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Wildlife Holidays in the Azores

Pico Island Azores Shutterstock 100839673

Few people know much about this far-flung archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic - yet few places in Europe offer better cetacean watching! If that wasn't tantalising enough, the Azores offer both delicious local cuisines (the soft Pico cheese, served with honey, being a particular favourite) and wines - all of which we will have plenty of opportunity to enjoy during our time here!

The Azores archipelago consists of nine volcanic islands, and stretches for more than 600 kilometres midway between Europe and North America. Its highest point is Mount Pico at just over 2,350 metres. It has a mild oceanic climate and the surrounding seas are warmed by the Gulf Stream.

The islands shelve steeply into the sea, creating an underwater topography that is perfect for attracting deep-diving whales.

These are friendly, attractive and unspoilt Atlantic islands which combine a relaxed atmosphere with an interesting natural history and geology. 

Speak with our Azores specialist

Sara Frost

Featured Tours to The Azores

Whales & Dolphins of the Azores

Whales & Dolphins of the Azores

Great Whales of the Azores (São Miguel)

Great Whales of the Azores (São Miguel)

Tailormade Holidays in the Azores

Tailormade Holidays in the Azores

Sara Frost

Our Azores Specialist Recommends

"For a first time visit to the Azores, I highly recommend our ‘ Whales & Dolphins of the Azores ’ tour, where we go in search of Sperm Whales and host of other cetacean species around the spectacular island of Pico. If you're keen to spend most of the time focussing on the 'Great Whales', then we also offer dedicated tours on both Pico and São Miguel  for you to get your fix!"

Naturetrek Tours to the Azores

We offer three holidays to the Azores: two dedicated whale and dolphin watching tours on Pico (May and August), and one dedicated whale and dolphin watching tour in Sao Miguel.

What’s special about the wildlife?

Islands often harbour unusual wildlife and the Azores are no exception. While the islands are home to some interesting bird and plant-life, some of their marine-life – in particular the whale and dolphin-watching – is world-class. 27 species of cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoises) have been recorded in the waters around the Azores, including Sperm Whales, Blue Whales, many dolphin species and some of the elusive beaked whales. 

When should I visit?

Our tours depart in May and August - the weather can be variable in May; however, this time of the year represents your best chance of seeing baleen whales such as Blue, Fin and Sei Whales as they pass through Azorean waters on their annual migration. Sperm Whales and several dolphin species are present throughout the year. Spring and autumn are the best months for seeing passage birds. August typically offers more settled weather, with temperatures reaching highs of about 25ºC, and at this time of year Sperm Whale mothers and calves are present, as well as many dolphins, beaked whales and other marine-life such as flying fish, turtles and Blue Sharks. Cory’s Shearwaters may be seen on nests.

What wildlife might I see?

• On our May whale watching breaks, we search for Blue, Fin, Sei and Sperm Whales, plus beaked whales & dolphins such as Striped, Risso’s & Common Dolphins • On our August whale & dolphin watching holiday in Pico, we’ll have the privilege of watching family groups of Sperm Whales with their calves, and an abundance of dolphin species - typically: Atlantic Spotted, Short-beaked Common, Bottlenose, Risso's, and Striped Dolphins.

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Whale Watching & Islet Boat Tour

Whale Watching & Islet Boat Tour

Join an exciting Marine Wildlife tour, to see and learn more about Whales, Dolphins, Turtles, Fish, Birds, and the season's marine biodiversity of the Azores Islands!

  • Duration: 3 Hours (approx.)

Lagoa do Fogo Volcano Geo Tour [Oct-Jun]

Lagoa do Fogo Volcano Geo Tour [Oct-Jun]

Learn about volcanoes and see eruption evidence, enjoy magnificent island views, bathe at warm hotsprings or chill waterfall!

  • Duration: 4 Hours (approx.)

Azorean Whalers Heritage Tour [Oct-Jun]

Azorean Whalers Heritage Tour [Oct-Jun]

Taking you back to how ancient Azorean whaling traditions were, and how they transitioned to nowadays wildlife observation & research, and even to a unique sport!

Whales & Furnas Botanic Gardens [Oct-Jun]

Whales & Furnas Botanic Gardens [Oct-Jun]

See Whales and Dolphins, enjoy local food, see the crater Lake & Village, and exotic botanic gardens, end with a relaxing thermal bath - a Full Day!

  • Duration: 8 Hours (approx.)

Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience [Oct-Apr]

Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience [Oct-Apr]

From October to April it’s Dolphin Swimming Season in Azores Islands - a fantastic and unique Wildlife experience in the warm waters of the Atlantic!

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Whales & Dolphins of the Azores

Blue whale tail in the Azores

Join us in the Azores as we head out on daily boat trips to enjoy the astounding diversity of the whales and dolphins that frequent these waters of the Atlantic during the spring.

Sperm whale tail in the Azores

Sperm whale tail in the Azores

Short-finned pilot whale in the Azores

Short-finned pilot whale in the Azores

Sete Cidades in São Miguel, Azores

Sete Cidades in São Miguel, Azores

Fin whale in the Azores

Fin whale in the Azores

Risso's dolphin in the Azores

Risso's dolphin in the Azores

Lagoa do Fogo in São Miguel, Azores

Lagoa do Fogo in São Miguel, Azores

Atlantic spotted dolphin in the Azores

Atlantic spotted dolphin in the Azores

Pilot whale in the Azores

Pilot whale in the Azores

Sei whale in the Azores

Sei whale in the Azores

Waterfall in Caldeira Velha, São Miguel, Azores

Waterfall in Caldeira Velha, São Miguel, Azores

Caloura Hotel Resort in São Miguel, the Azores

Caloura Hotel Resort in São Miguel, the Azores

From our hotel looking out over the Atlantic Ocean, we head out on daily whale watching excursions from the local marina onboard a specialised Zodiac boat guided by a marine biologist and accompanied by either Wildlife Worldwide team member Helen Bryon or popular tour leader Terry Goble as we go in search of rewarding sightings and memorable encounters with the cetaceans that reside in these waters.

During the spring months when our departures are timed, an incredible 28 species of cetaceans can be encountered from these enchanting islands including some of the largest baleen species in the world - blue, fin and sei whales - who are migrating through the archipelago towards their summer feeding waters in the North Atlantic. Some of the other species we may observe are sperm whale, bottlenose, Risso’s and common dolphin which are resident in the Azores all year round.

We will also find time to explore the interior of São Miguel, which is renowned for its stunning scenery, forested peaks, rugged coastline, shimmering lakes and volcanic landscape as well as some unique wildlife, such as the Azores noctule which is the world’s only diurnal insectivorous bat and the archipelago’s only endemic mammal.

Typical Itinerary

Day 1 : depart uk & fly to the azores.

Today, we depart the UK on flights to the Azores via Lisbon heading specifically to the island of São Miguel which is the largest island in the archipelago. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our accommodation looking over the Atlantic Ocean and the rest of the day is free to spend as we wish before dinner in the evening.

Accommodation: Caloura Resort , 7-nights

Days 2-7 : Whale watching boat trips & explore São Miguel

Whale watching in the Azores is arguably one of the finest wildlife experiences in Europe and for the next few days we'll be able to enjoy morning boat trips in search of the cetacean species that frequent these waters.

