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 holidays, such as our safaris, bear watching and whale watching.
Family dolphin watching holidays
Boats, dolphins and sunshine may seem like a winning combination for families, but be sure to do your research.
Some tours offer greater chances of seeing dolphins than others – and kids may not be too keen to wait patiently for a glimpse of these creatures. Straddle boats and RIBs may also be uncomfortable for little ones, and are more exposed to the elements.
Many operators offer specific family departures, with specialist guides who inform and entertain. Dolphin watching with kids may be their dream holiday – but this is often only open to those aged 12 or even 14 due to safety issues, so be sure to enquire before building their hopes up.
Our Dolphin watching family Holidays
Health & safety
Check the FCO website for the latest travel safety advice for your destination.
If you'd like to chat about Dolphin watching or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Activities for families
Other wildlifeHaving unleashed your child’s inner marine biologist with the sociable, somersaulting cetaceans, expert guides can introduce them to many other marine species, such as whales, manta rays, manatees and basking sharks. While dolphin watching with kids, you can snorkel or scuba dive submarine caves and interesting rock formations where fish flutter in La Gomera, visit vast colonies of sea birds in Scotland, and study monk seals and turtles in Greece – soon enough the whole ecosystem will start to fall into place.
Bays and beachesBeing on the coast, you may as well take advantage of some of the fantastic shorelines in these destinations. There are sheltered bays in Greece and La Gomera, rugged cliffs and rocky shores in Scotland and the Azores – so sunbathers, walkers or wildlife fans can pick their coastline accordingly.
Taking your children out to watch marine life is sure to provoke a lot of questions. Feed this curiosity with a trip to a dedicated museum, such as the Sperm Whale Museum in the Azores, or Madeira’s Whale Museum. They explain the history of whaling, and have full-sized models and 3D movies so the kids can understand more about what’s been bobbing beneath their boats.
Tips for families
Dolphin watching with kidsAmanda Stafford of The Dolphin and Whale Connection is the guru of dolphin watching in the Azores: “We get a lot of families in the Azores and the great thing is we use these big catamarans with indoor cabins and very safe viewing platforms, so there is no minimum age. Kids can run around freely on the large and spacious decks but what you actually find is that they stay engaged for the full three hours, simply because we get so many sightings, and also because we have these great marine biologists capturing their attention. So dolphin watching with kids is very doable here.”
Tips for families from our past travellers"If you have young children, ensure they have practice swimming in sea and travelling on RIBs" - Maureen Quayle
"Go in a single large family group, or as singles and couples. Don't mix the two in one tour, it doesn't work for the singles and couples who want space not children". - James Bromley
More about Dolphin watching
Dolphins are incredibly intelligent, delightfully playful and able to inspire happiness in anyone who sees or swims with them.
Dolphins can be found around the world - from the warm waters of the Ionian Sea off Greece to the chillier climes of the Azores and Scotland.
The best place to go on a dolphin watching holiday depends as much on the other activities you want to enjoy as on the dolphins themselves.
Most dolphin watching holidays 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 holidays in the Azores, as scores of these beautiful and intelligent creatures swim around you, is not an experience to be quickly forgotten.
Dolphin watching holidays in Greece tend to focus closely on conservation research when you travel with responsible providers – there are several species in these waters and they face a wide range of threats.
If you’re dying to swim with dolphins in Scotland then this page isn’t for you. Dolphin watching in Scotland takes time, patience, and an awful lot of luck and local knowhow.
Our dolphin watching holiday 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.