Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dolphin Watching on the Costa del Sol

There is no better way to watch dolphins, than to see them in their natural habitat jumping among the waves in the open seas and oceans. It sure beats seeing them performing tricks in man made stadiums.

The Costa del Sol offers visitors many places to observe its resident pods of dolphins along the coast. Dolphin watching trips can be taken from numerous locations, taking visitors a few miles off shore to observe Mediterranean dolphins and porpoises, from a respectful distance, going about their everyday business of dolphining!

These intelligent and graceful creatures can be observed in both small numbers and huge pods, as they feed, swim and play in the Med, just off the coast. I have had the good fortune and great pleasure of witnessing dolphins in the wild off the coasts of Benalmadena, Cabopino, Elviria and Marbella on numerous occasions while out jet skiing.

Where to go Dolphin Watching on the Costa Del Sol?

Working our way east to west.

Numerous operators offer dolphin watching trips from Benalmadena. Sailing and motor boat trips are on offer, from this elegant Gaudi inspired Marina, which is also a great place to dine with numerous restaurants arranged around the marina.

Just along the coast you again have a choice of sailing or motor boat dolphin trips from Fuengirola. A much smaller and less glamorous marina, there is a little less choice. NB – You can take a low cost fun ferry service between the marinas of Fuengirola and Benalmadena.

Much smaller and more exclusive, a little like the marina, Splash Watersports offer Cabopino Dolphin Watching trips. Here, the skipper Barry will take you out on a much smaller private boat to observe the wild life off the shores of this lovely little marina.

Marbella has many boat trips on offer, and although I have witnessed large pods of dolphins just off the coast of Marbella I do not know of any specialist dolphin trips. But any boat trip from Marbella offer the chance of dolphin encounters. Similarly at the marinas of Estepona and Duquesa you can take boat trips, with every chance of observing dolphins.

Then, although strictly speaking we are leaving the Costa del Sol but you are within easy reach by car, you have dolphin watching on offer, as many of the things to do in Gibraltar. Here, with the straits being a busy route for both marine shipping and marine life, dolphin trips are a popular excursion.

And working our way a little further west, you arrive at the stunning town of Tarifa on the Costa la Luz (coats of light), with its long sandy beaches. Tarifa is a great place to go to observe marine life in the narrow straits of Gibraltar (there are only about 12 miles of water between European Spain and African Morocco). As well as dolphins the straits are a great place to witness numerous species of whales including Pilot and even Killer Whales, although the Orca’s are summer visitors, mixing their stay in the area with a spot of Tuna fishing! Killer whale watching from Tafifa is another great pleasure I have been lucky enough to experience on several occasions.

Now the small print – please remember the Mediterranean dolphins, and other marine life in the area are in fact wildlife. The pleasure of observing true ‘wild’ life in its natural habitat, also offers them the opportunity to roam in vast seas so they are not always there when you want them! But this is part of the fun, making the experiences all the more memorable when you do come across them.

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