We will be transferred from our hotel to the local marina each morning, around a 15-minute drive away, where we board our specialised Zodiac vessel. The journey starts with a short informative briefing for onboard safety and introducing some of cetacean species that we may encounter, their natural habitat, communication, migration and behaviours as well as some of the bird, fish and even turtle species we might observe too.

With our life jackets fitted, we board the vessel and head out to sea with our marine biologist guide in search of whales and dolphins. The boat operators have a lookout on land scanning the waters for whales and dolphins. When they spot something, they will contact our vessel by VHF radio to provide us with directions and we set off to watch these magnificent marine mammals where we hope to see blue and fin whales.

There are smaller cetacean species that can be encountered during the spring with spotted and striped dolphins both frequently sighted at this time of year. Other marine wildlife can be observed all year round in the Azores with four cetacean species being resident - sperm whales, bottlenose, Risso's and common dolphin.

After three hours at sea we return to land where we then head off to explore more of what the island of São Miguel has to offer whilst also stopping for lunch at local restaurant where we can enjoy some of the island's and Azores' cuisine if we wish.

During the afternoons of our week-long stay here in the Azores, we will get to visit some of the iconic locations on São Miguel such as the active volcano at Lagoa do Fogo, Sete Cidades, Furnas and the lighthouse at Ponta Garça as well as some of the other wildlife that can be seen here. 

Day 8 : Departure

Today is free until it's time to transfer back to the airport to check in for our return flight or continue with any other onward travel arrangements.

Please note: We fly via Lisbon - please feel free to contact your travel consultant if you would like to spend a few nights in Portugal's wonderful capital city either before or after our time in the Azores.

  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK : 8 days from £ 2,695 pp
  • Duration and price excluding international flights : 8 days from £ 2,495 pp
  • Single supplement : From £ 495
  • Trip type : Group Tour Tailor-made can be arranged
  • Group size : 7
  • 10 May 2024 , Limited spaces , Led by Helen Bryon Book
  • 20 May 2024 , Fully booked , Led by Terry Goble
  • 11 May 2025 , Fully booked , Led by Helen Bryon
  • 18 May 2025 , Led by Alexa Kershaw Book

A tailor-made holiday or private departure can be arranged, please contact us to tailor a trip to suit your requirements.

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily whale watching boat trips
  • Guided excursions on São Miguel
  • Services of tour leader and local guide(s)
  • Conservation fund contribution
  • Photography
  • View Detailed Itinerary
  • Send an Enquiry

Expert leaders

Helen bryon.

Photo of Helen Bryon

A member of the Wildlife Worldwide team, Helen is a qualified South African safari guide who following a trip to Baja California , discovered a passion for cetaceans.

Extending her marine mammal knowledge accordingly, she has also turned her attention to improving her ornithological knowledge throughout the different destinations she leads to, including South America and Europe. With her boundless energy, enthusiasm and eye for perfection, Helen will ensure you get the most from your time on her trips whilst sharing her passion for wildlife. 

View all tours led by Helen

Terry Goble

Photo of Terry Goble

Terry has held a lifelong fascination for wildlife and as an ecologist is fascinated in how plants and animals exist and fit together, their behaviour and their impact on each other.

His self-taught knowledge of British wildlife has led him into voluntary survey work for the RSPB, Bat Conservation Trust, Vincent Trust and British Butterfly Conservation, as well as funding raising for many wildlife charities. Alongside this, he organised day trips and weekends away for birdwatchers from local ornithological societies in the south east of the UK . Eventually his interest led him to return to university and study a host of courses including British Cetaceans, Biological Field Studies and finally a degree in Environment and Conservation.

View all tours led by Terry

Alexa Kershaw

Photo of Alexa Kershaw

Alexa is an ecologist and cetacean researcher with a passion for conservation. She is a keen wildlife photographer and combines research with a love of guiding and sharing knowledge of the marine environment.

Alexa began studying cetaceans in the Hebrides 25 years ago and has since worked as a researcher, guide, campaigner and consultant on marine mammal research projects worldwide. Her research projects have included visual, acoustic and aerial surveys in the North and Baltic Seas, Iceland , South Africa , Australia , New Zealand and Belize and a research voyage across the Atlantic.

She lives on the Isle of Mull in the former lighthouse keepers’ cottages, which she spent three years renovating. She returns to the west coast of Iceland each winter, but for the rest of the year, she enjoys Mull’s wildlife and has spent recent years exploring the Inner and Outer Hebrides by boat.

View all tours led by Alexa

Tour Reports

Find out more about the day-to-day sightings and wildlife activities on our group tours from our expert naturalist leaders.

Humpback whale in the Azores.

In the midst of the Atlantic Ocean, São Miguel is the largest island in the Azores and is the gateway into this beautiful archipelago. This island in particular is renowned for volcanic peaks cloaked in verdant forests, shimmering lakes, rugged coastline and incredible whale watching. Find Out More about {acc:title}

  • Where : Azores archipelago
  • Ideal for viewing : Risso’s dolphin , sperm whale , blue whale , bottlenose dolphin , Azores bullfinch
  • Excellent for : Whale watching , Birdwatching , Dolphin watching

Caloura Hotel Resort

wildlife tours azores

Situated on the beautiful and rugged coastline of São Miguel in the Azores archipelago, the Caloura Hotel Resort has stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and its own direct access to a black sand beach. The comfortable en suite also have excellent views as they all face out towards the sea. Find Out More about Caloura Hotel Resort

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Whale Watching

Guides | Destinations | Gear | Whales | Conservation

Guides and tours, insights into the best Destinations and seasons for whale watching, essential Gear for sea travels, fascinating facts About Whales, and Conservation efforts.

Whale watching Azores

Whale Watching Azores: A Guide to Prime Viewing Spots

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Embarking on a whale watching journey in the Azores offers you a unique opportunity to connect with nature’s giants in the vast Atlantic Ocean. The Azores, a stunning archipelago located about 1,368 km west of mainland Portugal, serve as a prime destination for observing an impressive array of cetacean species .

The rich marine biodiversity enhances your experience in these Portuguese islands due to the area’s deep waters and unique geophysical features.

whale watching Azores

As you set out on a boat into the blue expanse, prepare to encounter various whale and dolphin species that grace the waters throughout the year. The Azores are known for being a playground for the majestic sperm whales and a host of other sea mammals, including common dolphins. These encounters are more than mere sightings; they offer you a chance to witness these magnificent creatures as they breach, dive, and socialize in their natural habitat.

Furthermore, whale watching in the Azores isn’t just a seasonal spectacle; it is an extraordinary adventure that’s available to you year-round. As an essential hub for whale and dolphin activity in the Atlantic, the region provides an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate these marine mammals up close. With a variety of whales and dolphins making their presence known off the coast, your excursion promises to be an enriching and memorable part of your visit to the Azores.

Best Time for Whale Watching in the Azores

azores whale watching

The Azores offer a unique opportunity for whale watching , with a season that spans much of the year and conditions that can affect the experience. Your best bet for an unforgettable marine adventure is understanding the optimal times for sightings.

Whale Watching Season

The prime whale watching season in the Azores runs from April to October, with different species visible during varying months. In the spring, particularly April and May, you’re likely to encounter larger baleen whales, such as blue whales and fin whales, as they migrate through Azorean waters. During the summer months, a diverse array of species can be seen, and by October, there’s a higher chance to spot humpback whales . Notably, sperm whales maintain a year-round presence, offering consistent viewing opportunities.

