How to Swim With Dolphins in Europe

Updated November 21, 2016

Although Europe isn't the first place you think of when you want to swim with dolphins, there are numerous locations throughout the continent where this activity is possible and enjoyable. The beautiful creatures of the sea have been admired by people for ages. People dream of swimming with, or riding on, dolphins. Swimming with the dolphins is possible in Portugal, Turkey, Scotland, Greece and dozens of other locations.

Choose a location. If you want to swim with the dolphins while you're in Europe, make sure they're accessible. For instance, you'll have a hard time swimming with the dolphins in landlocked countries such as Germany and Switzerland. However, Scotland, Portugal (the Azores Islands), La Gomera (the Canary Islands) and Italy all have locations where swimming with the dolphins can become a reality. Please keep in mind, though, that swimming with the dolphins in Spain is illegal, although you can still watch them from a carefully regulated distance.

Decide when is the best time to go. Dolphins are most frequently seen around Europe in spring and summer, although you have the option all year round. Most European countries provide opportunities to swim with, see and boat alongside the dolphins year-round, while the most common months are June through September. You can see several species of dolphins including bottlenose dolphins, spotted and striped dolphins, Risso's, the common dolphin and the white-beaked dolphins.

Determine your price range. Swimming with dolphins is an expensive pastime, so it's something you need to take into consideration. If you're on a budget, it's important to include monetary restrictions when deciding on your trip because you don't want to break the budget. Typically, swimming with dolphins can cost anywhere from 23 euros to 200 euros, depending on what the trip entails and whether you're visiting wild dolphins, in the ocean or Mediterranean Sea, or swimming with captive dolphins, at Zoomarine in Italy or Portugal,

Locate the company you want to go through. Whatever you do, don't go swimming for dolphins on your own. Yes, they're beautiful and friendly and might be just off the coast, but they are also wild animals that can react violently if they feel threatened. You'll want to go through a company so you can be certain that you are doing everything properly, that you'll get your money back if something happens, and that you're not breaking any laws, local or otherwise. Choose a company that is in the area you'll be visiting.

Get swimming. You don't want to miss an opportunity like this! If you want a picture to commemorate the occasion, consider buying a waterproof camera before you go.

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