Flexible Whale & Dolphin Watching Holidays Azores

Last-minute availability 2021, booking now!

2022 & 2023 DATES: Year round

(flexible arrival/departure dates to fit with flights)

Our flexible itineraries are a selection of the best flavours of the Azores. Take trips to sea for dolphin and whale watching and add excursions and day tours to explore Sao Miguel island and all it has to offer.

Whale and Dolphin Watching on Sao Miguel Island

Prices from £610 per person

Incredible Whale and Dolphin Sightings

April, May & June is the time to see the many Blue, Humpback and Fin Whales who gather in the Azores on their annual migration. In the summer months super pods of dolphins make the sea come alive as they jump and twirl out of the water!

Flexibility and Choice

Our flexible itineraries allow you to travel at a time that best suits you and to include a range of activities

About this holiday

 

Choose your preferred travel dates and choice of activities

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Humpback whale breaching AzoresThese packages all include a choice of excellent accommodation, boat trips to see the whales and dolphins, airport transfers and local guide services with the freedom and flexibility of booking a holiday on your preferred dates (weekly departures March-October) as well as being able to add on island tours and activities to explore the island, travelling at your own pace. 

April, May and June is the best time to see the Blue, Fin and Humpback whales as they migrate past the Islands.  Summer is blessed with abundant dolphins, and many other whale species.

Best place to see dolphins and whales in the wild!

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Dolphin pod Azores holidaysThe 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.

“The ocean around the Azores islands is teeming with resident and transient whales and dolphins. It is one of the best places in the world to see Blue Whales in the spring and an abundance and variety of species all year. These fascinating Islands at sea and on land are easy to reach from Europe on a direct 3 hour flight!”   

 

Island tours and activities

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Furnas Rui MottaTake a full day tour to visit the geysers deep in the island’s interior at Furnas. Local guides will teach you about the geothermal activity and your visit will include a swim in hot thermal pools and lunch (cooked underground) in a local restaurant. See the island on foot, on bike or by kayak. Visit the stunning botanical gardens, and enjoy presentations from our marine biologist guides or simply relax by the pool.

Choice of accommodation

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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 or you can opt for a budget option to reduce cost of 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

The following is information about DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM UK TO PONTA DELGADA:

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.

From April to June 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

From July to August 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

Tuesday, Friday and Sunday direct day time flights with SATA

From Heathrow (LHR) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights from Heathrow (LHR) to Ponta Delgada (PDL) with British Airways

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

From September to October 2022

From Stansted (STN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Saturday direct day time flights with Ryanair

Tuesday, Friday and Sunday direct day time flights with SATA

From Manchester (MAN) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)

Friday direct flights with Ryanair

There are also flights from regional airports to Ponta Delgada via Lisbon/Oporto. Check all options for flights to Ponta Delgada at www.skyscanner.net

For ease we have a dedicated flight agent who can help arrange and book flights (except Ryanair) for you. Please contact Rupender.Bhoday@flightcentre.co.uk or call Rupender on 0207 925 1114

Marine Biologist Azores
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.  

 

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day – You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2

After a leisurely morning exploring the local town with its stunning architecture and walking around the botanical gardens, head 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 3-7

Days 3 to 4 inclusive: Overall itinerary of the week will be announced when you arrive to fit with best weather. This holiday includes two, half day sea excursions to see the dolphins and whales which will be either a morning or afternoon boat trip. If there is any weather disruption your trips will be moved to another day or later in the day so that you go out during the best possible weather and conditions.

We can build the rest of your itinerary around you and your preferred activities.

Take a full day Geothermal tour to Furnas : You will be taken to see the Island’s hot springs, geysers & hot bubbling mud. Take a dip in the hot thermal lake surrounded by the tropical plants and trees of a magnificent Garden which was planted by Kew gardeners 100 years ago!

Add extra whale and dolphin watching excursions, giving you more chances of sighting the giant whales and large pods of dolphins.

Join a walking or mountain bike tour, try kayaking or SUP on the lake, or take the plunge and go canyoning. Our Geotourism day tours explore the islands ancient, and more recent volcanic activity and visits the local lava caves. Or just relax and simply spend time by the hotel pool.

Day 8

Departure. If you have time before your flight you can do some souvenir shopping. You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the airport

Highlights

 

Discover, be inspired! Marine wildlife, sea air and the wow factor 

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sperm whale feeding AzoresYou’ll all come away bursting with facts about the world’s largest whales and the unique biodiversity of the islands. We hope you will deepen your passion for the natural world and more importantly return home with memories that will last a lifetime.

“I could just write four words to describe our holiday: “ Out of this world ”.  All three of us had an absolutely fantastic time, had loads of dolphin encounters with three of the four species, saw sperm whales breaching, pilot whales breathing on surface , bryde whales being elusive  ….. truly magical, and better than we had dared to hope for. Have to say how much we were impressed by the local  team  as well.  Their commitment to the welfare of the cetaceans was really humbling – and their commitment to ensuring that everyone of us had the most amazing time possible.” Lisa Newman

 

Education and Conservation

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Marine biologist presentation AzoresOur 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. 

Watch our online presentation “Discover Sperm Whales” where you will learn about the lives of these incredible mammals who live around the Islands and dive deep to find prey (squid) and also learn about the challenges facing the world’s oceans.

Great choice of boats

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whale watching Pico island azoresYou 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.

 

Overview

Flexible Whale and Dolphin Watching Holidays
(code ADFLEX)

Location: Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island - Azores

What’s included:  

  • Three half day trips to sea dolphin and whale watching
  • 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

Nights: 7

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 £610 per person. See below for details

Flights: Not included. We give you guidance on booking flights to Ponta Delgada (PDL) Sao Miguel Island, Azores. See location and flights above

Dates 2021: These holidays run throughout the year

Flexible dates: This holiday can also 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 and Acccommodation

 

 Our holiday prices below include accommodation at our standard 4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel

You can also upgrade to a boutique hotel or 5* or you can opt for budget options to reduce the cost of your holiday.

 

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. 

Whale & Dolphin Watching Holiday Prices

 4* Sao Miguel Park Hotel

 

Low Season • 02 Jan - 31 Mar

  • Solo traveller (single room) £805
  • Adult price, per person (2 sharing a double/twin room) £610
  • 3rd adult sharing a room (triple) £710
  • Upgrade to sea view single/double/twin £20 per room per night
  • Price does not include flights
Mid Season • 01 - 30 April & 01 - 31 October

  • Solo traveller (single room) £935
  • Adult price, per person (2 sharing a double/twin room) £675
  • 3rd adult sharing a room (triple) £710
  • Upgrade to sea view single/double/twin £20 per room per night
  • Price does not include flights

 

High Season • 01 May - 30 September

  • Solo traveller (single room) £1125
  • Adult price, per person (2 sharing a double/twin room) £770
  • 3rd adult sharing a room (triple) £710
  • Upgrade to sea view single/double/twin £20 per room per night
  • Price does not include flights

Upgrade Accommodation Options

All of the accommodation featured 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. 

 

Budget and Self Catering Accommodation Options

All of the accommodation featured 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.