What people said!
The buffet lunch on the Sete Citades trip was really excellent with a good choice even though we tend not to eat meat. We also enjoyed the choice of activities on that trip with a short cycle trip and then chance to kayak on the blue/green lakes. Our guide was very knowledgeable and informative.
The tours to Furnas and Sete Cidades were really impressive and showed what a beautiful and unique place the island is. We really felt that we got to know the island really well and the local tour guides ensured that we saw as much as possible.
Sarah Bates May 2023 comments about the team at our boat base: “Rarely have I found an organisation offer so much support for someone with a disability. Amazing amazing. Mum thought that, in her wheelchair, being disabled, the she would never be able to do this. But you made it happen”.
“We could have done with an extra day at Terra Nostra in Furnas, maybe using it as a base for the walk in that corner of Sao Miguel. Terra Nostra hotel (as you told us) was wonderfully relaxing, with excellent facilities – we loved the botanical gardens, our balcony, the camellias, and of course the thermal swimming. Service was friendly and unobtrusive, the public spaces were many and varied. And the restaurant food was outstanding!” – Virginia Kelly Feb 2023
Our time in the Azores was absolutely magical. Our swim with dolphins was the highlight of our trip! The Atlantic Spotted Dolphins surrounded and circled around my sister and I for the full time of our swim with them. It was so surreal! They were so close we could almost touch them! Looking into the eyes of these magnificent beings was so magical; I don’t even have the words to describe it. Kaitlin Wistey, September 2022
“10/10 – a huge hit for the whole family. Especially teens disinterested in traditional sightseeing tourism!
“We definitely felt like we were putting our money into the right places in the local economy when out and about on trips or even when just enjoying a coffee and watching the world go by. This was one of the best family holidays we have ever been on. All of us enjoyed it immensely and we couldn’t recommend it enough” – Zoe Whannel July 2022
“Snorkelling at the islet of Vila Franca do Campo was the most amazing experience. Safe for kids, clean and with so many fish to see it was an absolute joy to visit” – Zoe Whannel July 2022
‘Great views. Breakfast good…A good hotel. Rooms very clean, spacious, and well sound proofed. Staff friendly and helpful’ – Steven Baylis August 2022
“We had Common Dolphins approaching at speed towards the RIB and we had to slide as calmly as possible into the water as possible. The 40+ pod passed us below and to see them in their environment from above was fabulous. The second time was again with Common Dolphins but we were closer and some of them, including a mother and youngster, seemed to swim towards us – amazing! For our third time the boat crew found a pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins. These characters seemed to want to swim towards us and enjoy our company. Michael Bird, July 2022
“I was blown away by my first trip swimming with dolphins and saw a pod of 80 dolphins including tiny babies over and over … it was an amazing experience” – Clare Davies June 2022
The hotel was spotlessly clean, room comfortable and spacious, great balcony so we could let in fresh air too. Staff very friendly and helpful. Food was good. Good location. – Claire Walmsley-Moss April 2022
Neat Hotel well located centrally in Ponta Delgada; good, clean and comfortable accommodation with extensive buffet offering of breakfast food. Plenty to keep us occupied in and around Ponta Delgada, a clean & tidy city; impressive architecture and many good restaurants. – Alistair Neilson April 2022
The Sao Miguel Park Hotel really suited our needs. The room was large, even with 4 of us, and we had views of bats from the balcony, which the kids thought was great…Breakfast was great though, a really good selection. We made use of the indoor pool and it was often just us in there, which was a bonus! – Sally Smart April 2022
Authentic cuisine pleasant ambience. The Cozido meal at the Caldeira das Furnas was a simple but lovely experience. The ambience was accentuated by the diversity of people on the tour and the way our guide blended the atmosphere. – Ada Sam April 2022
I would just like to say that this holiday far surpassed my expectations. The whole holiday from beginning to end was very well organised…I would definitely recommend this holiday to any wildlife and nature lovers…Pico Island is so unspoilt, it’s a great place to relax and not touristy at all. The day tour of the island was very good and very informative. – Helen Shimwell May 2022
The whole holiday was a dream come true…Our guide was phenomenal, his passion and knowledge of the cetaceans shone through all week and the crew on the rib were fantastic too both knowledgeable and engaging. Everything was well organised, and as a solo traveller that gave me peace of mind. I look forward to my next trip! – Helen Shimwell May 2022
