Co. Cork Tourism: Whale Watching

When you think of going whale watching you may think of far off countries such as Canada or Australia, however you may be surprised to learn that there is a great deal to see a lot closer to home. Most people are unaware that over a third of known whale, dolphin and porpoise species have been spotted off the coast of Ireland. Meaning that at certain times of the year the Emerald Isle is a fantastic place to see some of the oceans more elusive mammals. West Cork is one of the best places to spot these creatures and also offers a fantastic range of accommodation and dining options to make your stay easy and stress free. Easily accessible by road West Cork makes a great stop off as part of a driving holiday in Ireland or is a good place to base yourself if you are looking for a longer stay. Overseas guests may wish to rent a car from the airport in order to reach West Cork easily and quickly.

If you do wish to see the whales and dolphins during your trip you need to consider the time of year in which you are travelling. May is the best month to see Minke Whales who are the first to arrive in the Irish Waters. Following them are the Fin Whales who can be viewed from June. Both types of whale typically remain through July and August and into the winter months. The larger Humpback Whales first make an appearance during the month of August but can arrive a little later and tend to be a little less predictable with their timings. The stunning coastline of West Cork makes it the perfect place to view the whales as well as a great place to indulge your passion for the outdoors. There are a number of good coastal walks, which offer fantastic panoramic views out to sea. Whales and dolphins can also be seen in at other points along the Irish coast, however with over half of the sightings taking place in West Cork, this is truly a great place to go if you want to see these great creatures in their natural habitat.

There are a number of tour boats, which offer trips out to view the whales, and if you are lucky you may also catch a glimpse of a seal or a dolphin whilst out on your trip. There are also a great variety of bird species, which make this area their home, which also makes West Cork a great place for bird spotting. For those visitors who would prefer to stay on solid ground rather than go out to sea, there is also a lot to see and do in the towns and villages which populate the area. It is easy to take in the local sights and sounds whilst exploring the area in your rental car, as the road networks are easy to navigate. Stop for a while and enjoy the local shops and galleries before indulging in some tasty local cuisine to end the day.