Dolphin sightings are many people’s fondest memories when they think of Pembrokeshire. Families have been visiting for generations to catch a glimpse of them. There are plenty of places to spot them from the land and out at sea. Learn more about Pembrokeshire dolphin watching trips and where you can spot them along the Pembrokeshire Coast.
There are two types of dolphins often spotted in Pembrokeshire. The bottlenose dolphin and the harbour porpoise. You will find porpoises in small groups, and they are relatively shy. When surfacing, they may only show a dorsal fin and a blow of air. They’re pretty dark in colour with lighter sides and stomachs.
Bottlenose dolphins will be found in larger family groups as they are much more sociable. They love to play jump and show off. They have pale stomachs and are dark grey, which can make them tough to spot. After all, the sea is vast! So a great tip is to follow the fish! Often you’ll find a pod of dolphins if many seabirds fuss over a particular area.
Generally, you will need to head out 6-10 miles to the sea to see them. However, they have been spotted at Tenby if you get fortunate and the tide is in.
For a better chance of a sighting, head to the Cardigan coast. Dolphins are spotted regularly in this area and come much closer to the mainland. Porpoises and dolphins are often sighted from the coastal path between Poppit Sands and Strumble.
The walk around Dinas Head is another great option for Pembrokeshire dolphin watching. Another well-loved walk in the area is around Ramsey Island, where you can walk along the coastal path from Caerfai bay on a clear day. Head to the Ceibwr cliffs near Moylegrove in the afternoon. Many people report sightings of the pod active here at sunset.
We love to visit Cardigan Bay as the scenery is just stunning here. Towering cliffs surround the sea and there is a lot to do here. You’ll find family-owned shops and businesses, galleries, gift and antique shops, weekly markets, cafes and restaurants. We sat at the pier for hours, watching dolphins play in the distance.
Take a boat trip to witness the active dolphin pod in Pembrokeshire. They monitor the movements of the pod and the migrating groups as they channel through from North to South Pembrokeshire and vice versa.
This fantastic boat trip takes you from St David’s to Grassholm Island to see the home of the fourth largest gannet colony in the world. Then you will head offshore in search of cetaceans. This trip is an excellent option for sightings of dolphins, porpoise, Risso’s dolphin, minke, fin whale, and leatherback turtle.
Depending on season and logistics, this trip lasts for around 2.5 hours and is suitable for ages eight and upwards. Some restrictions may apply at times, and no dogs are allowed. They sail daily from late May to the end of September and then limited sailings in the winter months.
Just one and a half hours from Tenby is the fantastic New Quay. It is a beautiful place to spend a day or two exploring the bays, particularly dolphin spotting. In Cardigan Bay, it’s a daily occurrence in summer to see a dolphin. You will never get tired of it. You’ll also see seals and usually porpoises. Sometimes you can see orcas, basking sharks, and other types of whales, but you have to be very lucky!
SeaMor offers a range of different trips to suit everyone. This includes a beautiful sunset trip. In addition, they have a popular one-hour guided Dolphin Watching Boat Trip, leaving from the picturesque fishing village of New Quay. On the trips, you will learn about the local history, geology, and wildlife from their marine biologist guides and knowledgeable skippers. The skippers on board are informative and friendly.
These trips are angled towards professional observation. They follow a route and do not follow the pod. You will get a fantastic view of the dolphins if they come near the boat. They have a high chance of seeing dolphins and porpoises, so book early to avoid disappointment.
1 Hour Dolphin Watching Boat Trip
This is a shortened version of the most popular Wildlife Explorer cruise. They travel along the same route, through the local dolphin hotspots and past the massive bird colonies and sea caves. However, they don’t lift the lobster pots on this trip. Instead, they take it nice and gently to maximise the chances of seeing wildlife. So if you’re primarily interested in dolphin spotting, this is the trip to choose. It’s perfect for all ages. Educational and informative.
Sea Trust Wales is a charity devoted to studying and increasing awareness of local marine wildlife. They are based at the Ocean Lab building in Goodwick, Pembrokeshire.
You can visit their website to learn more about the team, and local wildlife, record a sighting, check out their upcoming events or book a visit to their aquarium. Their aquarium is currently open from Friday to Sunday. During the school holidays, they open six days per week.
Have you been lucky enough to spot dolphins in Pembrokeshire? If not, we hope we have inspired you to take a trip to see these wonderful animals happy and content in their natural habitat. Let us know about your own experiences in the comments.