“The holiday of a lifetime – the Azores is one of the best places in the world to see Whales and Dolphins”
The Azores is one of the best places in the world to see Whales and dolphins. It is remote and the waters are rich in nutrients which attracts huge numbers of Whales and dolphins. This is a very exciting opportunity and it is common on all trips to sight sperm whales and a variety of other cetaceans. There is a good chance to see the Blue Whale, the biggest mammal on earth! as well as fin and sei whales in the spring. There are at least 15 different species frequently sighted. Our guests are blessed with seeing huge numbers of whales and dolphins throughout the season.
“The numbers of boats are well regulated and the animals are approached responsibly with minimum disturbance.”
This is a very exciting opportunity – we see dolphins and whales on 99% of our trips to sea! Whale watching in The Azores is unique and offers some of the best sightings in the world as we are assisted by the “Vigia”, local land based lookouts. Before the ban on whale hunting, these look outs were used to hunt the whales. However now they are employed in ethical tourism and they direct the boats to a sighting that can be 20 km away! Our local boat company have been taking people to see the whales and dolphins for 20 years and are regarded as the “experts”. The skippers have great skill and sensitivity in approaching the animals and you will learn a lot from the resident nature guide.
When to go
There is no ‘best time’ to see whales and dolphins in the Azores as many species are encountered year round. The large baleen whales (blue, fin and sei whales) migrate past the islands in the spring, with May and June being a great time to spot them. Sperm whales, however, are seen throughout the year, being a ‘resident’ species, as are many of the dolphin species. Late July and August are peak season in the Azores, so prices rise and tourist numbers increase, but great encounters can be had throughout the summer. Many of our clients choose to visit the islands out of high season, either to see the migrating whales in the spring, or in September and October when prices drop but sightings are still great.
“The isolated archipelago of the Azores has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best whale watching destinations in the world. Lying about a third of way across the Atlantic between Portugal and North America, its permanent or temporary home of more than a quarter of all known cetacean species”
Mark Carwardine, whale watching specialist
Our chosen Resort hotel – The Sao Miguel Park ****
We have chosen this beautiful 4 star hotel because all the rooms have balconies with views looking over the town to the sea and the rolling countryside beyond. The location is a 10 minute walk to our base for the boats and the City’s beautiful Botanical gardens are close by. The elevated position of the hotel means that the rooms are light, quiet and well ventilated. Even though the hotel has great access to our boats, there are no busy roads nearby and the hotel is far away from the street noises familiar to seafront or busy city locations. The hotel is ideal for families or large groups and rooms can easily accommodate up to two extra beds. Guests can relax in the hotel’s well equipped health club which comes complete with a sauna, Jacuzzi, massage, indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The restaurant offers beautiful sea views and serves an excellent international buffet with a wide choice. Many of our guests remark on the great breakfast!
Why we chose this hotel for our clients:
• Beautiful, quiet location with stunning views • 10 minute walk to boat • Spacious, quiet and well ventilated rooms • All rooms have a sea view & private balcony • Rooms have air conditioning & fridge • Excellent restaurant and great breakfast • Good hotel health club facilities • Indoor & outdoor pool • Great for families or larger groups
Our prices do not include flights from the UK. We cannot book these for you. You will need to check flight availability before confirming your reservation with us. You will need to get flights to Ponta Delgada (PDL) on the Azores Island of Sao Miguel. Some airlines offer direct flights, some involve a transfer in Lisbon or another Portuguese Island. Flights to Ponta Delgada in the Azores depart daily from Lisbon, Portugal There are UK weekly direct flights from Gatwick (3 hours) on a Saturday and also direct flights from many European cities.
A good way to research flights is through www.skyscanner.net or www.expedia.com They will show you best prices with various options. Azorean airline SATA operate direct flights on Saturday. Visit www.sata.pt. The Portuguese national airline, TAP, also offers flights though routes are not always convenient, but some may be through Lisbon. See www.flytap.com. Our travel advisor Joanne Holt at Travelwise Tel: 01625 521789 should be able to research for you if you need some personal assistance.
On arrival in Ponta Delgada you will be met and taken to your hotel
How to book
1 – Check availability with us and make a provisional reservation You can use our online availability checker, email or call us on 01273 882778 to check availability of our holidays prior to booking. Once we confirm to you over the phone or via email that the holiday you require is available and we have made a provisional reservation at your request:
2 – Book your flights with your chosen airline or travel company See “getting there” above
3 – Confirm your booking with us, agreeing to our terms and conditions Call or email to tell us that your flights are booked and you wish to confirm your provisional booking with us by paying your deposit (£250pp & non-refundable) or full balance if due.
4 – Pay deposit by card, bank transfer or cheque. A non-refundable deposit of £250pp can be paid by credit or debit card over the telephone (2% charge for credit cards), bank transfer (ask us for our bank details) or tell us that you will be sending a cheque (payable to The Dolphin Connection). Please then complete and sign our booking form and medical form and send it to The Dolphin and Whale Connection, 111 Carden Hill, Brighton BN1 8DA (with your cheque if applicable). We shall write to confirm your booking.
5 – Look forward to your amazing holiday!
Places of interest in the surrounding area
Jardim Jose do Canto
This garden is peaceful (more closed off from the street) and quite large.
Allow for a few hours to stroll round at your leisure!