Whale watching holidays – best destinations

Only those who have been on a whale watching holiday know how unique and breathtaking this experience is.

And those who haven’t done it yet, well quite frankly I don’t know what you are waiting for. These larger-than-life animals will make any holiday unforgettable.

Witness their annual migration through the Azores in April and May or watch them swim past São Tomé between July and October. If you’re looking for the ideal destination all-year-round, then Madeira is the place to be. Or join our team in Cape Verde, where whale watching is rapidly becoming a favourite activity on the islands of Sal and Boavista.

If you find that it is too hard to choose between them, give us a shout and we will help you pick the best one for you and your family.

Whale watching holidays – pick your destination

The Azores

Join us on this exciting adventure. There are so many species of whales in the Azores and the ones we most frequently see are sperm and pilot whales, beaked whales and false killer whales. They don’t travel alone, though and you will also spot dolphins as well (just to make it even more special).

These elusive mammals are spotted by the ‘vigia’, a lookout on the coast. Using powerful binoculars, he guides our boats from the shore to their location. The boat skippers and marine biologists will point them out to you, identify the species and give you time to marvel at the spectacle and grab some fantastic photos too (if you’re quick!).

The best times to pay them a visit is between March and October.

Find out more and check out availability


Madeira’s position in the North Atlantic makes it the ideal destination for Whale and Dolphin watching. Add in the island’s temperate Winter weather, and you’ve arguably got the best year-round destination for Cetaceans (and for humans to spot them).

The more common species spotted around the island are sperm whales, Bryde’s whales and short-finned pilot whales. You will also be able to spot some dolphins throughout the year.

Because of the warm weather from January to December, there isn’t really a best time to go and we can advise on which species you will see in each month of the year.

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Cape Verde

Whale and dolphin watching in Cape Verde is still in its infancy, but it is fast becoming one of our most popular activities as we see an increasing number of visitors.

The best islands for whale and dolphin watching are currently Sal and Boavista. The main species of whale seen around the islands are humpback whales, though others like pilot and sperm whales are also seen occasionally.

Whale watching trips average 2 to 3 hours and weather depending depart in the mornings and afternoons. The best time to go is in the months of March and April.

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São Tomé and Príncipe 

Early morning or late afternoon is the best time to see humpback whales and in São Tomé if you are staying or visiting Roca Belo Monte on Príncipe, you can often spot them from the plantation’s verandah. Alternatively, you can try to get a little closer to these magnificent creatures by heading out to sea on an organised boat trip.

We can organise 2 to 3-hour whale watching trips which bring you into closer contact with these gentle giants as they engage in breaching, lob tailing and flippering.

The best time to witness this is from July to October, as they migrate from their low-latitude summer feeding grounds to more tropical mating and calving areas.

Find out more and check out availability

Activity Holidays Specialists

Our team of Activity Holidays Specialists will put together a unique whale watching holiday for you and your family and all you have to do is pick your destination.

Holidays are very personal to each of us and planning a trip to somewhere less travelled requires good advice and careful planning.  For over 20 years the team at Archipelago Choice has travelled extensively to all the special destinations we offer and have unrivalled knowledge based on our own personal travel experiences.


Sao Tome and Principe are incredibly special islands to visit and if you think these islands are for you, then love to hear from you. For a friendly chat, please call 00 44 (0) 17687 721050 or email: info@archipelagochoice.com


If you’d like a free brochure then please click on the link –   São Tomé holiday brochure


Sarah Bennett