Viewing the island from a boat offers a unique experience, as the coastal waters and seascape change in intensity as the day progresses. During the day, a wide and diverse marine life enchants its audience. Frequent marine visitors include Pilot Whales, Common Bottlenose Dolphins, Manta Rays, turtles and tuna. Less frequent and rare guests include Fin Whales, Striped Dolphins, Killer Whales and Blue Whales. Later on, fiery sunsets and golden waters beckon romantics, as the sun slowly slips below the horizon.
Of course no visit can be complete without sailing out to the Desertas Islands; it’s a fantastic opportunity to catch a glimpse of the illusive and endangered Monk Seal colony. With a growing population of over 30 seals, Madeira has done much to save these shy creatures from extinction. The islands are also an important bird sanctuary and home to the Fea’s Petrel, Cory’s and Little Shearwater, Buzzards, Kestrels, Canaries and Linnets.
Organising a day trip couldn’t be easier with several companies, including Rota dos Cetáceos offering Whale and Dolphin watching experiences, while Bonita da Madeira and M T Madeira Catamaran, offers a selection of tours, including a full day tour to the nature reserve at Deserta Grande.