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Things to do in Azores

Promising whale sightings, canyon hikes, and more, this Portuguese archipelago awakens your inner adventurer.

Our most recommended things to do in Azores

Azores: Whale Watching and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores: Whale Watching and Islet Boat Tour

Begin the excursion with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration, and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. Approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. Next, take a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

2. From Ponta Delgada: Whale and Dolphin Watching Trip

Set off on a whale-watching day trip from Ponta Delgada and witness the marine mammals of the Azores. Look out for minke whales, dolphins, turtles, and more, and learn about the environment from your marine biologist guide. Begin with a briefing by your guide, who will explain the history of whale watching in the Azores. Learn about water safety, rules of observation, and respect for the animals. Depart from the Ponta Delgada harbor and sail into the Atlantic. Situated between Portugal and North America, the Azores are a permanent home or point of passage for more than a third of the world’s whale and dolphin species. Keep an eye out for sperm whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and Risso’s dolphins, which are present throughout the year, along with turtles, seabirds, and other marine life. In the summer months, spot dolphins, pilot whales, and striped dolphins. In spring, enjoy the opportunity to see migrating baleen whales such as blue whales, fin whales, and sei whales.

São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

3. São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the western half of São Miguel island on this guided tour by van. Discover the famous crater lakes of Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo, picturesque waterfalls, amazing cliffs, and stunning rock formations around the coast of the island. Start with a visit to Ribeira Grande, one of the most picturesque towns of the Azores, followed by a surprising view of some amazingly beautiful cliffs on the North coast. Then travel to the inner areas of the island to see the gorgeous waterfall of Salto do Cabrito, surrounded by wild vegetation. Drive to the top of Fogo Volcano to enjoy views of the most pristine and magical of the crater lakes of São Miguel. From the top of the mountain, enjoy the stunning views over a large portion of the island. After a tasty meal to restore your energy levels, head to Sete Cidades, to understand why this is considered by the postcard of the Azores. Enjoy views from two completely different perspectives over the famous twin lakes.  End the day in Mosteiros, on the western coast of the island, where the lava rocks have formed enchanting small islets and natural pools.

São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

4. São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

Enjoy a half-day whale watching trip in the Azores, one of the ‘top ten’ whale-watching spots in the world, and get the opportunity to meet the ocean giants in their natural habitat. Meet the boat crew and get a short briefing about safety and code of ethics and then put on your life vest and head out in the ocean. Listen as the crew follows the instructions given by radio from the lookouts placed in strategic points along the coastline using military-grade binoculars to find and communicate the position of the animals. Take comfort that the crew has a 99% success rate of sightings. If whales are spotted it´s time to enjoy the company of these magnificent animals, always keeping a safe and respectful distance. It´s usual that more than one group of whales and dolphins are observed per trip. On the way back to the marina, observe the geological formations of the island as the boat sails close to the coastline. If no whales or dolphins are spotted, you will receive a full refund, or you can book another trip for free.

Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

5. Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

Join the ultimate swimming experience on an encounter with wild dolphins in the clear blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Head out from the Azores in a Zodiac boat for an unforgettable adventure. This 2-hour activity is carried out in small groups and led by a qualified biologists or nature guides. Each swimming tour is preceded by a briefing in which one of the biologists explains how to swim with wild dolphins while respecting them. You’ll also learn how to enter the water and behave around the dolphins, how to use the mask and snorkel and how to get the most out of your swimming experience. Masks, snorkels and wet-suits are provided.

Sao Miguel: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

6. Sao Miguel: Caldeiroes Canyoning Experience

After either gathering at the meeting point or being collected from your accommodation, you will make your way to Parque da Ribeira dos Caldeirões, located in the north-east part of the island. It takes around 45 minutes to drive from Ponta Delgada. Get the chance to do rappels, jumps, slides, and rock slides. Start your adventure by trying your first decent, abseiling alongside a waterfall of around 5 meters. Continue your way down the river on an exciting water slide (toboggan), followed by the first jump of around 2 meters in height. Then enjoy wading through the river as you approach the second abseil of around 7 meters which ends in a natural pool. There will be some time for the equipment distribution with the help of your guides before you take a short hike in order to approach the stream followed by a security briefing. On average it is about a 20 to 35-minute hike, depending on the pace of the group. During the full-day option, you will stop for a picnic, and later finish the tour by returning back to town by car.

