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Trail Run Azores | The Whalers' Great Route

Faial Island, Azores

Faial Island, Portugal

Sat 17th September 2022 - Fri 23rd September 2022

1 race



We are taking bookings for departures into 2021 and beyond into 2022, but understand anyone considering travel will likely have additional concerns and questions.

During uncertain times, flexibility and confidence can be invaluable, and we understand you might be apprehensive when it comes to booking a trail running adventure right now.

So, we wanted to outline our assurances for all new and existing bookings:

FULLY REFUNDABLE DEPOSITS - On all new bookings. For all new bookings we have now included a six-week cooling off period which begins after the day your book with us. What that means is that your initial deposit is fully-refundable in the event that you change your mind, no questions asked.

Once the six-week cooling off period has ended your deposit payment then comes in line with our existing terms and conditions which states that deposit payments made are non-refundable in the event of cancellation by yourself.

FLEXIBLE CHANGES - For all bookings, we’re allowing you to flexibly change to any other future departure (dependent on availability) using existing monies paid as credit. We are also reducing the number of days’ notice we ask for before your departure for you to make changes, down from 90 days to 45 days. This means you can change your trip, for any reason, up to 45 days before your scheduled departure date. No hassle, no questions asked and no charge. If you choose to amend your booking, you can select any new destination or departure date.

FINANCIAL PROTECTION - All customers booking with Pure Trails Adventure are fully financial protected in the unlikely event of financial failure by the company. When you book your adventure with us you are covered by the Travel Regulation Insolvency Protection. What that means is that your holiday with us is financially safe, secure and water tight with 100% protection and no additional cost.

TRIP POSTPONEMENT - As a travel company based in the UK, we follow The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). If they advise against ‘all but essential travel’ or ‘all travel’ to a destination, we’ll postpone or amend itineraries in accordance with this advice. If your running adventure is affected as a result of these changes, one of our team will contact you directly. If we need to postpone your trip for any other reason, we’ll be in touch with you as soon as we can.

Please, rest assured, though – if your trip is postponed, for any reason, you will still get the running adventure you paid for, on a date that suits you and this will remain 100% financially protected.

Pure Trails Adventure has provided covid-19 safety information for this event.

Organiser's Description

Join us on this amazing trail running adventure as we journey to the Azores, and spend 7 days running between two idyllic islands located in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, heading through lush forests, volcanic beaches and majestic scenery every step of the way.

We’ll be based on the pretty island of Faial, where we’ll run a range of wonderful trails including a crossing of the island as we follow the ancient Whalers Great Route and the 10 Volcanoes trails.

On the adventure we also spend a day running/hiking a 10k trail which takes us to the summit of Mount Pico on the neighbouring island of Pico. We’ll also spend an afternoon whale watching, with our final day mountain biking to balance our trail running days, and to ensure we make the most of discovering the island.


  • Deposit for One Person


    £697.50 - 1st Payment Due 17 March; £697.50 - Final Payment Due 17 June



  • Deposit for One Person


    £697.50 - 1st Payment Due 17 March; £697.50 - Final Payment Due 17 June

What's Included

4 days fully guided trail running on the idyllic volcanic islands of Faial and Pico

6 nights accommodation at a 4-star wellness hotel

All local transportation and transfers

Cultural sightseeing

Most meals (excludes 2-evening meals and some lunches)

Ferry boat rides between islands

Whale watching

Mountain bike tour

Max 12 runners


International flights

Beverages and snacks

Personal equipment

Personal bills

Travel Insurance - REQUIRED before the trips departure for cancellation, accidents, health and emergency evacuation, loss, theft or damage to baggage or personal effects.


Detailed itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival into Faial

Arriving into Horta International Airport (HOR) make your way through to the arrivals hall and the Pure Trails Team will be waiting to meet you.

It’s a very short 10-minute transfer to our hotel in the beautiful little city of Horta.

Check-in and relax into your room with some time to get to know the rest of our trail running group. With time available we will head out to do an easy run (approx. 10km) around this beautiful coastal town.

Back at the hotel there is time to relax before we have a group dinner with a briefing about our running days ahead of us.


Day 2 - Climb Mount Pico

Distance: Approx. 10km

Ascent: 1,100 m

Our day today is set for us to climb to the summit of Mount Pico - Portugal’s highest peak (2,351m) and one of the highest peaks in the Atlantic ocean,

After breakfast we’ll transfer to the nearby port to take a ferry across to the neighbouring island of Pico where on arrival we start from the trail head.

We’ll be trail running/hiking around 10km+ which will take us around 3 - 4 hours to reach the crater with lots of stops along the way to take in the gorgeous views.

From the summit you can see the five islands of the Azores archipelago.

Our return gives us the much easier option of running down the mountain trails, towards the ferry port and back to our hotel in Faial to relax and recover after a beautiful day,


Day 3 - Coast to Coast Trail Running

Distance: Approx. 36km

Ascent: 2,300m

After a good breakfast, we get our trail running gear sorted as we head towards the western point of Faial to begin our coast to coast trail run of the island.

