask for, it's super technical and the amazing Lake of Fire  makes for a spectacular background. You will be challenged  with rock gardens, roots, some climbing and beautiful descents!

mountain biking the azores

2. aviao, farropor, praia

Check out this network of trails in Santa Maria that goes from the top of Pica Alto all the way to the beach. An incredible ride for all ride types, it starts on a physically demanding lush trail. As you descend, you  pass by beautiful streams ,through green forests  and are rewarded with  a pit stop at the beach once you hit the end of the trail.

mountain biking the azores

3. simply the best

This trail deserves the name. "Simply The Best"  got its name from Damien Oton, 2014 EWS vice-Champion, who said, "It's one of the best trails in the world." It's a fast, flowy trail where you can go full blast.

mountain biking the azores

4. Faja do sto cristo

This trail is located on Sao Jorge Island and it's something special. It offers amazing scenery, tight corners, rock stairs and finishes at the beach where you can savour a beer at the local bar.

mountain biking the azores

5. enduro village

Number five consists of about 10 trails in one.

Faial da Terra, is what Carlos likes to call "The Enduro Village" - it's his favourite trail spot and worth the trip!

mountain biking the azores

Carlos’ Top 5 Things to Do in The Azores... besides mountain biking!

1. swim near ginetes village

In Sao Miguel  swim in hot sea water on an open bay! The Ferraria spot is located in Ginetes village. A unique experience where you can bathe on the sea bay with natural hot water. The tricky part is to catch the right time with the right tide - to ensure the water isn't too hot or too cold. Check the tide schedule and visit during one hour before or after low tide.

2. the lake of fire 

Another great activity is to visit the Lake of Fire (Lagoa Do Fogo) on a sunny day. Spend a few hours on the most beautiful wild beach in Portugal and swim in the clear, pristine water.

3. SAO lourenco bay

On Santa Maria don't forget to see the "Sao Lourenco" bay - a breathtaking little coastal village with amazing vineyards surrounded by gorgeous hillsides.  Take a swim on the hidden black sand beach. 

4. scuba dive

Hit the water in Santa Maria and be prepared to see Manta rays, Eagle rays and ship wrecks. A wonderful underwater adventure and a feast for the eyes.

5. pico island

Pico is the highest mountain in Portugal , 2351m from sea level, it's a must-do hike. Feeling extra adventurous? Hire a guide and  hike throughout  the night to catch a beautiful sunrise.


Itching to start mountain biking The Azores?

Click here for the trip of a lifetime!