DIVING HOLIDAYS IN THE AZORES
The Azores are a set of nine Atlantic Ocean islands, located due west of Portugal, about a third of the way to the USA. The nine islands were formed by ancient volcanoes which left their mark upon the stunning landscapes. The hills and mountains are often rich in vegetation and have a surprise around each corner maybe a deep crater, a sparkling lagoon, a steaming geyser, a sea of flowers or an incredible view over the ocean.
Diving here offers a haven of calm in the mid-Atlantic. The Azores are the perfect retreat for divers who seek unspoilt dive sites, away from the typical crowded diving destinations. The potential of the Azores is almost endless in terms of diving spots and types of diving. These islands offer adequate spots for various experience levels, from beginners to professionals. Steep walls, gentle slopes, volcanic arches, seamounts, caves and islets make the underwater scenarios diverse and unique. The marine life is diverse and abundant with some colourful subtropical fish species. Pelagic fishes like tuna, barracudas, jacks, sardines and mackerels are best spotted from July to September, when the warm Gulf Stream rises the sea temperature to about 20-23ºC. Manta rays are spotted every year in seamounts during July, August and September. Morays, stingrays, dusky groupers, comb groupers, wrasses, parrot fishes, trigger fishes, breams and damselfishes are common in most dives.
WHALES & DOLPHINS IN THE AZORES
Around 25 resident and migratory whale species can be seen in the blue Atlantic waters. These include resident Sperm Whales and migratory species such as the magnificent Blue Whale which passes the island en route north during the summer months. The Azores whaling community sets an example of how to successfully transform to be reliant on whale conservation rather than whaling. In the Azores you also have a rare opportunity to swim alongside wild dolphins in their wild natural habitat. Just jump off the boat and join in. The dolphin will often approach swimmers out of curiosity, making this a truly exhilarating experience. The numerous species include Orcas, Bottlenose, Spotted and Striped Dolphins.