São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

7. São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

Explore the highlights of the eastern half of São Miguel island on a guided tour by van. Discover the hot springs at Furnas, the waterfall at Ribeira dos Caldeirões, as well as the remote rugged beauty of the Nordeste region. Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the northern coast of the island until you get to the Santa Iria Lookout, with a spectacular, ample view of the north coast in both directions, before continuing to Furnas. Find yourself in Furnas and admire a spectacular panoramic stop to gaze over the lake and town. Descend where you will be given the choice of visiting the geothermal fields and tasting the sparkling waters, or bathing in the hot springs, for an additional fee. Next, discover a traditional way of cooking as your lunch of cozido (stew) is pulled from the warm volcanic soil. In the afternoon, continue the journey eastward, with a stop at the charming waterfall of Ribeira dos Caldeirões.  Explore Nordeste, the most unexplored and rural part of the island. Visit two amazing lookouts over the high cliffs that characterize the East coast of São Miguel, before returning to Ponta Delgada.

Pico Island: Whale Watching Boat Tour with Biologist Guides

8. Pico Island: Whale Watching Boat Tour with Biologist Guides

Lying in the middle of the mystical Atlantic Ocean, the Azores Islands are a permanent home or point of passage for more than a third of the entire world’s whale and dolphin species. Dive into a lifetime adventure with these ancestral creatures during this guided Pico Island whale-watching trip. Away from the masses and close to the desirable peace, you will be the guests to nature guides and marine biologists, certified and, most importantly, sharing the contagious passion for the islands and its fauna and flora. Your adventure starts at Lajes do Pico harbor, where you’ll be welcomed by staff and check-in. Afterward, head to the boat where the marine biologists will give a briefing. Hear about the species you might see, whale watching history in the Azores, as well as how to respect the animals. Then, you’re ready to navigate and look for cetaceans in the wild. On the way, have a look at the coast of the island, full of magical landscapes. Whales live in the deep ocean and some of them simply pass by the waters during their migration. It is in this dark-profiled paradise of basaltic landscapes and silky vegetation that a rough sea awaits to introduce the visitor to some of the most spectacular aquatic specimens, freely swimming in their element. Prepare for awe-inspiring moments where time suddenly freezes and natural magic happens right in front of your eyes. After the boat trip, head back to the harbor with a heart full of good memories.

Pico Island: Azores Whale & Dolphin Watching on Zodiac Boat

9. Pico Island: Azores Whale & Dolphin Watching on Zodiac Boat

Uncover the beauty of the marine wildlife of Pico Island on this dolphin and whale watching tour. Stay safe with the use of a life jacket and keep dry with the use of a waterproof top. Approach the whales slowly and carefully to ensure the well-being of the animals.  Enjoy a short briefing before boarding the Zodiac boat in the town of Lajes do Pico. Snap some pictures of the shoreline as your cruise along. Look for birds, turtles, whales, and playful dolphins as you make your way to locations where they are most active.  Get an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) from your guide. Hear about other marine species, their natural habitats, communication styles, migration patterns and behavioral features. Return to your starting point on Pico island. 

Furnas Valley Full-Day Volcano and Tea Plantation Tour

10. Furnas Valley Full-Day Volcano and Tea Plantation Tour

Depart Ponta Delgada and journey along the south coast of São Miguel before heading towards the Furnas Valley to experience its dramatic volcanic landscape. Stop at the village of Lagoa en route and visit a traditional pottery. Marvel at the former capital of the island at Vila Franca do Campo. Upon arrival in the Furnas Valley, go to the lake to enjoy a lunch of authentic cozido na caldeira (traditional Portuguese stew) cooked using the heat of the volcanic soil. Savor the ingredients characteristic of this typical dish. Next, go to the belvedere of the Pico do Ferro for a panoramic view of the valley. Return to Ponta Delgada via the island's north road, and stop at the site of Europe's only tea plantations and tea factory.

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Frequently asked questions about Azores

What top attractions are a must-see in Azores?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Azores

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What people are saying about Azores

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 5,197 reviews

I rated it a One star because the driver was late this morning and I thought it was scam.It was an error in c9lommunicati9n between the booking agent and Get Your Guide's driver. My driver, Manuel, was great, he explained the situation to his supervisor and me and our group did the tour. It was excellent. Manuel was excellent and I would recommend this company

We had a tour on 2nd of January. Even though we were unlucky to spot the whales but saw plenty of common dolphins and rare to spot sun fish. The guide was very nice and informative. Definitely would go back!

It was the best trip with the best guide Fernando. He told us lot of information about natural beauties in this unique island Sao Miguel. I really appreciate it.

Miguel is always available to explain something more about where we are. The tour gives us a good overview about Terceira.

the trip was perfect. We had the best guide, very friendly with sense of humour and lot of knowledge.