This wildlife travel guide is meant to be like a trailer for the new Attenborough series. Because we also have individual travel guides for more specific wildlife vacations, such as our safaris, bear watching and whale watching. The travel guide below gives you the perfect introduction to getting your head around the extraordinary life on earth, and where to go to find it.
Best time for dolphin watching
Dolphins tend to be fairly permanent residents of the seas they inhabit, meaning that, in theory they can be observed year-round.
In practice, being wildly exposed in the open ocean leaves boats at the mercy of Mother Nature, who conspires with cyclones, rough seas and downright miserable weather to make some seasons thoroughly unsuitable for sailing. On the flipside, choosing your departure date carefully means you can combine your dolphin watching tour with seeing other creatures such as humpback whales or puffins, or enjoying tropical flowers in bloom, while in some destinations you can time it to tick off the greatest number of dolphin species.
Take a look at our chart for the best times to watch dolphins in each destination, as well as the worst times to watch them, to help you avoid storms and sighting-free trips.
Dolphin watching, month by month
Our Dolphin watching Vacations
If you'd like to chat about Dolphin watching or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Best time to watch dolphins in the wild
Amanda Stafford, from our supplier Dolphin and Whale Connection discusses the best time to swim with dolphins in the Azores: "You can swim with dolphins here, but it very much depends on the time of year and on sea conditions Ė so for this reason itís best to go in May to September. The islands are in a very isolated location, thereís no other landmass nearby, so when the weather comes in the sea can be pretty treacherous. So it very much depends on the sea conditions being calm and safe enough for us to let people swim. Itís done on a per-trip basis Ė as with any wildlife encounter, you canít guarantee it."
More about Dolphin watching
Dolphins are incredibly intelligent, delightfully playful and able to inspire happiness in anyone who sees or swims with them.
The best place to go on a dolphin watching vacation depends as much on the other activities you want to enjoy as on the dolphins themselves.
Most dolphin watching vacations will also include plenty of time in between boat trips, so here are some of our top activities you can enjoy when not looking out for these marine mammals.
Dolphin watching vacations in the Azores, as scores of these beautiful and intelligent creatures swim around you, is not an experience to be quickly forgotten.
Dolphin watching vacations in Greece tend to focus closely on conservation research when you travel with responsible providers Ė there are several species in these waters and they face a wide range of threats.
If youíre dying to swim with dolphins in Scotland then this page isnít for you. Dolphin watching in Scotland takes time, patience, and an awful lot of luck and local knowhow.
Some destinations are far more suited than others for family dolphin watching vacations.
Our dolphin watching vacation companies have shared their top dolphin watching advice to help you plan your trip.
Experts agree that the more responsible dolphin watching is, the more enjoyable it Is.