la gomera, dolphin

La Gomera: The Canary Island Hotspot for Dolphin and Whale Watching

25.07.17 | Nathan Collins

There are few sights in the world as impressive and joyful as a school of dolphins playing for an eager audience or a pod of whales breaching the water’s surface. While the rest of Europe only offers such opportunities in the summer, you can have the chance to go dolphin and whale watching in La Gomera throughout the year.

The second smallest Canary Island is one of the world’s hotspots for whale and dolphin watching with sightings of 30 different species. As there are only 87 species worldwide, you can see almost one-third of the existing species in one area!

Set sail on the open seas to spot dolphins jumping through the waves, whales blowing their spouts and both enjoying their freedom. Clear waters, warm temperatures and an abundance of food have made La Gomera the place these amazing animals call home.

What will you see?

Six species of dolphins are residents of La Gomera, and the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin can be spotted the most frequently. These dolphins are approximately 3–4 metres long and have a deep grey or greyish blue colouring on the upper sides of their body and a lighter-toned belly. Eager to please, these intelligent mammals will swim alongside boats for hours at a time.

As well as dolphins, pilot and beaked whales can often be spotted near the coast. Even sperm, finback, minke and sei whales can be seen at times. One exceptional highlight is the large group of long-finned pilot whales living in the waters between Tenerife and La Gomera. This shy herd is estimated to consist of around 300 whales. The 6–7 metre long dwellers of the sea can be identified by their round dorsal fin, and of course, their spout, which erupts like a high-pressure fountain of water.

How can you see them?

La Gomera has several companies that provide whale and dolphin watching tours. Most of the excursions start out from the port of Vueltas (Valle Gran Rey), but there are also possibilities to depart from Playa Santiago and San Sebastián de La Gomera.

Usually, ships don’t need to travel far from the coast for a successful sighting, making this activity perfect for a family day out. To fully enjoy this unique experience, you should always wear comfortable clothing, a swimsuit, sunglasses and sunscreen. And don’t forget to bring your binoculars and camera!

But that’s not all…

Dolphin and whale watching is a “must-do” experience that will become one of your best holiday memories, but that’s just the start. Average annual temperatures range between 22 and 27 degrees in La Gomera, so you can enjoy the water all year-round. What’s more, the island provides an abundance of opportunities to enjoy its coastline and the Atlantic Ocean in all its glory.