This extraordinary run takes us along the ancient Great Whalers Route and the 10 Volcanoes trail as we run by black volcanic beaches, caves, craters, lush forests and ridges. This is truly an epic day.

The trail reaches an altitude of 1000m as it passes the volcanic caldera, flowing ‘down hill’ for the majority of the second leg of the journey as we work our way through sleepy fishing towns and villages, we arrive into Horta for an evening to rest and relax in the hotels wellness facilities.


Day 4 - The Mounts Trail & Whale Watching

Distance: 12km

Ascent: 400m

We have an easier day planned today where we head out this morning on a circular trail run between the Montes da Guia and Queimado with sightseeing along the way. All along the trail there are several fortifications from the islands ancient maritime history. We’ll also swing by some of the old spots in Horta to learn more about their history.

After lunch we then head out on a whale watching excursion. The Azores currently has one of the world’s largest whale sanctuaries and we’ll spend a couple of hours looking out for populations of sperm and fin whales, as well as bottle nose dolphins.

Back to our hotel in Horta with the rest of the day at our leisure.


Day 5 - Running the Capelo Peninsula

Distance: 18km

Ascent: 530m

Today we have a beautiful trail running day planned where we run around the Capelo peninsula, Varadouro and Praia do Norte.

The route begins in the village of Ribeirinha which is a spectacular area known for it’s geosites in the Archipelago. We then head to the natural pools of Varadouro where we will take advantage of a cool dip in the atlantic, before finally hitting the black sand beaches of Praia do Norte.

We’ll spend the rest of the afternoon at our leisure to relax on the beach.


Day 6 - Mountain Biking the Eastern Island

Distance: 4 -5 hours of Mountain Biking (including stops)

Taking a break from trail running today we’ll pack up our gear for a mountain bike tour which takes us across the island.

We’ll leave directly from our hotel and finish at the Capelinhos Volcano which we visited by foot a few days before.

It’s an easy ride, using mostly dirt roads and a few single track segments. We’ll head out at a nice pace which aids the recovery of our legs from the running throughout the week.

The excursion finishes with time to relax and swim at the beach before we head back by group transfer to our hotel.

With time to relax, we will have a final farewell dinner to celebrate an extraordinary week toasting with bottles of beer and wine.


Day 7 - Homeward Bound

It’s time to pack up and bid farewell to your new found trail running friends and our local team.

We’ll be arranging transfers back to Horta International Airport (HOR) to tie in with your onward international flights back home.



We specialise in arranging excellent trail running holidays, but do not book International flights. There a great variety of flights departing from all over the world to Horta International Airport (HOR) which transit via Lisbon.

We will discuss with you about our trusted and recommended ways to book international flights through excellent ATOL protected partners who offer great value, ease of service and flight protection.


British citizens do not need a visa to visit Portugal.


Being a group of max. 12 runners with a mixture of ages and running abilities we may decide to split into flexible groups, all of which will be supported by our running guides who will travel with us on the trip.

By splitting the group will allow us all to move more fluidly, allowing all team members to run at their own comfortable pace, without feeling pressured.


You can expect everything from hilly - forested trails, inclusive of our longest day where we will run 35km+ as we follow the 10 Volcanoes trail and cross the island of Faial.

The Azores are a wild and remote archipelago located in the North Atlantic that is characterised by wonderful landscapes, fishing villages, mountain trails, lagoons, and luscious green pastures. Typically the trails are hard packed that gets rockier on our summit day when we head to Mount Pico.

The terrain is undulating and includes some steep up hill sections which we walk, as well as some steeper down hill sections at times.

We have some back to back days where we trail run relatively longer distances which you will need to prepare for.


In September we expect long, warm days with blue skies and temperatures to sit comfortably around 20 degrees C. It’s a mild climate year round, but being in the North Atlantic unpredictable weather can come it at anytime of year and there is always a chance of rain and wind.

Course Details


Moderate graded trail runs normally follow on well established trails and route at lower altitudes which are generally lower than 1,500m. Some of the trails will involve some short, steep ascents. Previous experience is not essential.

Approximate details:

Total Distance: approx. 76 km

Total Running Days: 4 Days

Lowest Elevation: 4m

Highest Elevation: 2,276m

Elevation Gain: + 4,330m

The daily distances and itinerary may change according to local weather conditions and the groups condition.


Amazing trail running in the remote islands of Faial and Pico as we follow the ancient Great Whalers Route and the 10 Volcanoes Trail

Spend the day climbing to the summit of Mount Pico & experience amazing Whale Watching

Relax at a beautiful 4* wellness hotel surrounded by the blue of the North Atlantic. (Single supplement avaIlable.)

Azoris Faial Garden Hotel


A beautiful 4-star hotel overlooking the harbour with stunning views of Mount Pico and the Atlantic ocean.

It’s a relaxed hotel, surrounded by gardens and within a 5-minute walk from the centre of the tour. Combining comfy rooms and wellness facilities (complete with sauna, spa and Jacuzzi) it makes it a perfect base for us on our trail running journey.

Single supplement available


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Faial Island, Azores


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