Dramatic volcanic landscapes, rolling green fields, quaint fishing villages and reliable winds ensure a fantastic sailing holiday in the Azores.
The Azores are a group of nine islands located in the mid Atlantic around 760 miles off the coast of Portugal. With privileged climatic conditions, the Azores receive mild temperatures due to the influence of the Gulf Stream and show no major variations in air temperature throughout the year. Due to the remote mid Atlantic location, the sailing is exhilarating and yacht charter in the Azores requires more experience than in the easier Mediterranean destinations.
A sailing holiday in the Azores gives you the chance to experience a truly unspoilt destination packed full with volcanoes, caves, waterfalls, striking green valleys and World Heritage sites.
Each of the nine islands has its own unique feel and having the option to start your sailing holiday from one of the three bases located at Horta, Ponta Delgada and Velas gives you maximum opportunity to see as much of this magical archipelago as possible. The area is also famous for whales, dolphins and turtles so be sure to keep an eye out for them during your sailing holiday!
Embark at Horta on the island of Faial, about 10 minutes from the airport.
Be amazed by arriving at the unique natural setting of Velas Marina, sheltered by huge cliffs of 200m. Discover the enchanting towns of Velas and Calheta and cross the thin (8km) but steep island (300m) to visit some of the fabulous fajas (low tongues of lava at the bottom of steep volcanic cliffs) such as Cubres, Ouvidor and especially Santo Cristo, a unique natural ring shaped lagoon which is now becoming a surfing sanctuary.
Enjoy a full day of sailing and cross your fingers for an amazing ride shared with dolphins and perhaps even turtles and whales! You won’t be the first lucky one.
Explore Terceira Island. Once in Angra do Heroismo get yourself lost in the immaculate and well preserved streets of one of the most historical cities in Portugal and a UNESCO World Heritage site however Terceira's charm does not end there. Drive along the green leaves of a truly stunning landscape towards the Algar do Carvão caves, with their magnificent stalagmites, stalactites and lake. Terceira is the land of joy and excitement in the Azores where you can watch traditional bullfights which are still very popular with the locals.
Enjoy another full day of sailing and admire the natural beauty of Pico’s rough south coast before entering the birthplace of the Azorean once legendary whale industry, Lajes do Pico.
Explore Pico Island. One day to visit Pico is the least you can do with its abundance of attractions such as the Whalemen's museum, the World Heritage Site of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture and the high lagoons of Capitao and Caiado.
After an action packed week, make sure you do not leave before admiring the Caldeira Volcano, a deep crater of 2000 X 400 meters and Capelinhos Volcano, an almost lunar and arid landscape of 3 square km.
Average winds Force 3-5 which are more predictable in the summer months. The ideal sailing window is May-October. Distances between islands can be considerable and this is the open Atlantic.
We have rated this destination a 'Level 3' (levels info) and you will need RYA Day Skipper or ICC qualification for bareboat charters in the Azores. You should be coastal skipper standard with considerable skippering experience.
If you are at all unsure about a destination then please get in touch and our sales team will be more than happy to make their recommendations for you.
SATA (Gatwick) and Ryanair (Stansted) both have direct flights to Ponta Delagada on Saturdays. If chartering from Horta you can fly direct to Lisbon from where you can take a SATA flight direct to Horta. For charters from the base at Velas you will need to fly to Horta and then take a ferry (1.5hrs) to Velas. The bases at Ponta Delgada and Horta are both just a short 10 minute transfer from the airports.
Yacht charter rates are shown WITHOUT flights giving you the flexibility to book your own flights. If you would prefer a flight-inclusive holiday then Nautilus Yachting is a fully bonded ATOL tour operator and can book flights from the UK to fit your sailing holiday. Choose from a wide choice of airlines - we are not tied to any particular airline. All flight-inclusive holidays are fully bonded for your financial protection under our ATOL 3016.
"Booking process is always smooth and efficient. The local Maltese charter company was very good and helpful. This was the third charter with Nautilus and it won't be the last."
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Extras payable on embarkation:
To skipper a bareboat charter or flotilla yacht, you need to hold a practical sailing certificate equivalent to RYA Day Skipper Practical qualification or RYA International Certificate of Competence (ICC). For charters in Greece, you must now have the ICC certificate. You must also be assisted by at least one competent crew member over the age of 18.
For charters in Croatia, Malta and the Canaries, at least one member of the crew or the skipper will also need a VHF licence.
RYA qualifications can be obtained by RYA sailing schools in the UK or alternatively choose from one of our overseas centres in Gibraltar, Greece or Turkey.
For Caribbean and Tropical charters, formal qualifications are not compulsory, however, you should be Day Skipper standard and be assisted by at least one competent crew. A brief sailing resume should be provided to outline your experience.
If you don't hold the relevant qualifications then why not add a skipper?
Winds force 2-3 (4-11 Knots)combined with generally shorter distances. Good for beginner or intermediate sailors. Line-of-sight navigation but basic knowledge of charts and ability to plot your position required.
Winds force 3-5 (7-21 Knots) with approximately 15-20nm per day. Intermediate experience required. Predominately line of sight navigation but an understanding of how to sail in open water.
Winds force 4-6 (11-27 Knots) with mileage of approximately 20nm+ per day. Ideal for experienced skippers looking to venture out to new destinations. Day skipper standard but with experienced crew would be recommended.