WHALES & DOLPHINS
OUR MOST ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQ

What is the best time of the year
to see whales and dolphins in the Azores?

Fortunately, you can see whales and dolphins all year long in the Azores. This is because some of them are attracted to the climate conditions along our islands. They are called resident species. 

For instance, if you’d like to see our most famous whale, the sperm whale, you’ll be able to spot it any month of the year on our daily ocean excursions. 

However… if your desire is to spot the big whales, the ones that pass by on their migratory routes, then the best time of the year for you would be spring – especially from March to June. 

It’s during the spring that you’ll have a chance to see these four famous giants pass through our waters:

  • Blue whales – the largest animal in the world, they can be spotted at a great distance, blowing a water spout up to 12 m (36 ft) into the air. 
  • Fin whales – second in size only to the blue whale, it is the most commonly spotted baleen whale in the Azores. Look for asymmetrical markings on the head and note its speed – traveling up to 47 km/hr. (29 mi/hr.)  
  • Sei whales – you can spot the sei with just a single ridge on its head, lingering on the ocean’s surface for long periods and leaving a trace on the surface.
  • Humpback whales – known for their beautiful melodies when “singing” in the ocean’s waters, you’ll see humpbacks breaching and lobtailing – slapping their tails on the water’s surface.

We also occasionally see the smaller Minke whales and Bryde’s whales.

 

WE SPOT WHALES YEAR-ROUND

Every month of the year Futurismo offers whale and dolphin watching trips from São Miguel Island. So, if you’re our guest during the fall or winter you’re likely to see some or all our four resident species:

We also offer tours during the warmer months – April to October – from Pico Island.

 

OUR BLOG

Want to see who we spotted off our coast today… or in the last few days?  Check out our blog dedicated to whales and dolphins. There you can find our up-to-the-minute sightings with photos and videos! You’ll see the different species as we spotted them, including all kinds of fun and interesting details. 

What is the best time of the year
for swimming with dolphins in the Azores?

Imagine floating freely in the Atlantic and all around you… pods of dolphins… swimming, whistling, including you in their world. There are no boundaries, just the flash of their bodies, their sounds, the endless ocean and you. Can you get any closer to the thrill of unbound nature than this moment?

Swimming with dolphins in the Azores is not to be missed. For us at Futurismo, this is a year-round experience. Colder months? No problem – we know the Azores’ weather and have all the equipment, like appropriate wetsuits to keep you comfortable any time of the year. 

But if you’re asking what the best time for swimming with the dolphins is… we would have to pick the summer. In these months you can see the greatest range of dolphin species. The pods also tend to be larger which is always exciting. 

 

PICO ISLAND

During our beautiful summer months, we offer dolphin excursions off the coast of Pico Island. 

 

SÃO MIGUEL ISLAND

At São Miguel we run swimming with dolphins tours throughout the year. 

 

THE SPECIES YOU CAN SWIM WITH

You’ll be able to swim with up to 6 different species amongst these recognizable types:

  • Common dolphins – as in their name, you can spot them all over the world. Look for the yellow and grey hourglass pattern along their sides. 
  • Risso’s dolphins – you’ll know them by their heavier bodies, rounded heads, and white scars. 
  • Bottlenose dolphins – the best known of the dolphin family – “Flipper”, for fans of movies and TV. They’re very social and can be active on the surface, jumping and bow-riding along with our boats. 
  • Striped dolphins – look for a stripe pattern running along both sides of their body. In the Azores, we can spot striped dolphins in the spring and summer. 

 

WE PROVIDE THE EQUIPMENT

But at any time of year, whether swimming with the dolphins at Pico Island or São Miguel, Futurismo will provide you the necessary equipment so your experience will be safe and comfortable. 

Whatever the season, we’ll have the appropriate wetsuit for the water temperature. And we provide you with a mask and snorkel. 

Note: if you wear glasses, we suggest you bring contact lenses or a prescription snorkel mask. 

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