For those looking to maximize their chances, mornings are generally the preferred time for tours, as sea conditions tend to be calmer, with fewer winds. However, afternoons can also be fruitful, especially on days with stable weather patterns.

Weather Considerations

Weather plays a crucial role in your whale watching experience. The Azores, situated in the mid-Atlantic, are subject to variable weather conditions, with the possibility of rapid changes. For calmer seas and clearer skies, aim for outings during the early morning or later in the afternoon when the winds are often milder.

When you embark on a whale watching tour, ensure you’re prepared for all conditions, with layers to accommodate cooler ocean breezes, especially outside the summer months. Regardless of the month, a vigilant eye on the weather forecast is beneficial, as conditions can affect both visibility and sea states, impacting your chance to see these majestic creatures.

The Azores Archipelago

Whale watching tours azores

The Azores, a chain of nine volcanic islands, is a prime location for nature lovers and offers a unique blend of volcanic landscapes and rich marine biodiversity.

Island Overview

Each island in the Azores Archipelago has its own character. São Miguel , the largest, is known for its lush landscapes and hot springs. Terceira holds historical significance with charming towns, while Pico is famed for its namesake volcano, Mount Pico , the highest point in Portugal. Faial is recognized for its picturesque marinas and is often a stopping point for transatlantic yachts.

  • São Miguel : Vibrant nature, thermal springs
  • Terceira : Rich history, bustling towns
  • Pico : Majestic volcano, Mount Pico
  • Faial : Cosmopolitan marinas, yachting hub

wildlife tours azores

Volcanic Landscapes

Their volcanic origins shape the islands’ dramatic terrain. You can find everything from serene crater lakes to raw, rugged cliffs. The Capelinhos Volcano on Faial is a testament to the islands’ active geology, with its desolate beauty reminding you of nature’s power to destroy and create.

Discovering the Marine Wildlife

Azores whales

The Azores archipelago is a prime location for encountering an abundance of marine wildlife, particularly cetaceans such as whales and dolphins, which are attracted by the region’s deep waters and abundant food supply.

Cetacean Species

The waters surrounding the Azores are a sanctuary for various cetacean species throughout the year. Sperm whales are year-round residents, famously known for their deep dives and social behavior. Due to the islands’ geographical position, you have the opportunity to encounter majestic blue whales and fin whales during their migration in the spring.

Here’s a concise list of cetaceans you might encounter:

  • Sperm Whale : the largest of the toothed whales, it is easily recognized by its massive head and prominent blowhole located near the front of the head.
  • Blue Whale : the largest animal on the planet, these magnificent creatures pass through Azorean waters, usually between March and June.
  • Sei Whale : sleek and streamlined, sei whales are often seen in Azorean waters in the spring and fall.
  • Humpback Whale : identifiable by their large pectoral fins and unique tail markings, humpbacks visit the Azores, generally in the winter and spring.
  • Fin Whale : the second-largest whale species, they’re known for their high speed and long, slender bodies.
  • Pilot Whale : a type of dolphin, these social animals can often be found in the company of others in their pod.

Other Marine Life

Beyond cetaceans, the Azores’ marine ecosystems brim with a diverse range of marine life . Turtles , fish , and various species of birds all thrive in this environment. One might catch sight of dolphins playfully riding the waves alongside boats or observe the more elusive pilot whales.

Marine life to look for includes:

  • Turtles : primarily loggerhead turtles that are frequently spotted.
  • Fish : a variety of fish, from the small and colorful to large species such as tuna and marlin.
  • Birds : seabirds such as Cory’s shearwater are commonly observed gliding over the water.
  • Dolphins : common, bottlenose, and Risso’s dolphins are just a few of the friendly species that inhabit these waters.

When embarking on a whale-watching tour, you may be accompanied by marine biologists , who provide insights into the behaviors and habitats of these marine species, enhancing your experience and understanding of the Azores’ remarkable marine wildlife.

Planning Your Adventure

Azores whales and dolphins

When planning your whale watching adventure in the Azores, selecting the right tour operator and knowing what to expect on the tour are crucial steps to ensure a memorable experience.

Choosing a Tour Operator

Reputation and Experience: Look for an operator with a strong track record for both safety and environmental stewardship. Operators like Futurismo have been conducting whale watching tours since 1990 and are praised for their expertise and commitment to nature.

  • Boat Types: Assess the type of boat offered by the tours. While larger vessels provide more comfort, smaller boats, such as a zodiac boat can often offer a closer encounter with marine life .

Guides and Biologists: Ensuring that your tour is led by knowledgeable guides or biologists, like those mentioned in bePortugal’s comprehensive guide , can enrich your experience with informative commentary.

Tour Size: Consider the size of the tour group. Smaller groups may allow for a more personal experience.

What to Expect on a Tour

Duration and Sightings: Whale watching tours in the Azores typically range from half a day to a full day. Sightings can never be guaranteed, but the Azores is a prime location for encountering a variety of species due to its deep waters and abundant marine life.

Wildlife: Expect to potentially see not only whales but also dolphins and sea turtles in their natural environment.

  • Preparation: Dress in layers, as the weather can change rapidly, and bring sun protection, as well as anti-seasickness medication if you’re prone to it.

Onboard Facilities: Larger boats typically offer amenities such as restrooms and covered seating areas, which can make the excursion more comfortable, especially for longer tours.

Ethical and Sustainable Practices

Aerial view of whale diving in ocean

Engaging in whale watching in the Azores is not only about admiring these magnificent creatures; it is also crucial to respect and protect their natural habitats. Ethical whale watching prioritizes the well-being of whales and strives to minimize any negative impact on their environment.

To support conservation efforts, operators adhere to guidelines ensuring that boats keep a proper distance from the whales to avoid causing them stress. Some tours are even led by marine biologist guides , providing not just an encounter, but an educational experience that deepens your understanding of whale behavior and the importance of preserving marine life.

Whale sanctuaries serve as safe havens where these marine mammals can thrive without the threat of hunting. These areas are critical for research as well, offering scientists opportunities to study whales in their natural surroundings. By participating in a whale watching tour that contributes to research and education, you are directly supporting conservation initiatives.

Your presence on a responsible whale watching tour can encourage sustainable practices , such as:

  • Respecting wildlife : By following the code of conduct, you help minimize disturbance to the whales.
  • Supporting local research : Choose tours that collect data for ongoing research projects, continuing efforts to understand and protect cetaceans.

Fostering education : Engage with programs that inform and inspire communities about marine conservation.

By considering these practices when selecting a whale watching experience, you play a vital role in the protection and sustainability of whale populations in the Azores.

Photography and Equipment Tips

gear for whale watching

When preparing for a whale watching trip in the Azores, it’s essential to have the right photography equipment to capture those once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Camera & Lenses:

  • Camera: Bring a DSLR or mirrorless camera that performs well in various lighting conditions.
  • Zoom Lens: A zoom lens (200mm to 400mm) is crucial for close-up shots of whales from a distance. Stability is key, so consider a lens with image stabilization.

Protection for Gear:

  • Waterproof Bag: Keep your camera and accessories dry with a waterproof bag or case. Sudden splashes are common, and you want your equipment protected.
  • Waterproof Jacket: Similarly, a waterproof jacket will protect both you and your camera gear when not shooting.

