Madeira boasts a stunning array of over 26 cetacean species, solidifying its position as a premier global destination for observing these magnificent animals. Among the resident species available for encounters year-round are Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). Seasonally, varying species make appearances depending on factors like the season and sea temperature.

whales madeira


Throughout the summer months, typically from April to October, visitors can expect frequent sightings of Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis), Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera edeni), Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalb), Sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis), Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris), Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus), and Rough Toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis). Winter brings opportunities to witness resident species along with the arrival of Short-beaked Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) from December to April.

dolphins whales madeira
Situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Archipelago of Madeira serves as a location to observe migrating cetaceans like humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), and Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus).

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While rarer in sightings, orcas (Orcinus orca), false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens), Fraser’s dolphins (Lagenodelphis hosei), and other species have also been spotted in Madeira’s waters, adding an element of excitement to the experience.