Things to do in
Azores

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

Enter your dates to find available activities

Top activities


Our most recommended things to do in Azores

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins 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. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes 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 3-hour whale-watching excursion to see some of the most magnificent marine mammals in the Azores. You’ll be on the lookout for mink whales, dolphins, turtles and more. The marine biologist on board will provide historical information and commentary. Begin with a briefing by a biologist, who will explain how local people have converted whale hunting to whale watching in the Azores. You’ll also receive information about safety, rules of observation and respect for the animals and an overview of what may be sighted during the tour. Leaving from the Ponta Delgada harbor, you’ll sail in style out onto the Atlantic. Qualified biologists and nature guides will provide detailed explanations and collect scientific data during the tour. Situated in the Atlantic Ocean 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. Sperm whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Risso’s dolphins are present around the Archipelago of the Azores throughout the year. Other species visit or pass by during specific seasons so that the sightings vary considerably during the year — and often from day to day! Summer months are the best time to see Atlantic spotted dolphins, pilot whales and striped dolphins, whereas the spring months are the time to see migrating baleen whales such as blue whales, fin whales and sei whales. Although nature offers no guarantees, whales and dolphins are regularly seen during the tours, along with turtles, seabirds and other marine life.

Pico Island: Whale Watching Boat Tour with Biologist Guides

3. 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 and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

4. Pico Island: Azores Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

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. 

Azores: Vila Franca do Campo Islet Kayaking Experience

5. Azores: Vila Franca do Campo Islet Kayaking Experience

Paddle along the beautiful coastline of Vila Franca de Campo. Choose between the morning or afternoon tour and embark on a kayaking adventure suitable for families with children. The level is appropriate for beginners and experienced kayakers alike. Your professional instructor will make sure that everyone feels safe and comfortable. Get geared with the necessary equipment for your kayak tour. Then, receive a safety briefing from your instructor before heading out onto the waters. This tour takes you on a 4.5 kilometer stretch along the beautiful Vila Franca do Campo Islet. During the excursion, you may take a dip into the refreshing waters and try some snorkeling.

São Miguel West: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

6. 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, at 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

7. 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. Once whales have been 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.

Sao Miguel: Swimming with Dolphins

8. 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.

São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

9. São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

Discover the life that lies deep in the Azores Sea from the comfort of this glass-bottom boat, with an expert crew and guide. Your adventure begins at Vila Franca do Campo Marina. A biologist will give you a briefing about the itinerary and then you can set off. Learn about the marine life, nature, and historical curiosities of Vila Franca do Campo. You can spot the unique sea life of the protected area and observe the seabirds and crustaceans that fill the islet landscape. The biologist will help you identify the species, but you can expect to see everything from colorful shoals of fish, to starfish, sea cucumbers, and underwater volcanic activity. When you want to cool off you can go for a swim and snorkel, and get closer to some of the wildlife you've been spotting.

São Miguel Island: Full-Day West Coast Tour

10. São Miguel Island: Full-Day West Coast Tour

Discover all of São Miguel Island's west coast in one day on this guided tour. Enjoy scenic views as you visit small lakes, exclusive viewpoints, a pineapple plantation, and Sete Cidades. Learn the history behind the landscapes you explore. Start your trip with a pickup from your hotel. Meet your expert guide who will be with you along your adventure. Start learning the history and nature of the Azores archipelago. Then, head straight to Sete Cidades, enjoying amazing views of the island along the ride. Stop at the islet's viewpoints and immerse yourself in nature as you roam and visit the lakeside. The Sete Cidades lagoon will be the main attraction of the tour, but there will be plenty of additional stops and sights that you can enjoy along the way.

Frequently asked questions about Azores

What top attractions are a must-see in Azores?

Other Sightseeing Options in Azores

Want to discover all there is to do in Azores? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Azores

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 2,477 reviews

This tour was one of the best we have ever experienced! Nuno was an incredibly knowledgeable host who ensured we saw all of the key highlights but also provided amazing insights and experiences that only a local can share. We cannot recommend this tour and Nuno highly enough!

This was a GREAT way to see Sao Miguel- Yugo was friendly, accommodating and an excellent source of information- I plan to return to the island after this tour

Guide was passionate, humorous and sincere which made all the difference. The weather did not cooperate, but he made the best of it.

We had a wonderful tour of the caves. Extremely interesting and informational. Our guide certainly has the Azorian hospitality.

The trip was fantastic and we are very grateful to our guide António who was very patient and always very helpful. Thank you