Whale and Dolphin Watching - Discover Faial - Island of Nature & Culture

Azores: one of the best places in the world for whale watching

Whale and dolphin (cetaceans) watching is one of the most popular activities in Faial. And there are good reasons for that! The archipelago is currently one of the largest sanctuaries of whales in the world. Between resident and migratory species, common or rare, there are more than 20 different species of cetaceans in the Azores. The number is impressive and corresponds to a third of the total number of existing cetacean species.

The most commonly sighted species are the sperm whale, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins which live in the archipelago and can be seen all year round.

At certain times however, it is possible to observe blue whales, common whales, sei whales, spotted dolphins, and even humpback whales, among other species.

On the way, you will also be surprised by sea turtles, different types of fish, and sea birds such as shearwater and terns.

The activity is carried out aboard semi-rigid boats or catamarans.

Before departure, a briefing is held to discuss the characteristics of the ecosystem to be visited, the species that may be seen, safety measures and the procedures to be adopted as not to interfere with marine life. Depending on the weather conditions, it may be advisable to wear pants and a waterproof jacket (usually provided by the operators). The outings last approximately three hours and are usually accompanied by guides/marine biologists.

Responsible Whale Watching

Whale and dolphin watching in the Azores is a regulated activity and is carried out by specialized companies that follow a comprehensive set of rules to ensure the welfare of the animals and the preservation of the oceans.


Since it is an activity highly dependent on adequate weather conditions, we recommend that you schedule it in advance and keep your agenda flexible in case you need to reschedule.