We had a fantastic time! Riding was top scale. You guys have this trip dialed… from accommodations, right down to the scheduling, etc. We were never left wanting. Carlos works his ass off. Mike M.
 

Why do we require an application?

Our application process is in response to two of the most common questions our Riders have prior to booking a trip with us:

1) Am I skilled/fit enough to participate in this Ride?
2) Will the other people on my Ride be skilled/fit enough?

Ensuring that you - and the other Riders on your Ride - are a good fit for the Ride selected is of paramount importance to us. We want to help you pick the Ride that's perfect for you, and ensure that everyone booked on a Ride is on the right Ride for them. That's why we want to know a bit more about you - your mountain biking history, where you ride, how often, etc... - before we take your money.

We review every application and if, based on your responses, we think you're a good fit, we'll approve your application and you'll receive a link to place a deposit. If we think you might not be a good fit (either too skilled or not skilled enough for the Ride you chose), then we'll give you a call to discuss your preferences in greater detail.

Please note: our application process isn't about excluding anyone, or making anyone feel like they're not 'good enough' to participate in one of our Rides. It's about ensuring that you end up on the right Ride for you, with people of similar skill, fitness and riding preferences. In the end this ends up being a much better experience for everyone.

SSHHH! WE FOUND PARADISE. 1500 KM OFF THE COAST OF PORTUGAL, SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN, LAYS AN ISLAND OF LUSH FOREST, PRISTINE WATERFALLS AND SANDY BEACHES...

OH, AND, DON'T FORGET THE Epic Volcano riding with descents down gnarly, raw, expert level trails only the locals know of!
 

Treat yourself and your all-mountain bike to the raw trails, beauty and aggressive enduro-style riding of São Miguel in The Azores.  But don’t go spilling the beans on us!

 

We’ll begin our adventure in the charming village of Furnas, where our idyllic lodge surrounded by nature awaits. We’ll ride like hell down ancient fishermen trails before tending to sore muscles (or bruised egos) in soothing natural hot springs. We’ll feast on fresh fish, and drool along more epic trails bordering scenic coastlines and emerald lagoons. 

 

Later, we’ll fly over to the island of Santa Maria to sample fast and flowy forest trails, unbeknownst to most tourists who visit the island without their two-wheeled machines. We’ll repel down vertiginous falls and as the sun sets, we’ll sit stunned by the overwhelming beauty of this place.   But mum’s the word. This slice of paradise is our little secret.

 

Read about this Ride here: Welcome to Paradise - Mountain Biking in the Azores

 

This Ride is for extremely fit, expert level, technical riders only!   Be sure to review our Skill and Fitness Rating System for a better understanding of what to expect.

IS THIS RIDE FOR YOU?

You are an expert level mountain biker who lives for aggressive enduro-style riding with gnarly, raw, technical, fast descents. Sustained, steep and loose descents are no issue for you, and you're OK climbing if it means more incredible views and epic descents. You rarely, if ever, walk. Riding raw, rugged trails with ruts, natural foliage and features like old stone steps sounds like the adventure you've been waiting for. You’re excited to pack up your Enduro rig with 6" of travel and a dropper-post and toss it on a plane for an incredible adventure. While roughing it on the trails, you enjoy the thought of relaxing in natural hot springs or swimming in a waterfall.

  • MTB SKILL RATING

    EXPERT 8/9

    SKILL LEVEL 8 - EXPERT

    You are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on aggressive terrain with little braking. You rarely, if ever, walk.

    You often hop over obstacles such as roots and rocks that less advanced riders may wheel lift over.  Small drops are no issue for you and you are comfortable with having both wheels leave the ground. You are comfortable and confident with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 6 inches) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable.

    If you have ridden a bike park, you are comfortable on all green, blue, black and double black trails. 

    Click here for more information on our Skill and Fitness Rating System

    SKILL LEVEL 8 - EXPERT

    You are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on aggressive terrain with little braking. You rarely, if ever, walk.

    You often hop over obstacles such as roots and rocks that less advanced riders may wheel lift over.  Small drops are no issue for you and you are comfortable with having both wheels leave the ground. You are comfortable and confident with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 6 inches) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable.

    If you have ridden a bike park, you are comfortable on all green, blue, black and double black trails. 

