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Vila Franca do Campo

Cruises & Boat Tours

Our most recommended Vila Franca do Campo Cruises & Boat Tours

Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

1. Azores Whale Watching Expedition and Islet Boat Tour

This 2.5-hour excursion begins with an introduction to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and other marine species, their natural habitat, communication, migration and behavioral patterns. After the briefing, board the designated boat and head out to sea. The boat will approach the whales slowly and carefully as the naturalist guides and marine biologists on board provide commentary. The boat trip also includes a tour around the Princess Ring Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, for an up-close look at the volcano and resident wildlife. Light food is permitted on board, and a camera is essential to capture the wildlife you spot on the tour.

São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

2. São Miguel: Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling

Discover the life that lies deep in the Azores Sea from the comfort of this glass-bottom boat, with an expert crew and guide. Your adventure begins at Vila Franca do Campo Marina. A biologist will give you a briefing about the itinerary and then you can set off. Learn about the marine life, nature, and historical curiosities of Vila Franca do Campo. You can spot the unique sea life of the protected area and observe the seabirds and crustaceans that fill the islet landscape. The biologist will help you identify the species, but you can expect to see everything from colorful shoals of fish, to starfish, sea cucumbers, and underwater volcanic activity. When you want to cool off you can go for a swim and snorkel, and get closer to some of the wildlife you've been spotting.

Sao Miguel: Vila Franca Do Campo Islet Scuba Diving

3. Sao Miguel: Vila Franca Do Campo Islet Scuba Diving

Kick off your scuba diving experience with a small introduction session during which you will learn all about diving equipment, techniques and underwater communication. Then head out to the sea by boat, allowing a supervised and relaxed way to experience diving.  Your dive will take place at the Natural Reserve of Vila Franca do Campo Islet, an island formed by a volcano crater. Explore an area close to wrecked cannons from the 16th century and see how nature incorporated them into marine life.

Sao Miguel: Snorkeling in Vila Franca do Campo

4. Sao Miguel: Snorkeling in Vila Franca do Campo

Go on a boat and embark on a snorkeling experience in the sea. Enjoy the marine life in a supervised and relaxed way.  Receive a brief explanation of the apnea basic concepts, equipment, and swimming techniques. These are theoretical and practical sessions, where safety procedures will be explained.  This activity takes place in the Natural Reserve of Vila Franca do Campo Island, close to the wrecked cannons from the 16th Century.  Come and see what the underwater world has to offer you with the greatest comfort and safety.

Ponta Delgada: São Miguel Island Full-Day Furnas Excursion

5. Ponta Delgada: São Miguel Island Full-Day Furnas Excursion

Depart from Ponta Delgada for a full-day adventure on São Miguel Island. A dip in the Furnas thermal baths is sure to make you forget all your worries. Get a taste of local flavor with a traditional lunch. Take in some great island views and cap off the experience with a visit to Gorreana tea plantations. Following hotel pickup, head to Vila Franca do Campo, the once capital of the island and home to the Azores' best-known sweets and quintessentially magnificent landscapes. The tour then continues to Furnas Valley, with the option of a thermal bath in the morning. Visit the terra nostra botanical garden and soak in the pool and jacuzzis or choose to relax in the natural pools of Poça da Dona Beija. Check out the boilers in the center of the parish. Lunch, served in a local restaurant, will be the famous Cozido das Caldeiras (Furnas stew). Continue on to the Pico do Ferro viewpoint, overlooking the largest and oldest volcanic crater on the island. Descend to the north side of the island, stopping to visit the Gorreana tea plantations with the chance to taste and purchase tea. Stop at the Santa Iria belvedere for more classically Portuguese views of the countryside and the Atlantic before returning to Ponta Delgada.

Sao Miguel: Boat Tour around Vila Franca do Campo Islet

6. Sao Miguel: Boat Tour around Vila Franca do Campo Islet

Discover the natural reserve of Ilhéu de Vila Franca, located in the south coast of São Miguel island. This small volcanic island is only situated 0.7 miles (1.2 kilometers) away from Vila Franca do Campo Marina. Circle around the island with a professional guide who will point out all the rare rock formations. Watch the nesting sites of the local sea birds such as the Garajau-comum (sterna hirundo). Take a peek inside the crater filled with turquoise water.

Azores Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience

7. Azores Swim with Dolphins Atlantic Experience

Enjoy a 2.5-hour tour to swim with bottlenose dolphins on this tour from Vila Franca do Campo. Meet your guide at the Vila Franca do Campo Marina for check-in and equipment setup. After a quick safety and responsible practices induction, board your high-speed boat and head out to sea. Your skipper will be on the lookout for dolphins throughout the journey. When the time comes, get ready to dive into the sea and wait for the friendly dolphins to approach you. On the second part of the tour, travel to one of the island's best snorkel locations. Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and see an array of vibrant marine fauna and flora as you explore the seafloor before heading back to the marina.

Vila Franca do Campo: Islet Reserve Boat & Walking Tour

8. Vila Franca do Campo: Islet Reserve Boat & Walking Tour

Discover the beautiful Islet of Vila Franca do Campo on a cruise and walking tour. Visit the rocky islet crater, learn about the islet's wildlife and plants, and cruise around the islet through the natural reserve. Begin your tour at the marina with a short briefing. Hear about the volcanic islet’s geology, plant and animal species you might see, the nature reserve’s rules, and boat safety. Head to your boat with your guide and skipper and enjoy the 10-minute ride to the islet. Disembark at the harbor for a 1.5-long guided walking tour. Walk through the rocky landscape to explore the volcanic marvel. See stunning Azorean Heather and Firetree. Keep an eye out for buzzards, turnstones, sanderlings, little egrets, whimbrels, canaries, wagtails, and sally lightfoot crab colonies. As you spot a bird or a plant, hear about it from your guide. After your walking tour, hop back on your boat and enjoy a guided boat tour around the islet before returning to the marina.

Frequently asked questions about Vila Franca do Campo Cruises & Boat Tours

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What people are saying about Vila Franca do Campo

We really enjoyed the ride and saw a whale and saw 2 groups of dolphins (different species). At the end of the tour we went to an island near the port. The marine biologist was very friendly and spoke German and English. She took our 7 year old son to the skipper so he had a better view that was a great gesture!

Very lucky to have been able to observe two species of whales and three of dolphins, all accompanied by an extraordinary and friendly guide, Aurora, who perfectly masters at least 4 languages and her subject. Thanks !!

We had a great time thanks to skipper José and guide Marie-Lou. We were very lucky in our observation: whales and dolphins all along our route. Marie-Lou's explanations are very clear. Thanks again !

Eat lightly before going. Great trip in the zodiac to see dolphins and whales. Lower your expectations and just enjoy to be happy with what nature reveals to you. Great biologist on board.

Great tour guide very efficient service, can't fault it!