The nine volcanic islands of Portugal are pretty far away from the country itself (1360km away). The islands have beautiful landscape teeming with wildlife and breathtaking cliffs as well as coasts. It is no doubt a paradise for divers of all level.
Santa Maria Island is the place you want to go to if you dream of swimming with whale sharks and manta rays. These majestic (and huge) creatures will swim up to you if you don´t panic out of happiness, or fear. The southernmost island is the warmest and smallest and the best season to visit is between June and September.
Graciosa Island is a very memorable place to dive and will make you cry on your plane home. Underwater life here resembles the busiest of city’s life: nothing for a while then all of a sudden it´s rush hour with fishes everywhere. Rock formations are amazing here and you can find colorful species to sate your photography appetite. With less people than Faro, you can really enjoy a romantic holiday here.
Baixa da Maia is a small islet near Maia village that has beautiful marine life. Gruta Azul is an exciting cave dive with 3 possible entrances. Princess Alice Bank is a beautiful dive with mountains underwater that can be up to 500m deep where you will get a chance to see many turtles, dolphins and whales.