A whole world underwater
Did you know that of the 81 total whale and dolphin species existing in the whole world, in the Azores only you can see up to 28 of them? That is why we are the best European destination for watching cetaceans. Our busy waters attract travelers from all over the world who hope to have the chance to see a whale jump, hundreds of dolphins accompanying the boats, or a beautiful whale tail saying goodbye before a deep dive.
Around the archipelago, many species pass by during their yearly migration. The biggest whales in the world will definitely impress you with their huge size. The blue whale is the largest of all animals, and the biggest one discovered was about 33m long! In addition to dozens of migratory species, here we also have 4 resident ones: Sperm whales, Risso’s dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, and Common dolphins. Those are present around our islands all year long and we normally can find them easily.
The best season for whale watching in the Azores depends on what species you want to see. But we can guarantee that there will always be something to see. And remember, at Futurismo, if you do not see a single whale or dolphin, you can have another tour with us for free! Now let’s see what each season brings us under the sea.
Whale watching in springtime in the Azores
This is the most interesting season if you want to see the giants of the ocean. From March to June, this is when the biggest whales pass by the Azores on their migration route. They leave their winter place near the equator to the summer feeding grounds off the coast of Greenland, Iceland, and Norway.
The baleen whales as we call them, breed during the winter months in the tropical waters while they prepare their young ones for a long trip to the North Atlantic. When they pass by the Azores, they will stay several days to feed before continuing their long journey.
In the spring months, the sea is full of plankton and krill, the food for those whales. It is a paradise for them, and also for the travelers who are lucky enough to go see them with us.
For our marine biologists, this is an exciting time of the year as the blue whales are the biggest in the animal kingdom. By the way, did you know that blue whales are not actually blue? Indeed, they are more greyish. However, those baleen whales passing by, it is to say blue whales, sei whales, and fin whales, are not really the whales who will jump and show off so much, compared to, for example, the extraordinary humpback whale, and also the sperm whale that sometimes can jump and often shows the tail.
Also, due to global warming and many environmental disorders, nowadays it happens that we see those species outside of the springtime. For example, it is not rare to see Sei whales after summertime. The Azores are definitely a good place if you want to spot those big animals.
In the springtime, you can also see minke whales and spectacular humpback whales.
Whale watching in the Summer in the Azores
In the summer, the water temperature starts to rise up, we can enjoy longer days to observe our wild animals. It is the perfect season if you want to swim with wild dolphins. Discover the underwater world more deeply thanks to a mask and a snorkel. See and listen to free dolphins communicate in their natural environment with Futurismo. We provide everything for an amazing adventure in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. You can swim with many different species of dolphins such as the bottlenose, spotted, common dolphin, and Risso’s dolphin. Also, sometimes we can encounter unexpected visitors like whale sharks, turtles, or sunfish.
In the summertime, we receive the visit of other migratory species enjoying our warm waters, such as the Atlantic spotted dolphins, the striped dolphins, and the pilot whales. It is during this time of the year that we can see many babies swimming in huge groups of dolphins. That is something so cute you don’t want to miss!
Our sperm whales keep on blessing us with their presence around the islands. It is the emblematic symbol of the Azores.
Hunted for a long time, now they are free and happy to roam off our coasts. Did you know that Sperm whales have teeth? Unlike the baleen whales who filter their food thanks to long keratin plates inside their mouth.
On land, hydrangeas are blooming, decorating the countryside’s roads completely blue and purple. Something really beautiful to observe and take great pictures.
Whale watching during Fall in the Azores
During the fall season, we will still have the company of the Atlantic spotted dolphins, who will keep on enjoying our warm waters until the temperature under the sea drops, then they will move out. The water is still perfect for a swim. Grab your snorkelling equipment and explore, or come with us on a magic tour to swim with wild and free dolphins.
There are still our 4 resident species around to see on a trip with us. Sperm whales are amazing to watch, you can almost be sure to see their huge tail when they go diving for hunting squids. This is a special moment where you can truly see the beauty of nature. You can recognise sperm whales from far away thanks to their blow. Indeed, sperm whales have only one blowhole, in comparison to baleen whales who have two. So the blow of the sperm whale is always directed to one side, compared to the straight vertical blow of the baleen whales.
On land, trees become yellow and orange, adding something special to our bright green landscapes. Almost spooky! You can still enjoy the hikes in relatively good weather conditions.
Whale watching in Winter in the Azores
Whale watching is operated all year-round in the Azores, we do not stop in the winter. Whale and dolphin watching in winter in the islands are more subject to the weather conditions. When it is not possible to go out due to strong winds or high waves, we will reschedule the activity for another day. Your safety is the most important to us.
Enjoy the resident sperm whales, Risso’s dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and common dolphins that live here all year long.
There is a species that appear from time to time is the Killer whales, also called orca. They are amazing animals to watch, sometimes they can be very active. Did you know that they are actually part of the dolphins' family? On other occasions, we can also spot beaked whales and false killer whales.
If you like the quiet and you are looking for peaceful holidays, enjoy the winter to find hikes where you will be alone with nature. During this season, you can truly recharge your batteries and escape from the big cities and the confusion of modern life. Relax surrounded by magical landscapes. Plus, the temperature is always nice here. It can drop down to 15ºC minimum, which is not too cold to enjoy outdoor adventures in the wild Azores.