Family Whale Tails and Walking Trails Holiday Azores
2021 DATES: 3 – 10 April, 10 – 17 April, 29 May – 5 June, 24 July – 28 August
This holiday explores the inner depths of the island as well as the hidden depths of the ocean. You and your children will step into another world as you follow ancient trails through dense forests, traverse along rugged coastlines and circle volcanic craters. At sea, marvel at the beauty and grace of some of the worlds’ largest and most intelligent animals, as you watch whales and dolphins in their natural habitat.
Sao Miguel Island, Azores
Prices from adult £770, teen £565, child £382
See the biggest animals in the world!
April, May & June is the time to see the many Blue, Humpback and Fin Whales who gather in the Azores on their annual migration.
About this holiday
Diverse terrains and varying difficulty levels
Follow in the footsteps of the first settlers as you trace your way across ancient foot paths and animal trails taking in dramatic coastlines, shimmering blue and green lakes, yawning calderas and ancient sub-tropical forests. Centuries ago the main way to travel around the island was by boat as terrain made it impossible to use oxcarts or carriages, smaller cargo and cattle was transported across land on foot. In recent years great care has been taken to restore these pathways so that you can marvel at glittering waterfalls, witness nature’s bounty of flowers plants and trees and look down into the depths of the deep green crater lakes as you hike along the rim of a volcano, all untouched for millennia.
Our incredible guides will enthuse you with their knowledge of numerous endemic species of birds, flora and fauna and the incredible biodiversity of these islands, which erupted from the ocean over 200 million years ago!
Walking difficulty levels range from gentle to strenuous, half day and full day options and you can opt for self-guided if you prefer. There are numerous routes and we can help you choose the best ones for you and your family.
Ideal climate all year round
The Azores are a perfect year-round destination. Located in the Northern Hemisphere, they enjoy a mild climate 12 months of the year. In the peak of summer temperatures tend to be around 22°C and don’t often drop below 13°C in the winter. Perfect conditions for walking!
Our whale watching boats operate all year round as well. Weather is, of course, changeable out in the middle of the ocean but our expert guides will arrange your week so that you take your whale watching excursions during optimum sea conditions. Walking options inland and along the coast mean you will always have great opportunities to see whale tails or walking trails whatever the weather.
This is an ideal winter holiday, leave behind the wind and the rain and take this opportunity to get some, very, fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors. The mild climate means there is no need for woolly hats and thermals and the biodiversity of the island blooms year round. You’ll see no bare trees here, only lush green foliage! At night gaze up at starry skies and indulge in the thermal hot pools, forty minutes away from your hotel. Some of the walking trails even lead you directly to them in the town of Furnas.
Best place to see Dolphins and whales in the wild
The Azores archipelago is renowned as one of the best places to see dolphins and whales in the wild. Throughout the year, March to October being the best time to visit for abundant sightings and diversity of species. The whale numbers and sightings seem to be increasing around the Azores, as are the super pods of various species of dolphins riding in the bow wave of the boat and leaping and twirling with joy. All our trips are with responsible operators who have sensitivity and respect for the wellbeing of the whales and dolphins. The ethos on the Islands is to preserve the natural environment and develop responsible and sustainable tourism that contributes to conservation.
Choice of accommodation
We offer attractive child prices (12 years and under) when sharing a large quad room with adults, and also teen discounts. You can select the style and budget of an accommodation option that suits your needs. Our standard 4* hotel is included in the package price and you can upgrade to a boutique 5* hotel. There is a budget option to reduce the cost of your holiday.
Location and Flights
Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island, Azores. The Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, are an archipelago of 9 islands in the mid-Atlantic. Our holidays are based in Ponta Delgada, the capital of Sao Miguel Island – the largest island in the archipelago. The abundance of dolphins and whales around the islands make the Azores one of the key locations worldwide for whale and dolphin watching. Few locations in the world offer such immaculate landscape and exceptional marine wildlife. Read more about the Azores here
Flights: Flights are not included in the cost of our holidays. This holiday takes place on Sao Miguel island, Azores and you will be staying in Ponta Delgada, a 15-minute drive from the airport. DIRECT flights to Ponta Delgada are available with Ryanair from London Stanstead on Saturdays. There are also direct flights from many European destinations to Ponta Delgada including via Lisbon. Check options for flights to PDL (Ponta Delgada) at www.skyscanner.net For ease we have a dedicated flight agent who can help arrange and book flights for you. Please contact Rupender.Bhoday@flightcentre.co.uk or call Rupender on 0207 925 1114
BE A MARINE BIOLOGIST FOR THE DAY
£124 (adult) £62 (child 12yrs and under)
All of our holidays offer the once in a life time opportunity for you to “Be a Marine Biologist for a Day” – the perfect program for those with a keen appetite to learn. You will enjoy a fun filled classroom presentation from one of our marine biologist before spending a full day with them on a small RIB learning research techniques such as data collection, photo ID and listening to underwater acoustics using the hydrophone. You will get away from the main tourist trail and have opportunities for a lot more contact with the animals. This a fully immersive day allowing you to step inside the shoes of our marine biologists and learn about their research. This activity can be added onto your holiday program.
