meet the whales
Summer 2023
30 July - 6 August / 6 - 13 August

Autumn 2023
16 - 23 September / 24 September - 1 October
  • 8 days
  • Whale watching, swimming with dolphins, hot springs, volcano caldera trekking
  • level of difficulty:
  • from 1490 EUR
What's in store for us on this trip?
The Azores is a small archipelago 1,500 kilometers from Portugal, where tourists from all over the world come to see whales. The Azores won the EU Wildlife Conservation Award. There is a silence that pervades the picturesque mysterious caves and canyons, unspoiled shady parks, forests and lakes.
The Azores islands are visited primarily for whales. Seeing a whale is an amazing experience that will be remembered for a lifetime. We have specialized in "whale watching" trips around the world for many years - we not only show whales, but also talk a lot about their way of life and current population problems. The Whale Watching Tour includes a large whale watching program: an ocean walk to look for whales, popular science lectures, and the opportunity to swim in the open ocean with dolphins.
The whale program is complemented by a visit to the main attractions of San Miguel Island. The format of the tour is quite flexible and as close as possible to an individual trip. Tour participants are immersed in an exploratory atmosphere and become adventurers exploring these amazing islands.
  • 1
    Whale watching
    The Azores is a place with a great species diversity of cetaceans.

    Sperm whales. The archipelago is located in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, where depths from 1 km begin almost next to the shore. Due to its volcanic origin, its bottom is riddled with rifts, which are home to deep-sea squid, a favorite food of sperm whales. Several thousand sperm whales live near the islands year-round, so an encounter with the planet's largest predator is very high (at least based on the experience of our trips).

    Blue whales. Azores is in the middle of the Gulf Stream, i.e. on the migration path of the animals. Every year, whales migrate in search of plankton. Because of the great depths, they pass close to the islands. Blue whales, sei whales and fin whales, humpbacks, and about 20 other species of cetaceans can be found here. It is especially good to observe migrating whales in May, because after starving for food on the equator, they feed on the way and swim much slower.
  • 2
    Swimming with dolphins in the ocean
    The Azores are home to many different species of dolphins, including some quite rare ones. The nutrient-rich water attracts many species of fish, followed, of course, by predators. Off the coast of the islands dolphins often gather in groups of several hundred individuals. Animals are quite contactable and swim close to the diver.

    There are frequent meetings with killer whales and sharks. In many places before going into the sea guides say a popular phrase "you never know who we might meet. In the Azores, this is not marketing, it is true.
  • 3
    Volcanoes and eco-tourism
    There are 1,766 volcanoes in the archipelago. There are no active volcanoes on the islands, but everything associated with volcanic origin is plentiful: fumaroles, mountain lakes in craters, natural mineral waters and healing hot springs. We cannot say whether the springs are really healing, but swimming in the hot water is a pleasure.

    Azores is a paradise for ecotourism lovers. The locals have a great reverence for nature. They have never heard of pollution, there are no big enterprises, factories and recreational infrastructure. The remoteness from the mainland gives the islands a unique humid climate. Moving along the mountain serpentine under a clear sky, you can accidentally find yourself in a small cloud. The feeling of a real Silent Hill: all around complete silence, and an outstretched hand can hardly be seen.

    A separate attraction is the local farms. We have not seen so many cows in any other country in the world. Interestingly, the cows apparently think of themselves as mountain goats and often graze on almost steep slopes against the ocean.
  • 4
    Comfortable and secure
    Travel to the Azores is accompanied by a quality European level of service: good roads, delicious food, neatly mowed lawns, well-kept parks and beautiful European houses. Food prices are lower than in most EU countries because of preferential taxation. As in any small towns in Europe, it is absolutely safe, and unspoiled tourists locals are very welcoming and friendly.
Day 1. Meeting in Ponta Delgada
We are in the capital of the Azores, Ponta Delgada. Once an ordinary fishing village, today it is the main port of the island of San Miguel. The capital is considered a tourist center for lovers of pristine nature and the largest inhabitants of the sea depths.
Over dinner, you'll get to know everyone on the trip. We'll tell you all the details of the itinerary and answer all your questions. Get a good night's sleep, from the next day you won't have much time for that.
Day 2. Lake Lagoa das Sete Cidades and bathing in the hot cove Ponta da Ferraria
In the crater of the Stratovolcano Sete Cidades Massif is the largest body of water on the island, Sete Cidades. It is a double lake that consists of two lagoas, Lagoa Verdi (Green Lake) and Lagoa Azul (Blue Lake). The color of the lagoons is different not only in the name, but also in reality. Together with the abandoned hotel located nearby on a hill, they are one of the hallmarks of the Azores.
On the west coast of the island of San Miguel, amidst a pile of volcanic lava is Ferraria Bay, called the "hot ocean. The hot springs are located right in the ocean. First you are in a stream of heated underground water, and in a second you are cooled by the waves of the Atlantic. For children there is a pool with hot thermal water. The bottom of the bay was formed by lava, so in order not to scratch your feet on the uneven stones, it is better to bring slippers. Do not forget that staying in the hot springs for more than half an hour is not recommended.
Day 3. Swimming with dolphins in the ocean
In the Azores you can find different kinds of dolphins. Some packs move fast enough and you can't swim with them. Others are more sociable - we will jump to them. If we are lucky, we will see a bottlenose, a manta or a turtle, with which you can also swim.
Water is cool enough, so without a wetsuit can not do. You can bring it with you (recommended) or take it on the spot, but it is quite thin. Snorkels and masks also have the necessary amount, but the flippers only your own.
To avoid disturbing the animals, the number of people in the water at the same time is limited, so we will split into groups and take turns jumping. Everyone will have enough time to have a good swim. Dolphins are quite contactable animals and often swim very close. Especially if you can dive and swim some distance underwater. We recommend to turn your head to 360°, then you are more likely to see something special, for example a scene of "dolphin love".
IMPORTANT: you must take a pill for seasickness. This is the ocean - even the toughest of the toughest get sick.
The afternoon will be devoted to local attractions, such as a pineapple plantation, black sand beach, a cave, or something else.
Day 4. Furnas Lake, Terra Nostra hot springs and making Cozido
The most famous dish in the Azores is Cozido das Furnas, which we will prepare. It is a stew of vegetables and meat that is stewed in a large bagged pot for about six hours in the volcanic sand.
While the delicacy is cooking, we will bathe in the Fournache thermal complex surrounded by mountains, which is located in the basin of an extinct volcano. We will walk through the Terra Nostra Natural Park, a 12-hectare area with about 600 plant species, 10% of which are endemics.
Day 5. Ocean voyage in search of whales
A half-day trip out into the ocean on a specially prepared boat. Always have your camera ready to catch a photo of the whale surfacing. You can see it from afar by its characteristic fountain over the surface. If you're lucky, you'll see the whale's tail or jump.

