Azores Sub Dive Center Trip Reviews, Photos & Special Rates - Bluewater Dive Travel

Azores Sub Dive Center


Destination: Azores

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Azores Sub's knowledgeable staff places special emphasis on environmental preservation.


Azores Sub Features 

  • Diving Courses
  • Expeditions
  • Store
  • Equipment Room
  • Dressing Room, WC's and Hot Showers
  • Equipment Wash Spot and Cold Showers
  • Filling Station
  • Classroom
  • 20 complete equipment CRESSI SUB for Rent. The equipment has an average of 3 years old and is reviewed annually by highly qualified professionals
  • 3 Zodiac Boats
  • Professional Photography and Video Underwater
  • Boat Rental with Skipper
  • Diving Equipment Maintenance



Varies, depending on the type of packages. Contact us for more information. 


Dive Overview

Azores Sub offers a range of dive activities including PADI certification courses, AWARE projects, and children's "bubblemaker" courses. The recreational diving is fantastic, and Azores Sub uses top-notch equipment and boats and knowledgeable staff to ensure that dive travelers create unforgettable underwater memories in a wide variety of dive sites.


[Read More: Azores Dive Travel Guide]


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Dive Sites

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Ponta da Cozinha 

The protected area of the Vila Franca do Campo Islet is located directly opposite the town after which it is named, less than 500 meters from shore. It offers several excellent dives that are suitable for all experience levels, as well as lots of snorkeling opportunities.

Inside the islet you will find a large bay created by the crater of an extinct volcano that rose from the sea more than four thousand years. This is another great spot for snorkeling. The "Cozinha" is located on the east side of the islet, and here we find several passages along the wall to a depth of 10 meters large rocks that have rolled the islet due to erosion and small rock formations that are mixed with sand to a maximum of 18 meters deep.

The area is protected, and there is an abundance of Azores chromis (Chromis limbata), ornate wrasses (Thalassoma pavo), blacktail combers (Serranus atricauda), parrotfish (Sparisoma cretense), ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta), barred hogfish, moray eels, common octopuses (Octopus vulgaris) and dusky groupers (Epinephelus marginatus). On the sandy seafloor you are likely to spot common stingrays (Dasyatis pastinaca), and in the water column there are often white trevallies (Pseudocaranx dentex), yellowmouth barracudas (Sphyraena viridensis), Almaco jacks (Seriola rivoliana) and bluefish. (Pomatomus saltator).



The Tufo is located on the south coast of São Miguel Island, between Ponta Garça and Ribeira Quente.

After getting to the top of the down which is located only to 4 meters deep, fall in the wall to the north that has a maximum of 11 meters. Following to South, you will have a maximum of 15 meters.

The numerous passages between large passages form authentic walls and the cracks on the rocks are true sanctuaries of life.

Several species of moray eels, octopuses, blacktail combers, parrotfishes, Madeira rockfish and Guinean puffers can be observed during the dive. It’s also usual to see congers with quite considerable dimensions.

On top of the ornate wrasses, salema porgies and trigger fishes are some of the species that give us the pleasure of their presence during the safety stop. 


West Farilhão 

The islet of Vila Franca do Campo is located on the south coast of São Miguel Island, less than 500 meters from the shore, just opposite the village that owes its name.

The islet, circular in shape, corresponds to the submerged part of a small submarine volcano originated more than 4000 years.

This dive is done on the west side of the islet of Vila Franca do Campo. Between 8 and 13 meters a platform where we can find natural formations of holes and passages. In this area, we can find: Ornate wrasses, parrotfish, barred hogfish, moray eels, salema porgies, blacktail combers and also Azores chromis.

Between 13 and 22 meters, we have a wall full of life with morays, octopus, hake, grouper and also several species of nudibranchs. On sand, we can always find the wide-eyed flounders and is common to find several species of rays and even huge stingrays.

Looking into the blue that surrounds this amazing scenario we have the white travellies, yellowmouth barracudas, almaco jacks and sometimes the bluefishes.


