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Diving in the Azores has the advantage of the mix of subtropical climate and the Gulf Stream waters, which means more than just one type of marine species available sometimes even on the same dive. You’ll be able to view coastal and oceanic vegetation near the islands. The Azores are perfect destination for a diving holiday.

Some of the advantages in diving in a place like São Miguel in the Azores is that small group size.  Even though it is a commercial dive, the groups are kept between one and five people and have local guides who are often biologists.

Diving in the Azores is best during the months of June to November but you can actually dive year round in these waters.  Good visibility is almost always a given, and the water temperature makes the dive even more of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Visibility can be up to 60 meters on a good day.

If you prefer snorkeling or you just want to try scuba diving for the first time, you can find equipment, teachers and tours for that as well. At the scuba diving center in São Miguel, not only can you arrange a scuba diving trip for as little as EUR 30, but for the non-divers in your group, you can find plenty of activities to enjoy.

coral manta

Pico and São Jorge contain so many wonderful diving locations that diving tour organizers from around the world are arranging tours here.  Conditions and probability are so good here that most diving boat operators will actually guarantee an encounter with the big Atlantic fishes. They will always promise to view the lava formations under water, which resulted from volcanic flow in the past.

Divers will frequently see schools of mackerel, barracudas, yellow-fin tuna and trigger fish.  Common sting rays grow to enormous size in these waters. Even large mantas are sometimes encountered.  Small sea creatures such as sea spiders, sea urchins, tube worms, octopus, moray eels and lobsters hide in the small underwater formations.

Night dives are particularly spectacular since the luminescent plankton can provide an eerie glow at certain times of the year.  Shrimp in huge swarms provide rainbow colors and nudibranches and anemones provide color as well.

Around the island of Santa Maria, there are over 55 dive spots with caves, grottos as well as walls, flats and seamounts close to the island. Again, the tremendous variety of species within a very short distance is a divers dream.  Some specialty type divers are done by some of the charter companies, such as towed dives, scooter dives and blue water dives. 

About twenty miles off the island of Santa Maria are two special dives for experienced divers and only in good conditions.  The Dollabarat is a seamount rising from several hundred meters to just 4 meters.  Sharks are often found in this area.  The Baixa Ambrosia is a seamount of 42 meters.

Many of the diving companies can arrange snorkel tours for those who are non-divers. Diving in the Azores is a great way to swim with turtles and diving birds, to find black coral and soft coral and scores of other beautiful species.

List of Diving Centres / Companies





Santa Maria

São Jorge

São Miguel


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