Scuba diving Azores
Diving holidays and stays in Azores
Just a few hours by plane from the European continent, the Azores archipelago is one of the most beautiful destinations for a dive trip in the Atlantic. A real paradise for lovers of nature and the underwater world, there is a peaceful atmosphere, still preserved from the hustle and bustle of mass tourism.
SEE THE DIVING AREAS
From Pico Island to Faial, Terceira, Sao Miguel, or Santa Maria, you will discover a kaleidoscope of landscapes, where shades of green and blue of the ocean cohabit harmoniously. The 9 lush islands are home to a breathtaking diversity of marine life in the heart of an underwater topography shaped by volcanic activity. Once a strategic crossroads on the Route of India, the Azores archipelago also benefits from a rich colonial past, as evidenced by historic cities such as Angra do Heroismo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A dive trip to the Azores is an authentic experience that will inevitably leave you with fond memories. Between land and sea, this archipelago is an adventure destination, one of the best spots in the world to observe cetaceans such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
Do you dream of traveling?
Check out the conditions for entering this country on Fit for Travel !
Best dive season
The Azores archipelago enjoys mild temperatures all year round. The climate is oceanic and changes rapidly with heavy rainfall, especially between December and March. The best period to dive in the Azores is between June and September. The water temperature varies between 19°C and 23°C and the air temperature between 15°C and 26°C. In summer, visibility is very good, and the water is warmer. Nevertheless, when the water warms up in the spring, there is a plankton discharge. It is, therefore, a perfect period to see more cetaceans.
Numerous hikes are possible: Algar do Carvao on the island of Terceira is great to discover large underground chambers with silica stalactites. Walking to Monte Brasil is an excellent chance to admire a sumptuous panorama. A day trip to the island of Sao Miguel in Lagoa das Empadas combined with the Serra Devassa's walk along with the Lagoa do Canario viewpoint is also a must. Visit Furnas with its lake, parks, and caldera.
Travel note book
Electricity - 220 volts, European sockets.
Money - There are a lot of ATMs. Hotels and restaurants generally accept credit cards, but this is not the case everywhere in the Azores. You should, therefore, plan for an alternative, especially in shops.
Schedule - Offices, and shops are generally open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 7 pm.
A valid passport or identity card is required.
Sao Miguel Island: Joao Paulo II Airport (PDL)
Santa Maria Island: Santa Maria Airport (SMA)
Faial Island: Horta Airport (HOR)
Terceira Island: Lajes Air Base (TER)
Pico Island: Pico Airport (PIX)
Cruz das Flores, Ponta Delgada, Horta
Do not hesitate to find out about the
health provisions in this country beforehand on the Fit for Travel website.
Entry conditions in this country vary
and evolve according to the health conditions of the moment and
although this page is regularly updated, we cannot guarantee that it
will be updated in real-time... Health cover in the Azores is possible by agreement with European countries.
Azores : Dive centers
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Season Challenge Azores Islands
- Ponta Delgada
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. [+]
- fast boat
- Free hotels transfer
- PADI Training
- Vila Franca do Campo
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. [+]
- Diving around Islands
- fast boat
- Between 30 and 40 dive sites
Cetacean Watching Lda
Cetacean Watching Lda is located in Madalena, on Pico Island, Azores. It is located 20 m from the boats, in the center of the marina. Open from March to October, Cetacean Watching Lda offers changing rooms, equipment storage, a classroom, showers, and toilets. Equipment rental is available. Cetacean Watching Lda organizes a package for you to stay with or without diving to see dolphins and/or whales, including 7 nights in a double room in Bed&Breakfast, 3 Whale Watching trips, 1 guided land tour to the lookout, 1 guided tour to Malcolm Clarke's Sperm whale and Squids' Museum and transfers to the airport It is best to stay 7 nights in Pico.
Embark from early June to mid-July, on semi-rigid boats from 8 to 24 pax, to observe the sociable behavior of sperm whales and swim with dolphins. The aluminum boat of Cetacean Watching Lda is used for scuba diving. About 20 species of cetaceans pass through Pico, in the center of the Azores, with a 97% success rate in observing them.
In July and August, the sea trip lasts 3 hours, and includes 2 to 3 snorkeling dives. You swim with bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins, common dolphins, Risso's dolphins, striped dolphins. From July to mid-October, trips are organized, depending on the weather, to Princess Alice with a departure at 7 am for a 2h30 trip. This shoal rising from 1,000 meters to 35 meters below the surface, 45 nautical miles from Pico, allows beautiful encounters with Mobula tarapacana, Manta birostris, tunas, barracudas, and sharks. Due to strong currents, you descend along a line. Snorkeling is possible because the rays come up to the surface! [+]
- Whale Watching
- Dolphin watching
- Manta Rays Watching
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.
- Whale Watching
- Dolphin watching
- Sharks watching
- Vila Franca do Campo
Azores Sub diving school is located on the south coast of the island of Sao Miguel, Azores, in the marina of Vila Franca do Campo. Azores Sub is open all year round, with daily boat trips at 8:30 am and 2:30 pm. Azores Sub offers PADI courses suitable for beginners with the Discover scuba diver program, which includes snorkeling and a first dive to discover the rich underwater world of Sao Miguel Island. These dives prove to be a unique experience. For the more experienced divers, specialty courses are organized with dry suit diving, Drysuit Diver, or nitrox courses.
At Azores Sub Diving Center, the snorkeling and freediving courses are supervised by a certified instructor so that these experiences are unforgettable and done with maximum safety. Participate with Azores Sub Diving center in the sea trips to the most beautiful dive sites of the Azores, the Formigas and Dollabarat reefs. The passage of pelagics such as manta rays and sharks will enchant you if you are patient in the water. The underwater landscapes around Sao Miguel are shaped by volcanic lava with natural arches, passages, caves, and drop-offs. You'll even dive in hydrothermal hot springs!
Also, explore the wrecks dotting the areas where ships once anchored off Vila Franca do Campo. You will discover many anchors dating from the 16th century in the middle of schools of yellowmouth barracudas and yellowtail (Seriola rivoliana). In the crevices, find beautiful morays and huge groupers in the beam of your lamp. Diving and snorkeling are relaxing and invigorating activities that everyone can enjoy in the waters of the Azores due to a water temperature ranging from 16°C to 24ºC and visibility up to 30 meters. [+]
- fast boat
- PADI Training
- Boat rental
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