Azores Diving Holidays: An Overview

It isn't often that you find somewhere so close to home (if your home is in Europe) that blows you away with the quality of diving. If you like big fish and clear blue seas, diving in the Azores is a real winner.

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Louisa and Amy are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Snorkelling with whale sharks from the island of Santa Maria
  • Mantas, mobulas, devil rays and more at the stunning offshore banks
  • Blue sharks and makos out in the blue
  • Stunning volcanic scenery with much to do on land

Our Guide to Azores Diving Holidays

Having dived all over Europe, we are going to claim that Azores diving is hands down the best European diving around. And hardly anyone knows about it!

There is excellent diving throughout the islands which is a combination of local sites and offshore sites. The local sites are great - interesting underwater rock formations with plentiful marine life throughout the year though from June to October is best as that is when the pelagics come in due to the warm currents of the gulf stream. Each island has a large number of such sites.

And then there are the offshore sites that are only really accessible in the summer months. It is the marine life to be found at these sites that turns the Azores from a very good diving destination into a world-class one. At these sites, it is all about diving in the blue with virtually guaranteed manta rays and blue sharks and occasional makos and even whale sharks and hammerheads - the Azores are quickly developing a reputation as a centre for shark diving and we can see why.

We can organise resort-based Azores diving trips or even island-hopping diving expeditions taking in multiple islands so you can get to see as much as possible in the time that you have.

On top of the waves rather than under them, the islands are also famous for whales and dolphins though if you want to see the blue whales and other migratory species the best time of year is March to May which doesn't coincide with the best time for diving. During the summer months you can still find sperm whales and large numbers of dolphins.

Away from the water there are all manner of activities on offer from biking and trekking to horse riding and cultural visits and we can organise all of this too.

All in all, this is as good as it gets in Europe and that is very, very good as it turns out. This is the best European diving. We want to return very soon.

Top picks for The Azores

Picture of Horta Harbour

Pousada da Horta

The Azores

Set in a 16th century fortress overlooking the bay at Horta on the island of Faial in the central Azores, the Pousada da Horta is a boutique hotel with a long history.

Where to stay

Picture of private dining at Hotel Caloura

Hotel Caloura

The Azores

The main attraction at Hotel Caloura is the location. It is on one of the most beautiful parts of the main island of São Miguel in the Azores and set in a stunning cliff-top position.

Where to stay

Picture of Bedroom at Convento de Sao Francisco

Convento de Sao Francisco

The Azores

In the small town of Vila Franca do Campo on São Miguel lies one of the most interesting boutique hotels in the Azores, the Convento de São Francisco which is a converted 17th century monastery perched above the Atlantic.

Where to stay

Picture of Hotel do Canal

Hotel do Canal

The Azores

Hotel do Canal is a high quality hotel on Faial in the Azores and is located just by the marina at Horta so perfect for diving, whale watching and all manner of other activities.

Where to stay

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