Dive Trips and Holidays in the Azores
A breathtaking experience for divers, holidays in the Azores let you appreciate the freedom, tranquility and clear waters that draw whales, dolphins and turtles to the islands. The waters of the Atlantic and the gulf stream mingle around the Azores. So the water temperature is a mild 17ºC (62ºF) to 24ºC (75ºF) and tropical and Atlantic fish live side by side. As well as a wide variety of pelagic (open sea) fish and colourful reef life, the Azores are also a haven for marine mammals with over 20 species identified. In fact the islands have been recognised as one of the best places in the world to see them, particularly between May and October.
The volcanoes that long ago formed the islands themselves also created vast underwater craters, caves, arches and other bizarre lava formations that are well worth exploring. For experienced divers, the Azores offers further challenges such as underwater lagoons, vertical drop-offs and wrecks. The water is clean and deep with generally good visibility of between 15 and 25 metres, sometimes reaching 60 metres off the island of Santa Maria.
Marine life you may spot during your diving holidays in the Azores includes: turtles, bottle nose dolphins, humpback whales, sperm whales, manta rays sometimes travelling in very large groups, hammerhead, tope and moka sharks, Atlantic blue fin tuna, common eagle rays, groupers, amberjacks, barracudas, billfish, morays, cuttle fish, shrimp, crayfish, octopus and of course lots of vibrant flora and sea birds. It is also possible for advanced divers to dive with sharks or rays.
There are many impressive dive sites around the Azores, and some of the most popular are Arcos de Caloura, Boca das Caldeirinhas, Baixa das Castanhetas, Baixa do Sul, Vila Franca do Campo, Formigas Rocks, Dollabarat, Gruta Profunda, the Dori Wreck and the Princesa Alice. The Azores are also a great destination for snorkellers, who could have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snorkel with dolphins!
The Azores form an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, 1,500km from Lisbon and 3,900km from North America. There are nine beautiful, unspoilt, islands, all are inhabited and they have diverse landscapes and habitats. There are direct flights to the Azores from Portugal, Spain, Germany, the USA and Canada. Flights from the UK and Ireland usually go through Lisbon or Porto. Flights generally land at Ponta Delgada on São Miguel, the largest island in the Azores. You can travel between the islands by plane or ferry in the summer.