Photography Tips:

  • Stability: Use a strap to stabilize your camera. High waves can make it challenging to keep your camera steady.
  • Settings: Set your camera to a high shutter speed to capture quick movements, and use continuous shooting mode to increase your chances of a great shot.

Personal Gear :

  • Sunscreen: Protect your skin with sunscreen since you’ll be out on the open water for hours.
  • Clothing: Layer clothing to adjust to the changing weather, and wear a hat to prevent sun glare in your photos.

By using the right gear and employing these tips, your whale watching experience in the Azores will not only be enjoyable but also photographically rewarding.

Swimming with Dolphins

swimming with dolphins

When you visit the Azores, the opportunity to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat is a breathtaking and unforgettable experience. The clear waters around the archipelago offer a unique setting where you can snorkel alongside these intelligent and playful marine animals.

Before your adventure begins, it’s important to be aware of some guidelines to ensure a safe and respectful encounter:

  • Always follow the instructions of your guide.
  • Avoid making sudden movements that could startle the dolphins.
  • Keep a respectful distance, allowing the dolphins to approach you on their terms.

Swim Gear Checklist:

  • Snorkel and mask
  • Fins for swimming
  • Wetsuit (if necessary for warmth)

When in the water, you’ll likely be swimming in small groups. This not only gives you a more personal encounter with the dolphins but also helps minimize the impact on the animals and their environment. Wearing a wetsuit can help with buoyancy and provide warmth, as the Atlantic waters can be cool.

As you float in the azure waters, you’ll hear the clicks and whistles of the dolphins—an enchanting experience revealing the complex communication between these creatures. Remember to remain calm and composed ; your serene presence allows the dolphins to become more curious and interactive.

Swimming with dolphins is more than just an activity; it’s a meaningful connection with marine life, accentuating the beauty and biodiversity of the Azores. To plan your adventure, comprehensive packages are available such as those provided by CW Azores , promising a professional and memorable experience.

Guided by Experts

Azores whale tours

When embarking on a whale watching adventure in the Azores, expert guidance can enrich your experience immeasurably. Individuals will lead your excursions with deep knowledge of local marine life and the migratory patterns of whales and dolphins.

Marine Biologist Insights

With a marine biologist on board, you’ll gain valuable scientific insights into the behaviors and characteristics of various whale species . These experts can identify and explain the significance of whale and dolphin behaviors you may witness, from breaching sperm whales to the acrobatic displays of pods of dolphins. Their expertise also extends to the conservation status and habitats of these majestic creatures, offering you a comprehensive understanding of the marine ecosystem.

Local Spotters

Local spotters play a crucial role in locating the best sites for whale sightings. Leaning on generations of knowledge, they can read ocean conditions and animal behavior to predict where and when you’re likely to encounter whales. Relying on their sharp eyes and intimate familiarity with the Azores’ waters, these spotters can help ensure that your whale watching experience is as rewarding as possible.

Experience Beyond Whales

whales azores

While whale watching is a highlight in the Azores, your adventure doesn’t end with these magnificent sea mammals. You’ll discover the archipelago’s other natural wonders, from the rich avian life to the stunning coastal landscapes.

Bird Watching

In the Azores, you can witness a fascinating array of bird species, both endemic and migratory. The islands serve as a crucial stopover for many birds crossing the Atlantic. Look out for the Monteiro’s storm-petrel , a bird you’ll find only here. The shores of Lagoa das Furnas offer an excellent vantage point where rare bird sightings are a thrilling possibility.

Coastal Sights

The Azorean coastline is a tapestry of dramatic cliffs , lovely beaches , and interesting marine fauna. You may spot turtles and various fish in the crystal-clear waters. Beaches like those on São Miguel give you access to unique geological features, including hot springs nearby, particularly in areas like Furnas. Soak in natural hot springs for a rejuvenating experience while listening to the sounds of the ocean.

Preparation and Safety

When embarking on a whale-watching journey in the Azores, your experience will be far more enjoyable if you come well-prepared and are aware of safety practices. It’s important to pack essential items and take proactive measures against seasickness.

What to Bring

  • Clothing: Wear layers that you can add or remove as needed due to the Azores’ changeable weather. A waterproof jacket is also a must.
  • Sun protection: Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to guard against UV rays reflected by the water.
  • Binoculars : Enhance your viewing experience by bringing a pair for closer observation of the whales.
  • Camera : If you want to capture the moments, make sure your camera is charged and ready.
  • Snacks and water : Keep hydrated and maintain energy levels with light snacks and plenty of water.

Seasickness Precautions

  • Medication : If you’re prone to motion sickness, consider seasickness pills which are best taken before you board.
  • Stay Hydrated : Drink plenty of water, but avoid alcohol and heavy meals before your trip.
  • Focus on the Horizon : On the boat, if you begin to feel unwell, keep your gaze on the stable horizon.
  • Fresh Air : Get plenty of air and try to stay in the middle of the boat where the motion is minimized.

Historical Context

whale watching azores

The Azores, with its deep-rooted maritime traditions, offers a profound look into the evolution of humanity’s relationship with whales—from exploitation to conservation and tourism.

Whaling History

In the 15th century, Portuguese settlers first inhabited the rugged, volcanic islands of the Azores, which would later become a center for whaling activities. By the early 1800s, American Yankee Whalers recognized that the Azores islands presented an excellent opportunity to hunt for whales due to the deep waters around the volcanic islands, which created a suitable environment for cetaceans. Whaling became integral to the islands, shaping both economy and culture. However, this era of intense whaling faced transformation as the world’s perception of whaling shifted.

Cultural Legacy

Whaling’s imprint on Azorean culture is unmistakable, influencing art, cuisine, and folklore. Despite the cessation of whaling in the mid-20th century, the legacy persists through museums and cultural narratives, a poignant reminder of the past. Now, your engagement with this heritage is more about observation and protection than hunting. The islands promote sustainable whale-watching tourism, allowing you to experience the majesty of whales while contributing to their preservation—a testament to the Azores’ commitment to conservation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whale watching in the Azores is a must-do experience for nature enthusiasts. Here are some important specifics to help you plan your adventure.

What types of whales can be observed during whale-watching tours in the Azores?

In the rich waters of the Azores, you can observe several whale species, including the Sperm Whale, which resides year-round, and migratory species like the majestic Blue Whale and Fin Whale.

How much does a typical whale-watching tour cost in the Azores?

Whale watching tour prices vary, but on average, you can expect to pay between 50 to 100 euros depending on the duration and type of tour.

Which island is recommended for the best whale-watching experience, Pico or São Miguel?

Both islands offer remarkable opportunities, but Pico is renowned for its proximity to deep waters where whales are frequently sighted.

During which months are blue whales most commonly sighted in the Azores?

Blue Whales are most commonly sighted between March and June as they migrate through the Azorean waters.

What marine life, besides whales, can be seen on a whale-watching trip in the Azores?

Dolphins, sea turtles, and a variety of seabirds can also be observed during a whale-watching trip in the Azores.

Are there any specific whale-watching guidelines or regulations in place in the Azores to protect marine life?

Yes, there are strict guidelines to ensure minimal disturbance to marine life, including maintaining a safe distance from the animals and limiting the time spent with them.

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The Azores are synonymous with marine biodiversity with unparalleled riches anywhere in the world.

Thanks to the archipelago’s volcanic origin, its deep waters close to the coast and the Gulf Stream, going out to sea becomes a journey full of surprises and encounters with the many species of our waters.


