Discover a kaleidoscope of colour off the volcanic coast of Terceira with snorkelling excursions to Goat Island in the Azores.
With nutrient-rich waters supporting a wealth of marine wildlife big and small, the tiny archipelago of the Azores is one of the best places to snorkel thanks to the region's fervent commitment to sustainability and eco-conscious tourism. Explore just one out of the 60 nature reserves that make up 75% of the region and discover the amazing effect it has had on the natural world. The perfect combination of crystal clear visibility, endless expanses of shallow water and a coastline teeming with resident and migrating cetaceans - dive with dolphins, listen out for blue whales and take in the sheer beauty that lies beneath the piercing blue sea...
Goat Island is a small volcanic islet off the coast of Terceira - just one of 9 main islands in the Azores archipelago. Part of Portuguese autonomous region, Terceira is the second most populated and the location of the Azores' oldest city, Angra do Heroísmo, the historical capital of the archipelago and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Large parts of Terceira Island are under special protection and management. A total of 20 classified areas are included in the Terceira Nature Park, covering about 22% of the landmasses of the island. The protected marine and coastal areas are rich with a variety of fish species and other vertebrates and invertebrates. As with the other island of the Azores, the waters are frequented by different species of whales, dolphins and sea turtles.
Organising snorkelling excursions from Terceira Island, head out on a glass-bottomed boat to the islet of Goats or even bay of Angra do Heroísmo for a one-hour excursion. Provided with all the necessary soft gear (mask, fins, snorkel), explore the shallow waters around the shore and discover the area's local species including barracuda, devil rays, loggerhead turtles, moray eels, dolphins, lobsters and many other species of fish like jacks, bonitos and grouper. Don't forget to look through the glass bottom of the boat on your way to and from the snorkelling site for sightings of large pelagic species and shipwrecks, too!
The best time of the year to visit the Azores is during the summer months, between June and September. Thanks to the combination of various climate factors there is an increased number of pelagic species and the water is warm. August to September/October offers the best visibility – often exceeding 30 metres.
Please note: this activity operates with a 6-person minimum per tour.