Bridge Holiday in the Azores

Prices from £649


3 Feb 2018 - 17 Feb 2018
Duration: 7 OR 14 nights half board excl. flights
Ref: 18009
With: Nigel Durie


Prices from £649
Single Supplement: £15 per night
Deposit: £150

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Prices listed below are per person excl. flights.

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The scenery in the Azores is really quite incredible, due to the maritime subtropical climate that ensures temperatures remain quite moderate all year round. The description of the Azores reads:

“Mother nature created a land full of natural beauty ready to be explored in the blue immensity of the Atlantic Ocean” - and it is very apt!

With: Nigel & Pauline Durie

We stay on the island of Sao Miguel - “The Green Island”, and at 62 kms long and 15.8 kms wide it is the largest island in the archipelago. There are some wonderful optional tours available during our stay. Not to be missed is the tour to Furnas nestling in one of the volcanic craters and surrounded by green valleys. Visit the hot springs spouting boiling water and medicinal mud in Furnas Village, and walk around the lake and see the volcanic fumaroles that are authentic natural kitchens and where the locals cook the famous Cozido das Caldeiras by burying their pots in the volcanic earth. The Parque Terra Nostra has been voted one of the most spectacular botanical gardens in the world, and as well as boasting an endless display of exotic plants and vegetation you can bathe in the hot outdoor geothermal swimming pool. On every drive across the island there seems to be a viewpoint around every corner - green lakes, blue lakes, Fire Lake Mountain, flowers from the season, tea and pineapple plantations and simply endless photo opportunities.

We stay in the historic capital, Ponta Delgada, which is surprisingly very cosmopolitan, and boasts some really good shopping and eateries in the town and on the waterfront. It also has some interesting buildings and botanical gardens inside its city gates, and it is a very safe and easy city to enjoy with friendly locals keen to welcome visitors to their island.

Our hotel, the Royal Azoris Gardens, is ideally located just a short stroll from shops and restaurants in the heart of Ponta Delgada. We have also chosen this hotel not just because of its superb position, but because it has delightful spacious lounges and a Japanese Garden, making it a lovely place to relax and get to know your new bridge friends - as well as excellent bridge facilities of course!

Weather will be unpredictable - it is said you can experience four seasons in one day so do go prepared for some rain. That is why the country is so lush and green. In February the average temperature is 10 - 16C with 6 hours sun per day.


During your duplicate bridge holidays nothing is obligatory, you can play in as many or as few bridge sessions as you wish. Our bridge programmes will vary according to the length of your break and in addition to playing bridge, we will always endeavour to provide a minimum of two bridge seminars for breaks of 7 days or more.

All First for Bridge holidays include bridge tuition and seminars with a varied and interesting duplicate bridge programme. Duplimated boards will be used every evening to ensure fairness and consistency. Bridge hand records will be provided.

Your duplicate bridge will usually be available twice daily, at 2.30pm and 7.45pm. The afternoon sessions usually finish between 4.45pm and 5pm, the evenings between 10.45pm - 11.15pm. The afternoons are normally given over to open pairs/teams. We endeavour to vary the evening sessions, with a balance between teams and pairs, with at least one Swiss style event during a two-week bridge break.

During all evening sessions, we utilise a duplimate machine, which means we are able to produce hand record sheets at the end of the session and when we have two or more sections, both can play the same hands. On our UK duplicate bridge breaks, provided numbers allow, we usually will lay on an "Early Bird" afternoon session on the day of arrival.

We don’t forget you are on holiday, our bridge programmes allow time for relaxation plus giving you plenty of opportunity to explore the surrounding area and relax.

View an example of a one week holiday >>
View an example of a 10 day holiday >>
View an example of a two week holiday >>


Twin/double share:
03 Feb 2018 - 7 nights: £649
03 Feb 2018 - 14 nights: £1199
10 Feb 2018 - 7 nights: £649

Single supplement:
£15 per room per night

Upgrade to executive room:
£28 per room per night

Upgrade to junior suite (twin only):
£50 per room per night

Upgrade to senior suite (double):
£175 per room per night

*Please note we have 30 single occupancy rooms available for this holiday. Our wonderful spacious bridge room will be limited to 25 tables maximum.


  • Return airport transfers
  • Welcome cocktail
  • 7 or 14 nights’ accommodation on half board basis
  • Porterage
  • Drink package with dinner - local red or white wine, beer, juice, water, tea or coffee
  • Participation in the full bridge programme including seminars
  • Masterpoints and prizes awarded
  • Events as specified


Direct flights are available with Ryan Air from Stansted to Ponta Delgada on Saturdays for 7 or 14 night durations. At the time of the holiday going on sale prices start from only £173 return including hold luggage.


There are also 4 or 5 daily flights between Ponta Delgada and Lisbon with Air Portugal and Ryan Air starting from just under £100 return including baggage. It is possible to take a flight to Lisbon from many regional UK airports including all London Airports, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Bristol. You can connect the same day or choose to add a stop over in Lisbon if you prefer?

Flight time from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes, and the transfer to the Royal Azoris Gardens Hotel from the airport is just 10 minutes. Therefore it is no problem to accommodate different night durations within our two week holiday if required.

We can arrange Bed and Breakfast at the conveniently situated 5 * REAL PALACIO HOTEL.

Whilst bridge will not be available in Lisbon, you may prefer to stay at a hotel where you may have the company of other bridge players. Taxis from the airport would not exceed 15 euros each way.

Please see link for details of the 5 * REAL PALACIO HOTEL >>

The Azoris Royal Garden Hotel

The Azoris Royal Garden Hotel is one of the best located hotels on San Miguel - just a 10 minute stroll into the heart of Ponta Delgada. The hotel boasts very pleasant, spacious lounges with an Asian theme overlooking the Zen Garden, bordered by the Restaurante Jardim on one side, and an indoor pool and hot tub on the other side, making it an ideal place to relax between the bridge sessions.


All rooms are spacious, comfortable with modern furnishings and decorated in neutral colours.

  • Free WIFI with free digital access to Press Reader App with over 500 UK newspapers and magazines available to view
  • Cable TV with local and international channels
  • Full bathroom with hairdryer, & selection of toiletries. Rooms have a low bathtub with a shower attachment
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning/heating

All double occupancy rooms have a balcony and most overlook the Zen Garden. Some double for sole use rooms have floor to ceiling windows with opening door instead of a balcony and they overlook the outdoor pool and gardens.


These rooms are TWIN BEDDED and are the same size as standard rooms, approx. 28m2, but are mainly located at the front of the building where rooms on the third floor and above offer sea views, but some executive rooms also have garden views. They offer special amenities such as bath robe & slippers, and fresh fruit on arrival. The supplement is £28 per room per night.


Junior suites are approximately 47m2 and overlook the Zen Garden. All have twin beds, balcony and two bathrooms and the additional special amenities listed above. Supplement is £50 per room per night.


Senior suites are approximately 74m2 and located on the 3rd and 4th floor with sea views. They have a living room, king size bed, foyer, two bathrooms and extra special amenities listed. The supplement is £175 per room per night.


There is a separate breakfast room overlooking the Japanese style garden in the central courtyard, and also a coffee shop and a piano bar.

Leisure facilities include an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room, tennis court, small gym, hairdressers, and a wellness centre that offers a range of treatments for a charge.