Ocean discovery tour of the Azores

Price
905 excluding flights
Duration
7 Days
Countries
Azores, Portugal
Type
Tailor made
Reviews
More info
Based on 2 adults sharing 1 room solo traveler prices available.
3 half day whale and dolphin watching trips, 7 nights 4* hotel BB with pool, airport transfers, full day geothermal land tour.
Learn from Marine Biologists giving educational talks.
Make enquiry

Description of Ocean discovery tour of the Azores

Price information

905 excluding flights
Based on 2 adults sharing 1 room solo traveler prices available.
3 half day whale and dolphin watching trips, 7 nights 4* hotel BB with pool, airport transfers, full day geothermal land tour.
Learn from Marine Biologists giving educational talks.
Make enquiry

Departure information

This is a set itinerary with flexible start dates April - October.

Travel guides

Whale watching
There is something mysterious and almost mystical about whales. Thanks to their epic migrations, their phenomenally deep dives, their great age and th...
Dolphin watching
Humans have long attributed divine qualities to these mysterious, marine mammals, who have been documented saving humans from drowning and sharks; as ...

Vacation information

Dietary requirements:
We do not provide meals as part of this tour, only breakfast and an occasional evening meal, however vegetarian and vegan options are available in both cases. We can also recommend the best specialist restaurants that serve very good vegan and vegetarian food in the Azores/Portugal, which is rare but increasing.

Reviews

1 Reviews of Ocean discovery tour of the Azores

3 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 22 May 2023 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Land and seascapes. Loved the verdancy (want to come back as a cow in Sao Miguel in my next animal life!) and the craters. One hot spring was disappointing but the Velha one wasn't. We could have done with more time there

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Make sure the Hotel has a bar, restaurant, and outside seating space. Although our hotel was central, definitely an advantage, it was tiresome to have to go anywhere else at the end of a long day. Think Gaynor forgot about the festival the fifth Sunday after Easter and found it difficult to book us into a hotel. Neat Hotel was the equivalent of a Premier Inn. Ponta Delgado was packed. Two nights we picnicked in our rooms as booking a restaurant even early in the week was impossible!


3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All local suppliers so good in that respect. Lots of fuel used in whale-watching boats!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Below Review I sent to the company:- Visiting the Sao Miguel Island of the Azores was well worthwhile. If I'm asked what and where I would come back as an animal I think it would be a cow on Sao Miguel! The spring verdancy and lushness were amazing.

Everything with the local operator worked well, helpful and cheerful. With the benefit of hindsight, I would miss out on the Furnas trip. The thermal spring and the meal weren't the best, to put it mildly. The other trip to the East and the Velha Thermal Springs we booked ourselves was better. It would perhaps be better to alternate land and sea trips.

The hotel while adequate was without a bar or restaurant which in the run-up and during the festival proved difficult. It was impossible to book elsewhere in reasonable restaurants so we ended up picnicing in our rooms for two nights. It was however very handily central to the old town. Once out of the room and the card key removed, the electricity supply to the room and all recharging of devices ceased. Bit annoying at first. The coffee was awful at breakfast.

I knew Portuguese food was not always good from previous experience but I was reminded of the dreariness of boiled potatoes and soggy vegetables plus protein menu too often!

The journey out was grueling. The plane was late leaving, was stacked over Sao Miguel Airport due to fog/cloud for just short of an hour, and eventually landed at the US Airport on Terceira and refuelled. Pretty spectacular huge airstrip. Doors open but no disembarkment. After 40 minutes we took off and landed on a clear Sao Miguel airstrip. We did not reach the hotel until around 5 pm. No one's fault but the journey knocked the stuffing out of me after the 4 am start that day. Stansted is awful! A human zoo! No perhaps more like mass animal husbandry with poor welfare standards! Ryanair is Ryanair! I suspect going via Lisbon would have been quicker.

Think that's all..? I would revisit Sao Miguel but perhaps later in June to see the hydrangeas in bloom, which are obviously spectacular



Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.

Planet

The way the boats approach the whales follow local regulations to protect the marine life. We only use licensed boat operators who are very sensitive to the well-being of the dolphins and whales. There is a good spirit of cooperation amongst the boat companies and agreements to respect the animals as a priority.

Research is ongoing on the boats, so these trips are helping to build our knowledge of these fantastic animals. Many of the skippers are professional photographers and maintain a comprehensive photo ID database, in particular sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales. The more we can learn about the whales and dolphins of the Azores the better we can understand things like their migrations and social structures. All this moves us closer to protecting them and the marine environment in a more knowledgeable, effective way.

Guests are encouraged to send in any photos they have taken on the whale watching trips that can be used in the ongoing photo identification projects. Every trip has a huge emphasis on conservation and sustaining the marine environment so future generations may also have the privilege of seeing marine mammals in the wild.

People

We only work with local suppliers who employ at least 80% local people which means financial benefits to families here. The land based lookouts whose immense skill at tracking the animals previously earned money from whaling now earn money from tourists - an enormous change that we are passionate about supporting. Many of their adult children now skipper the whale watching boats and work within the small scale tourism.

Our whale watching company offers presentations in local schools to educate the children about the marine life on their doorstep with an emphasis on conservation. They are also planning to host an Azorean Whale Festival to promote the islands as one of the key locations worldwide to see whales. We donate a percentage of it's profits to the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA), helping to protect whales and dolphins worldwide.

All the activities we recommend locally are run by Azoreans and are designed to maintain good relationships between visitors and the local people. For example, we sell and promote only local crafts to our guests to support local craft makers and artisans and to spread tourism income to many islanders. Our favourite restaurants are all run by Azorean people, and we do recommend that our visitors try the delicious local cuisine while supporting sustainable local fishermen in particular.

As well as whale watching we offer geological and cultural tours hosted solely by experienced local guides with an in-depth knowledge of their island and its landscape. We support the local vineyards where guests can sample the fantastic Azorean wine and take these locally produced gifts back to people at home.

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