The were two things I wanted to cross off my bucket list during my trip to the Azores: swimming with dolphins and kayaking on one of the beautiful lakes of Sao Miguel. Unfortunately, one does not just stumble across a dolphin while splashing around on a beach (I mean, if you do, you must be the luckiest person alive) and kayaking equipment is a little bit difficult to fit in a carry-on (I was told), so we enlisted the help of the pros at Picos de Aventura to facilitate our encounter with the magical creatures and take us out and about on Sao Miguel.
It all started on one sunny Sunday morning with a sleepy Tudor and an overexcited Dora. We headed for the Picos de Aventura headquarters, where after getting our instructions from our barefooted, yet very witty guide ("please do not try to ride the dolphins, this is the Atlantic, not an aquarium"), we embarked on a boat which totally gave us navy seals vibes. I feel like you haven't lived until you've ridden a Zodiac at full speed, waves crashing around you and dolphins squeaking in the air.
It took us only a few minutes to find ourselves in the middle of Atlantic rush hour. Our little friends (they're quite large actually) had arrived and there I was, my deep water phobia kicking in at the thought of diving in the middle of the ocean. Tudor jumped (literally) to save the day and had his life changing experience which he'll probably rub in my face for as long as we shall live. I'm pretty sure the dolphins knew I was nervous because they were jumping all around the boat to make me laugh and later they even had one of their whale friends stop by to say hi.
The next day we met the amazing Tiago (but for realz he should consider changing his name to Amazing Tiago) to take some kayaks out for a spin on Lake Furnas. Besides getting the best recommendations for spots to see around Sao Miguel from Tiago, we also learned about all the effort that goes into maintaining every aspect of the island. Everything from the flowers growing on the side of the road to the gardens, viewing points and tourist attractions is cared for by teams of gardeners and landscapers that are responsible for creating the pristine paradise we were privileged to experience for a week. You'll have to be there to believe it (and I hope you will be soon).
Our last adventure of our trip found us paddling in circles (left, Dora, left!), laughing out loud, watching the clouds from our kayak in the middle of lake Furnas, catching some sun and peeking at people cooking stew in the ground. Yup! That is a thing in Furnas and if you're lucky (and remember to make a reservation) you can get a taste of it at one of the traditional Portuguese restaurants in the area.
Make sure to watch the video for a summary of our week in the Azores and for some primo underwater shots of dolphins. Eeeek! What would be your favourite activity to do in the Azores. Tell me all about it in the comment section!
Have a brilliant day!
P.S. Activities provided by Picos de Aventura. All opinions stated here are my own.