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Vila Franca do Campo Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Vila Franca do Campo Nature & adventure

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.

São Miguel East: Full-Day Van Tour with Lunch

2. 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.

São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

3. 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.

Azores: Vila Franca do Campo Islet Kayaking Experience

4. Azores: Vila Franca do Campo Islet Kayaking Experience

Paddle along the beautiful coastline of Vila Franca de Campo on a morning or afternoon kayaking tour. Enjoy a kayaking adventure suitable for beginners and experienced kayakers alike, including families with children. Get geared with the necessary equipment for your kayak tour, then receive a safety briefing from your instructor before heading out onto the waters with a local nature guide. Kayak 4.5 kilometers along the beautiful Vila Franca do Campo Islet. During the excursion, take a dip in the refreshing waters and try snorkeling. Paddle into the islet bay, relax on the beach, and venture into the islet for a better look at this protected landscape.

Vila Franca Do Campo: Introduction to Scuba Diving Tour

5. Vila Franca Do Campo: Introduction to Scuba Diving Tour

Kick off your scuba diving experience with a small introduction session during which you will learn all about diving equipment, techniques and underwater communication. Then head out to the sea by boat, allowing a supervised and relaxed way to experience diving.  Your dive will take place at the Natural Reserve of Vila Franca do Campo Islet, an island formed by a volcano crater. Explore an area close to wrecked cannons from the 16th century and see how nature incorporated them into marine life.

Whale and Dolphin Watching with Vila Franca Islet Visit

6. Whale and Dolphin Watching with Vila Franca Islet Visit

Take the opportunity to see some of the sea life found in the Azores including dolphins, whales, turtles and seabirds. Before the boat trip, listen to biologists explaining the safety measures aboard, the history of the area, the local wildlife and how to respect them. Then set off! After the 3-hour whale watching tour, stop in Vila Franco do Campo to enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Following lunch, board a converted traditional fishing boat and head to Vila Franca do Campo islet, a volcanic crater off the coast that encloses a natural lagoon. Take one of the provided snorkels and diving masks and see the numerous protected fish species in this natural reserve. Following the tour, transfer back to Ponta Delgada by boat or van.

Vila Franca Islet Off-coast Nature Reserve Tour

7. Vila Franca Islet Off-coast Nature Reserve Tour

The tour starts with a short briefing introducing to the volcanic islet’s geology, plant and animal species that can be found, the nature reserve’s rules, and safety. Everyone will follow the Guide and Skipper to their designated boat, for 10 minutes travelling by sea to the Islet. You will disembark at the islet’s harbor, for a hour-and-half tour to explore the volcanic marvel and its notorious features. The islet crater is rocky with endemic Azorean Heather, Firetree and other flora species making this a beautiful living habitat for wildlife, and often birds can be observed, such as Buzzards, Turnstones, Sanderlings, Little Egrets, Whimbrels, Canaries, Wagtails, and even Sally lightfoot crab colonies! It is life rich all year, especially in Autumn and Winter. Your guide will keep you informed on what you are observing and is available throughout your tour to provide answers to any specific questions - feel free to ask! At 16:15 it is time to be back to the Marina for check-out.

Azores Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience

8. Azores Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience

Enjoy a 2.5-hour tour to swim with bottlenose dolphins on this tour from Vila Franca do Campo. Meet your guide at the Vila Franca do Campo Marina for check-in and equipment setup. After a quick safety and responsible practices induction, board your high-speed boat and head out to sea. Your skipper will be on the lookout for dolphins throughout the journey. When the time comes, get ready to dive into the sea and wait for the friendly dolphins to approach you. On the second part of the tour, travel to one of the island's best snorkel locations. Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and see an array of vibrant marine fauna and flora as you explore the seafloor before heading back to the marina.

São Miguel Island: Full Day All-in-One Tour

9. São Miguel Island: Full Day All-in-One Tour

Join this tour to visit the most iconic and historical areas of São Miguel Island. See views of the lakes from Vista do Rei, stop at the Santa Iria Viewpoint, try tea at a tea planation, try Furnas stew in Furnas Valley, and more. Start your journey to the Vista do Rei viewpoint and admire the landscape of the Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde lakes, located in Sete Cidades. Then, head to the mountains to enjoy the scenic view over Lagoa do Fogo and visit the Santa Iria Viewpoint. Stop at the Gorreana tea plantation and its factory. Taste black and green tea and then continue to Furnas Valley to admire the Pico do Ferro’s viewpoint. Watch powerful volcanic phenomena, known as fumaroles, in Furnas village.  Enjoy Furnas stew for lunch, a traditional dish cooked underground. Take a walk at Furnas Lake and learn about the Furnas stew cooking process. On your way back, drive along the south coast and stop at Vila Franca do Campo, the first capital of São Miguel.

São Miguel: Furnas and Nordeste Full-Day Tour with Lunch

10. São Miguel: Furnas and Nordeste Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Starting through Ponta Delgada, along Avenida do Mar, following the beaches of Água D´Alto, until we reach the first capital of the island, Vila Franca do Campo, stopping at the viewpoint of Ilhéu de Vila Franca do Campo where we can see its incredible islet, the result of an underwater volcanic eruption and where the Red Bull Cliff Diving has been running for 3 years, now; After this short break, we will drive to the bucolic Lagoa das Furnas (Entry not included, available by choice or at customer’s expense), area where the famous “Cozido das Furnas” is cooked in volcanic soil for 6 hours, and here we can observe the removal of the pots from the volcanic ground by local restaurants. We will also visit the various fumaroles and boilers from that area; Back on the road and towards the parish of Furnas you can optionally relax in pools of hot springs, over 30 degrees, that spur incessantly from railway springs. This is an experience of thermal charisma, with the option of the client and alternative, between Poça da Dona Beija) and the pools of Parque Terra Nostra, where in addition to being able to swim, you can also visit its amazing Botanical Garden Terra Nostra Park, considered one of the best and largest in Europe. (Entry not included, available by choice or at customer’s expense); Lunch Break (Lunch included) After lunch, a pedestrian visit to the the center of the parish of Furnas; Driven north of the Island, next stop will be at the Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park, one of the most visited areas in the Nordeste area, with its 5 Watermills and her amazing waterfall; The last stop of the day, will be the tea route, until the tea plantations and their factories. A view of the splendid bay, a magnificent garden and a smiling welcome for a tea tasting at the Gorreana Tea Factory or Porto Formoso Tea Factory.

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What people are saying about Vila Franca do Campo

It was a wonderful tour. The guide was funny and friendly and answered all our questions, the islands were stunning and we saw dolphins and were lucky enough to spot killer whales. It was an unforgettable experience. Thank you!

Fantástica experiencia. Absolutamente recomendable.

Amazing experience with so many beautiful sights packed into one day. Our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable and made everything run smoothly. Lunch was also delicious.

It was amazing experience! I love the boat we were using - it is a pontón motor boat that goes really fast!!!! We saw only dolphins, but well maybe other time!

Reservation was available at the time and the entrance was quite easy.

This was a great trip and we saw dolphins and whales!!