Best time to travel to Wales

Dolphin & Whale Watching in Wales

Pembrokeshire, or the Celtic Deep, is the favourite feeding ground for sea mammals in Wales

Best time: May–February

Dolphin & Whale Watching in Wales
Dolphin & Whale Watching in Wales
Dolphin & Whale Watching in Wales
Dolphin & Whale Watching in Wales

Southwestern province of Pembrokeshire is rich with marine life in its coastal waters—the perfect feeding and breeding grounds for many species. It boasts regular sightings of common, bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins as well as minke, and fin whales, and sharks. The sightings of Sei and Orca are very rare indeed. The Risso's dolphins are commonly seen from August through to February and are considered winter dolphins. Whales are occasionally spotted from May through September, with June being the most popular month. Pembrokeshire ecosystem was declared the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Strumble Head on the north coast is a hot spot for cetaceans and has regular sightings there of Commons, Bottlenose, Sunfish etc in the summer, and Rissos in September onward.

Over 100 resident bottlenose dolphins live permanently in Cardigan Bay, near the North Pembrokeshire coast. Porpoises are seen off the coast—the wide range stretches from Poppit going West to Ramsey Sound near St Davids, with Strumble Hd and the West side of Fishguard Bay in between being hot spots where they can be seen feeding daily. Dolphins are frequently seen between Poppit and Fishguard or in Fishguard Harbour and Newport Bay. In the summer months, hundreds of migrating dolphins join the resident population here. Many operators offer whale and dolphin watching tours in Cardigan Bay. Most tours depart from St. Davids and some from Neyland. While dolphin sighting is guaranteed, spotting a minke whale, sei whale, fin whale, orca, or a basking shark is a matter of luck.

Dolphin Survey Boat Trips offer cruises from New Quay. A 2-hour trip is accompanied by researchers from the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre as they conduct research on dolphins and record their conversations. Sometimes pods of 500 dolphins can be seen!

Practical info

When can Risso's dolphins be spotted in Pembrokeshire, Wales?

From August through February, winter months in Pembrokeshire are when Risso's dolphins are most frequently seen. Although sightings depend on variables like weather and water temperature, dolphins may still be observed outside this period. These animals are commonly spotted in Pembrokeshire, making it a great place to watch them in the colder months. Show more

What dolphins are seen in Strumble Head, and where is it located?

Strumble Head, situated on the north coast of Pembrokeshire, is recognized for sightseeing cetaceans such as Commons, Bottlenose, Sunfish, and Risso's dolphins in the summer. Risso's dolphins are also frequently observed in September and after. Strumble Head is a great location to discover dolphins in the summer and autumn months. Show more

How many bottlenose dolphins live year-round in Cardigan Bay, Wales?

Over 100 bottlenose dolphins live year-round in Cardigan Bay near the North Pembrokeshire coast. The area is also recognized for sea porpoises. The range stretches from Poppit to Ramsey Sound near St Davids, with Strumble Hd and the West side of Fishguard Bay in between. These locations are hot spots where dolphins can be observed feeding every day. During the summer months, hundreds of migrating dolphins join the resident population in the bay. Show more

What other types of marine animals besides dolphins are common in Pembrokeshire ecosystems?

Pembrokeshire is abundant in marine animals besides dolphins, making it a diverse ecosystem. Fin whales, minke whales, and sharks can occasionally be seen between May-September, with June being the most common month. Sei whales and Orcas sightings are very rare, although the area was declared a Site for Specific Scientific Interest to protect the ecosystems that thrive there. A broad range of fish species can be observed here, making it ideal for wildlife exploration. Show more

What is special about Dolphin Survey Boat Trips in New Quay, Wales?

Guests on Dolphin Survey Boat Trips in New Quay will enjoy a unique opportunity to take a 2-hour trip with experts from the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, who record dolphin communication and behaviors during research. It is thus an informative and fascinating experience. These trips occasionally see pods of up to 500 dolphins, making it one of the greatest places to watch these magnificent creatures in their natural environment. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Dolphin & Whale Watching in Wales (Map)

Last updated: by Olha Savych