Whale & Dolphin watching
The waters off the coast of Andalucia are home to a large population of whales and dolphins. They are known formally as cetaceans and can be divided into two main orders: mysticeti and odontoceti, and you can see them both by joining one of the many boat expeditions offered by companies operating from various points along the Costa de la Luz, and the Costa del Sol, especially from ports of Tarifa and Gibraltar.
A wonderful opportunity to get close to whales, dolphins and other sea mammals, in their natural habitat in the Straits of Gibraltar. This is the area of sea where where the Atlantic Ocean and… More →
The mysticeti order of cetaceans are known as Baleen whales and are the largest of members of this species. These are creatures that may grow to 120ft long and weigh up to 190 tons – and this is particularly impressive when you consider that a Boeing B-747 airliner weighs 150 tons.
The odontoceti are the group of cetaceans that include all the toothed whales, grampus, porpoise and dolphins. Most dolphins, such as the common dolphin, may be found virtually anywhere and are especially prevalent here in the Mediterranean. Other types of dolphins commonly sighted off our coasts are the bottlenose dolphin and the striped dolphin.
These are the ones that have been known to man for thousands of years. The Straits of Gibraltar are well-known for the biannual migration of bird life. What is generally not so well known is that there is also a continual passage of cetaceans between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.
It is only in comparatively recent geological times that all this marine movement has become possible. As the theory goes, twelve million years ago the African continent slowly bumped into Spain and a low mountain ridge was formed between Tangier and Tarifa. The Mediterranean became a vast lake, eventually drying up, leaving vast deposits of salt behind. Then, again according to the geological theory, six million years later, Africa started to retreat from Europe and a breach was created in the mountain dam previously formed.
From there it is believed that the largest waterfall the world has ever known was created and the Atlantic thundered over a 3,000 ft drop, yet again filling the Mediterranean basin, thus allowing the reintroduction of marine life into this area.
Straights of Gibraltar are famous for its dolphins, which can be easily seen on boat trips operating out of Gibraltar and Tarifa. This stretch of water is only 13 miles wide at their narrowest point, the concentration of cetaceans is very high, especially towards the centre. You can see these animals in this area of water throughout the year, in their natural habitat. Tour operators offer fun, informative trips for all ages and at reasonable prices, with live commentary to explain the behaviour of these popular mammals. It is about three miles offshore that you find the larger creatures, such as the sperm whale. For some reason most sightings show that they are heading in a westerly direction. The prevailing surface current is easterly and these animals may be just swimming against the current flow and not in fact travelling out of the Straits at that particular time.
From Seville: Whale Watch Beach Tarifa Day Trip
The Strait of Gibraltar is an area declared as an International Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. In Tarifa, this day trip offer you the opportunity to spot these beautiful animals. Sailing for about two hours in the waters of the straits, you can spot numerous species of dolphins, orcas and whales in the wild, always in a respectful manner.
Gibraltar Dolphins Full Day Trip from Costa del Sol
Discover the scenic highlights of Gibraltar on this full-day trip from the Costa del Sol (departures from Malaga, Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Marbella and Estepona). With an expert guide, journey from Costa del Sol to Gibraltar by air-conditioned coach and experience the best of this famous British territory. Know the Bay of Gibraltar is the permanent home of three different species of dolphins. Then, enjoy time to explore Gibraltar’s center independently. Perhaps have lunch at a British-style pub, browse the big-name stores, and snap up duty-free bargains.
Dolphin Trip - Benalmádena
Enjoy unique and impressive views of the Alborán Sea and the Costa del Sol. Setting sail from Puerto Marina in Benalmádena, don´t miss out on the fantastic experience to see dolphins in their natural habitat. We have 82% success in sighting. When choosing a tourist boat with Blue Flag, it contributes to the sustainable development of the marine and aquatic environment, they are boats that promote the environmental education of our users and ensure that our activities have a low environmental impact.
Sighting Dolphins - Marbella
Welcome to 2SailBoatExperience dolphin watching outings. You are about to embark on a unique experience on board a luxurious sailboat. We will leave from the port of La Bajadilla in Marbella. Next we will set course to the high seas to sail.
From prominent headlands, with patience and binoculars, it is possible to see the smaller cetaceans closer inshore. In the various bays formed along the Andalucian coast, common and striped dolphins are always present and several companies run whale and dolphin spotting boat trips throughout the year.