Saturday, June 1, 2013

Enjoy A Dolphin Watching Cruise on the Algarve

Dolphins are a source of fascination to most of us.  They have an almost dog-like attitude towards humans, as they actually seem to enjoy our company.

They have not been easily accessible to holidaymakers in the Northern hemisphere as they traditionally prefer warmer water, but in the last few years as the seas around Northern Europe have marginally warmed, they are now being spotted closer to home.

The southern coast of Portugal is the perfect location for a spot of dolphin watching.  The cooler waters of the Atlantic meet the calm, warmer water of the Mediterranean, and here the sea is teeming with beautiful varieties of fish, and inquisitive dolphins.

The Algarve has developed as one of the major dolphin watching areas in the world, and the tour companies operate responsibly to ensure that the species is protected.

When looking for a dolphin cruise, bear in mind that you could be out all day and not see one, as they are not in a dolphinarium – you are seeing them in their natural habitat.  Some cruise companies offer a free return trip the next day if the dolphins fail to appear, and this is a good option, though it usually means paying a small premium.

Most of the boats are fast rescue type boats (RIBs) so you are quickly out to the dolphin grounds, and trips will usually last about one and a half hours. These boats offer a smooth ride despite their speed, so sea sickness is rare.

Larger boats will often offer longer cruises and take in other attractions such as caves and grottoes.

The best cruises operate from the marinas in Lagos, Portimão and Albufeira.

Solmar Villas offer a good selection of cheap Algarve villas for anyone planning a holiday in this part of Portugal.

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