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Haliotis Dive Center is located at the Faial Resort Hotel on the island of Faial, Azores. Open from March to November, you have access to showers and changing rooms, an equipment store, a small classroom, and an inflation station. The Haliotis Faial diving school offers PADI courses with Bubblemaker children's diving, Discover Scuba Diver baptisms, and specialties to improve in Digital Underwater Photographer or Aware fish Identification.
Go diving onboard Haliotis Faial's semi-rigid boat, The Lioti, 12 meters long, equipped with two 300 HP Yamaha outboard motors. Benches allow divers to sit down during the sea crossing. The access ladder makes it easy and comfortable for them to enter and exit the water. Safety on board is ensured by the presence of an oxygen kit and first aid equipment. A depth sounder allows you to locate the diving spots of Faial, located offshore. You will quickly reach the best dive sites in the Azores, Princess Alice, and Condor. Dives in the narrow channel, 8.3 km wide, between Faial and Pico, are very popular.
The climate and ocean currents in the Azores offer unique diving conditions in Faial. Have great encounters with the blue shark (Prionace Glauca) which is the big star in Faial. The diving center Haliotis Faial has even adopted it as its mascot! You can meet it in the open sea but also sometimes in the coastal areas. These sharks seem to become more numerous in Faial as soon as the water temperature varies between 13 and 18°C. Haliotis Faial's instructors will take you to observe these animals with tapered bodies and long and conical snouts, some of them reaching a length of 4 meters and a weight of 205 kg. Be careful, you may have to wait a long time in the water before you can see their big round eyes!
Season Challenge Azores Islands Diving Center is located on the marina Pêro de Teive, in Ponta Delgada. Vans with 6 seats are used to transport equipment and clients to their hotels, free of charge. Open all year round from 8 am to 8 pm, the centre has to change rooms with toilets and hot showers. Free tea, coffee, and water are available. See you at the booking office for land and sea activities. A PureAir certified inflation station by Bauer allows the inflation of nitrox and trimix blocks. The rental equipment is from Cressi.
Embark for two dives per day, aboard two RIBs of 6 and 14 divers, each equipped with GPS, sonar, VHF, and radar. The 10-meter Challenge, with a capacity of 14 divers, is well prepared for long trips and offshore dives. The Season, 6.25 meters long, with a capacity of 6 divers, is used for small groups and coastal dives. The equipment is carried by the center. If the number of participants is sufficient, day trips are offered with lunch on board. These offshore dives, far from the coast, allow you to observe manta rays in the open sea.
Accompanying persons are welcome on board if there is room. PADI courses are offered from beginner to Divemaster level as well as technical diving courses. Take the opportunity to visit Ponta Delgada and its cultural sites, hikes for all levels of difficulty with a guide, and the tour of the island by van to the village and lake of Furnas with Season Challenge Azores Islands Diving Center. [+]
Diver Norberto is located in Horta, on the island of Faial, Azores. Diver Norberto is open all year round. Each of Diver Norberto's boats is dedicated to a specific activity. Embark daily for trips along the coastline at 3 am, 8.30 am, and 2.30 pm in zodiacs to the 20 dive spots on Faial and Pico. The protected marine reserve of Monte da Guia is located 10 minutes from the center. Take advantage of your diving holiday in the Azores to do some snorkeling or a first dive as the trips are open to all. Take the opportunity to observe the fauna of the Azores with triggerfish, large brown groupers, parrotfish, octopus, moray eels, and nudibranchs.
Zodiacs are also used for diving at Princess Alice (cheaper but... less comfortable!). Diving holidays in the Azores are also dedicated to whale watching. You can also go on a day trip aboard the 12-meter catamaran from 9 am to 4 pm, for beautiful encounters with sperm whales and dolphins, which are present all year round. From July to September, go and observe blue whales and fin whales during their migrations. A great day out starts at 7.30 am and lasts until 7 pm, when you head to the Princess Alice Bank from July to September.
Jump into the water for spectacular dives with blue sharks (Prionace glauca). Instructors and divers stay drifting at a depth of 10 meters, where the chum's fumes diffuse out of the box near the boat. A lifeline is attached to the boat if the current is strong, to assist less experienced divers. You must be a certified diver with a minimum of 30 dives, have an established medical, a pre-dive check and sign a risk acceptance document. Snorkeling is possible.
The Mantamaria diving school is located in the marina of Vila do Porto, along the mooring pontoon, on Santa Maria Island, Azores. The transport of divers and equipment is done with one of the 2 vans of Mantamaria. In the morning, board one of the 3 dive boats, the Tornado, a semi-rigid boat of 7.10 m long, the Badejo of 8 m, or the Rilusa of 7.10 m to the most beautiful spot of the Azores, the Fomigas which is a natural reserve or the Dollabarat bank.
Mantamaria Dive Center favors these trips to Formigas and Dollabarat, northeast of Santa Maria, because some divers praise this Santa Maria dive site as one of the best dive sites in Europe. You will see large manta rays underwater and whale sharks, locally called pintado, on the surface. Admire also the coastline of Santa Maria by snorkeling from the boat of Mantamaria with very nice views on bays, coves, and inlets at the bottom of which nestle beaches of clear sand unique to the Azores.
The bay of São Lourenço, Praia Formosa, and beautiful quiet bays like natural pools allow you to follow a PADI beginner's course at the Mantamaria diving school such as a baptism, a scuba diver, or an open water diver. In Santa Maria, you can enjoy crystal clear water and visibility up to 40 meters. The ideal time to dive in this area is from June to September, as the air and water temperatures vary between 26 and 22ºC and there is only light rainfall. [+]
The Espirito Azul diving center is located in the marina of Vila Franca do Campo, on the island of Sao Miguel, Azores. Open every day of the year, you make an appointment at Espirito Azul in the morning at 9 am and in the afternoon at 2 pm. For day trips, departure is at 7:00 am with a picnic provided. At Espirito Azul, you will find changing rooms with hot and cold showers, toilets, a store, a workshop to have your equipment serviced, a nitrox, trimix, and oxygen filling station, a room, and a pool of 3, 7, 10, 12 and 15-liter diving cylinders (DIN and INT) with one or two outings. The equipment is provided by Espirito Azul.
Fifteen complete sets of equipment are available for rent. There is space to rinse and store your personal equipment. Don't hesitate to bring your rebreather too! When you take your nitrox training at Espirito Azul, you get free nitrox during all your stays in the Espirito Azul dive school! PADI courses for beginners are offered from Discover Scuba Diver to Advanced Open Water Diver. At Espirito Azul, expect two exploration dives per day on one of the 3 RIB boats, starting from the marina of Vila Franca do Campo.
Dives include skipper, guide, boat, and gas up to 6 nautical miles from the center, insurance, tank and weights. Visit the best spots in the Azores, in Formigas, and Dollabarat. Ideal for diving with stingrays and eagle rays? Go to Dori and Banco D.Jao De Castro! Snorkeling trips along the coast are also possible. Ask for the photos taken as a souvenir during your dives! The organization of barbecues on the beach and aperitifs in the marina contribute to the nice atmosphere of Espirito Azul. [+]