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Azores

Dolphin & whale watching

Our most recommended Azores Dolphin & Whale Watching

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

2. São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

Enjoy a half-day whale watching trip in the Azores, one of the ‘top ten’ whale-watching spots in the world, and get the opportunity to meet the ocean giants in their natural habitat. Meet the boat crew and get a short briefing about safety and code of ethics and then put on your life vest and head out in the ocean. Listen as the crew follows the instructions given by radio from the lookouts placed in strategic points along the coastline using military-grade binoculars to find and communicate the position of the animals. Take comfort that the crew has a 99% success rate of sightings. If whales are spotted it´s time to enjoy the company of these magnificent animals, always keeping a safe and respectful distance. It´s usual that more than one group of whales and dolphins are observed per trip. On the way back to the marina, observe the geological formations of the island as the boat sails close to the coastline. If no Whales or Dolphins are spotted, you will receive a full refund, or you can book another trip for free.

Pico Island: Whale Watching Boat Tour with Biologist Guides

3. Pico Island: Whale Watching Boat Tour with Biologist Guides

Lying in the middle of the mystical Atlantic Ocean, the Azores Islands are a permanent home or point of passage for more than a third of the entire world’s whale and dolphin species. Dive into a lifetime adventure with these ancestral creatures during this guided Pico Island whale-watching trip. Away from the masses and close to the desirable peace, you will be the guests to nature guides and marine biologists, certified and, most importantly, sharing the contagious passion for the islands and its fauna and flora. Your adventure starts at Lajes do Pico harbor, where you’ll be welcomed by staff and check-in. Afterward, head to the boat where the marine biologists will give a briefing. Hear about the species you might see, whale watching history in the Azores, as well as how to respect the animals. Then, you’re ready to navigate and look for cetaceans in the wild. On the way, have a look at the coast of the island, full of magical landscapes. Whales live in the deep ocean and some of them simply pass by the waters during their migration. It is in this dark-profiled paradise of basaltic landscapes and silky vegetation that a rough sea awaits to introduce the visitor to some of the most spectacular aquatic specimens, freely swimming in their element. Prepare for awe-inspiring moments where time suddenly freezes and natural magic happens right in front of your eyes. After the boat trip, head back to the harbor with a heart full of good memories.

Pico Island: Azores Whale & Dolphin Watching on Zodiac Boat

4. Pico Island: Azores Whale & Dolphin Watching on Zodiac Boat

Uncover the beauty of the marine wildlife of Pico Island on this dolphin and whale watching tour. Stay safe with the use of a life jacket and keep dry with the use of a waterproof top. Approach the whales slowly and carefully to ensure the well-being of the animals.  Enjoy a short briefing before boarding the Zodiac boat in the town of Lajes do Pico. Snap some pictures of the shoreline as your cruise along. Look for birds, turtles, whales, and playful dolphins as you make your way to locations where they are most active.  Get an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) from your guide. Hear about other marine species, their natural habitats, communication styles, migration patterns and behavioral features. Return to your starting point on Pico island. 

Terceira: Whale and Dolphin Watching in a Glass Botton Boat

5. Terceira: Whale and Dolphin Watching in a Glass Botton Boat

The Azores are considered one of the best places for whale watching in the world. 28 species of whales and dolphins have been spotted there over the years. This unique 2.5-hour tour is the ideal situation for spotting whales and dolphins. The vessel has the capacity for 14 people, a glass bottom, and a 300 horsepower engine. With a 90% sighting success rate, the tour is assisted by a whale spotter located at the top of Monte Brasil. With long-range binoculars, they'll be able to guide the Skipper via radio, helping you to find the whereabouts of cetaceans (the animal family that these marine mammals belong to).

São Miguel: North Coast Whale Watching Cruise

6. São Miguel: North Coast Whale Watching Cruise

Discover the whale population of the Azores Islands on a boat cruise along the northern coast of São Miguel. Observe these majestic giants of the ocean in their natural habitat, at a respectful distance. Set off from the fishing village of Rabo de Peixe on the north coast of São Miguel. Explore the sea north of the island, known for its strong tides and whale population. Explore on a semi-inflatable craft, and observe the whales from a respectful distance so as to not disturb the whales. With the help of your onboard spotter, identify the whales as they breach the ocean surface. Be amazed by their grandeur and grace as the whales frolic in the ocean. See their gigantic tailfins, and hear the sound of the blowholes. As you cruise through the ocean, learn about the behavior and feeding habits of the whales with your expert crew. Afterward, return to the port in Rabo de Peixe.

Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

7. Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

Benefit from mini van pick-up at your accommodation in Ponta Delgada and the area around and then explore the coastline of São Miguel island by boat. Spend 3 hours looking for majestic whales and playful dolphins in their natural environment.  Reconnect with the natural world as you go in search of the sperm whales, blue whales, humpback whales, fin whales and sei whales that make the archipelago one of the best places in the world to see different marine mammals. Keep a look out for turtles, flying fish, sea birds and jumping dolphins along the way.  Disembark at the marina and enjoy a tasty lunch at local restaurant. Afetr lunch make your way to the volcanic landscapes of Lagoa do Fogo crater lake. See one of the most beautiful lakes in São Miguel and experience the amazing interior of the island up close. Learn about how is used the volcanic heat to produce renewable energy to the island.

Azores Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience

8. Azores Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience

Enjoy a 2.5-hour tour to swim with bottlenose dolphins on this tour from Vila Franca do Campo. Meet your guide at the Vila Franca do Campo Marina for check-in and equipment setup. After a quick safety and responsible practices induction, board your high-speed boat and head out to sea. Your skipper will be on the lookout for dolphins throughout the journey. When the time comes, get ready to dive into the sea and wait for the friendly dolphins to approach you. On the second part of the tour, travel to one of the island's best snorkel locations. Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and see an array of vibrant marine fauna and flora as you explore the seafloor before heading back to the marina.

Rabo de Peixe: Sperm Whale Sanctuary Expedition by Speedboat

9. Rabo de Peixe: Sperm Whale Sanctuary Expedition by Speedboat

Set out on a speedboat expedition to see sperm whales, the largest of the cetacean family. On this learning adventure, explore the northern coast of São Miguel and its diverse flora and fauna. Discover facts about sperm whales from marine biologists as you look for them in their protected habitat.  Your tour begins with a briefing from marine biologists at the yacht club on the northern side of the island. You'll find out about the different species you might see, learn about the whale watching history in the Azores, and understand how biologists and whale watchers respect the animals. Next, board the boat and set out for the Atlantic waters. Enjoy the beautiful coastal landscape and keep your eyes peeled for marine life. On the coast, you may see dolphins, Portuguese man-o-war, or turtles. As you enter the deeper waters of the sanctuary, stay on the lookout for sperm whales.  Finally, return to Rabo de Peixe Harbor. The team of marine biologists will tell you more about the species you just saw. Hear more about the cetaceans, their habits, and their routes to round out your tour.

Azorean Whalers Heritage Tour

10. Azorean Whalers Heritage Tour

Enjoy a van tour of the Azorean coast from Vila Franca do Campo as you discover the area's rich whaling history. Tour an old whaler lookout and lighthouse and see a historical whaling boat. Start your tour at the marina. Listen to a short briefing and presentation about local Whaling culture. Then, visit the authentic 1945 whaleboat “Senhora de Fátima.” This is the only sea-worthy example of this kind of boat still around. Next a van tour to the whaler lookout “Vigia da Furada.” Learn about old whale spotting techniques used by Azorean whalers. Experience what searching for whales is like using specialized long-range binoculars. Finally, visit Ponta Garça’s 1957 Lighthouse and take a guided tour with a lighthouse keeper. Find out interesting facts about the building and its importance and take in picturesque island and ocean views. Return to the marina at the end of your tour.

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Frequently asked questions about Azores Dolphin & Whale Watching

What are other things to do than Dolphin & Whale Watching that are worth visiting in Azores?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Azores

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What people are saying about Azores

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2 reviews

Directly before the tour, some things are explained via video. The tour is conducted by marine biologists who pay attention to the welfare of the animals and also keep a good distance from the animals. Great importance is also attached to environmental awareness and visible rubbish is fished out of the sea. We saw 2 species of dolphins, 2 species of whales and a turtle and were given information about each animal. I can recommend this tour and this organizer without hesitation! It is worth taking part in such an excursion.

Unforgettable family experience. Wonderful guides, Reine and Miguel who also drove the boat, very educational and friendly, gave us all kinds of explanations about the birds, dolphins and whales that we saw. Yes, we saw a bowhead whale, the third largest in existence and it was very, very exciting.

It was a shame not to have seen whales, but Margarida, our guide, was very enlightening and a very friendly person, who made this experience even more special.

It is a must if you travel to Sao Miguel. We were very lucky, we managed to see many sperm whales, dolphins and even a shark.

Muy buena experiencia. Pudimos observar delfines y cachalotes.