Your day starts at our local boat base, walking distance from your hotel, with a fun filled classroom presentation from one of our marine biologists. You will then board the sturdy RIB zodiac boat and spend a full day at sea, travelling further along the coast to rich feeding grounds, giving you a closer look into the lives of the whales and dolphins you’ll meet – some are even known by name!
You will be accompanied by our expert local guides and marine biologists who love sharing their extensive knowledge of these incredible creatures. They will teach you research techniques such as data collection, photo ID and listening to underwater acoustics using the hydrophone.
You will break for lunch, on land, joined by your marine biologist so be sure to ask lots of questions!
You’ll learn about the biology, habitat and behaviour of the cetaceans and participate in valuable research and conservation initiatives helping to preserve the oceans for future generations.
This is a superb addition to any trip and is ideally suited to adults and children who are keen to get hands on in the world of conservation. Your little budding marine biologists will love the exciting and energetic way our research experts teach techniques and engage the children in learning.
Arrival day – You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Enjoy a leisurely morning exploring the local town and walking around the stunning botanical gardens. You could even take a dip in the towns naturally heated open air pool before heading down to the boat base for your first half day whale and dolphin watching trip to sea. You will be given the onboard briefing all about Marine life in the Azorean Ocean, how we work and how best to spot the whales.
Day 3 – 6
Overall itinerary of the week will be announced when you arrive so that your trips to sea, whale and dolphin watching, are taken during the best possible weather and sea conditions. Over the course of the next few days you will have the opportunity for one more amazing morning or afternoon trip to sea and you will embark on two half day walks along the coastlines or inner depths of the island. Your routes and durations can be decided with your guide each day.
Today is a free day and the perfect opportunity to visit the geysers deep in the island’s interior at Furnas. Here you will find a stunning hot thermal swimming lake set in botanical gardens, designed a 100 years ago by the Kew gardeners. Learn about the geothermal activity on the island and relax in the mineral rich waters as you soak your aching muscles. This is the perfect time to sit back, relax and contemplate all the wonders you have seen this week. Or you could head out on additional walking tour or mountain bike tour, try kayaking or SUP on the lake, or for the more adrenalin fuelled of the family, take the plunge and go canyoning.
Depending on your departure time there may be time for one last spot of shopping after breakfast or even an extra boat trip in the morning. Transfer to airport for flight home.
Discover, be inspired! Marine wildlife, sea air and the wow factor
Land and sea adventure
This is a superb opportunity to truly experience everything the Azores has to offer. World renowned for it’s incredible ocean life the Azores is also infamous for it’s incredible biodiversity and geothermal activity. Exploring the island on foot with our expert guides, you will learn about the islands creation over 200 million years ago and witness it’s incredible beauty and majesty. Take a day off and visit Furnas, feel your muscles relax as you soak in the nourishing thermal hot pools.
Education and Conservation
Our whale watching company has a research base offering a wealth of information and resources and it is possible to learn about the many research projects being conducted around the Azores which contribute to marine conservation. Our guides and researchers have plenty of experience working with children and always make learning fun and accessible for all.
Great choice of boats
You choose your preference of boats from the large stable catamaran with excellent viewing platforms, railings and a great vantage point for taking photos. There is plenty of space to walk around outdoor or indoor seating and toilet facilities OR our smaller RIB zodiac hard hull boats with comfortable seats for an exhilarating ride to get you close to the action. The boats are very sturdy and can move easily even if the sea is choppy.
Family Whale Tails & Walking Trails
Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island - Azores
- Two half day trips to sea dolphin and whale watching
- Two half day guided walking tours
- Talks and presentations from local marine biologists
- 7 nights accommodation
- Services of local personnel at our boat base who co-ordinate your entire holiday program
- All airport transfers from/to Ponta Delgada airport.
