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Dolphin & Whale Watching in Wales

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

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Last updated: by Olha Savych
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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).

Dolphin & Whale Watching in Wales in Wales - Best Season 2020

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.

Rissos Dolphins off the coast near Strumble Hd in Pembrokeshire 2020
Rissos Dolphins off the coast near Strumble Hd in Pembrokeshire

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.

Minke whale 2020
Minke whale

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!

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