3 DAYS, 3 ISLANDS, 3 TRAILS
Azores Triangle Adventure is a 3 stage trail running race that happens for three days in the Islands of Faial, Pico, and São Jorge, in the Azores.
Transportation between the islands is secure for the three stages.
The routes, program, and rules may change due to weather conditions.
FROM VINEYARDS TO THE MOUNTAIN
October 25th 2024
From the Vineyards to the Mountain ( FVM)
The trail “From the Vineyards to the Mountain” takes us on a journey of about 27 Km from sea level to the highest point in Portugal, Pico´s Mountain, with 2351 mt of elevation. The trail starts at the Madalena village harbor in the direction of the “Lajido” of Criação Velha, the heart of Pico´s Vineyard Protected Landscape, classified in 2004 by UNESCO as World Heritage. The basalt stone walls that protect the vines from the wind and the salty water make this a unique place in the World and create a scenario of rare beauty where man and nature coexist in perfect harmony. Have we passed by the vineyards planted in the basalt fields, it is possible to watch micro-reliefs characteristic of recent effusive volcanism, whose geologic importance classifies it as one of the geosites of Azores Geopark.
As the altitude increases on the way to the mountain, the vineyards give place to the “maroiços,” huge piles of rocks forming magnificent sculptures. These were made to store the excess rocks on the floor, so it was possible to plant several different types of plants and trees.
A little bit above it starts to appear green pastures mixed with volcanic cones and lava tubes, where the cows quietly graze during the entire year and where we can contemplate the mountain getting closer and always different, sometimes with the color changing, cloudy or cloudless or even covered with snow.
By reaching the foothills of the mountain, around 1 200mt high, we enter a Nature Reserve of the Nature Park of Pico and also a geosite of Azores Geopark and a Special Conservation Zone of the 2000 Nature Network. From here, the slope inclination quickly starts to increase, and many typical underbrush species from the Alpine and Sub-Alpine habitats are covered by snow for long periods. Reaching the top of the mountain at 2250mt high and where the first stage ends, we found the crater of Pico, an old lava field with a small peak inside. With good weather conditions, it offers us a breathtaking landscape, and it´s possible to see all the islands of the Azores Central Group.
São Jorge Island
October 26th 2024
Fajãs Trail ( FT)
“Fajãs” are the elements that give the singularity and the peculiar aspect of the São Jorge Island shorelines. They are small pieces of flat land between the mountains and the sea. They result from the collapse of material that accumulates on the foothills of the shore or by the cooling of lava that reaches the water.
Each of these “Fajãs” is unique, and this trail is prepared to contemplate and allow contact with all of them in different aspects.
The trail, with about 27 Km, starts at the most ancient volcanic complex of the island at the São Tomé parish. Initially, it passes through some of the “Fajãs” of the South coast where the yam, banana, and coffee are cultivated (it´s one of the few places in Europe with coffee production due to favorable microclimates). The trail follows to the top of the hill and descends into the “Fajãs” of the North coast, like the Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo, one the most popular tourist sites of the island, a privileged spot for surfing. The Fajãs of the Caldeira de Santo Cristo and Cubres are also internationally recognized as Ramsar Sites due to their aesthetic and landscape value and these two unique lagoons in the Archipelago. This second stage ends at the Fajã dos Cubres near a small chapel.
October 27th 2024
Volcanoes Trail (VT)
With about 33 Km, the Volcanoes Trail starts and finishes in the youngest piece of Portugal, the Capelinhos volcano, where you feel you are on another planet. Here, it´s possible to walk on a terrain formed by ashes, tuff, and volcanic bombs 58 years old. The start line is at sea level in the “Comprido´s” port, the most important and biggest whaling station of the Azores between 1940 and 1957, when the volcano started its eruption.
The trail rises through the peninsula of Capelo and crosses ten sleeping volcanoes, entering the “Levada,” considered the most significant hydraulic engineering work of the 1960s decade in the Azores. After 9 Km passing through bridges and tunnels of this artificial and spectacular water channel, there´s the arrival to the Caldeira of Faial, one of the most spectacular volcanic caldera on the planet. After making a part of its perimeter, it descends through a rough single track to the parish of Praia do Norte, pacing through Fajã beach and returning to the Capelinhos Volcano.