Whale watching in the Azores

The last twenty years have seen the islands of the Azores become Europe’s leading whale watching destination. 

 

Whale watching in the Azores

When to visit ?

The seas around the Azores islands are one of the best places to observe cetaceans – home to a variety of species, including Atlantic-spotted dolphins and sperm whales which can be seen throughout the year. Peak season is from April through to October, with larger migratory species such as blue whales and fin whales passing through in the spring – usually the last two weeks of April and first two weeks of May.

Whale watching in the Azores

Why go whale watching ?

Whale watching and tourism supports cetacean studies and conservation, and the crews we work with are members of MONICET: a voluntary research organisation which collates the sightings data from teams across the whole of the Azores. This data provides a year-on-year record of the lives of the resident whales and dolphins, and tourism and whale watching play a crucial role in supporting their continuing research.

It’s also important to understand how whale hunting fits into the history of the islands: to recognise the social, economic and ecological effects on the Azores when the hunting ban was introduced in the 1980s, and how this led to the islands’ successful transition from whale hunting to whale tourism.

Whale watching in the Azores

Which islands are best for whale watching ?

Our whale and dolphin watching holiday on Sao Miguel with the crew from Terra Azul is our most popular week, with a nice balance between trips to sea and time to explore the island’s beautiful volcanic landscapes.

Faial’s also one of our favourite islands to whale watch from, and we have a similar week where you can mix whale watching with jeep tours and other activities. Our whale watching research trips offer a more in-depth study of whales – there are five, seven and nine-night trips from March through to July, and again in mid-September.

Whale watching in the Azores

With our whales and wines holiday on Pico, you’ll heading to the island where it all began. Serge Viallelle emigrated to Pico from his native France when whale hunting ended in the 1980s. He saw a new future for the island’s whale spotters – combining their skills and experience with his own passion for marine conservation, he demonstrated that whale tourism was the sustainable way forwards. Sadly, Serge passed away at the end of 2019 but his legacy lives on – not only on Pico, but across the whole of the Azores.

 

 

Archipelago Choice Azores specialists

We specialise in tailor-made holidays to the nine islands of the Azores. Our experienced team of specialists are ready to put together your personalised trip; just give them a call on 017687 721020.

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