    Click here for more information on our Skill and Fitness Rating System
  • Price CAD | USD | EUR

    €2,495 EURABOUT CURRENCIES

    About Currencies

    The default currency of the Ride, as displayed, is the same as the currency that we pay our local guides and suppliers in. This helps mitigate our risk of currency fluctuation. However, although the price of the Ride is set in this currency, our payment processing system processes in Canadian dollars (we're a Canadian company, eh).

  • FITNESS RATING

    7/9

    FITNESS LEVEL 7

    • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 3-4 hours of pedal time each day. You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 5 hours of pedal time.

    • You can handle moderate climbs up to 750 vertical metres (2,450 ft) total in a day.

    • You exercise on average 6 hours per week.

    • Your exercise regime includes a combination of endurance training like riding a bike and strength training.

    Click here for more information on our Skill and Fitness Rating System

    FITNESS LEVEL 7

    • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 3-4 hours of pedal time each day. You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 5 hours of pedal time.

    • You can handle moderate climbs up to 750 vertical metres (2,450 ft) total in a day.

    • You exercise on average 6 hours per week.

    • Your exercise regime includes a combination of endurance training like riding a bike and strength training.

    Click here for more information on our Skill and Fitness Rating System
  • DEPOSIT CAD | USD | EUR

    €499 EURLIFETIME DEPOSITS

    Our Lifetime Deposit policy protects you from unexpected events that may cause your trip to be cancelled or delayed.

    If you need to cancel for any reason, your initial deposit is good forever and will remain on file with us until you’re ready to use it. You can even pass it on to a friend.

  • RIDE TYPE

    Singletrack

    RIDE TYPES

    • SINGLETRACK:for experienced mountain bikers
    • EXPLORER:for beginner mountain bikers
    • BRING-YOUR-PARTNER:for experienced mountain bikers and their non-MTB-ing partners
    • WOMEN'S:skills camps and Rides for women only
  • DURATION

    8 days
  • DATES

    April to SeptemberSEE ALL DATES
  • CULTURE LEVEL

    Adventurous

    Level Adventurous

    • On our Adventurous Rides, you'll step out of your comfort zone a little bit, perhaps with foreign languages, semi-remote areas, new cultures and cultural experiences, and/or other experiences that are a little bit unfamiliar to 'Western'-country Riders.
    • If you're looking for something a little more exotic, check out our 'Out There' Rides, or if you prefer the familiar, check out our 'Familiar' Rides.

    Level Adventurous

    • On our Adventurous Rides, you'll step out of your comfort zone a little bit, perhaps with foreign languages, semi-remote areas, new cultures and cultural experiences, and/or other experiences that are a little bit unfamiliar to 'Western'-country Riders.
    • If you're looking for something a little more exotic, check out our 'Out There' Rides, or if you prefer the familiar, check out our 'Familiar' Rides.

WHY RIDE WITH US?

  • Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Guaranteed Departures
  • Lifetime Deposits
  • Risk-Free Booking Window
  • Travel Concierge

Check out our Peace of Mind Policies

Itinerary Disclaimer: While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described below, adventure travel can be unpredictable and may result in necessary or desirable alterations to the trails we ride, accommodation we stay in and destinations we visit. 

 

Day 1. Arrive in São Miguel

Welcome to The Azores!

 

Upon your arrival on the island of São Miguel, our friendly guide will be meeting you based on your arrival time at Ponta Delgada Joao Paulo II Airport (PDL).

 

We’ll drive you to our fabulous lodge where we encourage you to unwind, settle in and rest up for the weeks mountain bike adventure!

 

Later this afternoon, we’ll meet up to build our bikes.

 

Tonight, the group will convene for a delicious dinner and a meet-and-greet, reviewing what our week has in store!
 

Day 2. Furnas Valley Volcano

After a delicious breakfast, we'll have our group morning briefing and safety chat before heading to the valley of Furnas, where thrilling trails and a sleeping volcano await.

 

We’ll ride time worn trails connecting ancient fishing villages, before stopping for a scrumptious local lunch.

 

In the afternoon, we’ll bathe in iron-rich hot springs and visit the remarkable Terra Nostra botanic park.    (Please Note: This experience is optional and not included in the price. Entry to the Terra Nostra botanic park is approximately 5€.)

