Azores: Whale Watching Week in the Azores
Our Whale Watching Week promises an incredible experience in an amazing location
What Makes Me Mighty Fine
- Thrilling, nine day, summer, whale watching holiday featuring five, three hour, sea expeditions in one of the world’s best whale watching locations, with ample time to explore the Azorean island of Pico
- Sail in small, rigid hull inflatables to get up close to the whales and dolphins in one of the top 10 whale watching destinations in the world
- Benefit from expert local knowledge and research to enjoy the best possible chances of seeing the creatures of the deep
- Stay at the perfectly positioned Whale’come ao Pico
- Spend afternoons exploring the many attractions of this beautiful island
Home to an abundance of marine life, the Azores are a fantastic holiday destination for nature lovers. Our Whale Watching Week takes you to the second largest island of the archipelago: Pico where you will be staying at the Whale’come ao Pico in the centre of Lajes village. Just a stones’ throw away from the whale watching base and a short walk from the Whalers Museum, it really is the perfect location.
Numerous techniques are used to locate the cetaceans in preparation for your Whale Watching Week expeditions. An overnight lookout survey is thoroughly examined before you take to the water. And, as you are heading out to sea, your guides will receive continual updates, ensuring you have the best chance of seeing the local marine life. Indeed, so effective are these techniques that out of the 743 tours operated in 2012, an amazing 739 saw cetaceans! With odds like that it’s no wonder Pico is considered one of the 10 best places in the world for whale watching.
Of course, its popularity is also partly down to the incredible diversity of species you can see in this area. Sperm Whales; Northern Bottlenose Whales; Pilot Whales; Orca Whales and Sowerby’s Beaked Whales are all local to the area. And what’s more, there’s an equally broad spectrum of dolphins in these waters including Common Atlantic Bottlenose; Risso; Atlantic Spotted and Striped species.
To give you the best chance of an up-close sighting of these magnificent creatures, the expeditions on your Whale Watching Week are conducted in a small, rigid hull inflatable boat powered by a four-stroke engine. This minimises any noise that may scare off the animals and any environmental pollution. The boats are also equipped with a hydrophone, which not only helps to locate the underwater wildlife but also enables you to hear these fascinating creatures – a factor that really will heighten your enjoyment of the whole experience.
Want to swap wildlife for natural attractions? Discover the wonders of our Walking Through Volcanoes holiday.
Still in need of guidance? Take a look at our Azorean holiday ideas or, for an activity-focussed break, our whale watching holiday ideas or wildlife watching holiday ideas. Alternatively, call our helpful travel team on 0333 800 2033 or speak to us via online chat.
Day 1 - Arrival
Your flight will land in Pico or Horta and you will be transferred to the Whale’come ao Pico hotel for your first night. Feel free to explore the local area and take in the sights of the island before retiring for a good night’s sleep ready for the start of your Whale Watching Week.
Days 2 to 6 - The Cetacean Search
The next five days of your Whale Watching Week will feature daily whale watching expeditions. Depending on weather conditions the three hour trips will depart at 10am. Heading out so many times means you should get one whale sighting at the very least and hopefully many more! Enjoy observing these sensational creatures; take the opportunity to listen to them on the hydrophone and make sure you remember your camera for those close up cetacean photos.
Afternoons are yours to do with as you wish. Included in the price of the break is entry to the Whaler’s Museum, a fascinating place to visit. Discover the intriguing history behind the modern day tourist attraction of whale watching as you look back over the thriving whaling industry and explore the progression from hunting to conservation. You can also borrow a sea-going kayak and head out on the water yourself to explore the beautiful region or enjoy some land-based exploration on mountain bikes. There’s a host of activities to enjoy, areas to discover and attractions to visit.Meals included:Breakfast
Days 2 to 6 - Sperm Whales
Over one and a half times the length of a double decker bus and at least five times its weight, the Sperm Whale is a true giant of the ocean and just one of the fabulous creatures you can hope to see on our whale watching week in the Azores. Easily recognizable by their massive heads and prominent rounded foreheads, they have the largest brain of any creature known to man.
Diving up to 1,000 meters in search of squid, these maritime giants eat around a ton of fish and other sea creatures each day, cutting through the oceans, in search of their prey, at around 23 miles an hour.Meals included:Breakfast
Days 2 to 6 - Northern Bottlenose Whales
A large, robust whale known for its bulbous forehead and inquisitive nature, the Northern Bottlenose Whale is one of the deepest diving mammals, reaching a depth of almost 1500 metres. Its small pointed flippers tuck into flipper pockets when diving for its favoured prey - deep water squid.
Very keen to interact with humans, these creatures often approach boats and remain in the area for some time. They travel in groups of between four and 20 and can be fairly acrobatic offering great opportunities to capture some amazing photographs on your whale watching week in the Azores.Meals included:Breakfast
Days 2 to 6 - Orcas
Measuring between seven and nine metres in length, weighing heavier than a double decker bus and living for up to 80 years, Orcas (or Killer Whales) are one of the world's most powerful predators. Using teeth up to 10cm long, they feast on seals, sea lions and even other whales, as well as fish, squid, and seabirds.
These distinctive black and white creatures hunt in groups of up to 40 individuals. All pods use cooperative hunting techniques reminiscent of those employed by wolves. Indeed, in Arctic regions, they are frequently seen pulling seals directly from the ice.Meals included:Breakfast
Days 2 to 6 - Other Creatures of the Deep
Your five sea safaris may well present you with the opportunity to see other species of whales and dolphins. Look out for Common, Bottlenose, Risso’s, Atlantic Spotted Dolphins and Striped Dolphins, as well as Short-finned Pilot, Sowerby’s Beaked, False Killer and Northern Bottlenose Whales. You’ll also encounter a good variety of birdlife, so make sure you have your camera with you to capture the magic throughout your stay.Meals included:Breakfast
Days 7 to 8 - Leisure Day
Your five sea safaris are spread out over six days in case weather conditions prevent you from making the most of your adventure on any day. The remaining leisure day, however, on your whale watching week in the Azores, is no less exciting than your days in the RIB. You can use bikes and canoes, provided by your hotel, to get out and about and explore independently as well, of course, as making the most of your inclusive access to the local Whaler’s museum.Meals included:Breakfast
Day 9 - Departure
Sadly, your Whale Watching Week comes to an end today. Your flight will depart and you will return home with some incredible memories and, hopefully, some fabulous photographs of your marine encounters!Meals included:Breakfast
- Return international flights from London Heathrow (details of regional departures on request)
- Escorted airport transfers
- Eight nights' accommodation in a sea view room at Hotel Whale'Come ao Pico
- The following activities and excursions, as per the itinerary:
- Five whale watching safaris by RIB
- Entrance to the Whaler's Museum
- Meals as per the itinerary
- Travel Insurance (this can, however, be arranged for you. Simply speak to our travel team for a competitive quote for comprehensive cover)
Please call our friendly advisors on 0333 800 2033 for pricing on this holiday.
due to flight departure times, you may need to fly out a day before the start of your holiday and/or spend an additional night in the Azores at the end of your holiday