• Whale Watching in the Azores
  • Whale Watching Paradise is here!
    Join us in Pico

Choose your next adventure in Pico

Special Programmes and Expeditions

We bring fun, technology and education together

LIVE Real-time Whale Watching updates
Thank to an app we developed internally, while navigating this website you will automatically receive live updates from our boats. To see an example click here

Scientific research
We actively contribute to scientific research, along with hosting University students as trainees, or while they carry out the field work needed to complete their degrees. click here

Sighting data
We record and publish the outcome of our Whale Watching and Swim with Dolphins tours separately, so that you can see what species were observed specifically from each boat. Sightings are updated daily. click here

Charts and Statistics
We provide you with species-specific, month-by-month sighting charts, so that you can pick the best time of the year to join us and see your favourite whale and dolphin species. click here

Whale & Dolphin Quiz
You can test your knowledge on Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) by taking our online quiz. It is a pretty tough one, we know! However, in the end we will tell you what questions you did not answer correctly (if any, of course ) and let you try again. click here

eWHALE Project - Commercial Partner
eWHALE Project
Using environmental DNA (eDNA) to monitor and protect biodiversity.
CW Azores is an official commercial partner of this EU-Biodiversa+ funded project.

Giving Back Pico Dogs charity

Pico Dogs

Pico Dogs is a registered charity (No. 515063940) based in Pico, helping the abandoned dogs and cats of the island through several projects. For instance, in sterilization campaigns it supports families who cannot easily pay for veterinary care. Pico Dogs is also building a rescue centre that will host elderly dogs coming from the 3 local shelters.

CW Azores supports Pico Dogs by promoting their campaigns and sponsoring a special snorkeling tour called "Snorkel for Dogs", where 50% of retail price is donated to help the abandoned animals. The Staff of CW Azores also contributes with voluntary work.

Are you willing to help or make a donation? Visit PicoDogs.org

Whale Watching, swim with dolphins and scuba diving in Pico

Lying in the middle of the North Atlantic ocean, more than 1000km west of Portugal, the Azores comprise an archipelago of nine islands. They represent the emerging peaks of a huge submarine mountain chain known as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge , that divides the entire length of the ocean from North to South.

Enjoy the effect of the Gulf Stream

Bathed in the warm waters of the Gulf Stream the islands unique landscape, nature and rich marine life are tightly connected to their origin and geographic location.

Award-winning destination

According to National Geographic, the Azores are the second best destination in the world for sustainable tourism.

In Europe, but still secluded

While literally in the middle of the ocean, the Azores are a just a 2.5-hour flight from Lisbon and a 5-hour flight overall from most main cities in Europe.

Mother and calf Humpback whale - Photo by Justin Hart
Mother & calf Humpback whale - Photo by Justin Hart

Why Pico Island and why Madalena

CW Azores is based on Pico Island, the place to be for all those seeking close encounters with whales, swimming with wild dolphins, great adventures, scuba diving with large pelagics, fun snorkelling and an incredibly abundant marine life.

CW Azores is uniquely located on the North-Western corner of Pico Island, providing us easy access to the waters South of Pico, all around Faial and to the S. Jorge channel. For Whale Watching, having so many options enables us to counteract the odds of strong winds and/or locally adverse weather and sea conditions.
For scuba diving, we are once again in the best spot to reach Princess Alice, the sites where we dive with the sharks and a wealth of local dive spots, including the Marine Protected Area known as Ilheus da Madalena (Islets of Madalena), which is literally a two-minute boat ride from our base.
Pico Island is home to over 20 species of whales and dolphins, which makes it a second-to-none spot in the world for Whale Watching and a privileged island in the Azorean archipelago. Feel free to compare our success rates with other spots in the Azores and outside the Azores. In our waters, the Sperm whales are seen year round, along with Bottlenose dolphins, Common dolphins, Risso's dolphins, Striped dolphins. In spring, our guests can enjoy unforgettable encounters with giants such as the Blue whale, Fin whale, Humpback whales, Sei whales.

Visit our Whale Watching page

Pico Island is unique in featuring the highest mount not only in the Azores, but in the whole of Portugal! Mount Pico (2351 metres) last erupted in 1718 and is now dormant. It is possible to trek all the way to the top and in Madalena we arguably enjoy the best view of all to it.
Furthermore, the Pico shelters the waters around the island opposite from wind direction, making our Whale Watching area the one enjoying the best conditions in the Azores.
Spotted dolphins - Photo by Jan Reyniers
Spotted dolphins, photo by Jan Reyniers

Let the images do the talk

Watch the video below and many more. Filmed and edited by Stefano Ulivi.

meet the giants in spring 2024

In spring, Pico turns into a snack bar for migrating baleen whales and such event should not be missed!

