Azores whale watching and walking vacation
£625 excluding flights
Description of Azores whale watching and walking vacation
This is a set itinerary with flexible start dates year round.
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.
Our partners behind this vacation promote inclusivity on all their trips and across their business and we are all committed to ensuring travelers face no discrimination on any part of the trip they control.
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.
PlanetThe 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.
Walking is low impact and our guides educate our guests on the incredible biodiversity found on the islands and the dangers of climate change. There are many endemic plant and wildlife species that our guests will learn about.
We encourage our guests to bring their own re-usable water bottle from home and reduce their water use on the islands. We hope that our guests, having learnt about the Azores use of renewable energy, consider their usage when they return home.
Much of the Azores, including it’s surrounding ocean, is protected and our walks take our guests through magnificent untouched nature reserves.
The accommodations we provide reduce, reuse and recycle - for example they use a water bottle refill scheme and are committed to using up to 25% renewable energy in their new projects.
PeopleWe 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. This is financed by tourism.
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. These trips include climbing the volcano (Portugal's highest peak!) and exploring the underground caves. We support the local vineyards where guests can sample the fantastic Azorean wine and take these locally produced gifts back to people at home.