When to go whale watching in the Azores

When to go whale watching in the Azores

The Azores are a real paradise for nature lovers and active tourist who appreciate the outdoors. No wonder that the group of islands has been elected one of the Top 10 most sustainable destinations in the world. The Azores are also the best Atlantic destination according to the International Tourism Fair in Berlin (ITB)!

Obviously, there are a lot of reasons to visit this amazing and magical place. But one of the main reasons for us is definitely the 25 different species of whales and dolphins that can be seen around the Azores throughout the year! To make sure you have a great experience, we want to tell you when to go whale watching in the Azores! You can do so from São Miguel Island but also from Horta, Faial!

We have many different species around the Azores

We have many different species around the Azores

Whales are very special animals! Something about them seems to remind us that there is a whole other world out there in the sea, and whales are the strong and harmonious leaders of that world! They are beautiful creatures and so kind. That’s why whale watching in the Azores is such a magical experience.

A lot of people want to go whale watching in the Azores, but don’t know when to go. Don’t worry any longer, we will tell you all you need to know about when to go whale watching in the Azores to make sure you see as many of these magical creatures as possible!

boat tour in São Miguel

Some whales are very curious and come really close to the boats!

Generally speaking, spring and early summer are the best months to go whale watching in the Azores! During that time, you will find a lot of migrating whale species passing through the region on their way up north. So if you go whale watching in the Azores during spring, it’s very likely that you will see species like blue whales, fin whales and sei whales.

If you’re planning when to go whale watchníng in the Azores and don’t want to visit during the warm summer months, that’s no problem! There is one resident whale species in the Azores, which is the amazing sperm whale. Even though this whale is most easily seen during summer, you can generally find it all year round in the region! So you don’t have to worry about when to go whale watching, because the sperm whale will always be around.

Join us on this adventure!

Join us on this adventure!

There are also 3 resident dolphin species, so if you come during fall or winter, you’re likely to see them too! But during summer there are also more dolphins around the region, so you will have more variety of dolphin species between April and August as well.

With a little bit of luck, you might even get to see rare whale species like orcas or beaked whales during the migrating months in spring! So if you’re flexible about when to go whale watching in the Azores, the months between April and July are the best ones!

They're looking forward to meeting you ;)

They’re looking forward to meeting you 😉

Whenever you choose to go whale watching in the Azores, you are sure to have the time of your life! Encounters with these amazing animals are always absolutely magical! The Azores are among the best places on earth to go whale watching! We hope that this post about when to go whale watching in the Azores can help you make the most of your whale watching experience!

Good luck spotting as many whale species as possible during your holidays in the Azores!

Dolphin & whale watching in São Miguel, Azores

If you are planning your holidays to the Azores archipelago, you are surely considering a whale watching in São Miguel. The island of São Miguel is worldwide known for its stunning green scenery and for dolphin and whale watching boat trips.
São Miguel is the biggest island of the Azores archipelago. It’s the island where most airlines operating to the Azores fly to: Ponta Delgada. São Miguel has 62.1 km in maximum length and 15.8 km at its width. Pico da Vara is the island’s highest point with an altitude of 1,105 m.

Whale watching São Miguel 4

Marine birds also like to go whale watching in São Miguel because of feeding

There are many things to do on São Miguel, Azores. Most activities are related to nature, like bicycle or horse rides, running or walking tours, canyoning and golf. Related to the ocean, the Azores is ideal for birdwatching, fishing, scuba diving, surfing and of course, dolphin and whale watching.
In this article, we’ll focus on dolphin and whale watching in São Miguel. The Azores, and in particular São Miguel, are one of the world’s largest dolphin and whale sanctuaries. More than 25 different types of cetaceans can be encountered around the Azores. Among these species, some are whales, others dolphins, some resident, others migrant species. These 25 species of cetaceans correspond to one third of the total number of existing species on the planet!

Whale watching São Miguel 5

In the winter, please dress warmly for the whale watching in São Miguel

With majestic whales and friendly dolphins, the Atlantic Ocean around São Miguel becomes even more magic. To enjoy this magic closely, we recommend a boat tour with dolphin and whale watching in São Miguel. SeaBookings works with a local tour operator that has a record of more than 25 years of providing unforgettable encounters between travellers and marine life. This tour operator provides a great dolphin and whale watching center with outstanding installations and information about the different species of animals around the São Miguel Island.

Whale watching São Miguel 3

You never know which species you’re gonna spot

The start of the tour

Before your boat trip, you will receive a safety briefing. In the dolphin and whale watching center, you will be informed about the most spotted species of dolphins and whales in São Miguel. In fact, during the dolphin and whale watching in São Miguel, you are able to find many kind of species of cetaceans.
During this briefing, you’ll also be informed about the boat tour itself, about where we’re going and for how long. An important part is to pay attention on how you should and shouldn’t behave during the dolphin and whale watching in São Miguel.

The boats

There are several kinds of boats that do the boat trips with dolphin and whale watching in São Miguel. The most known boat of this tour operator is their Catamaran “Cetus”. This boat takes up to 77 people. It’s a very stable boat and perfect for any age. This boat is usually preferred by families.
An alternative for the speed and adrenaline lovers is the dolphin and whale watching tour on a zodiac. A zodiac is a rigid inflatable passenger boat. This kind of boat is better if you love adventure and would like to come a bit closer to the dolphins or whales of the Azores.
The prices, routes and chances on spotting wildlife on both boats are the same. The choice of the boat, would depend on your personal preference.

Whale watching São Miguel 2

You may find cute dolphins or impressive whales


Unfortunately, some ocean lovers tend to get seasick. For the people that usually suffer from seasickness, we recommend the zodiacs. These boats are faster and tend not to feel the movement of the ocean that usually causes the seasickness that much,
Other tips to avoid getting seasick are to eat before the boat trip. You should not drink too much water but eat some cookies or something light. Also, if you start to feel seasick, stare at the horizon and talk to your friends to distract.
If you feel these tips won’t help, we recommend getting some pills that help you to prevent getting seasick. You can get them at the pharmacy.

The trip with dolphin and whale watching in São Miguel

The boat trips with dolphin and whale watching in São Miguel take about three hours and a half. On average, on these half day boat tours, you’ll spot about 2 species of cetaceans.
In the waters around São Miguel, on a yearly basis, you can find up to 25 different types of species. The resident dolphins are the common and bottlenose dolphin, which we spot most of the times. Bottlenose dolphins are very friendly; you can even swim with them! Whales pass by the Azores during their migration route. The most spotted whales are sperm whales, blue whales and fin whales.
The route is absolutely stunning. You’ll cruise by impressive sights over the island of São Miguel. This boat trip, even if you have tough luck not spot any wildlife, is amazing because of its unique perspective over the island.

Whale watching in São Miguel, Azores

Femke, from SeaBookings, on her whale watching in São Miguel, Azores

Booking your dolphin and whale watching in São Miguel and tips

Due to the huge demand on these tours, it is recommended to book in advance to avoid disappointments. Usually, booking about one week in advance should be enough. If you only decide to book this trip last minute, we recommend you to give us a call.
Also, make sure than you dress adequately. In the summer you may not need a jacket, but bring sunscreen and a hat that will not blow off with the wind. In the fall / winter, dress warmly as it may get chilly in the middle of the Atlantic!
We recommend checking in for your tour at the whale watching center about 2o minutes before departure. At the center, you can pay by cash or by card. You will be provided with directions to the boat.

Have fun and enjoy the Atlantic!