Part of our team was in the South of Portugal, the Algarve, for some meetings with tour operators. The weather was amazing and the ocean was “calling” us for a boat ride. Paulo, who manages our partner company in Praia da Luz, near Lagos, immediately invited us for a trip. And so, we went dolphin watching in Luz.
Praia da Luz, Vila da Luz, or simply Luz, is a very cute town, west of Lagos. It’s actually the beach where Femke and Bo grew up so, they have strong ties to this little summer paradise.
The dolphin watching in Luz departs from the beach so you do not need to drive to the Marina of Lagos to meet these beautiful creatures. The rich coastal waters of the Algarve are home to several species of dolphins and it’s always a true adventure. We were lucky with the weather and sea conditions. Chances of finding dolphins were extremely high.
As the observation of dolphins in the wild is not predictable, it is possible not to find them on one of the trips. However, this operator has a special policy that if this occurs, you can always board again for free on another trip. In fact, the success rate is so high that they can do this.
We met Paulo on the beach a bit before departure. The dolphin watching in Luz was fully booked so we were lucky we could go along (that’s why we always recommend booking ahead). From Luz, we use specifically designed boats for this type of trip: fast, secure and very comfortable. The boat is powered with four-stroke outboard engines and is ultra-silent and crew manning for 12 passengers. In fact, the boat was so comfortable such that Femke, who often gets seasick, felt just fine during the tour!
To get to the boat, we needed to get into a small rubber boat on the beach and then step over to the “dolphin-boat”. No worries, this is very easy. Even two 4-5-year-old kids did it easily. On board, life vests are mandatory. It’s recommended to keep your belongings in the beach hut, where the crew can store them in special boxes. On board, all you need is a camera (on your own responsibility) and a wind jacket is recommended too (and plenty of sunscreen, of course!). In fact, sometimes it can get quite chilly deeper in the sea.
Once Paulo has given us a small briefing of what to expect, we were ready to go. The crew already had a GPS point of where the dolphins were (the tour operators communicate with each other to let know where the dolphins are). We were going to cruise about 10 miles Southwest. In fact, after about 30 exciting and speedy minutes, we found a huuuge group of dolphins.
The species we found were common dolphins. How many? Uncountable! The animals were super excited. They were jumping around as there was a lot of fish. There were dolphins of all ages, some more mature ones with babies and some 1-2-year-old playful youngsters. Paulo explained that, besides the fish, what explained the all the excitement of the dolphins was the mating season. Male and female dolphins were jumping around, next to each other. It was beautiful! Discovering the magical world of dolphins in their natural habitat is a truly unique experience.
We had a blast! Many thanks to Paulo and his team! We highly recommend this experience dolphin watching in Luz. Especially to families. There were a few kids on board and it was very nice to see how fascinated and enthusiastic they were with the wild dolphins!