Don’t miss your chance to look a mighty Blue Whale in the eye on an exhilarating RIB boat water safari as the world’s largest creature migrates through the Azores this spring.
Just four hours’ direct flight from London, the subtropical archipelago is fast becoming recognised as one of the world’s leading whale watching destinations.
With over 25 resident and migratory species in its waters, thrill-seekers can take an exhilarating RIB boat ride out in search of the Blue Whales and other species such as the sperm, pilot, orca, beaked, and false-killer whales this spring, alongside common, bottlenose and spotted dolphin species.
April and May are the peak months for spotting the mighty Blue Whale, which can be best seen from the islands of Sao Miguel, Terceira, Pico and Faial. At 30 metres long and weighing an impressive 170 tonnes, visitors are amazed by their grace as they cut through the ocean making their way from the warm waters of the south, where breeding occurs, to the colder waters of the north to feed.
The practice of whaling, hunting whales for their oil, was once vital to the Azores’ economy and nearly every family on the islands once had a connection to the industry. Over thirty years since the last commercial whaling factory closed, whale watching boats have now replaced whaling ships and the lives of these beautiful creatures in Azorean waters has dramatically changed for the better.
Discover the Azores’ whaling heritage on the island of Pico at sites such as Museu dos Baleeiros, an old whaling boat house turned whaling museum, or Museu da Industria Baleeira de Sao Roque do Pico, an old whaling factory. Fabrica da Baleia de Porto Pim, a museum which houses traditional equipment once used for whaling on Faial Island is also a short distance from Peter’s Café in Horta Marina, which was once a local haunt for whalers. The café is today, as it has been for years, a popular meeting place for passing international sailors and seamen.
Azores Choice’s (Azoreschoice.com; 01768 775 672) Blue Whale and Wine holiday starts from £1,059 per person (for departures in May) and stays on the island of Pico, dominated by Pico – the world’s tallest underwater mountain. Stay six nights B&B at the O Zimbreiro guesthouse on Pico followed by one night B&B at the Pousada Santa Cruz on Faial Island. Price includes a whale watching excursion and a wine tour and cheese tour of Pico’s UNESCO vineyards, six days car hire and flights from London Heathrow.
To find out more about the Azores, please visit www.visitazores.com