Shipwreck “MV DORI” 

With the top of her stern at a depth of only 9 meters, and the bow in the deepest part at 20 meters, the Dori shipwreck is a great place for all types of dive and snorkeling trips.

Considered by many as the best dive site on the island of São Miguel, this wrecked Liberty ship on the sandy seafloor was built during the Second World War in the United States.

It was one of the few ships of this type that took part in Operation Overlord along the coast of Normandy, as well as taking part in a number of other wartime missions, and it eventually sank 800 meters off the coast of Ponta Delgada on 16 January 1964.

Today it is an underwater archaeological park; the stern, to the north, is still quite intact and is surrounded by clouds of small fish as well as occasionally shoals of pelagic fish. Heading towards the bow, you can see some of the larger structures of the ship still intact, as well as a multitude of large pipes and stairways.

The ship’s boilers are regularly surrounded by schools of Moroccan white seabreams (Diplodus sargus cadenati).Fishing is prohibited in this area, which means that throughout the dive you can spot an exceptional number of common species typical of the Azores Sea. 



The dive site consists of a small reef, about 40 m long, situated just off of the Vila Franca Marina, midway between the coast and the Vila Franca do Campo Islet. It has a number of archaeological remains, in particular centuries-old anchors, which bear witness to the historical importance of Vila Franca do Campo, the first capital of the island.

The site is 14 meters deep, with the sandy seafloor at a depth of 22 metres. There are approximately a dozen anchors, the earliest dating back as far as 300 years ago and the largest over 2 meters long.

Its proximity to the marine reserve of the Vila Franca do Campo Islet means this is also an interesting site for marine life. It is common to find several species of moray eels and nudibranchs, while along the sandy seafloor you may spot large common stingrays (Dasyatis pastinaca) and small surmullets (Mullus surmuletus).


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Activities & Expeditions

Azores Sub Activities & Expeditions Details 

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Azores Sub Dive Center has daily at your disposal a wide range of activities.Diving Trips for all those who already have a diving certification. Discover Programs (Diving Baptisms) either in the pool or in the sea for those who want to dive for the first time in the fascinating underwater world and also Snorkeling trips for those who not wishing to go for underwater. We operate all the year.


Dive Trips 

With water temperatures varying between 16 º and 24 º C, and with visibilities of up to 30 meters each immersion proves to be a unique and unparalleled experience.

Underwater formations you will find natural arches, passages, walls and a whole set of reefs formed by lava. You will have the opportunity to visit shipwrecks and also the old anchorage of Vila Franca do Campo, where lie many anchors dating back to the XVI century.

Come and dive to one of the ex-libris of diving in the Azores, the Natural Reserve of the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo! 

Add to this, large schools of White Trevallies, Yellowmouth barracudas, Almaco Jacks, Bluefish…

You will also see the colorful kingfish, moray eels and of course the huge Dusky Groupers! In the offshore Reefs of Formigas & Dollabarat come and discover the large pelagics, like manta rays and sharks, are some of the species that regularly offer us his visit! Come discover paradise with the Azores Sub Dive Center! We conducted all year round dive trips daily at 08h30 and at 2h30 p.m.


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Discover Scuba Diving (Try Dives) 

  • The Try Dive in Swimming Pool pretends to open the doors of the wonderful underwater world to everyone that shows interest in scuba diving.
  • It’s an excellent program to eliminate pre-established ideas about diving, allowing the participants to experience scuba diving and all the equipment in a pool with a maximum of 4 meters, always accompanied by a certified instructor.
  • Duration of the program: Half Day
  • Minimum Age: 8 years old
  • The try dive is the first introduction to the fascinating underwater world! An experience for all those who do not have a diving certification but want to experiment scuba diving.
  • Before starting the experiment in water, a certified instructor will make a detailed briefing about the equipment that you will use and safety rules to follow.
  • Duration of the program: Half Day
  • Minimum Age: 10 years old

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The program Discover Snorkeling pretends to show the amazing beauty of the Azorean Ocean and the species that live in it.

With crystal waters, the Azores are a privileged destination for snorkelers.

During the entire program, you’ll be guided by a professional certified that will assure that your experience will be unforgettable and always in safety.


