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Best Diving Destinations in Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is made up of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean and divided on The Oriental islands (Sao Miguel and Santa Maria), the Central Islands ( Pico, Faial, Sao Jorge, Terceira and Graciosa) and the Occidental islands (Flores and Corvo). Each has something different to offer on land and sea but what they have in common is excellent diving and beautiful scenery. The Azores offer a great diversity of divesites and some of the best diving in the archipelago. With an outstanding location in the heart of the Triangle formed by Faial, Pico and S. Jorge islands it is the perfect retreat for divers who seek unspoiled dive sites, away from typical crowded diving destinations. Divers will be delighted by steep walls, gentle slopes, volcanic arches, seamounts, caves, islets, wrecks and an abundant marine life, including colourful subtropical fish species, barracudas, jacks, sardines, mackerels, morays, stingrays, dusky groupers, comb groupers, wrasses, parrot fish, trigger fish, breams and damselfish that are common in most spots. Divers can explore challenging sites such as Ilheus das Formigas and Dollabarat Banks (Available from Sao Miguel & Santa Maria). Formed from volcanic mountains rising from the sea bed or deep narrow channels between the islands, pelagic encounters in strong currents are frequent in the summer months. Divers staying on Pico or Terceira can experience similar exciting dive condition at Princess Alice Bank and San Jorge.
When to go to Azores
The best season for scuba diving on the Azores is from April to October, when the weather gets drier and the water temperature increases. Average air temperature in the summer is around 26C/79F and 13C/55F in the winter. The average water temperature in the summer is about 23C/74F and 16C/61F in the winter. The average water visibility is 12-16m/39-52ft.
What to see
April, May and June are good months here to observe macro subjects, such as nudibranchs and crustaceans. Beaked whales, sperm whales, fin whales, humpbacks, false killer whales, spotted, bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins, turtles and other species are spotted in the area from the surface May to October.