We cannot guarantee who or how many we will meet. In our experience, we haven't had any unsuccessful outings yet: sometimes we were a little luckier, sometimes a little less. And some exits would make even National Geographic jealous.
Day 6. Lake Lagoa do Fogo, tea plantation and bathing in hot springs
Lagoa do Fogo, or Lake of Fire, is the second largest lake on the island. It is located in the crater of a volcano and is surrounded by amazing natural landscapes. To the northwest, there are hot springs.

Chá Gorreana is a family business, maintained for five generations since 1883. The factory produces about 33 tons of tea a year, which is exported to mainland Portugal, as well as to Germany, France, Italy, the United States, Canada and many other countries.

If the hot springs haven't bored you yet, let's visit Caldeira Velha. Although they are relatively small, their distinctive feature is that you can see how the boiling water cools down on the way to the bathtub for bathing. The park staff checks the temperature every hour so that the bathers do not get burned. It is also possible to swim in the cool waters of a small waterfall.
Day 8. Extra day
We're saving a day in case one of the planned days doesn't work out, but if everything goes according to plan, you can have a great day out in Ponta Delgada or go on your own to explore the island of San Miguel. If everything goes according to plan, you can have a great day in Ponta Delgada or explore San Miguel Island on your own: see Baroque architecture, visit museums, picnic on the ocean, talk to locals and buy souvenirs.
Day 8. Flight home
We saw whales, swam with dolphins, swam in hot springs, spent sunsets on the ocean and had a huge portion of unforgettable experiences. Thank you for sharing this experience with us! See you on another trip!
Please note
The order of days and the program within a day can vary. For example, going out to the ocean depends on the height of the waves and the presence of whales/dolphins. The visit to the observation points depends on the fog.
Besides the main points mentioned above, for each evening, if there is energy left, the cultural program is prepared:
  • A lecture from our biologist about whales
  • A story about our other voyages
  • Viewing of thematic films
  • Much more
Summer 2023 — 1750 EUR
30 July - 6 August / 6 - 13 August

Autumn 2023 — 1490 EUR
16 - 23 September / 24 September - 1 October
  • Included:
    • Accommodation on San Miguel Island
    • Ocean excursion in search of cetaceans, observation
    • Swimming with dolphins in the open ocean
    • Admission to all parks, hot springs, taxes and fees
    • Cooking Cozido
    • All transfers per program
  • Not included:
    • Flight to and from Ponta Delgado
    • Meals not included in the program
    • Health insurance, PCR testing if necessary
    • Visa fee
  • Additional information
    • The water temperature in the ocean is about 18˚C;
    • The air temperature is about 20-24˚C;
    • Currency: Euro.
    • Type of power socket: C,F, voltage 220
  • How to get here
    Flights via Lisbon is the most common way to get to Azores from Europe. If you fly from US, use Boston airport, and Toronto airport from Canada.
  • Recommended equipment
    • Passport, printed tickets
    • Sunscreen
    • Headdress
    • Light tracking boots (or sneakers)
    • Pants, hoodies
    • Waterproof bag for using on the boat
  • Snorkeling and freediving equipment
    • Diving suit. We recommend to use 5 mm wetsuits.
    • Mask
    • Snorkel
    • Fins + boots
    • GoPro or other underwater camera
It's easy to book with us!
The process of booking becomes easy with Whale Watching Expedition
  • 1
    Contact us
    However you like: email, using Facebook/Instagram or fill the application form below
  • 2
    We will call you back
    Or write a message. We will answer all your questions, explain all the details and discuss your personal wishes
  • 3
    Deposit payment
    When you are ready to book expedition, we would ask you to pay the deposit, usually it's 50% of the price. You can pay the rest later, the last payment day is 60 days before expedition start.
  • 4
    You got your space on the trip, it's time to buy plane tickets! By the way, we can help you with tickets and visas if needed.
Your journey starts here!
Just give us some info and we'll contact you shortly.
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