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Wildflowers hugging the roadside, a climb high above a volcanic lake, a local fish eatery a stone’s throw from the Atlantic, a round of beers in a narrow-cobblestone village.

These are a handful of the memories at the center of my heart as I recall the magical week with inGamba in the Azores.

Sometimes, the best expectations are no expectations, and that is what I can say about how I felt heading to the Azores. I think it can be very special to arrive in a place for the first time with no “image” embedded in your mind of what you’d be arriving to, and this is how I felt about arriving in Ponta Delgada on the island of São Miguel.

As we descended above the waters of the Atlantic, it was quite the moment to pull up the window shade in the airplane to see a land of rolling emerald green, dotted with white-washed villages and all with the backdrop against the enormity of the surrounding ocean.

For the many days following that genuinely beautiful arrival, our group circumnavigated the island of São Miguel by land and water. The first two days were filled with lush hikes, gin and tonics, and whale-watching trips as we bonded before the riding began.

Then, as the inGamba trip started in earnest, we continued our exploration with rides along a snakelike road that hugs the island, up a handful of climbs with rewards of majestic views of volcanic lakes, stops in beautiful villages that had a genuine sense of seaside culture and roads that had endless stretches of wildflowers of so many varieties and colors that made it too difficult to comment on which section was the most lovely.

At a moment when I didn’t want one of the daily rides to end, I asked our guides, Sergio and Rui, if it’d be possible for our group to stop in a village not two kilometers away from our official finish for a beer at a local spot. Sure enough, the group felt it was a good idea, and we pulled over and sat on the stairs in the center of town having a round of mini Super Bocks.

We sat facing the sun, the Atlantic just beyond us, on a set of stairs with a handful of locals overlooking the tiny seaside village. It was that afternoon that seemed to be the cherry on top of what was truly an incredible week of so much discovery. In packing for the trip, at the last moment, I grabbed one of our inGamba cards that reads “I haven’t been Everywhere, but it’s on my list.” I’m so happy I did that because it’s how I felt about the Azores experience.

Keep Everywhere on your list. But be sure it includes the Azores.


Would you like to find out more about what our different destinations can offer? You can book a call with our team now and get some personal advice on the best inGamba adventure for you.

Katie Bolling

Katie loves all aspects of the Mangia, Bici, Beve life, and the likeliest place you'll catch her is somewhere in the sun with a beer in hand following a bike ride. Having been part of the inGamba team for six years, she has been to nearly all destinations and trips that inGamba offers. Katie finds a lot of joy in bringing our community together and helping to create lifelong bonds. While on trips, you can frequently see her stopping to take photos of the group or bringing beers to her fellow travelers after a ride. But she also knows how to climb. If you don't believe us, ask the boss.