Sunvil Discovery launches real Azores 2013

Even more reasons to visit the enchanting archipelago – from swimming with dolphins and VIP garden visits to the islands’ first-ever five-star hotel.
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Nov. 26, 2012 - PRLog -- Leading UK specialist tour operator to the Azores, Sunvil Discovery launches its 2013 real Azores brochure. Featuring single, multi-centre and tailor-made itineraries to all nine of the mid-Atlantic islands (Sao Miguel, Santa Maria, Terceira, Sao Jorge, Graciosa, Pico, Faial, Flores and Corvo), Sunvil adds several new properties for 2013 - including the Azores’ first-ever five-star hotel – as well as new activities and a new guided tour that’s sure to set horticulturalists’ hearts racing.


•Set on the ocean front in Terceira’s historic capital, Angra do Heroismo, the Hotel Angra Marina’s five-star status (page 30) is sure to appeal to ‘away from it all’ enthusiasts who also appreciate top-notch facilities. Recently opened, this ultra-modern hotel promises light and airy interiors, luxurious contemporary décor and lovely Atlantic views. There’s also a swimming pool, a wonderful spa offering hydrotherapy treatments, a sophisticated restaurant and a piano bar.
Price is from £987 pp*.

•Providing an ideal base from which to explore the stunning volcanic island of Pico, Hotel Caravelas (page 46) offers comfortable accommodation in the heart of Madalena. Just 100 metres from the port, it’s conveniently located for ferry trips to the neighbouring islands of Faial and Sao Jorge, as well as for the selection of restaurants and bars that lie within a short walk of the hotel. Price is from £883 pp*.

•Also joining Sunvil’s selection on Pico for 2013 is A Cancela do Porco (page 48) - delightful self-catering apartments built from locally-sourced lava stones, set in a quiet and tranquil rural location with stunning views of Mount Pico, Portugal’s highest point. Enjoy well-equipped accommodation, shared use of a large outdoor swimming pool and heated Jacuzzi, as well as some fantastic sunsets! Price is from £1,052 pp*.

•The five-sided ‘Blue Island’ of Faial is home to Hotel Horta (page 52), a modern property set high on a hillside overlooking the Horta marina. A mere 15-minute walk takes hotel guests to the port, where a convivial and cosmopolitan ambience awaits thanks to Horta’s popularity as a stopover for yachtsmen travelling between the Americas and Europe. Price is from £909 pp*.


•The Azores’ largest island, Sao Miguel, offers the active traveller an array of options, from bird, dolphin and whale watching to diving and geological history tours. New for 2013, visitors can now also explore the marine attractions for which the Azores is so renowned by taking a Glass-Bottomed Boat Trip (page 21). Accompanied by two crew members, a skipper and an English-speaking guide or biologist, appreciate coastal scenery from the covered upper deck or drop to the lower, glass-bottomed deck for an up-close encounter with small fish, sea urchins and starfish. Ideal for families, the three-hour trip costs £41 pp for adults and £21 per child (aged 4-11 years).

•Explore the ‘Brown Island’ of Sao Jorge on a Jeep Tour (page 43) that’s new from Sunvil for next year. Thanks to the all-terrain appeal of these vehicles, visitors will find themselves off road for as much as possible of the adventure, travelling along old tracks, through scenic green pastures and crossing streams to see the very best of Sao Jorge’s lush interior and steep black cliff coastline.  A full-day tour by jeep costs £78 per adult and £39 per child (6-10 years) whilst half-day excursions are £46 pp and £23 pp respectively.

•Walkers will find paradise in the Azores, with each island offering ample opportunity either to explore independently, book a private guide or join a small group trip. For 2013, Sunvil has added a new guided walk on the rugged mountainous island of Pico. Prices start at £28 pp for the eight-kilometre Vinhas da Criacao Velha walk (page 49) from Porto do Calhau to Areia Larca, passing vineyards, meadows, spectacular coastline and a solitary windmill en-route.

•Swim with dolphins in the blue Atlantic waters around Faial and Pico, enjoying precious time with these most amiable of mammals in their natural environment (page 55). Common, Bottlenose, Risso and Atlantic Spotted Dolphins are regularly sighted, and swims are carefully supervised to ensure visitors’ safety as well as the wellbeing of the dolphins. Maximum group size is eight and only two people are allowed in the water at any one time. Suitable for experienced, confident swimmers only, the price is £62 per adult and £41 per child (5-12 years).


•Renowned for its spectacular natural beauty, the Azores are a must for lovers of the great outdoors. Exotic flowers grow wild here: dramatic red-leaved cannas, cerulean-hued hydrangeas and vibrant blue agapanthus abound, while fuchsias self-propagate in dry-stone walls and basalt-wall-protected vines thrive.

Inspired by the success of this year’s ‘Azorean Garden’ exhibit at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show (organised by Sunvil Discovery in partnership with the Azores Promotion Agency), Sunvil has introduced a new Garden Tour of Sao Miguel for 2013 (page 65). Departing 8 June and led by respected horticulturalist and plantsman David Sayers – author of the best-selling Bradt travel guide to the Azores – this seven-night itinerary takes garden enthusiasts from watermills, forests and botanical gardens to huge volcanic caldera and hot springs on a fascinating tour around the island. There’s privileged access to private gardens and nurseries not normally open to the public as well as the chance to visit a number of historical palace gardens.

The Sao Miguel Garden Tour costs £1,691 pp (two sharing) including direct flights with SATA International (Gatwick) to Ponta Delgada, seven nights’ half board at two three-star hotels, five lunches with drinks (in local restaurants or picnics), transfers, guided excursions, and the services of a local guide and of David Sayers. Single room supplement is £295 pp.

The lead-in price for a week in the Azores is from just £572 pp (two sharing), staying at the Hotel Talisman on Sao Miguel. It includes direct scheduled flights on Saturdays (Gatwick) with SATA International, transfers and seven nights’ B&B. A £20 reduction per person applies to all bookings made before 28th February 2013 (when flying direct with SATA International). Furthermore, clients departing in March, April or October 2013 have the choice of one free excursion per person, with options ranging from guided walks of Santa Maria and jeep tours of Faial to bird watching, diving or whale and dolphin spotting on Sao Miguel.  

Direct weekly SATA International flights run from Gatwick to Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel, from 30 March to 19 October 2013. Alternatively, TAP Portugal offers flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester to Ponta Delgada - via Lisbon – throughout the year. An overnight stay in Lisbon may be advisable, depending on flight times.

*Prices are based on two sharing and include direct scheduled flights, inter-island flights (if not staying only on Sao Miguel), transfers and/or car hire and accommodation on either a bed & breakfast or self-catering basis.

To order the new 2013 Sunvil Discovery Real Azores brochure, call 020 8758 4747. For further information, call 020 8758 4722 or visit

Ends / 26 November 2012

Press:   For further information and images, or to discuss a press trip commission to the Azores in 2013, please contact Karen Carpenter or Sue Ockwell at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email
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