Seawatching in the south of Europe

The strait of Gibraltar, where the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea meet, is an excellent spot for seawatching. Every year thousands of seabirds enter and exit the Mediterranean Sea across the Strait. Species include the Northern Gannet; Pomarine, Arctic and Great Skua; Razorbill; Puffin; Little, Sandwich, Common, Black and Whiskered Tern, etc. However, it is the shearwaters that provide the greatest spectacle: over 100,000 Cory’s Shearwaters have been counted within a season and the monitoring in the Strait of the critically endangered Balearic Shearwater has allowed us to determine that the species population size is notably bigger (over 20,000 individuals) than was previously thought.

The “Isla de las Palomas”, an isthmus in Tarifa that juts out into the Strait, is the southernmost tip of the European continent and a unique seawatching site. Although this is a highly restricted area, access is now possible for accredited companies.

Moreover, the Strait is a world-class destination for whale watching thanks to the seven species that are regularly found here: Pilot Whales and the Bottlenose, Common and Striped Dolphins are resident. Sperm Whales visit the Strait looking for squids during the late spring and summer. Fin Whales cross the Strait on migration and five different family groups of orcas inhabit the area and prey on red tuna. A whale-watching trip off Tarifa is an experience we highly recommend to all nature enthusiasts and a service we facilitate (including discounts) thanks to our close collaboration with local, specialist companies.