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São Miguel Island

Cruises & Boat Tours

Our most recommended São Miguel Island Cruises & Boat Tours

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

2. São Miguel Azores: Half-Day Whale Watching Trip

Enjoy a half-day whale watching trip in the Azores, one of the ‘top ten’ whale-watching spots in the world, and get the opportunity to meet the ocean giants in their natural habitat. Meet the boat crew and get a short briefing about safety and code of ethics and then put on your life vest and head out in the ocean. Listen as the crew follows the instructions given by radio from the lookouts placed in strategic points along the coastline using military-grade binoculars to find and communicate the position of the animals. Take comfort that the crew has a 99% success rate of sightings. Once whales have been spotted it´s time to enjoy the company of these magnificent animals, always keeping a safe and respectful distance. It´s usual that more than one group of whales and dolphins are observed per trip. On the way back to the marina, observe the geological formations of the island as the boat sails close to the coastline.

São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

3. São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

Discover the life that lies deep in the Azores Sea from the comfort of this glass-bottom boat, with an expert crew and guide. Your adventure begins at Vila Franca do Campo Marina. A biologist will give you a briefing about the itinerary and then you can set off. Learn about the marine life, nature, and historical curiosities of Vila Franca do Campo. You can spot the unique sea life of the protected area and observe the seabirds and crustaceans that fill the islet landscape. The biologist will help you identify the species, but you can expect to see everything from colorful shoals of fish, to starfish, sea cucumbers, and underwater volcanic activity. When you want to cool off you can go for a swim and snorkel, and get closer to some of the wildlife you've been spotting.

Sao Miguel: Vila Franca Do Campo Islet Scuba Diving

4. Sao Miguel: Vila Franca Do Campo Islet Scuba Diving

Kick off your scuba diving experience with a small introduction session during which you will learn all about diving equipment, techniques and underwater communication. Then head out to the sea by boat, allowing a supervised and relaxed way to experience diving.  Your dive will take place at the Natural Reserve of Vila Franca do Campo Islet, an island formed by a volcano crater. Explore an area close to wrecked cannons from the 16th century and see how nature incorporated them into marine life.

Furnas: East São Miguel Island Nature Tour

5. Furnas: East São Miguel Island Nature Tour

After being collected from your accommodation, begin your tour of the beautiful natural landmarks of São Miguel. Discover a region abundant with beautiful scenery, lush landscapes, and fantastic viewpoints. Take a tour of Plantações de Chá Gorreana, the oldest tea plantations in Europe. See the only fields of tea in Europe, and whilst at the plantation, you can sample the tea for free and roam around the fields. After that, head to Furnas to explore the valley and take a dip in the hot springs to relax a bit and connect with nature. After the visit to the hot springs, you can purchase some lunch in Furnas. After lunch, visit the lagoon and roam around a bit to enjoy the surroundings. When the visit to the lagoon is finished it's time to head to Vila Franca to have a look at the world-famous islet. Finish the tour in Ponta Delgada with a visit to the pineapple plantations.

Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

6. Ponta Delgada: Whales and Volcanoes Tour with Lunch

Benefit from mini van pick-up at your accommodation in Ponta Delgada and the area around and then explore the coastline of São Miguel island by boat. Spend 3 hours looking for majestic whales and playful dolphins in their natural environment.  Reconnect with the natural world as you go in search of the sperm whales, blue whales, humpback whales, fin whales and sei whales that make the archipelago one of the best places in the world to see different marine mammals. Keep a look out for turtles, flying fish, sea birds and jumping dolphins along the way.  Disembark at the marina and enjoy a tasty lunch at local restaurant. Afetr lunch make your way to the volcanic landscapes of Lagoa do Fogo crater lake. See one of the most beautiful lakes in São Miguel and experience the amazing interior of the island up close. Learn about how is used the volcanic heat to produce renewable energy to the island.

