Whale and dolphin watching in the Azores
The Azores Archipelago is made up of nine volcanic islands lying approximately 800 nautical miles from the coast of Portugal.
The Azores provide one of the best habitats in the world for marine mammals as more than 24 species (25% of the world's known species) have been identified off the coast. The Islands provide a natural sanctuary in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for both migrating and resident species.
|Whale and dolphin news from the Azores|
Most common cetacean sightings
Short finned pilot whales and Sperm whales are the most common off the Azores, and can be seen all year round. A huge variety of dolphins including Bottlenose, Common, Risso's, Atlantic spotted and the Striped dolphins are also regularly sighted.
From April to June many other species of whales are regular visitors (they can be seen at other times of year, but sightings are less reliable.), and you have a chance to see Blue, Fin, Sei, Humpback, Minke, Northern Bottlenose, False Killer Whales, Sowerby's Beaked whales and Orcas. The conditions particularly suit the Sperm whales providing a perfect nursery and a plentiful food supply all year round, especially since whaling was halted in 1987. All these conditions have created a unique relationship between the sperm whale and the Azoreans people.
Whale watching in the Azores
It is possible to join a half day trip to look for the whales and dolphins, or spend up to a week (or even longer) on a residential whale watching holiday. There are strict regulations governing the behaviour of whale watching boats, and on most trips you will be accompanied by a marine biologist who will provide details on the cetaceans, as well as the concepts of ecotourism and the importance of conservation.
Observation of cetaceans is usually guaranteed!