The Azores are divided into the oriental, central and occidental group. Diving in São Miguel offers a great variety of easily accessible dive sites. The highlight of São Miguel diving is the Dori wreck, a famous WWII ship that took part in Operation Overlord, sitting just 20 meters below the surface. Divers will also enjoy the coastal reefs of Lourenços and Sabrina, where schools of large pelagic fish and groups of devil rays are often sighted. Due to the central islands divers flock here from July to October for some of the world’s best manta ray diving. Fifty miles off the coast of Pico Island offers one of the best dive sites in the Azores, Princess Alice Bank, where divers can soar above a deep-water pinnacle that attracts amazing pelagic life like schooling rays and large fish. Do not miss out on the fantastic wreck dives that Terceira and Graciosa islands offer as well, including the Terceirense, Lidador, and Anchor Graveyard wrecks. The occidental group offers the least diving facilities but still attracts migrating whale speices, mating mobla and manta rays. The best dive sites in the Occidental Group include the Gamela, Baxia do Buraco, and the Caneiro dos Meros.
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Wildlife in Azores
The best diving in the Azores is from late spring through the summer months of April to October when the ocean is warmer, and marine life is at its peak. During these months, divers can encounter any of the 20 different whale species that migrate through these waters from the massive blue whale to the small minke whale. Whale sharks frequent the waters off Santa Maria. You can find resident sperm whales, common and bottlenose dolphins, mobula rays, and several shark species year-round, making scuba diving the Azores amazing any time of year.