The Azores are one of the fastest-growing whale-watching destinations in the world. The islands offer you unsurpassed whale-watching opportunities. More than 20 different species of whales and dolphins can be found in the waters surrounding our islands.

In spring and autumn, we can see some baleen whales, such as the Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus), the Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), the Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis), the Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and the Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus). The Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is the most frequently observed whale during the summer months.

There are a number of different behaviours you may witness during a whale-watching tour:

Blowing: A sound made when expelling air through the blow-hole, accompanied by a spout of condensed water.

Breaching: Leaping out of the water and falling back with a resounding slap.

Lobtailing: The slapping of the fluke on the water, causing a loud sound.

Spy hopping: The head is lifted vertically out of the water, enabling the animal to see what is happening above the water.                      

Experience the thrill of viewing the giants of the deep close-up, by taking an at least 4-hour boat-based whale-watching trip.

wildlife tours azores

Dolphins love riding and jumping ‘Moby Dick’s’ bow and stern waves and often accompany us during the trips.

The most common ones found in our waters are the Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis), the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (Stenella frontalis) and the Risso’s Dolphin (Grampus griseus).


And More...

The Azores are also famous for encounters with many other animals and birds.

The waters around the islands are home to various types of sea turtles, manta ray (Manta birostris), ocean sunfish (Mola mola or common Mola) and even whale sharks (Rhincodon typus).

Often we see large numbers of birds during our trips, such as the Cory’s shearwater (Calonectris diomedea borealis), the most abundant seabird in the Azores.

Book Azores Hiking Tours

wildlife tours azores

Select Your Experience

half-day guided van tour of sete cidades-1

Half-Day Guided Van Tour of Sete Cidades

  • You can cancel these tickets up to 48 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
  • Set off from Ponta Delgada in a comfortable van to explore the breathtaking vistas of Lagoa de Santiago, Lagoa Verde, and Azul with an English/Portuguese-speaking guide.
  • Visit a pineapple farm where you can observe the different stages of the fruit's growth and relish the taste of authentic pineapple liqueur.
  • Proceed to Pico do Carvão where you can see both north and south coasts of the picturesque São Miguel island at the same time.
  • Take Christmas cards and Insta-worthy pictures of Lagoa das Sete Cidades from the striking Vista do Rei viewpoint.
  • Enjoy a brief stop on the tranquil shore of Lagoa das Sete Cidades for another dreamlike photo moment before your return to Ponta Delgada.
  • English/Portuguese-speaking driver/guide
  • Van transfers with a capacity of 8 guests
  • Pineapple plantation visit with liqueur tasting
  • Meal and any other drinks
  • Hotel transfers

Picos de Aventura / Meeting at the Hotel | Pineapple plantation | Viewpoint of Vista do Rei | Sete Cidades | Arrival in Ponta Delgada

  • Tip: Check the weather forecast before your visit, as the view can sometimes be obscured by fog.

half-day canyoning tour at ribeira dos caldeirões-1

Half-day Canyoning Tour at Ribeira dos Caldeirões

  • Satisfy the adventure junky within you with a half-day canyoning experience in Ribeira dos Caldeirões with professionals by your side.
  • Explore Ribeira dos Caldeirões hidden pools and waterfalls while enjoying a great hike through nature.
  • With gear like harnesses, helmets, and full thermal protection, you'll be ready for any adventure.
  • Embark on an adventure through canyons and natural waterfalls and slide through the rocks formed by the stream's flow.
  • Isothermal protection of participants
  • Harness and technical equipment
  • Material including ropes and transport bag
  • Insurance (Personal Accidents and Civil Liability)
  • Transportation
  • Personal expenses
  • Tip: It is recommended to have a light snack before this experience to give you just the energy you need.
  • The tour is given in both English and Portuguese.
  • This activity is not suited for wheelchair users, pram/stroller users, individuals with disabilities, or pregnant women.
  • Individuals are recommended to wear comfortable shoes and clothing in order to fully enjoy the sport.

full-day hike to lagoa do fogo-1

Full-Day Hike to Lagoa do Fogo

  • Hop on a full-day hike tour to Lagoa da Fogo and soak in the beautiful landscape and ocean-blue water views.
  • Indulge yourself in the panoramic view of the crater filled with an emerald lake and take in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape
  • Take a break for lunch at Lagoa do Fogo mountain, and then stop to enjoy the most stunning views of the island and lake.
  • Embark on the hike and discover several plant species indigenous to the island and learn about the creation of this lagoon.
  • Guide from Picos de Aventura
  • Insurance including Personal Accidents and Civil Liability
  • Walking sticks
  • Tip: Keep an eye out for the weather in this area and plan your hike in advance to be fully prepared.
  • Except for individuals with medical exemptions, everyone must wear face masks.
  • The tour is offered in English and Portuguese.
  • Please arrive at the pick-up location 10 minutes before departure.

half-day hike to sete cidades-1

Half-Day Hike to Sete Cidades

  • Experience the magnificence of Sete Cidades on a hiking trail with an expert, local guide, who will introduce you to its most breathtaking sights.
  • Bask in the pristine vistas from the top of mountain Pico das Éguas, and delight in the sight of the twin crater lake as well as the Canário lake.
  • Enhance your experience with a transportation service that will pick you up and drop you back at the hotel without any hassle.
  • Commemorate your hike by taking picture-perfect selfies that capture the natural beauty of Sete Cidades and its surrounding landscape.
  • English & Portuguese local guide from Picos de Aventura
  • Audio guide
  • Canes, gaiters (winter), reusable water bottle
  • Food and beverages
  • Gratuities & personal expenses
  • Tip: For the best experience, do the hike on a sunny day and carry along hiking poles to ease the walk.
  • Wear comfortable shoes like sneakers on this hiking trip.
  • Apply sunscreen and carry a hat, water bottle, etc. with you.
  • This experience is not suitable for wheelchair users, pram/stroller users, differently-abled people, pregnant people, guests with limited mobility, guests with back/neck injuries, and guests with guide dogs.

tour of whale watching at azores islands & islet boat tour-1

Tour of Whale Watching at Azores Islands & Islet Boat Tour

  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
  • Get aboard an exciting Marine biodiversity tour with biologists and naturalistic guides.
  • Discover more information about whales, dolphins, turtles, fish, birds, and the season's marine biodiversity.
  • Spot this island’s sandy beaches, scenic coastline and the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo.
  • Uncover the hidden secrets of sea life in the heart of the Atlantic.
  • Don't pass up on the chance to spot the resident sperm whales and abundant biodiversity.
  • Knowledgeable guide
  • Islet round tour
  • Experienced skipper
  • Zodiac RIB Boat (12 or 28 people)
  • Impearable full suit & life vest
  • Hotel transfers (available at an extra charge)
  • Meal inclusions
  • Personal water supply
  • The tour will primarily take place in English but is also available in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Dutch. However, these languages cannot be guaranteed.
  • It is advisable to wear warm clothing as weather conditions may alter during the tour.
  • This tour is not recommended for pregnant women, persons with weak backs, or delicate health conditions.
  • This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
  • This tour is not available for children under the age of 4 years.