 

Day 3. Enduro adventure

Today, we’ll hit the road towards village of Faial da Terra, where we’ll sample the variety of trails to be found here – ancient trade routes, repurposed lumberjack paths and trails built by locals for Enduro racing.

 

We’ll wipe the drool off our faces and scarf down fresh fish for lunch, before hitting more trails in the afternoon.

 

We’ll finish the day in the lost village of Sanguinho where, after a short hike along a remote trail, we’ll hop in ice-cold water at the foot of a breathtaking waterfall.
 

Day 4. Trails, Tea and Tanlines

After a delicious breakfast this morning, we'll drive to one of only two tea factories in Europe for a little formality known as tea time. 

 

We'll then shuttle up to the Black Hill and experience the The Burra Expedition - the ultimate all mountain ride in São Miguel, quickly followed by a shuttle up  Mount Barrosa, offering stunning views of the “Fire Lagoon”.

 

From the top, we'll make our way down an epic trail known to local riders as “The Cathedral”.

 

Don’t be fooled by what appears to be smooth-sailing GoPro footage.   Although "The Cathedral” is an iconic ride for locals, it features technical steep downhills, extremely rutted sections and often overgrown vegetation. Can you handle it?!

 

We’ll wash off in the ocean and catch some rays at Caloura beach, while our private chef prepares local dishes for our beach BBQ tonight. 

 

Day 5. Sete Cidades Ride

After a delicious breakfast,  we'll  spend the  morning on aggressive, enduro-style riding filled with rewarding climbs and super fun descents.   

 

 For lunch, we'll  enjoy  local, traditional cuisine.

 

This afternoon, we’ll shuttle to the village of Sete Cidades, famous for its two-coloured lagoon, where we’ll ride purpose-built enduro and all-mountain trails.

 

We’ll head back to our resting grounds in the evening and enjoy a moonlit dip at the nearest black sand beach.

 

Day 6. Santa Maria Thrills

We’ll catch an early flight this morning to Santa Maria, a small, quiet and beautiful little island south-east of São Miguel.

 

We’ll hop on our bikes and ride down smooth, lush trails before breaking for lunch at a beach.

 

This afternoon, we’ll explore the coast of the island from the water on an out-of-this-world snorkeling adventure.

 

We’ll end our day in the charming town of Vila do Porto.

 

Day 7.  Route to Colombus

We’ll have a hearty breakfast and make our way to High Peak.

 

From there, we’ll ride down a trail that snakes into the red desert, ride along the coast and explore spectacular caves. We’ll sample local foods and wine, before hopping on our return flight to São Miguel. 

 

For those looking for even more adventure, visit the Add-Ons tab to add an afternoon of  canyoning  in the beautiful Ribeira Grande area of São Miguel (available on Day 7 only).   Canyoning consists of travelling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include hiking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, rappelling and sliding down natural water features.

 

Tonight, there are two options for dinner: Have our private chef cook up a gourmet meal for our final dinner, or head out on the town of São Miguel for dinner in a local restaurant.

 

(Please Note: tonight's dinner is not included in the trip price). 

 

Day 8. The End of our Journey

We’ll have breakfast and enjoy our last few moments together, before driving you to Ponta Delgada Joao Paulo II Airport (PDL) based on your departure time. 

  • 7 nights accommodation in beautiful lodges
  • 7 delicious breakfasts, 7 lunches, 1 rustic Azorean BBQ dinner, snacks and drinks for riding
  • 2 amazing, local and English-speaking guides
  • Rider to Guide ratio 8:2
  • Return flight from São Miguel to Santa Maria with your bike
  • All transportation throughout the trip in air-conditioned vans
  • Chilled beers and drinks in the cooler at the end of every day

Below you will find a comprehensive list of information about this Ride and destination, including Frequently Asked Questions by site visitors and our Riders at the bottom. If you don’t find the information you’re looking for below, click the ‘Ask a Question’ button below.

We’ve Got You Covered +

GETTING THERE AND BACK +

Getting The Most Out of Your Trip +

BIKE AND GEAR INFO AND PACKING LIST +

Destination information +

Important Stuff +

Other Stuff +

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS+

Name Bio My 'Sacred Ride'

Paulo Dinis Carvalho
...to be completed... Coming soon!