Blue Whale Migration

March and April 10-night package

Meet the biggest animal ever to inhabit our planet, which we target specifically in this Whale Watching programme. Learn more...

Giants of the Sea

April and May 7-night package

This holiday package provides a balanced focus on all baleen whales: Fin whale, Blue whale, Humpback and Sei whale. Learn more...

Come visit us in Madalena, Pico Island!

Book your Tours Book your Dives
  • Whale Watching Holidays

    Pico Island is home to more than 20 species of whales and dolphins, which makes it a world-famous spot and a privileged island in the Azorean archipelago.
  • Swim with Dolphins

    For some people the experience is something mystical, for others it is like returning to the origins. For everybody, swimming with wild dolphins is a lifetime experience.
  • Snorkelling

    You can enter the underwater world without a diving certification. It gets as good as snorkelling with mobulas in Princess Alice, a seamount located 70km offshore.
  • Shark Diving

    Enjoy close encounters with the Blue shark and the Mako while blue water diving in waters whose visibility is 30 to 40 metres.
  • Princess Alice

    Located 70km offshore and recognised as one of the best dive sites in the world, Princess Alice is famous for its carousel of mobulas and the presence of other pelagics.
  • Film Crews & Photographers

    Many film crews and professional photographers have utilised our services to successfully achieve their goal of filming and photographing large cetaceans.

About our Company

CW Azores is an official Whale Watching operator, PADI Dive Resort, SSI Dive Centre and travel agency based in Madalena do Pico, Azores, Portugal.

Our Success Rates

We are based based in Pico, which is part of the so called Triangle - the portion of the Azorean archipelago that enjoys the highest Whale Watching success rate and highest cetacean diversity.
As for scuba diving, it is also the only area in the Azores where shark diving is highly successful. Last, but not least, we are ideally located to reach Princess Alice seamount.


    (Refers to actually seeing whales)



    (Refers to actually seeing the mobulas)

Why Choose Us

We employ talented, passionate people, which are also very friendly and genuinely strive to make our guests happy and fully satisfied.

Our centre is very well equipped, spacious and just 20 metres away from the boarding peer. Care and maintenance of our boats is nothing short of state-of-the-art.

Useful links:

We actively contribute to scientific research, along with hosting University students as trainees, or as they carry out the field work needed to complete their degrees.

To smoothen any access barrier due to wealth situation, students at CW Azores are never charged for their internships.

Moreover, accommodation and food expenses are always covered by the company.

Useful links:

All our employees are contracted and paid fairly.

They are all insured in full compliance with the Portuguese Law.

Useful links:

Visit us in Madalena do Pico

Find us right across the ferry station, in the Marina of Madalena.

Cais da Madalena, Madalena do Pico, Azores, Portugal
+351 292 622 622

Get In Touch With Us

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What Our Customers Think

A wonderful place, fantastic trips. Can't believe how many whales and dolphins we saw, and the view from the top of Little Pico is worth the sore legs! The most unforgettable trip, thanks to your friendly Team.

Sally and Steve (England)

We had the most perfect week with you at the ocean.
Saw lots of beautiful things on and under the water.
We hope to come back here.
Thanks a lot and big compliments to the crew.

Renée & Marnix (Netherlands)

Excellent, superbe, magnifique, exceptionnel... une énorme baleine commune,un cachalot et trois baleines pilotes + un accueil très sympatique dans lebungalow et dans le bateau. Merci mille fois et à bientôt!!

Christine & Thomas (France)

Extraordinaire, il n'y a pas d'autre mot pour décrire ces sensations... accompagnement parfait et attentionné, excellent pilote. Pas l'ombred'un mal de mer. Merci à CW Azores et à toute son équipe.

Philippe et Martine (France)

Come visit us in Madalena do Pico!

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Live Updates

by CW Azores

  • Welcome to the CW Azores Live dashboard!
  • Here you will see real-time whale and dolphin 🐳🐬 sighting updates from our boats, along with other interesting insights 😉
  • Using environmental DNA (eDNA) to monitor biodiversity in the North-East Atlantic and Mediterranean. CW Azores is an official partner of the project. Learn more...