azorean whalers heritage tour-1

Azorean Whalers Heritage Tour

  • Experience the Azorean whaleboat visit and learn about the whale culture at the place on this heritage tour.
  • Engage in whale spotting and whale lookout during the tour with specialized binoculars.
  • Have access to an introductory briefing about the experience and interact with locals to have access to more stories.
  • See the original 1945 whaleboat "Senhora de Fátima”, the fully operational and sea-worthy evidence of the era in São Miguel.
  • Visit "Vigia da Furada” and learn about ancient whale spotting techniques.
  • See the Ponta Garça's 1957 Lighthouse for a lighthouse keeper-led tour that will provide you with intriguing information about the structure and its significance.
  • Guided tour
  • Azorean Whaling History Briefing
  • Visit the 1945 Azorean Whaleboat
  • Van Tour (air-conditioned)
  • Whaler Lookout Tour & Role-play
  • Hotel transfers (available separately)

guided biking & kayaking tour at furnas with lunch-1

Guided Biking & Kayaking Tour at Furnas with Lunch

  • You may get a good idea of what it's like to be inside a dormant volcano by spending a day paddling and biking through Furnas.
  • Discover diverse landscapes as you scale calderas on a bicycle and wade into lagoons on a canoe.
  • The trip provides transport, a meal cooked in a special way, safety equipment, and everything else you could need throughout the excursion.
  • Your English and Portuguese-speaking guide will also provide historical context on Furnas, the largest civil parish in the Azores Islands!
  • Expert English & Portuguese-speaking guide
  • Helmet & first-aid kit
  • Canoe (2 adults + 1 child) & paddles
  • Safety vest
  • Round-trip transfers from Picos de Aventura/Ponta Delgada
  • Insurance (Personal Accidents & Civil Liability)
  • Bicycle shoes & gloves
  • Tip: Bring everything you might need for the day, including but not limited to swimwear, shoes that can get wet (like sandals), a waterproof bag to store electronics, biking shoes and gloves, a towel, a hat, sunscreen, a backpack, extra food and water, and a change of clothes to wear after the activity.
  • This experience is suitable for beginners without a prior knowledge of swimming.
  • This experience is not suitable for guests aged 5 and under.

guided half-day whale watching tour-1

Guided Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

  • Take part in an unforgettable half-day whale-watching cruise on the magnificent Sea of Azorean, the top 10 whale-watching spots in the world.
  • See whales and dolphins in their natural habitat, safely and respectfully, in the Azores in your chosen boats.
  • Board Catamaran or Zodiac boat according to your preference and escape to the world of sea to discover some truths and facts behind whales with a professional instructor on board.
  • Spot striped dolphins, sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins, sei whales, fin whales, common dolphins, pilot whales, minke whales, Atlantic spotted dolphins and Risso's dolphins on your half-day tour.
  • Activity presentation
  • Fiber boat or catamaran
  • Life jackets
  • Waterproof jackets
  • Insurance (Including Personal Accident and Liability)

This ticket has the following options that you can choose from:

  • Whale Watching Half-day - Catamaran
  • Whale Watching Half-day - Zodiac Boat
  • Tip: Keep your cameras ready as you will never know which marine animal you may spot on this tour!
  • The experience is appropriate for pram/stroller users.
  • For semi-rigid and fiber boats, life jackets are required.
  • While riding the speed and fiber boats, riders must wear waterproof jackets.
  • During the summer, it is recommended that you dress warmly and wear waterproof shoes or slippers.

guided glass bottom boat tour with snorkeling in são miguel-1

Guided Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling in São Miguel

  • Immerse yourself in a captivating 2-hour guided tour of the Azores Sea aboard a glass-bottom boat with an expert crew and guide.
  • Get your journey underway at Vila Franca do Campo Marina with a briefing from a marine biologist, and discover the region's marine life, nature, and history.
  • Observe unique sea creatures in the protected area, including seabirds, crustaceans, colorful fish, starfish, and volcanic activity beneath the water.
  • Swim or snorkel with the wildlife for an unforgettable adventure experience, and witness the marine ecosystem up close.
  • Access to 2 hour glass bottom boat tour in São Miguel
  • English and Portuguese-speaking guides
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Transport to meeting point
  • Food and drinks
  • Tip: Look out for the 'fishy kiss' - if you're lucky, you might get a gentle nibble on your finger from the curious fish when you dip it in the water.
  • Facilities: Wheelchair Accessibility, Pram/Stroller Accessibility, Pets, Guide dogs allowed.
  • Bring along your sunscreen.
  • Outside food and drinks allowed, photography allowed.
  • If you would like to do snorkeling we recommend bringing swimwear and a towel.

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  • The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.

wildlife tours azores

1. Whale and Dolphin Watching on Tercera Island

wildlife tours azores

2. Terceira Island Private Full-Day Slow Tour with Lunch and Pickup

wildlife tours azores

3. Hike 3 hours Coast of Terceira Island

wildlife tours azores

4. Whale and Dolphin Watching in Terceira Island

wildlife tours azores

5. ride a volcano - go to the gardens in the woods

wildlife tours azores

6. Swimming with Dolphins in Terceira Island

wildlife tours azores

7. Mistérios Negros Hiking Trail - Terceira Azores

wildlife tours azores

8. Walking Trail Bays of Agualva

wildlife tours azores

9. Volcano Tour

wildlife tours azores

10. Terceira Island: Algar do Carvão - The caves Tour

wildlife tours azores

11. Half Day Tour to the Caves

wildlife tours azores

12. Segway Tour Monte Brasil

wildlife tours azores

13. Black Mysteries Walking Trail

wildlife tours azores

14. Walking Trail Chambre Rock

wildlife tours azores

15. Walking Trails of Terceira

wildlife tours azores

16. Hike 3 hours Inland Terceira Island

wildlife tours azores

17. Segway Tour Sao Sebastiao

wildlife tours azores

18. Azores Minigolf Experience

wildlife tours azores

19. Full-Day Hiking Tour in Terceira Island - Mistérios Negros

wildlife tours azores

20. Terceira Island Half Day Pure Air Hiking Trails

wildlife tours azores

21. Nature Therapy Walks

wildlife tours azores

22. Swimming with Dolphins in Terceira Island

wildlife tours azores

23. Segway Tour Praia da Vitoria

wildlife tours azores

24. Praia da Vitória E-bike Guided Tour with pick-up and drop-off

wildlife tours azores

25. Ilhéus das Cabras in Terceira Island

wildlife tours azores

26. Monte Brasil & Serra do Cume - Terceira

What travelers are saying.


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  • Azores Expeditions
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  • Switzerland
  • New Zealand
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  • United States

wildlife tours azores

Tours to the Azores

Hop between the islands of the Azores, all equally lush and colourful but each distinctly different. Whether you're walking or cycling there's lots to explore on an Azores tour. There's volcanic landscapes, charming fishing villages and wildlife-spotting opportunities. 

Ways to explore Azores

Walking and trekking, discover our azores tours.

The magnificent islands of the Azores boast verdant hillsides, aquamarine seas, volcanoes and exotic wildlife. Join our  small group tours  to the Azores to see the best that these islands have to offer. 

Our easy-going  Azores Walking holiday  will take you to five of the archipelago’s nine islands. Head to the island of Sao Miguel to view the topaz-blue and emerald-green twin crater lakes of Sete Cidades and uncover the bubbling mud pools of the aptly named Furnas Valley. Swim in the lava rock pools of Terceira and take a walk down the lush Caldeira de Cima gorge and along the rocky coastline of Sao Jorge to Faja dos Cubres. Keep your eyes peeled for pods of whales on a boat trip from Pico Island and uncover blooms of wild blue hydrangeas on the island of Faial. 