As it was our first time in the Azores, we took a couple of tours to different parts of the island. What a super place. it’s on the ‘want to come back to’ list. – David Gough May 2022
We saw whales and dolphins! We saw 3 species of dolphin, sperm whales and blues!! The tour guides were all cheerful and enthusiastic, helpful, did their best to find whales and dolphins in a safe and responsible way and worked tirelessly to find us baleen whales!! Lisa Taner May 2022
The accommodation at the Bela Vista was first class. The ladies were very helpful and friendly. – Clive Murray May 2022
Everything was extremely organised, from the holiday booking, transfers, hotel/hotel staff and the boat crew. They couldn’t have been more helpful and extremely welcoming…a great holiday and we would recommend to anyone. – Lynsey Pittaway April 2022
We loved the Small group type holiday as it enabled us to meet other like minded people and share similar experiences. The Islands were both majestic and magical and I kept saying that whenever we turned a corner something else beautiful greeted us. We saw whales or dolphins on all of our sea trips and cannot wait to repeat the experience. – Martin Jones May 2022
It was one of the best holidays I have experienced and I have travelled a lot. The scenery, people, food and beautiful gardens were memories to cherish. Only hope I will be able to return and visit more of the islands. Thank you for a wonderful holiday. – Alex Duckworth May 2022
I have new respect for dolphins as I’d rather taken them for granted having seen lots before, but observing them behaving so acrobatically and in such numbers so far out to sea was a revelation. Needless to say, the whales were just spellbinding. – Richard Rose-Casemore May 2022
It was a fabulous hotel and lived up to expectations in terms of interest, location, comfort and peace. – Richard Rose-Casemore May 2022
The half day Jeep tour to Sete Cidades was great… We were even able to see one of the other islands! The experience took my breath away, it was magical. Amazing service level and knowledge from the guides. I loved every second of this holiday and will be boring my friends and family for months to come I’m sure. – Susan Windsor May 2022
“The trip to Furnas was spectacular, and so much more than we anticipated with the tea plantation, crater lakes, botanical gardens and bathing in the orange iron water. We also saw much more of the island than we expected that day as we travelled there on the south side and back on the north (or vice versa). Sao Miguel is a beautiful island all in all.” – Richard Rose-Casemore May 2022
The Sao Miguel Park Hotel really suited our needs. The room was large, even with 4 of us, and we had views of bats from the balcony, which the kids thought was great… We made use of the indoor pool and it was often just us in there, which was a bonus! Sally Smart April 2022
On Friday we did the full day trip to Furnas, definitely the best geothermal site. As a family we were fascinated by the Victorian equipment still being used in the tea plantation we visited in the morning. Seeing the fumaroles and eating the food cooked in them was a real novelty. We swam in the pools in the afternoon, which was great again. These ones had much more iron in them than the ones at Lagoa do Fogo so it was important not to have our ‘best’ swimming costumes and towels on that day as they got a bit stained. – Sally Smart April 2022
On Thursday we did the half day trip to Lagoa do Fogo. The geothermal pools are in a beautiful setting. We swam in the pools and then drove to the beach where we saw an old lava flow and a layer of pumice several metres thick. This trip gave the kids a really good understanding of the volcanology of the island. – Sally Smart April 2022
Our Wednesday Marine Biologist for the day tour was the highlight of a great week. The Zodiac boat got us closer to the animals and we had extended views of about 5 sperm whales. The kids were also excited to see a turtle and Portuguese man o’war right next to the boat as well as the red crabs on Ilhéu de Vila Franca do Campo. On the back we saw 50+ bottlenose dolphins, again right next to the boat, which made a great end to the boat trip. – Smart famiy April 2022
Thank you so much for all your help, I am so glad we finally made it to the Azores. We had the most amazing family holiday and it was certainly worth the wait. Sally Smart April 2022
On Monday we did the inland tour of Sete Cidades, cycling round the crater and kayaking on the lake. The guides were both really informative, and this was a fantastic introduction to the island. The cycle ride was not too hard and the kayaking was about the right length for us as it was a windy day. The views from the top were clear and it was a really great adventure – I would thoroughly recommend this trip for families.
