An excellent trip with cycling around Lake Furnas, observing the geothermal cooking, swimming in... read more
An excellent trip with cycling around Lake Furnas, observing the geothermal cooking, swimming in... read more
Picked up from our accommodation with bikes in toe and transported to the crater lake for an easy... read more
Beatriz and her father were very helpful. Can recommend the gentle cycling along the coast from Ponta Delgrade.
We spent 8 days on San Miguel. This was by far our worst day due to the poor organization of the operator. The bikes were poorly maintained: gears jammed, chain came off numerous times, had uneven breaks, and one missing a water bottle holder. Our itinerary stated the tour included a route map and a snack which we did not get. When we asked about the map the driver just gave us the standard tourist map with only the highways marked. When we reviewed the map with him and asked how to get to our collection point, he said "just follow the coast." Needless to say, we struggled to bike up even the slightest hill due to being unable to change gears and got lost which caused some momentary tension in the group. Luckily we found some nice people who were willing to call the driver. When he picked us up, all he gave as an explanation was that he was just the middle man... Not impressed. The rest of our experiences on the island was wonderful and we are thankful that the people are so nice to guests.
The itinerary with the tour description was in the same envelope has the normal map provided in the tour. I personally check that when we were packaging the bicycles in the Van. Regarding the bicycles all of them went from our maintenance and even before that they were rented to other clients with any complain. Its is important to see that when you ride in sinuous roads you need to change the gear carefully otherwise the chain will get loose. Unfortunately we don't have plain roads. nevertheless, will double check the bicycles. Kind regards,
Rent a bike Team.
Beatriz - manager
An excellent trip with cycling around Lake Furnas, observing the geothermal cooking, swimming in the iron rich pools and breathtaking scenery. Dina was superb in helping us to choose great bikes and picking us up later than the scheduled time.
Many thanks for your review! Will be always welcome again.
Picked up from our accommodation with bikes in toe and transported to the crater lake for an easy day exploring. Enough to keep teenage boys interested with lake, guizers and best of all the botanical gardens in furnas with hot pool. Town of furnas is tiny and very pretty. Lovely day and thank you dena for looking after us and providing bikes, map, guide and basic lunch
Pickup at our place. Drove up to the volcano in a Landrover Defender pickup truck with bikes. Rafael, our guide, was
I'm Very glad that you enjoyed your Slef-guided bike tour! We are always looking to provide a great biking experience in our landscapes and lagoons views.
Thanks for your kindness.
The service provided by bike azores was great, and we had a great experience riding them around the island. We returned home in great shape ;). Definately an experience to repeat.
Thank you Claire for your review and recommendation.
See you next time,
The bike was delivered to the Hotel on time and collected on time when arranged. They also added lights to the bike to ensure visibility as the weather was not too good . The bike was good and got me around the resort and the north of the island.
We rented bikes from a very informative young man who gave us great directions and great travel tips for the city. Our bike ride took us on a lovely bike path to some beautiful black sand beaches. We were also were given a recommendation to a restaurant on our route. We were a bit nervous but bikes and pedestrians are given the right of way. It was a great way to spend the afternoon!
We rented 2 bikes for one week. It was a very friendly service and the bikes came on time. We can recommend this company
I rented a bike for 11 days. I was staying in an apartment but wanted the convenience of having a bike the entire time to go out for rides whenever i wanted. I gave this company a call and arranged to meet them the next day at 10am in their office in Lagoa. This was convenient for me as i could choose and test the bike, but they also offered to deliver to Villa Franca if i wanted. Pedro met me on time and was very friendly and spoke excellent English. He helped me select a bike, gave me all the emergency equipment i needed and even took the time to mark up a map of not only areas to ride, but also general things to see on the Island and some good restaurants. I went for their specialized bike with mechanical disc brakes and was glad i did, the hills are big here. The bike performed perfectly for the entire time.
Regarding cycling here, i'm from the UK and so i'm used to sharing the road with cars and don't get too freaked out. If you're from a bike friendly country/city with cycle lanes and dedicated road shoulders you could find cycling here a bit nerve wrecking. The cars a generally okay but the farmers and trade truck do tend to pass too close. I found the best way was to not ride in the gutter but stay a couple of feet out and it encourages them to move over completely to the other lane to overtake.
There is plenty of off road riding here, but most is probably safer as part of a group. The route around the top of Sete Cidades is just superb and is fine to do alone. Make sure you cycle anti-clockwise around the rim as all the steep climbs will be on tarmac and concrete and all the downhills on long sweeping gravel roads.
The hills are long and steep in places so check out the maps before you plan a route. I use online route planning software which gives all the elevations and grades and on the trails i mostly used an offline google map which worked great. The road signs can be a little hard to follow on the bike as they always want to take you on the 'speedway' (motorway/freeway) so google saved me a lot of wrong turns.
All in i can recommend this company and cycling around Sao Miguel, it's a beautiful island and you get to see it properly on a bike.
I highly advise against using this company. My husband and I used them for a self-guided tour of Lagoa do Fogo – Caldeira Velha – Ribeira Grande – Porto Formoso. We also requested to have Mulher do Capote added to the route. After being told they would send us the revised route, it took 6 weeks and at least 5-6 requests to actually get the map. This wasn’t a big deal as we did receive the map prior to our trip, but should have been a red flag for the professionalism of the company. Another problem occurred when we booked the trip originally. We received our travel/confirmation voucher, and I happened to double check it and noticed they booked us for a different date. I emailed them and had them correct it. Closer to the date of our tour, I emailed to double check they had the correct date and everything was set. I was then told they didn’t have anyone available for the date we had booked, and they requested we switch to another date, which wasn’t possible. When we told them no, they decided they would find someone to take us on the originally promised date. All of this was confusing, an inconvenience, and disappointing from a company. However, compared to the tour itself, minor.