Hugo Carvalho
When I`m not taking care of my family I am either riding, building trails or advocating for mountain bikes. It`s no longer just a hobby, every single bit of spare time I have I head to the trails. The long hours with the shovel, the mattoc and the...[more] It`s got to be Pico Alto - Anjos trail in Santa Maria Island, from the green loamy forest, down to the hard black vulcanic rock by the seaside !

Carlos Dos Santos
I was born in São Miguel island in the Azores in January 1985 and i started riding bikes when i was 5, then moved to mountain biking on a hardtail from the supermarket on age of 12, at this point i was growing up on a farm surrounded by forest with...[more] My favorite local trail is the Cathedral on Mount Barrosa. Starts with an amazing view over the Lagoa do Fogo (fire lake), super technical all the way to the bottom, and is connected with a...[more]
Below you will find some of the videos for this Ride. Please keep in mind that some of these videos may have been recorded by our guides and the speeds they are riding at aren't necessarily indicative of the speeds you'll be riding at!
Training Day with Devinci Cycles
Mountain Bike the Azores, Sacred Rides style
Beautiful Azores - Oceanside Trail
Caldera Trail, Azores
Cathedral Trail
We are Nature Pedra
Swimming with Dolphins
Dolphins!
Rasta Sabado Downhill
Caldeira Ride
Riding down Mount Barrosa

Please note that the following data represents a typical itinerary, and unfortunately there is no such thing as a typical itinerary. Weather issues, road closures, changes to the itinerary to accommodate requests, and other issues may affect the itinerary, so the data below represents an 'average' itinerary, and may differ when you actually show up to ride your bike! Our guides make every effort to stick to the itinerary as posted, though :)

Day Hours of Riding Distance ridden Elevation gained Elevation lost Highest elevation
1 0 hours 0 km 0 m 0 m 455 m
2 5 hours 25 km 904 m 1200 m 454 m
3 5 hours 21 km 1230 m 2044 m 574 m
4 7 hours 26 km 557 m 2199 m 935 m
5 3 hours 28 km 900 m 1299 m 806 m
6 4 hours 30 km 360 m 1550 m 564 m
7 5 hours 29 km 890 m 1280 m 559 m
8 0 hours 0 km 0 m 0 m 455 m
Totals 29 hours 159 km 4841 m 9572 m 935 m
RIDE ADD-ONS
Ride enhancements (MTB rentals, single rooms, etc...)
ADD-ON PRICE
Full-Suspension Mountain Bike Rental€400.00 EUR
Single Room Supplement€600.00 EUR
1-hour post-ride massage€60.00 EUR
Canyoning€78.00 EUR
Trip Extensions
ADD-ON PRICE
Add an extra day of riding, pre-trip€170.00 EUR
Add an extra day of riding, post-trip€170.00 EUR
Other
ADD-ON PRICE
Donation to Bikes Without Borders$20.00 CAD
2017
Start Date Pickup Location & Time End Date Dropoff Location & Time Price Deposit Currency Booking Private? Availability
Saturday, May 20, 2017 Ponta Delgada airport, anytime Saturday, May 27, 2017 Ponta Delgada airport, anytime 2,495.00 499.00 EUR Book Now! Sold Out
Saturday, July 15, 2017 Ponta Delgada airport, anytime Saturday, July 22, 2017 Ponta Delgada airport, anytime 2,495.00 499.00 EUR Book Now! Guaranteed
Saturday, September 9, 2017 Ponta Delgada airport, anytime Saturday, September 16, 2017 Ponta Delgada airport, anytime 2,495.00 499.00 EUR Book Now! Guaranteed
2018
Start Date Pickup Location & Time End Date Dropoff Location & Time Price Deposit Currency Booking Private? Availability
Saturday, May 26, 2018 Ponta Delgada airport, anytime Saturday, June 2, 2018 Ponta Delgada airport, anytime 2,495.00 499.00 EUR Book Now! Guaranteed
Saturday, July 28, 2018 Ponta Delgada airport, anytime Saturday, August 4, 2018 Ponta Delgada airport, anytime 2,495.00 499.00 EUR Book Now! Guaranteed
Saturday, September 15, 2018 Ponta Delgada airport, anytime Saturday, September 22, 2018 Ponta Delgada airport, anytime 2,495.00 499.00 EUR Book Now! Guaranteed
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