Ponta Delgada: São Miguel Island Hidden Gems Full-Day Tour

7. Ponta Delgada: São Miguel Island Hidden Gems Full-Day Tour

Spend a day exploring the hidden gems of São Miguel Island, away from the big crowds. The island of São Miguel is beautiful everywhere and has a lot to see besides the popular and busy attractions. Drive through the quiet roads of the inner island surrounded by forests and green pastures. See the native and unique vegetation of the Azores in well-preserved areas and learn about their uses in the early history of the islands. From ample views from mountain tops, to waterfalls, cliffs, a small lake—this tour goes to many amazing places that are not part of the main tourist itineraries. This tour is accessible to everyone and doesn’t require difficult walks. Throughout the day, you will explore the hidden side of the Azores and go off the typical roads to enjoy some unique views.

São Miguel Island: Full-Day West Coast Tour

8. São Miguel Island: Full-Day West Coast Tour

Discover all of São Miguel Island's west coast in one day on this guided tour. Enjoy scenic views as you visit small lakes, exclusive viewpoints, a pineapple plantation, and Sete Cidades. Learn the history behind the landscapes you explore. Start your trip with a pickup from your hotel. Meet your expert guide who will be with you along your adventure. Start learning the history and nature of the Azores archipelago. Then, head straight to Sete Cidades, enjoying amazing views of the island along the ride. Stop at the islet's viewpoints and immerse yourself in nature as you roam and visit the lakeside. The Sete Cidades lagoon will be the main attraction of the tour, but there will be plenty of additional stops and sights that you can enjoy along the way.

Sao Miguel: Snorkeling in Vila Franca do Campo

9. Sao Miguel: Snorkeling in Vila Franca do Campo

Go on a boat and embark on a snorkeling experience in the sea. Enjoy the marine life in a supervised and relaxed way.  Receive a brief explanation of the apnea basic concepts, equipment, and swimming techniques. These are theoretical and practical sessions, where safety procedures will be explained.  This activity takes place in the Natural Reserve of Vila Franca do Campo Island, close to the wrecked cannons from the 16th Century.  Come and see what the underwater world has to offer you with the greatest comfort and safety.

São Miguel: North Coast Whale Watching Cruise

10. São Miguel: North Coast Whale Watching Cruise

Discover the whale population of the Azores Islands on a boat cruise along the northern coast of São Miguel. Observe these majestic giants of the ocean in their natural habitat, at a respectful distance. Set off from the fishing village of Rabo de Peixe on the north coast of São Miguel. Explore the sea north of the island, known for its strong tides and whale population. Explore on a semi-inflatable craft, and observe the whales from a respectful distance so as to not disturb the whales. With the help of your onboard spotter, identify the whales as they breach the ocean surface. Be amazed by their grandeur and grace as the whales frolic in the ocean. See their gigantic tailfins, and hear the sound of the blowholes. As you cruise through the ocean, learn about the behavior and feeding habits of the whales with your expert crew. Afterward, return to the port in Rabo de Peixe.

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Other Sightseeing Options in São Miguel Island

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What people are saying about São Miguel Island

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 150 reviews

Outing at sea in an excellent zodiac. The team took us directly after 20 or 30 minutes in the Zodiac to an area where we saw dozens and dozens of dolphins as well as a fin whale which stayed for a long time. We also saw a turtle and another species of "pilot" dolphins further. The team is professional and gives interesting information. We were lucky and the ocean was very calm. I recommend !

This tour is the way to go. The smaller boats reached the whales much faster than the larger catamarans, We were also able to see the animals a lot closer, especially the dolphins, than the larger boats.

Eat lightly before going. Great trip in the zodiac to see dolphins and whales. Lower your expectations and just enjoy to be happy with what nature reveals to you. Great biologist on board.

A great experience. Manuel and Álex took us to see whales and they succeeded: common dolphin playing with us and a sperm whale.

Great tour guide very efficient service, can't fault it!