Tips and Guide for Dolphin Watching Algarve from Albufeira and Lagos
Tips and Guide for Dolphin Watching Algarve from Albufeira and Lagos

Tips and Guide for Dolphin Watching Algarve from Albufeira and Lagos


When Is the Best Time

The Algarve is a year-round destination with pleasant temperatures during the winter and hot temps in summer. However, due to the sea breeze, it's mostly bearable. Dolphin tours are offered from March until late November.

Common dolphin
Common dolphins are widespread around the world.

The best time to spot schools of dolphins is from June to September. In spring and at the end of the summer from September onwards it's cold out on the sea in the morning; bring a warm jacket. Usually, the sea is calmer in the morning, and spotting dolphins is easier.

School of common dolphins.
The dolphins are curious and join the boats frequently.

The boat ride itself makes more fun with waves. These dolphin tours are perfect for the entire family. The kids will love the jumping dolphins and the boat ride as well. Our nephew mentioned: "Even if we don't spot any dolphins, this boat ride is amazing". Most tour operators combine dolphin watching with a tour along the coast to different beaches, caves, and the famous Gruta de Benagil. 

Top Tours to Watch Dolphins and Caves

A boy sitting on the outer rip during the boat tour.
Our nephew enjoyed the tour.

These are my recommended tours via GetYourGuide. Thx for booking via my website! With your support, I am able to provide all information first-hand. Tour prices are at no extra cost!



Crowds at the Algarve

The famous Praia da Marinha
The famous Praia da Marinha at low tide.

The Algarve is a popular destination for the Portuguese. They spend their summer holidays here between late June and the beginning of September. It's pretty busy, and accommodation prices are at the top level. It's almost the same at Easter and Christmas. 

Weather Algarve

Kayaks along the rocky coast
Kayaking from Lagos is also a must-do.

The summer from June to mid-September is quite hot, with temperatures in the high 20s°C in the shade, usually topping 30°C while nights are pleasant below 20°C due to the sea breeze. Spring and autumn are pleasantly warm, ranging from 18-24°C in the shade, and nights range from 15-10°C, still comfortable for camping. The winter is mild, with roughly 16°C during the day and dropping to 9°C at night. Most precipitation occurs during winter, but it usually doesn't rain for days. The driest months are from May to September. The Algarve is an outstanding destination throughout the year through July and August, beaches are packed with Portuguese.

Accommodation Tip Albufeira

A rental house with a huge garden close to Albufeira

There are plenty of hotels, guest houses, and rental homes at the Algarve. We chose a rental house close to Albufeira. I recommend accommodations between Portimao and Albufeira. I suppose you like to explore some of the most outstanding places and you don't like to drive that far. I am not an early riser, but whale or dolphin watching trips are usually best in the morning. Therefore I prefer to stay closer to those activities. I added a link for rental houses around Albufeira via

Best Months to Visit


Related Topics

Location and Tips

Algarve, Albufeira

Different species of dolphins can be spotted like the common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, striped dolphin, Risso's dolphin and the little and shy porpoise. Rare sights are the shy minke whales, orcas, different turtles. You never know what to spot.

Common dolphin at the Algarve
Common dolphin next to our boat.

That is unpredictable but one thing is for sure, yet you get addicted to such tours. Spotting the cetaceans in their natural environment is always an experience. In July and August, you have the highest chance to spot orcas that migrate to the Strait of Gibraltar for hunting tuna. 

Bottlenose Dolphins at the Algarve
A school of bottlenose dolphins.

We went out by speedboat and followed a school of dolphins. It is respectful dolphin watching. They let them interact always giving them space. The reason that the dolphins come up close frequently. 

Grutas de Benagil during the dolphin and cave tour
The incredible Benagil Cave.

Afterwards, you ride along the rugged coastline to beautiful caves like Benagil, different beaches, and rock formations. It was an outstanding morning, and the kids had lots of fun.

Facts About the Dolphins at the Algarve

The best locations to go on a dolphin-watching tour are Albufeira, Lagos, and Sagres.

  • Bottlenose Dolphins

    Bottlenose Dolphin
    They behave like pilot whales one eye and half of the brain is resting while the other part is active to continue breathing. They are much bigger than other dolphins with 2-4 meters in length. Their lifespan is around 50 years when not in captivity in a dolphinarium or aquarium. They can dive several hundred meters deep but prefer to spend most of the time at less than 2 meters. They have an excellent sense of hearing and eyes underwater and above. Dolphins are very social swimming in huge schools.
  • Striped Dolphins

    Striped Dolphins

    They are easily recognized by their light blue colour. They are very social living in huge pods up to 100 and even more is possible. They can grow to a length of about 1.8-2.5 meters and weigh a maximum of about 170 kg. In contrast to the bottlenose dolphin, they refuse to be trained in captivity. This species is considered to be highly stable. When searching for food, they dive up to many hundred meters deep.
  • Common Dolphins

    School of common dolphins.

    They are almost the same size as the striped dolphins but weigh less. They are easy to identify by their pale- yellowish patch on their sides. They live up to 40 years in large schools sometimes up to several thousand members. They are energetic acrobats with spectacular jumping skills and one of the fastest cetaceans. They can dive up to 200 meters for a maximum of 8 minutes but mostly much shorter. Unfortunately, the population in the Mediterranean Sea has been decreasing rapidly. There are several reasons all humanmade; over-fishing, they get caught in trawler's nets and pollution.
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