Terceira’s unique underwater rock formations, walls and an anchor graveyard offers something for divers searching for a good selection of shore dive sites, as well as RIB boat diving.
Read Jo Mattock's article on the Azores published in the August 2012 issue of DIVE magazine
An Anchor Graveyard & Lidador Wreck
The Archaeological subaquatic park is the place of rest of more than 30 different types of anchors. At depths of between 15 to 35 metres, each anchor tries to tell you its story of how it was stranded, as you meander along the sea bed.
The deteriorating wreck of the steamboat Lidador lies at an easy 10 metres, with little current. Built in London, the boat made passage between Brazil and Portugal and sunk after hitting a reef on 6th February 1878. At 78 metres long, the wreck offers a great site for an easy night dive. Flounder, mullet and multiple juvenile species, including eagle rays, can be found hovering in its shadows.
Arcados Do Judeu
Reminiscent of an Azorean cross version of the Great Pyramid and the Giant’s Causeway, the staircase rock formation of basalt provides a unique underwater image.
Calheta Do Lagador
Characterised by natural pools formed by Basalt and is a haven for many juvenile fish species. Sea Bream, Parrot fish, Dusky Grouper and Yellowmouth Barracuda are frequently spotted at this easy, picturesque site.
The town of Angra do Heroismo holds an important place in maritime history, as an important place of shelter and wealthy trading post for the route of India to the Americas. Its bay is protected by Monte Brasil, at 1205m high, where the deep harbour allowed ancient ships to anchor.
The east of the island close to Praia da Vitoria, offers sheltered coves and small rough sand beaches. An enormously picturesque island, at just 18 x 11 miles, it is a lovely spot to sample the local Verdelho aperitif wine or visit the underground lava tube of Algar do Carvao in the island’s centre.
Twin Centres & Tailormade - Sao Miguel, Pico, Terceira
The Azores islands are well suited to twin centre island combinations. Sao Miguel can be enjoyed as either a 1 or 2 week stay. If staying for 2 weeks, we highly recommend a split stay with either Terceira or Pico, to really enjoy all that this fantastic destination has to offer.
Pico is best visited as part of a 2-week stay, either spending the whole time on the island, with an obligatory night’s stay in Sao Miguel at the beginning and the end, or splitting the stay on Sao Miguel or on Terceira.
Terceira is best visited as part of a 2-week stay, either spending the whole time on the island, with an obligatory night’s stay in Sao Miguel at the beginning, or splitting the stay with Sao Miguel or Pico.
How to get there
Fly to Sao Miguel on the summer direct charter (1x per week), with an overnight stay, before joining a connecting internal flight (daily), or fly scheduled with a change in Lisbon to Terceira - several per week.
Note that Regaldive do not recommend you travel to the Azores for diving holidays, until mid-June onwards. However, you can still enjoy the whale watching and could take a gamble on the weather for diving if you wish - we are happy to organise your holiday. Best months for diving are July, August & September.
Established in 1996, this well run PADI 5* CDC centre, situated on site at the Hotel Caracol, offers a full range of diving facilities, including technical diving. It has about 8 to 10 excellent shore dive sites scattered around the island, and boat trips are also available, conducted from RIBs.
Kit storage, showers and lockers are situated at the dive centre. The staff are fluent in English.
Note that Regaldive recommend you travel to the Azores for a diving holiday from mid-June onwards. However, should you wish to travel earlier, you can still enjoy the whale watching and could take a gamble on the weather for diving if you wish - we are happy to organise your holiday. Best months for diving are July, August & September.
Options available include 6 and 10 shore dive packages, and 6 and 10 boat dive packages. Dives are always subject to local conditions, due to the location of the islands. Minimum of 4 divers required for boat dives. Please discuss your requirements with the Regaldive team, who will prepare a quotation suited to your needs.
A range of diving courses is available for those looking to learn to dive. Please enquire for details.
Extras in Resort
- Courses: Certification fee, Equipment rental (except Open Water courses)
- Island tours and land activities on non-diving days
Special trips (arranged locally)
The below price includes 2 dives, air tanks and weights, are subject to a minimum of 6 divers and weather. Prices listed below are an indication only, and subject to change.
- Baixa da Serrata: €130
- Fradhinos: €95
- Banco. D. Joao de Castro: €200
Equipment rental (Euros) - payable locally - per day
Prices listed below are an indication only, and subject to change.
- Regulator: €10
- BCD: €10
- Wet suit: €10
- Dive vest: €3
- Mask/Snorkel: €5
- Fins: €5
- Boots: €4
- Gloves: €2
- Small dive light excl. batteries: €2
- Full kit: Regs, BCD, Wetsuit, Fins, Mask & snorkel: €26.40
- Nitrox fills: Not currently available
The capital of Terceira, Angra do Heroismo, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; a picture perfect town of cobbled streets and pretty buildings seemingly untouched by time. Terceira itself is a plateau but walks to the high points of Serra do Cume (500m) and Serra da Santa Barbara (just over 1,000m) afford spectacular views over green pastures separated by black volcanic stone walls.
The Azores have a maritime climate with mild temperatures ranging from 16°C (60°F) in winter to a comfortable 26°C (79°F) in summer. On average there are about three to four hours of sunshine a day in winter and seven to eight in summer. Rainfall is distributed around the year, but is heavier and more frequent in winter.
Characteristic for the Azores is the wide variety of weather conditions within a short period; a single day can produce wind and calm, hot sun and showers in any combination. A typical and true remark is that if you don’t like the weather, you just have to wait 10 minutes for it to change!
The waters of the Atlantic and the Gulf Stream meet at the Azores. The sea is warmed by the Gulf Stream and sea water temperature varies a mild 17ºC (62ºF) in Winter to 24ºC (75ºF) where sub-tropical and Atlantic marine life live side by side.
We recommend a double layer 5mm long suit with 5 mm shortie over, or 7mm semi-dry or similar, plus hood and light gloves. If your luggage allows, dry suit divers may want to carry their suit.
Currents and Visibility
The average visibility is 15 - 30 metres, although certain days can offer more.
There are plenty of sites sheltered from currents, although some swell and tidal surge may be encountered. Certain dives sites, such as Formigas and Dollabarat Banks are open ocean dives and as such will only be open to experienced divers in optimum weather conditions.
The Azores are -1 hours behind GMT.
Service charges are usually added to hotel and restaurant bills, otherwise it is customary to leave a 10% tip. Bar staff and taxi drivers also expect tips, which usually entails rounding up of the bill to the nearest Euro.
The cuisine of the Azores is rich and varied. The fish dishes, the seafood, meat and cheeses, the famous wine from Pico island (once the table wines of the Czars of Russia) and the pineapple form an enviable basis for regional cooking. Don't miss the unique locally made Verdelho aperitif wine.
A trip to the botanical gardens in Angra do Heroismo is a must as is a meander through the pretty streets of this World Heritage Site. Handicrafts, clay and wicker works are traditionally made on the Island and make great souvenirs.
There are many colourful festivals in The Azores so try to time your trip accordingly.
Also, enjoy whale and dolphin watching trips, go bird watching or partake in an island tour.
Regaldive do not recommend you travel to the Azores for diving holidays, until mid-June onwards. However, you can still enjoy the whale watching and could take a gamble on the weather for diving if you wish - we are happy to organise your holiday. Best months are July, August, September and October.
Packages are based on the Portuguese owned SATA airline charter route which operates on a Saturday.
Quotes may be provided tailormade for travel on TAP, via Lisbon, on different days of the week.
Sao Miguel - How to get there:
Fly to Sao Miguel on Saturday, or fly scheduled from Heathrow with a change in Lisbon or Porto - several flights per week.
Santa Maria - How to get there:
Fly to Sao Miguel on Saturday, with an overnight stay, before joining a connecting internal flight (daily), or fly scheduled with a change in Lisbon (connections currently 1x per week on Thursday).
Pico - How to get there:
Fly to Sao Miguel on Saturday with an overnight stay, before joining a connecting internal flight (daily to Pico or Horta which is a short hop across the water by boat), or fly scheduled with a change in Lisbon to Horta or Pico. Horta offers the most connections.
Terceira - How to get there:
Fly to Sao Miguel on Saturday, with an overnight stay, before joining a connecting internal flight (daily), or fly scheduled with a change in Lisbon to Terceira - several per week.
Flight duration - charter:
London - Ponta Delgada: 4 hours
Departure tax: None
Passports & Visas
Passengers travelling to the Azores should have minimum six months valid on their passport from the date of return to the UK. Valid passport photo ID required for travel.
Normal rules for entry to EU territory apply for British passport holders. It is your responsibility to check that your passport complies. No visa required.
There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to the Azores. However, despite being EU territory, for anyone travelling we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and polio. Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure with your GP or local travel clinic.
Local health care standards are good and there are 2 hyperbaric chambers: 1 located on Sao Miguel and 1 located on Faial.
Further information regarding vaccinations for travel to this country can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and from your local healthcare provider.