On the date of the tour, the company did pick us up on time, so that is one positive. The driver told us that is was very foggy at Lagoa do Fogo, the starting point. He suggested we begin at the last stop on the tour, Porto Formoso, and work our way backwards. He said this is usually the ending point, but we could simply switch routes. Since no other warnings were given, we assumed this would be fine and said okay. What he failed to mention was the reason for Lagoa do Fogo being the start point. It is on the top of a mountain and by starting at the end point, nearly the entire route of the 24 km+ trail would now be uphill and very very steep on most sections. When we questioned the route from Caldeira Velha to Lagoa do Fogo, we were told “it’s not too bad, not too steep” and were told we could call if that portion got too bad. With 30+ minutes to explain the implications of switching the routes, we were not given the slightest hint that the end to the start route would be much more difficult. Also, after being dropped off, we realized we were not given an emergency kit as promised. Luckily, we didn’t need it. We also were not required to sign our contract in advance (e.g., saying the company isn’t liable for injury) which is a very bad business practice. We spent the next several hours attempting to make the trip. We made it as far as Ribeira Grande and then attempted to ride to the next stop at Caldeira Velha. We made it only 2.7 km, as it was straight up hill. I think you would have to be Lance Armstrong to make it up this route, especially on a mountain bike. We are young (27, 30) and very fit and had no chance. To get to Caldeira Velha would have been another 4+ km and to Lagoa do Fogo another 8+ km from the place we stopped, again all very steep uphill. We were beyond frustrated at this point that we expected a nice, but challenging bike ride, and had gotten an impossible route with no forewarning. We called Beatrix (or something like that), who is supposed to be the owner, to request a pick-up. I explained how we were upset that we were not given any explanation about the difficulty of switching the order, and she was very rude and said our driver must have told us and we didn’t listen (not true). When the driver arrived (timely, maybe 20 minutes later), we again tried to explain to him that we were very upset about this experience. He laughed and smiled and said “I told you so.” He never once said it would be more difficult at all, and he finally conceded this point that he hasn’t told us, but then said “we should have figured it out.” I’m not sure how we were supposed to know this. He drove us to the next two stops, but at that point, we had difficulty enjoying the visits. The driver did finally feel bad for our experience and acknowledged that the trip he told us to go on was very difficult and a trail he couldn’t bike either, and did apologize at that point. He also took us to a pineapple plantation to visit because he felt bad, which was a nice gesture, but unfortunately didn’t make up for the poor day. The company’s main consolation to us was that if we were tired we could have called to be picked up earlier. That is very true. Unfortunately, we paid a lot of money for the trip and wanted to visit the places on bike by ourselves, not as part of a Jeep Tour that we could have paid for as a different trip and much cheaper. Overall, the experience was very poor and ruined our day, which of our entire trip was the most expensive activity.
Finally, unrelated to the company, but things you should consider if biking in Sao Miguel:
1.Roads are very dangerous (at least the ones we were on) – there is typically no shoulder or a very small one with people driving easily 2x the speed limit with little regard to the safety of bikers or pedestrians.
2.Street signs are minimal, if present at all. Can be very difficult to find your way.
The opinions of our costumers are always an opportunity to improve our service level. Regarding what went wrong, because we agree that tourists are not familiar with the place, we are now going to add at our self-guided bike tours brochure, useful and technical information: fitness and technical level from 1 to 5; ascent/descent information; altimeter graphic; and the Portuguese legislation for on-road use.
HOWEVER in this review there are several declarations about our company integrity that need to be clarify:
LEGAL & CONDITIONS: We are a certified company by the local government. We provide insure “Liberty company" for the Self-guided tours costumers. Besides this, before the tour or bike rental we give the contract for costumer reading and signing. It is also available in our website for previous reading. This case was not a exception.
BOOKING: Jennifer gave us two possible dates to book the tour. It was regarding this information that we send the voucher and suggested to change the date.
SECURITY: We provide a mobil phone from where the costumers can Call any time. We also provide a SOS Kit for tire change with a small pump, extra tubes and tools. Along with the helmets and ride book we provided the bag of SOS Kit.
RIDE BOOK: We always give the opportunity for our costumers to add some touristic points that they want to visit in the Self-guided bike tours. We changed several e-mails to settle the final road book. Has always, we provided the official road map of the island, the ride book with the tour description, main spots and road map. In this case we also provided the interactive google maps tour with the de description of the main spots.
The relationship with our costumers is based on honesty and we are always looking forward to provide a cycling experience, because we believe that is is one of the best way to feel the nature of our island.
Regarding the Cycling activity is the Islands:
- Portugal has a new legislation regarding the cyclist safety on road.
- We have already several costumers that have the different opinion about the safety on roads that you can read the others reviews.
- Our previous riders, that made all island by themselves, including the roads of the Self-guided tour Lagoa do Fogo never talk about the lack of signs. But I believe that some people are not used to ride side road with cars, and not all the Island have Bicycle exclusive way.
- In some parts of the island there is exclusive way for bicycles. The advantage of doing by bike is that you can also visit some places and trails inaccessible by car.
Even though from this review, and if sometime you return to São Miguel Island I hope to make up for anything that went part wrong!