Most memorable part of the holiday “viewing 2 Finback whales at close quarters”. Excellent and would certainly recommend to others 5***** Alistair Neilson – April 2022
“The Alcides hotel was clean and comfortable with very friendly, helpful staff. It was also very central for trips and the town centre. I would certainly recommend it” – Jane Swinney April 2022
“The recommendation to go to Terra Nostra was absolutely spot on – the place is heavenly!” Sue Eve – October 2021
The whole holiday was fantastic but “being a marine biologist for the day” has to go down as the highlight…Seeing the whales and dolphins up close is one thing but gaining an insight into what the
marine biologists are doing on a daily basis and being able to learn from them gives the experience an extra dimension. It was absolutely fascinating and well worth the extra money! – Fletcher Family June 2021
“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 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… A wonderful experience.” Anne Whittle
“Seeing so many whales and dolphins, the group I was with, the fantastic hotel I stayed in. The holiday benefited local people and supported conservation. A magical holiday. Pick the exclusive small group tour, I think there is a bonding when there are only 12 people, compared with having a lot more people and you get longer at sea” Alice Caldwell
“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
“There were so many memorable moments: seeing five sperm whales “socialising” together and swimming in a perfect line, almost managing to synchronise their “blows”, catching a great picture of the tail fin of the massive blue whale, seeing the huge side fins of the humpback just under the water giving them an eerie blue colour, or probably the best of all seeing first a pod of ten orca cavorting in front of us, the male one with a massive fin of more than two metres in height, and then about an hour later seeing either the same animals again or a different pod, this time as two smaller groups. The animals’ well being was always the most important factor and so we did not stay long at each siting to allow the whales the freedom to continue with their journey. Overall the holiday was brilliantly managed.” Tim Hall
“The whole trip was an adventure. The boat trips were amazing. We were lucky enough to see three different types of dolphin on each trip and a manta ray on one of the trips. The animals’ welfare was always taken into account on our approach. The guides were very knowledgeable and answered any questions we had. This was a truly amazing holiday!!” Stewart Sinclaire
“The way the operator looked for the dolphins and whales was very sensitively done, there was no chasing or harassing the animals – it was completely on the animals’ terms at all times and carried out with respect. I was very impressed. Also the staff were all very knowledgeable and able to answer all questions, as well as provide very interesting info throughout the trips. They were great! This was a fab holiday and experience. To experience these animals in their natural environment was just amazing. We also saw flying fish, turtles, three types of dolphins and a fin whale – wow!!” Denise Watson
“We thoroughly enjoyed our whale-watching trips where we saw many sperm whales and several different types of dolphin. The boats were careful not to get too close to the whales or disrupt their activities. Take advantage of the island tours on offer, to see as much of the island as you can as the scenery is spectacular. The local travel guides are very knowledgeable and provide a lot of background information on the island. I am sure the local economy is benefiting from the tourist trade, helping local people and employment. A very memorable trip Mary Gardener
“The holiday was wonderful experience. The location was great, the waters around the Azores are naturally teeming with sea life. Being in the water with wild dolphins swimming around us was such an amazing privilege. The local boat company were excellent. They took the welfare of the animals very seriously, far more so than some other local companies we observed. I commend them very highly for their approach. I went with my 14-year-old daughter and she has not stopped talking about it since we came back. A wonderful experience and one we will always remember.” Chris Wooding
“My trip to the Azores was tremendous. I was a bit apprehensive of a 2 star hotel but lovely, bright, clean, functional rooms and excellent cooking, served beautifully, was just right. The local team and the skippers went out of their way to look after me. The sight of being in the middle of around 500 dolphins will stay with me for a long, long time. Both the sea and land crews did everything possible to make my holiday exceptional. I would recommend this holiday.” Alex Gordon
“Many thanks to you and the team. We had a really lovely holiday. Loved our two days out at sea, in particular the ‘Be a Marine Biologist Day’. We saw sperm whale, sei whale, risso’s dolphins and had an amazing encounter with a large group of bottlenose dolphins. Kids also fascinated by flying fish and Portuguese man o war. Really knowledgeable and engaging guides, they really caught the kid’s attention who were very excited to learn how to use a hydrophone and listen to the animals underwater – Roberts Family June 2019
“We both had an amazing time. Sao Miguel is beautiful, clean, safe and has probably the politest drivers anywhere in the world! The boat team and staff were so helpful (especially when my daughter was a little nervous about getting in the water). They were also enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. We swam with 3 species of dolphins and saw Sperm Whales (including calves) and even a whale shark. Nick Tullett