Diving in Seamounts
The seamounts are the most famous dive sites of the Azores, where visibility of more than 30 metres and sightings of large groups of devil rays and schools of thousands of pelagic fish are commonplace.
The volcanoes that created the Azores also forced a series of underwater elevations in the Azores Sea that rise up from the depths of the ocean floor to just below the surface. These unique places, often located far from the coast, provide the most intense diving experiences that the Azores have to offer.
The best known sites are the Princess Alice Bank, the Dom João de Castro Bank, the Formigas Islets, and the Dollabarat Reef. Each of these feature a unique variety of marine ecosystems and whilst on the seafloor you will spot many of the same species that surround the islands, the sheer numbers and sizes are incredible Dusky groupers, barred hogfishes, stingrays, moray eels … it is a hive of activity. Closer to the surface you get groups of dozens of gracious devil rays, large schools of Almaco jacks, white trevallies, yellowmouth barracudas and skipjack tunas (the latter can even form schools comprising several thousand). It is simply breath-taking – an almost mythical dive experience.
Back on the boat the adventure continues – you will often spot groups of dolphins, birds, turtles or even whales as you return to the mainland.