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Expeditions: Shipwreck "MV Dori"

Diving on the wreck "MV DORI" is to dive in history. A Liberty-Ship built during the Second World War in the United States and one of the few ships of this type to participate in Operation Overlord on the Normandy coast. We also organize expeditions to Offshore Reef of Formigas & Dollabarat. With an average visibility over 40 meters and a much-diversified fauna make these sites, required to go diving at least once in a lifetime! These are privileged spots to observe large pelagic like the blue sharks and manta rays.


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Hydrothermal Vents 

The Azores are one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy underwater volcanic activity. Dive in a very volcanically active area, with forms of volcanism very obvious such as fumaroles.

The release of air bubbles that form as that "curtain" is a unique show that you will not want to miss.

The dive is made in a very easy place and at a shallow depth, making it accessible to everyone.


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Formigas & Dollabarat 

Local long known for unique dives and encounters with large pelagic species, the small group of islets Formigas lies between the islands of São Miguel and Santa Maria. With only 165 meters long and 11 high, indicated by a small lighthouse, the islets are within 42 nautical miles of Vila Franca do Campo, 33 nautical miles off the southwestern tip of San Miguel.

Due to its remote location and the possibility of strong ocean currents, this dive requires a high degree of experience on the part of divers, and it’s only possible to make this trip with very favorable sea conditions.

There are several dive sites around Formigas. The most frequented places are: The Wall and the northern tip of this small islands known as places of passage of large schools of pelagic and a small down to 8 meters depth located about 50 meters South of Formigas known as a place of passage of manta rays.

Upon arrival at the site and still on board the vessel you can see immediately the known crystalline waters by offering the best conditions of visibility of the archipelago, the curious shoals of fish – triggerfish, white trevallies and Plaice, which in this location can reach large dimensions.

The background characterized by steep slopes and vertical walls in some places falls steeply to depths exceeding 60-70 meters, often offering small platforms in the share of 15 - 20 meters ideal for the observation of large schools of pelagic fish. From 15 meters deep, there are many crevices and canyons harboring moray eels, large groupers, sea bass, and barred hogfish among the coral - great trellises black plentiful.

The seamount of Dollabarat is located just 3 nautical miles of the islets of the Formigas. Its name comes from the name of the Basque captain, Pierre Dollabarat, which marked the first time the existence of this bank.

Your shallower point located at 5 meters deep, however, there are several large areas with depths varying between 8 and 15 meters, falling steeply to depths exceeding 30 and 50 meters at the ends of downtown.

Due to the low depth that exists in this bank, it is also possible on the boat, see the bottom covered with animal life and often greenish shadows of manta rays gliding over the lowlands in the days of calm sea.

This amazing dive where the visibility reigns, you can observe a great diversity of species, many of them are declining in other parts of the world and especially in the Atlantic. Among rock crevices are several species of moray eels and gorges were hidden bigger fish such as large groupers, Almaco Jacks and barred hogfish.

As like in the small islands of Formigas the great attraction of this dive site is the possibility of encounters with large pelagic species. Over the abyss, which involves the crown, are observed frequently a variety of schools of larger species, such as white trevallies with exceptional dimensions, as well as Almaco Jacks, Yellowmouth Barracuda, and migratory pelagics such as tunas, and wahoos. Often among the large fast-moving schools of fish, slowly groups of manta rays and even some species of sharks, such as the Galapagos shark, the hammerhead shark and blue shark.

Due to exceptional visibility conditions and its variety of wildlife, ranging from small most common species to larger pelagics, without forgetting the mantas and sharks, the marine reserves Dollabarat Bank and Formigas Islands, becomes one of the best diving spots in the Azores.


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Rates & Availability

For more information on rates, availability and to book, drop us an email at or call us today at 310-915-6677. We will gladly help you plan your dream vacation!


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Other Information

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Practical Information 

  • Local Currency: Euro
  • International Airport: João Paulo II Airport
  • Language: Portuguese & English
  • Time Zone: UTC-1

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Call us today at 310-915-6677 or email us

And let us book your dream vacation!


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Underwater Gallery

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