Optional activities: book additional trips to sea and land tours
Extra nights: Option to extend your stay in the Azores, with extra nights at your hotel, visit another part of Sao Miguel or visit other islands
Accommodation: Standard 4* B&B hotel, with budget and upgrade options available
Meals: Breakfast included. Self catered options available.
Price: From £770 adult, £565 teen and £382 child. See below for further details.
Flights: Not included. We give you guidance on booking flights to Ponta Delgada (PDL) Sao Miguel Island (see flights above)
Dates 2021: These holidays operate year round
Flexible dates: This holiday can be arranged to start any day of the week to fit with flights
What people said!
“Seeing the ocean giants so close was amazing. I recommend booking this experience, and think about adding an extra week to visit the other islands.
The company carries out research and raises awareness of the whales and dolphins and how amazing they are. The information given by the guides was fantastic They work with the university, helping with student research as well as taking out holiday-makers. An excellent holiday.” Sarah Grandy
“Seeing far more whales, and more closely, than I ever expected. I think it supported conservation. A wonderful experience.” Anne Whittle
“We were lucky enough to see our first blue whale within an hour of setting out in the catamaran. Then seeing over 50 whales and over 100 dolphins over the three days was amazing. We saw blue, fin, sei and sperm whales.
Fantastic holiday! We saw everything we hoped for and more. The Azores are an amazing holiday destination and we enjoyed seeing the interior of the island with its lakes, mountains and geo-thermal activity. As plant lovers, we particularly enjoyed the botanical gardens. We will be back.” David Turley
“What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday? – Crystal clear blue seas and blue skies – Seeing so many whales and dolphins in their natural habitat and on their own terms, with human beings having to play second fiddle for a change – The passion, knowledge and genuine love of their work shown by all the guides – The group bonding that derives from a common shared experience
All the guides at the base were local people who had a deep commitment to animal welfare and to minimising the environmental footprint of our holiday This was the most wonderful week ever. I cannot thank the local team and the Dolphin Connection enough. I would not hesitate to go back again, and very much hope to do so in the future.” Ali Pemble
“This was an outstanding holiday! Seeing the blow of our first ever sighting of a sperm whale! Then jumping into our seats and speeding across the Atlantic Ocean until we got within a short distance away from her in time to see the whale diving and throwing up the iconic whale tail. And all captured by my camera… I was literally blown away and couldn’t wait for the next sighting. We are returning as soon as we can!” Diane and Peter Malloy
Prices for this Holiday including Acccommodation
A beautiful 4-star hotel with excellent location and facilities. It is a 15-minute walk to our base for the boats and the city’s beautiful botanical gardens are close by. The rooms are light, quiet and well-ventilated. Even though the hotel has great access to our boats, the hotel is far away from the noise of the seafront or busy city areas. The hotel is ideal for families or large groups and rooms can easily accommodate up to two extra beds. Spacious rooms are sound proofed with air-conditioning and equipped with TV and fridge. There is the option to upgrade to sea/city view rooms (ask us for details). The hotel has a gym, indoor and outdoor pool with sun loungers, sauna, jacuzzi, games room, bar, restaurant with sea views and free parking for guests. A buffet breakfast is included.
Family Azores Whale Tails and Walking Trails Holiday prices
4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel
Mid Season • 03 – 17 April (Easter) • Per Person Prices
High Season • 29 May – 05 June (half term) 24 July – 28 August (Summer term) • Per Person Prices
A beautiful 4-star hotel with excellent location and facilities. It is a 15-minute walk to our base for the boats and the city’s beautiful botanical gardens are close by. The rooms are light, quiet and well-ventilated. Even though the hotel has great access to our boats, the hotel is far away from the noise of the seafront or busy city areas.
The hotel is ideal for families or large groups and rooms can easily accommodate up to two extra beds. Spacious rooms are sound proofed with air-conditioning and equipped with TV and fridge. There is the option to upgrade to sea/city view rooms (ask us for details). The hotel has a gym, indoor and outdoor pool with sun loungers, sauna, jacuzzi, games room, bar, restaurant with sea views and free parking for guests. A buffet breakfast is included.
All of the accommodation featured below has been visited by us and checked for quality, good reviews, facilities and distance to our boat base and the harbour (5-20mins walk). They are also a short walking distance to good restaurants and shops.
The price of this holiday with any of our alternative accommodation options below is the standard holiday price (staying at 4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel) with either a discount or supplement applied. Please see your preferred accommodation page below for details of the applicable discount or supplement.