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Whale watching in the Azores

Listed under Whale Watching in The Azores, Portugal.

  • Photo of Whale watching in the Azores
  • Photo of Whale watching in the Azores
  • Photo of Whale watching in the Azores
  • Photo of Whale watching in the Azores
Photo of Whale watching in the Azores
Photo by Jenny Fowler
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Something in the area of twenty different cetacean species have been spotted of the coasts of the Azores archipelago, but the most famous locals are probably the sperm whales. Sperm whales were hunted to extinction in the area but the clean water and good food sources of this habitat have lured them back. About a quarter of the worlds shale varieties have been seen in these waters, and on a good day a whale watcher could come across maybe six or seven different kinds of cetacean. The ones you’re mostly likely to see, apart from sperm whales, are Pilot Whales, Humpbacks and Minkes. False Killer Whales, Sowerby’s Whales, and Cuvier’ Whales have also been spotted around the islands in recent years. There are also many dolphin species to see.

Unlike most whale watching spots, the Azores aren’t on a migration path, whales live around here for most of the year so you can come at any time - I would probably recommend visiting when the weather is nicest between May and October, it can get pretty miserable on the ocean on a bad weather day. The guides I went with are part of an operator that uses their tours to help fund their research (Whale Watch Azores, which are the kinds of guides I strongly advise you go with) and said they usually average six or seven species of whales and dolphins a trip and that it’s strange to see less than four species. These guys go out almost every day so they know where to find the whale pods are used to the behaviour of individual whales and families, which made for a really brilliant commentary. I saw seven, including Sperm Whales, Short Finned Pilot Whales, Bottlenosed Dolphins, Spotted Dolphins and False Killer Whales. Some local companies allow you to go swimming with dolphins in the warmer weather.

Written by  Frida Elba.

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Written by  Jenny Fowler.

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