Ian Coates

Please call me to discuss any aspect of your holiday. Always happy to help in any way.

Travel has always been a big part of my life and the mould was set on my first Cub Scout camp when I was 8 years old. Just 4 miles down the road, if felt like an epic journey into the unknown….and it was; with mid-night feasts, jungle treks and secret raids on islands fortresses! In my late teens, and before we all had the personal computer, I was organising trips around the UK and across Europe for groups of friends, using nothing more than a notepad and photocopier.

I grew up the great-grandson, grandson, and son of a butcher and life was pretty much mapped out before me. From the age of 14, I was working in my father’s butcher’s shop and there wasn’t much need for an education. But I always knew there was another world beyond this one and through books, magazines and Private Eye I found my escape. Throwing off the shackles of expectation I started to travel the world, initially for 6 months, then a year and then for 4 years.

The journey to Archipelago Choice has been full of challenges, danger, adventures, fun and stories to tell. I’m now married with two children and a company that at times feels like a third. Running your own business, for me, is one of life’s great pleasures. We have a fantastic team and a strong ethos to do the “right thing” by protecting the environment, creating inspiring jobs, looking after our clients and helping our friends and colleagues to prosper on their island Archipelagos.

You can go on holiday, or better still you can come on a journey with us.


Ian Coates
Destination Specialist
01768 721040

My favourite part of the Azores

The main island of the Azores, São Miguel still maintains a unique charm where life is polite and unhurried. It’s a great island for a first visit with easy flight connections, a wealth of things to see and activities to do, and some of the Azores’ most spectacular volcanic scenery.

From quiet fishing villages to remote crater lakes to boiling pools, this island has it all.

My favourite activity in the Azores

This is a true wild dolphin experience and undoubtedly the highlight of many of our client’s holidays. With 25% of the world’s known cetacean species and the largest variety of dolphin species worldwide, this has to be the ultimate swimming with dolphins holiday destination.

There are 8 species around the Azores with but you’re most likely to see Common, Atlantic Spotted, Risso’s and Bottlenose dolphins and the pods are usually large of between 50 and 200 individuals. Super pods of up to 1000 have been sighted though!

Some species are more curious and exuberant than others, leaping out of the sea and swimming close to you beneath the water. A glance from a dolphin is an unusual, memorable even spiritual experience. They are intelligent, highly organised and present no danger to humans and the symphony of communication sounds you’ll hear beneath the water is extraordinary.

If playing in the water with these amazing mammals is your dream than contact one of our team to find out more about our unique swimming with dolphins holidays.

My favourite accommodation in the Azores

The Pirate’s Nest is located in Vila Nova on tiny Corvo island in the Azores.

The pirates are actually a very friendly Azorean family whose guesthouse has 3 twin rooms (with TV and kettle) which share 2 bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. Breakfast isn’t included but everyone can prepare their own in the kitchen which gives it a feel of a small youth hostel.

You’ll be made to feel right at home at the Pirate’s Nest and nothing is too much trouble for the owners. In October, this becomes a base for keen birdwatchers on the look out for American vagrants.

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