2024 sees a welcome return for one of our most-popular holidays: say hello to the Whales and Birds of Sao Miguel.

Since taking their first tentative steps into the world of eco-tourism in the late 1980s, the islands of the Azores are now widely considered to be Europe’s number one destination for whale and dolphin watching.

Today’s ‘whale-tourism’ is key to the ecology of the north Atlantic, helping to support cetacean studies and conservation across the Azores. And trips to sea are so much more than simply whale watching – in the capable hands of our resident marina biologists, you’ll learn about the natural habitats of the Azorean populations of Sperm whales, the behavioural patterns of Atlantic spotted dolphins, and you’ll see how different cetacean species communicate.

Thanks to their mid-Atlantic location, the Azores are also a welcome refuge for a wide variety of marine birds, migratory species and occasionally the odd vagrant. Cory’s shearwaters and storm-petrels are regular visitors to the Ilhue d’ Vila: an extinct offshore volcano, and you’ll have a chance to visit this important nature reserve. On land, you’ll also explore eastern Sao Miguel’s laurisilva forest: the protected natural habitat for the Priolo bullfinch – one of Europe’s most-endangered native bird species.

We’ll also include a hire car, with time to explore the magnificent landscapes of Sao Miguel at your leisure: the beautiful twin lakes at Sete Cidades, the central Fogo volcanic massif, and the famous hot springs at Furnas.


You’ll begin your holiday by flying from Heathrow to the Azores, via Lisbon. Our driver will collect you on arrival for the twenty-minute transfer to your accommodation in the south coast village of Caloura.
We’ll deliver a hire car and you’ll drive to the nearby town of Vila Franca do Campo for a three-hour whale and dolphin watching trip. The seas around the Azores are one of the best places to observe cetaceans and other ocean wildlife: bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales leatherback turtles, blue sharks, storm petrels and Cory's shearwaters.
You’ll return to Vila Franca this morning for a second whale and dolphin watching trip. You’ll also explore Ponta Delgada, capital of the Azores and the main town on the island. With its narrow, cobbled streets, mosaic pavements and interesting mix of traditional and modern architecture, it's a nicely compact city which is easy to explore on foot.
You’ll head to the sparsely populated eastern end of the island, home to the Priolo: the Azorean bullfinch. Our resident birding guide will take you deep into the laurisilva forests, where you’ll learn more about this endangered species and the attempts to conserve its natural habitat.
You’ll spend a day in the Furnas valley, famous for its hot springs, geysers and geothermal swimming pools.
You’ll return to sea this morning, concentrating Sao Miguel’s marina bird population. Thanks to their mid-Atlantic location, the Azores are a welcome refuge for a wide variety of marine birds: great shearwaters, manx shearwaters and leach’s storm-petrels are regulars, and vagrant arctic, pomarine and great skuas are surprise rarities.
You’ll return to the marina for your third and final whale watching trip. In the afternoon, you’ll head west to explore the great crater at Sete Cidades, ending the day with a swim at Ponta da Ferraria, where the sea is naturally heated by underwater volcanic vents.
You'll return your hire car to the airport before flying home.

From £2100 per person

We can create a tailor-made holiday to suit your budget.

International flights, accommodation in a twin/double en-suite room on a B&B basis, an arrival airport transfers, three whale and dolphin watching trips, a marine birdwatching trip, a full-day birding tour and a hire car.



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