Swimming with Dolphins in the Azores…
..whale, dolphin and shark watching, snorkelling with rays and sharks
From whale, dolphin and shark watching and snorkeling to swimming with dolphins in the Azores, we offer you the opportunity to observe some of the world’s most beautiful and impressive creatures in their natural habitat.
From your base amongst the spectacular scenery of Pico Island in the mid-Atlantic ocean you can swim with dolphins, go dolphin and whale watching, snorkel with manta rays and scuba dive with or without sharks! There is also plenty to do on land- you can hike up Mount Pico, Portugal’s highest mountain, go on guided jeep, hiking or cycling tours, go caving or fishing. We can create a tailor made package for you with accommodation if desired- please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
Did you know that the Azores are one of the best places in the world to see wild dolphins and whales? Seeing these majestic creatures in real life is an experience you’ll never forget and a must-do if you are visiting the Azores! During our daily boat tours to observe the whales and dolphins we may encounter up to 5 different species of cetaceans. We approach all the animals very cautiously, taking care not to disturb them. This is the key to a successful encounter. It is up to the animals to decide whether they want to come close to the boats or not. Sometimes we only get a glimpse of a blow, a fluke or a fin. With a little luck however, a whale might peek out of the water or even breach. Since 1999 we have spotted dolphins or whales on 99% of trips. Dolphins and whales can be sighted all year round but the Season of the Giants runs from February to May, this is when the biggest animals on the planet, the Blue whales, visit the Azorean waters. They are frequently accompanied by Fin whales, Humpback, Sei and Minke whales. Sperm whales and dolphins may be seen all year round. We also offer special packages for week-long dolphin and whale safaris and in the spring there are specialist camps with high profile lecturers. Please contact us for more details of the dolphin and whale watching trips or the specialist whale watching holidays.
Take a moment to relax? Imagine diving into the deep blue ocean. As you open your eyes you find yourself in a new world: the underwater kingdom of the dolphins. We can make this dream come true… Once in the water discover an overwhelming sensation of freedom and peace with the sonar sounds of the dolphins echoing through your body and the deep and endless blue around you.
While swimming with dolphins in the Azores you can observe them in their natural habitat feeding, mating, jumping, communicating or bow riding in front of our boat. You will discover how they protect their babies and how they behave as a social group.
After years of running this program we know the Azorean waters well and know where to find the dolphins. We always treat the dolphins with utmost respect and use the conditions at sea and their behavior to identify the best time to join them. Our experienced guides will prepare you for the trip, teaching you how to behave appropriately around the dolphins so that you have the very best experience possible. Every day out at sea is different and every experience is unique. So if you want a deeper understanding of the dolphins’ way of life we suggest that you join us on a minimum of 6 excursions.
On our boat rides, as well as the dolphins, we often meet whales and turtles, and sometimes large fish such as Sun-fish and Blue Marlin. Who knows what you might spot? We have seen it all!
So be our guest and join us on our trips into the other world – the blue kingdom of the dolphins!
In the Azores there are laws in place to protect the dolphins and whales. You may only swim with the small dolphin species and it is strictly forbidden to touch the mammals or use scuba gear by them. We observe the dolphins from the water surface using only snorkels, masks and fins. If you have never been snorkeling before, we offer a short beginner’s course so that you can confidently swim with the dolphins.
Meet the Sharks!
The Azores are one of the best places in the world to see Blue sharks (Prionace glauca) up close and in relatively large numbers. There is also the possibility of seeing Short fin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) and occassionally the smooth hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zygaena). The aim of the shark watching and snorkelling with shark tours is not to test your nerve but to increase understanding and respect for these beautiful creatures. The shark watching excursion focuses on the evolution, physiology and behaviour of sharks and the role they play in marine ecosystems. The tour is only offered on calm days when the sharks will come close to the surface and boat so you can see them close to which is an amazing experience. The shark watching tour takes approximately 6 hours and you will often also spot dolphins, whales, sea turtles, flying fish, Portuguese Man o’War and many marine birds!
The Princess Alice Bank is a submerged seamount in the Atlantic Ocean, situated 45 nautical miles southwest of Pico and one of the best diving spots in the Atlantic with incredible biodiversity. It is also one of the few places on the planet where you can snorkel with Mobula rays (Mobula tarapacana), which can be found in groups (fevers) of 5 to 30 rays and they are often curious about snorkelers and divers and will approach. The rays often swim near the surface of the water, almost as if they are welcoming the boats upon arrival! With a span of up to 4 meters it is a truly breathtaking experience to have these huge animals gliding right up to you, while you find yourself floating in the midst of the open ocean. Here visibility can be up to 50 metres and it is also common to see Barracudas, tunas, bonitos, swordfish and sharks. Please contact us about our shark or manta rays trips.
Details and Booking
Location:Madalena, Pico, Azores. There are direct flights from Portugal, the UK, Germany and some other European countries
Accommodation offered? Yes, we can arrange accommodation in holiday homes, apartments, hotels and guest houses around Madalena and Piedade.
Languages spoken: English, Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish.
Professionals We have worked with world class photographers from organizations such as the National Geographic and Getty Images. Contact us for more information
Beginners are welcome.
Children are welcome on our trips. We also offer a baby sitter service for all babies up to 3 years old. During your diving, whale watching or mountain climbing the baby will stay with Fatima, our experienced baby sitter. In her house there are beds, toys and everything the little ones might need. ?
Please us the form below to book your trip or request more information about diving or swimming with dolphins in the Azores