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Whale and Dolphin Watching Holidays

Sitting in a boat within a belly flop of a forty-tonne animal is what whale-watching is all about. If you’re lucky, you may see one breach the water, flip its tail-fluke over in a sweeping arc, and slap it back down with a crashing thump. It’s a mesmerising sight, and one that has become one of the must-do nature watching experiences. 

However, the enormous popularity in whale- and dolphin-watching has led to concerns over the welfare of these magnificent creatures, not least because nearly a quarter of all whale and dolphin species are in the ‘threatened’ species category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

For more information about the ethics of whale- and dolphin-spotting, see Richard Hammond's article: Responsible Whale-watching Holidays.

Below is a selection of where to go on an organised whale-watching holiday or dolphin-watching encounter in Europe. All these holidays are managed responsibly and are reachable by train and/or ferry from the UK.

Moody Lofoten Islands

Lofoten Islands - Midnight Sun and Rorbu Holiday

The Lofoten Islands have long inspired travellers to their rocky shores. Picturesque fishing villages, pristine beaches and access to seas and mountains make the Lofoten Islands a much loved destination. This is a tailor made active trip.
From £595 for 4 days excluding flights. Price depends on...

Featured Wildlife-watching Holidays

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Whale harbour

Northern Lights and Whale Watching Holiday on Senja Island

Fringed between towering mountains and overlooking the sea, the quaint fishing village of Mefjordvaer witnesses some of the most spectacular shows the Arctic offers during winter months, whether its magnificent whales or the magical Northern Lights.

From £740 per person excluding flights (based on two travelling)

4 days
This trip can be tailored to suit your preferred departure dates.
Suffolk beach (image credit T Pick)

Wildlife Research and Conservation: Red Deer Rut

Wildlife conservation and research holiday in Suffolk. Red deer rut and small mammal survey at Minsmere and Dunwich nature reserves with RSPB and the National Trust. Comfortable individual accommodation with fine food and great company.

£795 all inclusive holiday - no extra for solo travellers

7 days
Sunday 9th October 2016
Experience the red deer rut in the Pyrenees from up close

Wildlife discovery holiday in the French Pyrenees

Discover the exceptional wildlife of the mountains of the French Pyrenees. Explore the territory of the brown bear, the chamois and the ibex, experience the red deer rut up close and personal and observe the bearded vulture and other raptors overhead

€580 pp based on 2 people sharing and a min 4 people

4 nights, 3 days
Various Sunday departures in October
Breathe in the stunning views off the coast of Scotland

The Great Family Adventure Holiday - Treasure Highlands

A week of adventure visiting ancient castle ruins, seeking out the Loch Ness Monster and going on Treasure Hunts -combining lots of activities including: biking, sea kayaking and bush crafting as you explore the Scottish Highlands and West Coast.

£1045 pp

7 days, 6 nights
Various summer departure
Durlston Country Park, Dorset

Clifftop Conservation at Durlston Castle

A spectacular clifftop location at Durlston Castle and comfortable barn convertion accommodation are the setting for this holiday surveying small mammals and restoring traditional landscape features in one of Dorset's great country parks.

£695 all inclusive - no single supplement

Seven days
Saturday 17th September 2016
Orfordness Lighthouse

Suffolk Coastal Wildlife Conservation and Research

Wildlife survey and conservation on RSPB and National Trust nature reserves at Suffolk Coast Havergate island and Orford Ness. A great way to spend some time by the sea. Comfortable individual accommodation with fine food and great company!

£850 all inclusive - no single supplement

7 days
Saturday 24th September 2016
Whistle along in County Clare

Whistling Along

A 5 day/night, action packed holiday for families who wish to learn new skills. Try out a selection of activities and explore the beautiful North Clare countryside and coastline. Includes a guided walk and a caving trip + optional surfing, kayaking.

From €495 - Kids go free

17th - 22nd August 2014
17th August
Bengal tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park

On the Tiger Trail: India's National Parks

Track India's most iconic animal across its famous national parks - Ranthambore, Bandhavgarh & Kanha - on this unforgettable trip. Traverse dense forests, rocky peaks and open grasslands, taking in a magnificent wealth of flora and fauna on the way.

Prices available on request

12 days
Various departures through the year
Elk/Moose

Tistel Wildlife Guiding, Camping Safari in Hedmark, Norway

This week long camping trip tours Fulufjellet National Park, home to Elk (Moose), Bears, Wolves, Lynx and Wolverines, and various birds and reptiles. Your guide, Dane, was trained in South Africa with a style different from most European guides

£620

7 days
This holiday departs every Monday throughout May to September
Moody Lofoten Islands

Lofoten Islands - Midnight Sun and Rorbu Holiday

The Lofoten Islands have long inspired travellers to their rocky shores. Picturesque fishing villages, pristine beaches and access to seas and mountains make the Lofoten Islands a much loved destination. This is a tailor made active trip.

From £595 for 4 days excluding flights. Price depends on group size and activities.

4 days
This is a tailormade holiday and departures are available to the Lofoten Islands year round.

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