AZORES ISLAND EXPLORER
This holiday is an opportunity to spend equal amounts of time at sea with the Dolphins and Whales and exploring this stunning volcanic island.
Sao Miguel Island, Azores
Prices £627 to £830 pp
Prices based on 2 adults sharing a room. Scroll down for prices and accommodation options.
Year round 7 night holidays – option to stay for more/less than 7 nights – arrive/depart any day of the week.
- Full day geothermal tour to Furnas (includes swimming in hot thermal pools and lunch cooked underground!)
- 2 half day whale and dolphin watching trips to sea
- Half day to Sete Cidades lakes adventure centre (kayak, SUP or cycling)
- Talks and presentations from local marine biologists
- Choose from our accommodation options (4****, budget, boutique/5*****)
- All airport transfers included
The Azores are one of the world’s top destinations to see whales and dolphins: Blue Whales; Humpback Whales; Fin Whales and 7 species of super pods of up to 200 dolphins, however, did you know that the Azores are also bubbling with geo thermal activity, awash with lakes and adorned on all sides by mountains?
This exciting escorted adventure takes you into the interior of the island, our local guide will take you on day trips of discovery to the truly fascinating geysers, bubbling with the geo thermal activity that created these islands in the middle of the Atlantic ocean over 20 million years ago, enjoy time on the lakes where you can kayak and try your hand at Stand Up Paddle boarding, as well as experiencing seeing whales and dolphins at sea in their natural habitat.
Your will stay in our superb accommodation and have free time to relax by the pool, don hiking boots or take a ride around the island. Additional sea voyages are also available. Leaving no stone unturned the variation of activities on this holiday will keep your engaged and excited at all times, making memories for you all to enjoy for a long time to come.
“One of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins”
The Azores archipelago is renowned as one of the best places to see dolphins and whales in the wild. Throughout the year, March to October being the best time to visit for abundant sightings and diversity of species.
The temperate spring waters of the Gulf Stream create a phytoplankton bloom attracting a unique gathering of huge, ravenous blue, fin and humpback whales, the largest baleen whales on the planet. These whales migrate past the islands and can be seen in April, May and June, close to land as they stop to feed on their way to the northern Atlantic. This is one of natures great events, the whale equivalent of an all you can eat buffet – this is why we call it the “Gulp Stream”.
The whale numbers and sightings seem to be increasing around the Azores, as are the super pods of various species of dolphins riding in the bow wave of the boat and leaping and twirling with joy.
All our trips are with responsible operators who have sensitivity and respect for the wellbeing of the whales and dolphins. The ethos on the Islands is to preserve the natural environment and develop responsible and sustainable tourism that contributes to conservation.
“We were on the cat and a huge gasp went up from everyone on board; a fin whale had swum in front of the boat and opened its mouth out of the water to feed. It was only a split second but that sight is engraved on my memory.” Margaret Merris May 2018
You will be accompanied by our expert local guides and marine biologists who love to share their extensive knowledge on the whales and dolphins you’ll meet – what they don’t know isn’t worth knowing.
Our whale-watching company has a research base offering a wealth of information and resources and it is possible to learn about the many research projects being conducted around the Azores. Our boat company use a large stable catamaran with excellent viewing platforms and toilet facilities or our RIB hard hull boats with comfortable seats for an exhilarating ride to get you close to the action. The boats are very sturdy and can move easily even if the sea is choppy. Lookouts, the “Vigia” on the shore guide us by radio contact to direct the boats to the whales and dolphins. This makes for consistently excellent sightings, the best in the world some say! Our guests are very impressed by the high standard offered by our boat company who are dedicated to offering you the best experience, nothing is too much trouble.
Day 1: Arrival day – You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel
Day 2: Spend a leisurely morning exploring the local town with its stunning architecture and walking around the botanical gardens in the town In the PM head down to the boat base for your first half day whale and dolphin watching trip to sea. You will be given the onboard briefing all about Marine life in the Azorean Ocean, how we work and how best to spot the whales. With help of land based look-outs we see whales and dolphins on 98% of our trips to sea!
Day 3: After a relaxing morning swimming and sunbathing by the hotel pool you can head down to the harbour for your second half day whale and dolphin watching. We schedule your trips to sea early in the week and if there is any weather disruption you will be able to take your land tours early and re schedule your trip to sea.
Day 4: AM half day tour to Sete Cidades lakes adventure centre. This tour includes a half day at our adventure centre by the stunning Sete Cidades lakes surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery. You will be taken there and met by the activity guides who will set you up with the equipment your need (mountain bike, kayak or SUP) and spend the afternoon exploring. The guides are available to talk to you about the history of the lakes and offer you any help with each activity.
Day 5: Full day Geothermal tour to Furnas : You will be collected at your hotel and taken to see the Island’s hot springs, geysers & hot bubbling mudpools. You will learn about the volcanic origins of the Island. Take a dip in the hot thermal lake surrounded by the tropical exotic plants and trees of a magnificent botanical Garden which was planted by Kew gardeners 100 years ago! If you want to learn more you can visit the geo-science centre, so ask your guide.
Day 6: Free day – option to add our “Be a marine biologist for the day” full day whale and dolphin research tour
Day 7: Free day – Have a relaxing morning in the hotel pool or you are feeling active visit the underground caves which are a short distance from the hotel. Alternatively browse some of our on line resources to learn about whales and dolphins. Watch our on line presentation “Discover Sperm Whales” where you will learn fascinating facts about the lives of these incredible mammals who are resident around the Islands and dive deep to find prey (squid) and also learn about the challenges facing the world’s Oceans and some conservation efforts.
Day 8: Departure. You will be collected form your hotel and taken to the airport.
Activity level: Medium
2019 prices and accommodation options
Prices for our AZORES ISLAND EXPLORER holiday with accommodation options can be found by visiting this link here.