Ready to book a tour to the Azores but new to Explore? We've answered some of the  most-asked questions about small group trips .

Our most popular Azores tours

Walking in the azores.

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An adventure travel company you can trust

Unforgettable experiences.

From big wows to hidden gems, our tours leave you feeling that you've really explored.

Expert tour leaders

Chosen for their great knowledge of your destination and a passion to make your trip extraordinary.

Small groups

Average groups of 11; solos, couples and friends, united by a desire for authentic experiences.

Responsible at heart

How we operate sets us apart; our flexible booking policy, our loyalty scheme & sustainable approach.

Need some inspiration for your Azores tour?

wildlife tours azores

10 must-have experiences in the Azores

wildlife tours azores

7 questions answered about your first walking trip

wildlife tours azores

First solo trip with Explore? Top 7 questions answered

Azores Whale Watching TERRA AZUL™

Private Marine Wildlife

for groups, celebrations and private occasions!

Private Boat Tour Azores Sao Miguel

wildlife tours azores

One of the 10 Best Whale Watching Destinations

wildlife tours azores

… couldn’t ask for a better experience enjoying nature and conservation efforts to protect and respect these ocean creatures. Will never forget this tour.
… great variety of birds at good distance for capturing quality photos on the rocky outcroppings offshore, as well as seabird colonies on the water.

wildlife tours azores

One of the Best Places to watch Whales around the World
With only 20 participants you get the feeling that you are on an adventure and not just another trip with the masses of tourists.
The staff were friendly, knowledgeable of the marine life and even named the different whales and dolphins in all the different languages of the guests.
Great experience!!! Very fair people who only go out when the chance is almost 100% for spotting animals.
Certainly, an in-touch-with-nature experience, organised by a passionate-about-nature, warm & caring team. This was, undoubtedly, the best experience of our trip to the Azores.
Amazing trip. Well organised with Land based lookouts guiding the boat. Knowledgeable and lovely tour guide. Definitely a must do.
The team at Terra Azul are knowledgeable and expert in their field. Trips are well organised and value for money.

+ Reviews on TripAdvisor FourSquare Yelp Google+ Facebook

Approximately 3 hours

Naturalist/biologist guide, custom-tailored, relationship builder, great for special occasions, for private events.

Personalized Zodiac boat tour with Skipper and Marine Wildlife Guide!

See Wildlife, cruise the island’s scenic coastline, discover hidden places and secluded beaches, snorkel the Atlantic’s sea bottom, or… It’s up to you!

The​ ​journey​ ​start​s on schedule with​ ​a short briefing​ ​introducing you to​ ​local​ marine species and their habitat, and safety onboard.

You will then follow your guide to your Zodiac boat, now free to enjoy a fun boat trip to see Whales, Dolphins, Birds and marine wildlife, to cruise the beautiful coastline, for better views to the island’s volcanoes, to discover hidden places, to explore secluded beaches, to snorkel the island’s coastal marine fauna and flora, or… Let us know what you’d like to do!

Marine Wildlife can be observed yearlong. Sperm Whales are resident with 3 additional cetacean species, and marine biodiversity is abundant. From March to June it is the passing of many species of the migratory Baleen Whale giants. Exclusively between June and September it is possible to swim with any of 4 different species of Dolphins!

Our​ ​lookout​ ​high​ ​inland​ ​will​ ​assist the Skipper in finding wildlife and provide​ ​directions​ ​via​ ​VHF​ ​Radio. A knowledgeable Wildlife Guide is there to keep you informed, and ensure the best environmental and conservation standards on tour.

We recommend you to be at the specified time for registration and briefing. Eat light, and bring your personal water supply, swimsuit, towel, and warm clothing, sunscreen and chap-stick for the Sun. Light food is permitted, and a Camera is essential, specially for photography lovers – please protect any electronics and personal equipment.

This tour is inappropriate and inadvisable for anyone pregnant , with weak back, in wheelchair, in delicate health condition, or under the age of 4.

  • [Oct 1st – Mar 31st]
  • * Includes Wildlife Guide
  • + Wetsuits, Snorkel Masks & Tubes
  • Clean & Safe Certified
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Free Cancellations
  • [Apr 1st – Sep 30th]

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Terra Azul Azores Whale Watching

Marina Vila Franca do Campo 4 9680-187 São Miguel Island Azores Islands – Portugal

Bookings: +351 913 453 030 (mobile) Tel: +351 296 581 361 (landline) Email:

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REG/VAT PT512070423 RNAAT 131/2015 MT 39/2009

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  • Whale Watching
  • Swim with Dolphins
  • Marine Birdwatching
  • Islet of Vila Franca do Campo Reserve Tour
  • Lagoa do Fogo Volcano Tour
  • Furnas HotSprings and Botanic Garden Tour
  • Whales & Furnas Hot Springs [Oct-Jun]
  • Whales & The Princess Ring Islet [Jun-Sep]
  • Whales & Lagoa Do Fogo Volcano [Oct-Jun]
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Guide to The Azores

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Animals and Plants in the Azores

  • November 21, 2021


The Azores Archipelago is one of the most remote island groups in the Atlantic Ocean and for this reason it is still home to a fair number of endemic species, both animal and vegetable. Animals and Plants in the Azores are a source of never ending wonder and surprise, especially for birdwatchers and lovers of whales and dolphins!

Azzorre Flora e Fauna

The Azores islands are today considered one of the world’s sanctuaries of biodiversity and geodiversity, and one of the best destinations in the world for lovers of natural tourism.

Among the original flora of the archipelago, partially disappeared after the arrival of the colonists, the typical Macaronesian laurisilva (laurel forest), composed of juniper shrubs (Juniper brevifolia), heather, laurel (Laurus azorica), tamarisk and various other dozens of endemic species still observable today. The Canarian laurel Myrica Faya or the Canarian laurel, is one of the most important and unique widespread and original species.

lauro delle canarie

The “laurel forest” is an evergreen forest typical of the islands of Macaronesia, composed of evergreen laurels that reach even 40 meters in height.

These forests, remains of vegetation that covered a large part of the Mediterranean basin during the Pliocene, regressed in the rest of Europe due to drought, replaced by vegetation more resistant to the dry climate. The position of Macaronesia, and therefore of the Azores archipelago, with its temperate climate and the consequent maintenance of average humidity, allows to mitigate the climatic fluctuations and therefore the survival of these forests.

Small fields of laurisilva are still found in the Azores on the island of Pico, Terceira and on the island of São Miguel above 500 meters above sea level.

erica scoparia

Among the other species that can be found in the Azores we mention: the Cedar of Lebanon, the Holly, the Viburnum, the Scottish heather, the Erica scoparia or of the broom, the wild berry, the Euphorbia, the wild cherry Morello, Brazil Mahogany, Lauro and Cornelian cherry.

During the centuries of colonization, man introduced many other species which today contribute to attributing new features to the landscape. These include the Acacias, the Camellias, the Belladonna, the Agapanti, the Japanese Cryptomeria, the Magnolias, the Hibiscus, the Australian paper tree, the camphor trees, the rare ginkgo as well as, for us municipalities, plane trees, lime trees , pines and palms. Among all the species introduced over the centuries there are Hydrangeas and Azaleas which with their peculiar blue and pink colors have given the islands a particular uniqueness.

