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!

In 2016 there were two births of wild dolphins in Setúbal

Good news for dolphin watching tours in the Sado River and for nature! This year there were two births of wild dolphins in Setúbal, one in August and another in October.

Dolphin Sado Out16

This calf was born in October 2016

It was the Portuguese Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation that confirmed that two baby bottlenose dolphins were born in the Sado estuary in 2016. Thus, with these two births, the number of dolphins in Setúbal rises to 29 elements of this species in the resident community in the Sado River. The names of the two calves will be chosen by the students of a primary school of the municipality of Setúbal.

The pod of wild dolphins in Setúbal are a particular case in Europe. In fact, the community of 29 bottlenose dolphins is resident. Only two more dolphin communities living in estuaries are known: one in Scotland and another in Ireland.

Dolphin Sado Aug16

This calf was born in August 2016

Unfortunately, in the 1980s and 1990s, the dolphin population on the Sado River declined. The minimum number of animals was recorded in 2011: 25 elements. However, the Portuguese Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation points out that this trend seems to have been reversed.

Boat tour to observe the wild dolphins in Setúbal

For the observation of the wild dolphins in Setúbal, SeaBookings collaborates with a maritime operator of excellence. This operator has been recognized for its merit with several awards and certifications of quality and respect for nature. This operator also collaborates with the Portuguese Institute of Nature and Forest Conservation to monitor the Sado River dolphin community.

dolphins in setúbal

Dolphin watching in Setúbal is done on a luxury catamaran

We invite you to come and meet the dolphin community of the Rio Sado and the two new cute calves on a boat trip. The tour lasts 3 to 4 hours and departs from Setúbal. We recommend booking in advance to secure your seat. Dolphin watching in the Sado can be done all year round and this is the ideal family trip as kids love it and all ages are welcome!