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 archipelago. Pico is itself a volcano and the majestic mountain can be seen from land and sea. You can enjoy land tours to see the volcanic origins of the island Enjoy the breathtaking views of the dramatic geological formations and caves surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean crashing on to the black craggy cliffs below. Cultural tours to see the vineyards, caves 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 on some evenings at 6 pm there will be a a specialist talk 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, Rui Santos, during your complimentary dinner a local restaurant with group in the evening.
Board the RIB Zodiac for morning whale-watching. At convenient times during the week you will be given 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. Your on board guide will provide in depth information about the wildlife and Rui Santos will be available to discuss the sightings, share his research and help you get the best shots of the whales!
Days 3 to 7 inclusive: Overall itinerary of the week will be announced when you arrive to fit with best weather. Each day will be either morning or afternoon boat trip. There will be opportunities for excursions around the island to fit with your five half-day trips to sea. If there is any weather disruption your trips will be moved to another day or later in the day 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 lagoon (temperature permitting), nearby walks, bird watching, snorkelling and diving. We also offer talks and presentations on marine and land birdlife. There is a whaling 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.