Jason and I arrived this morning in The Azores, specifically Sao Miguel Island, after an overnight flight. After leaving our luggage at the hotel (it was too early to get our room) we went exploring the central area of the north coast. I got us lost a lot so we ended up driving up mountains at some points and then through towns on really narrow streets. Eventually we made it to the tea plantation, which was where we had chosen to spend a bit of time while we waited for our room to be ready.
They have two major tea plantations on the island, we chose to visit the free one which is still an active factory (the other is more of a museum I think.) The one we saw, Gorreana, is only one of three places in Europe that grows and produces tea. Though they have only been doing it since the late 1800s.
Besides checking out the factory, we did a hike through the tea fields (elevation gain of over 200m in 30 minutes gave me some Inca flashbacks.) The trail system here is incredible! Great maps and trail markers:
Amazing Trail Map And Markers
Gorreana, Sao Miguel, Azores
Photos by Jason
The main tourism website actually lists all the hiking trails and lets you search by length, difficulty, and shape. Unfortunately this one through the tea fields is the only loop-style easy trail under 5km. Looks like our next few hikes will be harder, and I didn't find this one particularly easy! However, the lack of sleep may have played a part, luckily our room was ready in the early afternoon and I could nap to catch up on sleep.