Wales is home to the UK's biggest resident population of dolphins and with so many coastal towns and villages there are plenty of sightseeing locations ideal for catching a glimpse. 

It's not only dolphins that frequent Welsh waters either with Porpoises, Orcas and even Humpback Whales spotted from time to time.

But being in the right place at the right time to make sure you see one of these beautiful creatures can be tricky. 

Visit Wales has you covered. They have come up with a list of the best places to see dolphins, porpoises and the slightly rarer whales and orcas.

Best places to see dolphins in Wales

Britain’s biggest resident population of dolphins lives in Cardigan Bay, according to Visit Wales. 

You can spot bottlenose dolphins all year round of the Welsh coastline, but in the summer months, you are almost a "near-certainty" to spot one.

The Visit Wales website says: "You can see our bottlenose dolphins all year round, but depending on where and when you go, you can raise your chances of spotting them to a near-certainty.

"Summer months are best, with New Quay being the hottest spot. 

"Boat trips can take you to Aberporth, Mwnt, Cardigan Island and Cemaes Head and you've a good chance of seeing dolphins."

While there are a number of paid tours you can take that can give you a closer look at the sea creatures, these are the best spots for sightseeing on dry land, that won't cost you a penny.

Western Telegraph: Find out where the best locations are to spot dolphins in Wales.Find out where the best locations are to spot dolphins in Wales. (Image: Getty Images)


Cemaes Head

Visit Wales said: "Its sloping cliff-top nature reserve offers great views across the bay to Cardigan Island (another nature reserve) and the seas in between, which are frequented by seals and cetaceans."

Dinas Head

This is the highest point along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, which means plenty of sea to scan for dorsal fins and blowholes.

Visit Wales adds: "There’s a lovely circular walk around the headland between Cwm-yr-Eglwys and Pwllgwaelod (where there’s a good shabby-chic pub-restaurant), which cuts back through woods to your starting point."

Strumble Head

Strumble Head is one of Britain’s very best sea-watching spots.

Visit Wales said: "The Cardigan Bay dolphins rarely come this far south, but it’s a great spot for porpoises, and mothers with calves are seen all year round.

"You may also see Risso’s and common dolphins, and if you’re lucky, basking sharks, orca and sunfish. Fin, humpback and minke whale have all been recorded, too."

Western Telegraph: Strumble Head is one of Britain's best sea-watching spots.Strumble Head is one of Britain's best sea-watching spots. (Image: Getty Images)



According to Visit Wales, early summer is the best time to spot dolphins in Aberystwyth, "as they head south to their New Quay summer residence".


Visit Wales said: "There are wildlife boat trips from Aberaeron’s pretty harbour, or you could just buy a honey ice cream, sit on the harbour wall and take your chances."

New Quay

Visit Wales describes New Quay as "dolphin central", where you’re "almost guaranteed to spot a dolphin from the harbour wall" during the summer.

They added: "To increase your chances even further, take one of the daily charter boats out into Cardigan Bay."

For those interested in learning more about dolphins, porpoises, whales and other marine wildlife you can stop in at the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre - which is also free.

Ynys Lochtyn

Walk to the end of the splendid Ynys Lochtyn promontory for a "good chance" of seeing dolphins and porpoises (and peregrines).


The section of coast path heading north from Aberporth is wheelchair-friendly, so it’s a good all-access dolphin-spotting vantage point. 


Mwnt, Visit Wales says is a "delightful hidden cove" with a "postcard-perfect beach".

If you head up the hillock that rises above it you have a brilliant place for families to sit and watch the dolphins, seals and porpoises swim by.

Cardigan Island

Cardigan Island is owned by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and is just 200 metres from the coast at Gwbert.

Visit Wales said: "It (Cardigan Island) is a favourite spot for dolphins as well as nesting sea birds in the spring, early summer and seals all year round."

Access to the island is limited. But the Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park overlooks the island and you can see dolphins and seals from the headland.

Western Telegraph: Humpback whales, orcas and basking sharks can all be spotted off the Wales coast (if you're lucky).Humpback whales, orcas and basking sharks can all be spotted off the Wales coast (if you're lucky). (Image: Getty Images)

Best places to see porpoises, whales and orcas in Wales

While dolphins frequent Welsh waters, there is other sea wildlife you might be able to spot if you are lucky. 


Their dolphin's smaller cousins, harbour porpoises, can be seen around most of the Welsh coast, as well as the dolphin hotspots listed above.

Visit Wales adds: "You can often see porpoises off the coast of Gower, the Pembrokeshire islands, and in the seas off Anglesey and the Llŷn Peninsula."

If you're lucky you might be able to catch a glimpse of orcas, basking sharks and/or humpback and minke whales.