Dolphin watching tour in Portimão

We went on a dolphin watching tour in Portimão

By Lianne, responsible for the Spanish market and content/translations at SeaBookings.

Fully equipped with wind jackets and life vests!

Fully equipped with wind jackets and life vests!

During our stay in Lagos in the Algarve, we wanted to do something fun. That’s why we decided to visit another place and go on a dolphin watching tour in Portimão. At the marina of Portimão, you see many different boats departing and arriving (sailing boats, motor boats, catamarans, etc.). The dolphin watching in Portimão is done on a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) and this was my first experience on a boat like this. Because we were going to search for dolphins in the wild, we needed to go far into the sea. With a boat like this, you can go very fast and reach these beautiful animals in a short time. My boyfriend and I were sitting in the front and the crew told us that it was important that everyone helped to look out for the dolphins.

Our super fast RIB

Our super fast RIB

Sit back and relax…. Oh no! Hold on tight! Because the boat reaches speeds of 40km/h and on the open sea it feels like you go really fast! This is really amazing because it gives you an adrenaline-kick and you have the feeling that you fly over water.

Before getting on board we were all provided with wind and life-jackets. I thought it would be too hot, but in the middle of the sea, it can be pretty cold. We were told that during this dolphin watching tour in Portimão deals with wild animals. The dolphins live in the wild and they are not fed, which is a good thing I think, because we could really encounter these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat!

The RIB takes 12 passengers and to skippers

The RIB takes 12 passengers and to skippers

I think after 20 minutes we found another boat and the people on board were already waving to us that we could see dolphins close to their boat. We slowed down and carefully we came closer to the other boat. There we saw already a couple of dolphins swimming. It didn’t take long before we saw dolphins everywhere around our boat. It was really amazing because we could come very close to the animals because we were sitting in a small boat. Even when they were swimming underwater and close to the boat we could see them!

From the boat you can clearly see the dolphins underwater too

From the boat, you can clearly see the dolphins underwater too

After admiring the dolphins for a while, it was time to go back. Different from the ride to the dolphins we were now heading back to the coast of course, which is also a nice experience. You see the nice colorful cliffs and different boats sailing along the coast.

dolphin watching in Portimão

Enjoying the colorful coastline of the Algarve on the way back

The sea was getting rougher and although I really like this adrenaline-kick, I can understand that other people would like the sea to be calmer. Usually, it is better to go early in the morning because the sea is calmer at that time of the day (especially if you usually get seasick it is recommendable to go in the morning).

After this amazing experience, we got back to the marina. It was very nice to see some dolphins in the wild! We highly recommend this dolphin watching tour in Portimão if you like nature and adventure!

dolphin watching in Portimão

All you need to know about dolphin watching in Ferragudo

Dolphins are amazing creatures! Did you know, that there are only 35 species of dolphins living in the sea worldwide? Most of them prefer warm waters, but we also have a great number of dolphins passing by the Portuguese coast every year! In fact, if you’re on holidays in Portugal, you should definitely go dolphin watching!

Boat trip in Madeira

Pilot whales are some of the species we encounter in Portugal

Our partner for dolphin watching in Ferragudo gathered some interesting data about the sightings recently. Dolphin watching in Ferragudo, near Portimão, the South of Portugal, is a huge adventure! Since we’re dealing with wild animals who are not being fed, it is always a big excitement looking for some fins in the water to spot the dolphins! Together with experienced crews, you will be looking out on the blue water waiting to see some movement. We never know what species we’ll find in the immense Atlantic!

Common dolphins are seen very frequently

Common dolphins are seen very frequently

If you decide to go dolphin watching in Portimão, it is almost guaranteed that you will see at least 1 species of dolphins! During summer months, chances are very high that you will even see some whales too! Dolphin watching in Portimão had a success rate of 98,4% last year (2017). And on almost every trip, we saw two different species of cetaceans (whales and dolphins).

Even orcas can be spotted, but only a few times a year

Even orcas can be spotted, but only a few times a year

August and September are definitely the best months to go dolphin watching in Portimão! During those months, we saw a total of almost 180 common dolphins on our tours! In August we also saw the most bottlenose dolphins with a total of almost 40! These bottlenose dolphins are especially beautiful and their sighting is always special!

Wale und Delfine Beobachten auf Pico dolphin watching on Pico Observação de golfinhos e baleias na ilha do Pico

Bottlenose dolphins are some of the most playful!

Not only do we see the most dolphins during August and September, but in September we also saw two very rare whale species during the dolphin watching in Portimão! We saw 1 Orca and 1 Fin Whale in September 2017, something that doesn’t happen very often.

Even though August and September are the months where we see the biggest number of cetaceans during the dolphin watching in Portimão and other destinations in the Algarve, in June of 2017 we were lucky enough to see three very special speciesDuring the tours in June last year, we saw 5 Orcas and 2 fin whales! These are very rare sightings and it is always exciting when we see those kinds of species. And for the first time since the dolphin watching in Portimão is running, we saw Pilot Whales on a tour! And not only one, but 3 in one day! So if you go dolphin watching in Portimão in June, maybe you get extra lucky by seeing some very rare species!

Risso's dolphins are in some ways an unusual species

Risso’s dolphins are in some ways an unusual species

Whenever you decide to go dolphin watching in Ferragudo or anywhere else in the Algarve, there is a chance of over 98% you get lucky! On the Portuguese islands of both Madeira and the Azores you can also see many different cetaceans all year around. Portugal is very popular amongst whales and dolphins!

Spotting fin whales is a true experience

Spotting fin whales is a true experience

We hope we could help you decide when to go dolphin watching in Portimão! Seeing these magical creatures in their natural habitat is always very unique and we’re sure you will love it!