This is a hugely popular escorted tour in first-rate accommodation and gives a real taste of the traditions and heritage of the Azores on one of the less populated, more remote islands of the archaepelago. Land tours into the Caldeira (volcanic crater/canyon) to see the volcanic origins of the island are a short distance away. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the dramatic geological formations and the ancient buried city ruins with the Atlantic Ocean crashing on to the cliffs below. Cultural tours to see the vineyards and mountain villages can be combined with guided walks and bird-watching. You are free to plan your own free time around the boat schedule – see Other Activities around the islands below this itinerary. Your guide will offer various presentations to fit around the schedule and each evening at 6 pm there will be a talk from a specialist about research projects on the dolphins and whales around the islands.
Arrival in the Azores. Transfers to hotel. Welcome briefing and introductions, complimentary drinks, orientation in the local area. You have time for a rest! Schedule of whale-watching boat trips will be discussed and you will have a chance to meet the whole team and your guide, Lisa Steiner, during your complimentary dinner in the evening.
Board catamaran for whale-watching with lunch on board. Enjoy an evening meal with our guide in a local restaurant with group. Audio-visual briefing about the whales and dolphins of the Azores, with lots of visuals and information about the history of whaling and whale-watching in the Azores. On board guides will provide in depth information about the wildlife and Lisa Steiner will be available to discuss the sightings and compare photos.
Days 3 to 7 inclusive: Overall itinerary of the week will be announced shortly. There will be opportunities for excursions around the island to fit with your four full-day trips to sea. The boat trips are taken early in the week. If there is any weather disruption they will be moved to another day later in the week, so that you go out during the best possible weather and conditions. Evening meals will be a combination of eating in the hotel restaurant and eating with the group and guide (subject to group preference). There will also be further talks and presentations from the marine biologist giving you a rich understanding of the whales of the Azores, local history and culture.
Departure day. Transfer to airport from hotel.
Tours of the island are available with more details on the guide letter. This is to give you a chance to appreciate the island’s rugged beauty and charm. There is access to swim in the sea from a sheltered sandy beach (temperature permitting), nearby walks, bird watching, snorkelling and diving. We also offer talks and presentations on marine and land birdlife. There is a whalers museum giving the history of the old whaling culture which stopped 25 years ago. Various tours are explained on the letter from your guide which they will help you arrange when there.