In the Azores, thanks to the particular humid and temperate climate, all types of vegetables and fruit grow, even those considered exotic to us such as pineapples and bananas, alongside citrus and spices.

the delle Azzorre

In addition, Hemp, Flax, Tobacco are easily grown and incredibly, only place in Europe, Tea!

Another peculiarity: the Azores are an excellent soil for collecting mushrooms (even porcini) that no one collects by habit and culture!

Whale in front of Pico The largest fauna in the Azores archipelago was and still remains today in the sea where the major aquatic mammals live: in the waters around the islands over 24 types of cetaceans live and transit such as sperm whales, killer whales and dolphins, 5 species of sea turtles, together with swordfish, tuna, barracuda, anchovies, groupers and many other types of fish.

Balena davanti a Pico

In the area there are abundant colonies of molluscs and crustaceans which complete a truly exceptional marine biodiversity. The meeting point between the cold deep waters of the ocean and the warm currents of the Gulf make the Azores area an area particularly rich in fish at all times of the year. In many lakes of the islands there are also pike, carp, trout and salmon trout.Thanks to the ideal position of the archipelago, at the center of the route between America and Europe, and thanks to its jagged coasts, steep cliffs, unspoiled nature and numerous lakes, the Azores islands have become an almost obligatory stop for many migratory birds that they stop, refresh and nest on its territory during their great intercontinental crossings.The Azores are therefore rich in seabirds and birds of prey. To name a few: kites and hawks, partridges, crows, crows,

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Azores bullfinch Pyrrhula murinacolombi, gulls, the royal tern, the blackbird, the canary, the petroleum of Fea, the berta of Bulwer, the lesser atlantic berta, the Macaronesia berta, the bird of the Castro storms and the very rare priolo or bullfinch of the Azores (Pyrrhula murina) which enjoys special protection as believed extinct and rediscovered on the island of Sao Miguel, in the area of Tronqueira. A paradise for bird watchers. Of course there is no shortage, given the numerous pristine and wooded areas, porcupines, hares of the Azores, ferrets and other small land mammals. Finally, noteworthy, we remember that snakes are absent throughout the territory of the Azorian archipelago. More generally, it can be said that there are absolutely no dangerous species for humans.

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Last note, there are two breeds of dogs typical of the island: the Cão Fila de São Miguel – a medium / large size molossoid, an excellent shepherd and guard dog, and the Barbado da Terceira, medium-sized dog with long and matted hair, also it used as a working dog.

Barbado da Terceira

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wildlife tours azores

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Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of são miguel island, the team at azoresland tours.

At AzoresLand Tours, we are a group of passionate and experienced locals who are dedicated to giving you an authentic and memorable experience on São Miguel Island. Our local experts know the island like the back of their hand, and they can't wait to share their knowledge and love of the island with you.

  • Local expertise
  • Customized itineraries
  • Exceptional service

See for yourself the island's captivating landscapes, rich culture, and diverse wildlife.

Feel the nature discover são miguel with our tours.


Sete Cidades

45€ / person.


Lagoa do Fogo


Furnas with lunch

75€ / person, worried because you have a big group,    .

We are glad to help you arrange everything even for bigger groups, dont hesitate to contact us!

Our Gallery

Take a visual tour of São Miguel Island through our photo gallery, featuring stunning images of the island's landscapes, wildlife, and traditional culture. From lush green forests to rugged coastlines, our gallery gives you a glimpse of the island's natural beauty and diversity, and will leave you wanting more.

wildlife tours azores


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  1. The 10 Best Sightseeing Tours

    Find the Best Tours & Sightseeing in Azores. Compare Prices and Book Online. Full Refund Available up to 24 Hours Before Your Tour Date. Quick & Easy Purchase Process.

  2. Azores Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours TERRA AZUL™

    Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours in Azores - Eco Expedition trips to see Whales and Dolphins in Sao Miguel near Ponta Delgada. In Azores observe up to 4 cetacean residents yearlong (incl. Sperm Whales!) whale safari in Azores, from March up to 28 - a third of all known species, including giant baleen Sei Whales, Fin Whales, Blue Whales, and sometimes even Humpback Whales, Killer Whales, and ...

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  4. Wildlife Holidays in the Azores for 2024/25

    Professionally organised, expertly guided wildlife holidays and tours to Azores with Naturetrek ... Islands often harbour unusual wildlife and the Azores are no exception. While the islands are home to some interesting bird and plant-life, some of their marine-life - in particular the whale and dolphin-watching - is world-class. 27 species ...

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    Half-Day Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour in Ponta Delgada. 400. Search for whales and dolphins along the southern coast of the Azores on this wildlife watching trip from Ponta Delgada. Traveling in a nimble, open boat with an experienced captain, you'll have the best chance of spotting the bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales, sei whales ...

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    15. Guided Visit to the Crater and Volcano of Lagoa das Sete Cidades. This tour is unique because we will visit an iconic place in the Azores, São Miguel island Lagoa das Sete Cidades is most…. 16. Private Jeep Tour in São Miguel Island. Have the best experience discovering the Island of São Miguel on a 4x4 vehicle.

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    These are the best places for groups seeking nature & wildlife tours in Azores: Hominis Natura; Naturalist - Science & Tourism; Amazing Tours; Smatur; Harmony Trail Azores; See more nature & wildlife tours for groups in Azores on Tripadvisor

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    Whale Watching & Islet Boat Tour. Join an exciting Marine Wildlife tour, to see and learn more about Whales, Dolphins, Turtles, Fish, Birds, and the season's marine biodiversity of the Azores Islands! Duration: 3 Hours (approx.) From EUR €62.00. Book Now.

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    Azores wildlife holidays. Responsible whale watching in the Azores. Humpback & blue whales in May. Dolphin watching or swim with wild dolphins. Toggle navigation. ... Whale & Dolphin lovers dream tour in the Azores! From €2,155 to €2,340 10 days ex flights Small group travel: 2024: 21 Apr, 5 May, 19 May, 2 Jun, 16 Jun

  11. Whales & Dolphins of the Azores

    Whales & Dolphins of the Azores is a group tour for São Miguel in Azores, Portugal . It is ideal for Whale watching, Dolphin watching. Join us in the Azores as we head out on daily boat trips to enjoy the astounding diversity of the whales and dolphins that frequent these waters of th….

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    Embarking on a whale watching journey in the Azores offers you a unique opportunity to connect with nature's giants in the vast Atlantic Ocean. The Azores, a stunning archipelago located about 1,368 km west of mainland Portugal, serve as a prime destination for observing an impressive array of cetacean species.. The rich marine biodiversity enhances your experience in these Portuguese ...

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    Immerse yourself in a captivating 2-hour guided tour of the Azores Sea aboard a glass-bottom boat with an expert crew and guide. Get your journey underway at Vila Franca do Campo Marina with a briefing from a marine biologist, and discover the region's marine life, nature, and history.

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    Nature & Wildlife Tours in São Miguel. 1. Half-Day Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour in Ponta Delgada. Discover the beautiful waters of Azores in this half-day tour of watching dolphins and whales. Admire the Azores marine ….

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    13. Walking Trail Chambre Rock. Rocha do Chambre is the name of one of the most beautiful areas to visit in the heart of Terceira Island, here you have …. 14. Walking Trail Bays of Agualva. Baías da Agualva has Alagoa da Fajãzinha as one of the main attractions and also stands out for its extensive cliff areas….

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