Best time to visit Canary Islands

Whale and Dolphin Watching in Canary Islands

Get closer to the beautiful creatures of the ocean depths. The Canary Islands is the place to go if you want to meet whales and dolphins

Best time: December–May

Whale and Dolphin Watching
Whale and Dolphin Watching
Whale and Dolphin Watching

One of the most exciting experiences offered in the Canary Islands is whale and dolphins watching expedition—a trip which will certainly stay in your memory for a long time. The mild climate and beautiful crystal clear blue waters are the perfect habitats​ for lots of different dolphin and whale species.

You can meet resident species such as bottlenose dolphins, pilot whales, and sperm whales together with up to 24 other species which migrate through Canarian waters at different times of the year.

The calm ocean near the coast of La Gomera is a good spot to go. A colony of short-finned pilot whales lives there all year round. On Tenerife, dolphin and whale watching trips can be started from Los Gigantes, Los Cristianos, and Puerto Colon. The south-west coast of Tenerife is considered to be the best spot for this activity, where colonies of pilot whales and dolphins can be found.

Spotted dolphins and common dolphins are best observed during winter. Finally, it is also possible to see extremely rare blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) also during the winter period.

Practical info

When is the best time of year to go whale and dolphin watching in the Canary Islands?

The period between December and May is recommended for whale and dolphin watching as the waters are calm and the visibility is excellent. During this period, several species of dolphins and whales visit the Canarian waters. The blue whale and other species can be sighted during winter. A perfect time for tourists to observe these beautiful creatures in a memorable way. Show more

Where are the best spots to go whale and dolphin watching in Tenerife?

Tenerife provides several options for whale and dolphin watching. The southwest coast, including Los Gigantes, Los Cristianos, and Puerto Colon are the best spots since colonies of pilot whales and dolphins can be found here. The coast of La Gomera is also a recommendable location. This is where short-finned pilot whales live throughout the year, and tourists have the chance to encounter them during excursions. Show more

How many different species of dolphins and whales can be seen in the Canary Islands?

There are up to 24 species of dolphins and whales that can be seen in the Canarian waters throughout the year. Residents include bottlenose dolphins, pilot whales, and sperm whales. In contrast, migratory species such as spotted dolphins and common dolphins can be sighted. Additionally, the rare blue whale, the largest animal on earth, can be found in the Canarian waters during winter, creating a uniquely unforgettable experience for nature lovers. Show more

What is the probability of seeing rare blue whales during a whale watching trip in the Canary Islands?

Sighting rare blue whales is relatively low for those planning a whale watching excursion in the Canarian waters. But during winter, the probability of encountering blue whales, when the waters are colder, is higher. As a result, every sighting of these beautiful marine species is considered unique since they are not typically found around the area, and tourists should feel lucky if they get to see one. Show more

Can you swim with the dolphins and whales during a whale and dolphin watching excursion in the Canary Islands?

To protect these wild animals and preserve their natural habitat, swimming with dolphins and whales isn't allowed during whale watching. However, tourists can observe and photograph these magnificent creatures from a respectful position on board specially designed vessels. This ensures their safety and comfort — simultaneously, allowing visitors to appreciate the animals' beauty while providing them with an unforgettable and mindful experience. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin