Only Place in Europe to Swim with Dolphins? Portugal!

February 05, 2013

swimming with dolphins and a close encounter

Can you swim with dolphins in Europe? Portugal is the best and only place in Europe where you can swim with dolphins and my daughter Mozart was eight years old when she first swam with them. We also later  swam with dolphins in Florida and in the wild when we sailed the Napali Coast in Hawaii.

This is a great way to do worldschooling via travel as a science project as they do a 60 minute educational program first and then 30 minute swim with top notch marine biologists.

zoomarine park algarve portugal dolphin swimming

The only place you can swim with dolphins in Europe proper is in Portugal at the Zoomarine aquatic park in the Algarve near Albufeira.

Ever since we observed a similar program at Sea World in San Diego, when she was a baby, we have wanted Mozart to have this experience because it's such a optimal one for an animal loving, eco-educated kids.

Zoomarine aquatic theme park Portugal dolphin swimming Europe

We made a special trip to Portugal in our RV just to do this and I wrote about that European road trip, but I've never gotten around to getting  the photos up and telling the full story. Blogging while traveling always adds challenge and I have only about one percent of our stories up about our 7 years of non-stop RTW travel.

We camped in a luxury campground nearby ( at super low off-season prices) and each of us enjoyed the whole day as there is much to do at this educational and fun theme park.

Of course, the most exciting part was the swim with dolphins and we lucked out with Mozart being the only one wanting to do it that day, since we were there in the off season.

little girl big dophin connect

One forgets just how huge these animals are, but our little princess was a lot braver than I would be. It looked like so much fun, but I was actually quite frightened when I did it in Florida, even as much as I love dolphins, as they are so huge in person.

cute little girl swimming with dolphin

I felt quite vulnerable with them in the water, but Mozart was fearless.

8 year old girl riding dolphin

Since she was so tiny they had her ride on their belly and she loved that.

young girl riding two dolphins

She did so well, they decided to let her grab the tails of two big ones and ride that way. That was thrilling, but lots of water splash in your face for one so tiny.

little girl almost kissing dolphin

She liked the close up opportunities and was amazed at how soft their skin was.

swimming with dolphins

Dolphins are such magical, mystical and magnificent animals that we adore, so it was fantastic to learn more about them as well as all sea creatures and how to take better care of our planet and them. This kind of first hand close encounter leaves an impression that lasts a lifetime.

happy family at dolphin show

We also really enjoyed the dolphin show and 3-D educational and entertaining movie as you can see in this rather odd angled shot. Someone who has this kind of special, well done, educational experience will cherish dolphins forever!

« previous | | next »


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Only Place in Europe to Swim with Dolphins? Portugal!:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Joe Hupp

You have that last part right... it is just something that everyone must do at least once in their lifetime.

Alexa Rabagao

Really nice article, and beautiful photos, i love it. <3 :)


hi i would like to swim with the dolpines


Hi, i have a friend that it is geting blind and her dream is swimming with dolphing, do you know if the adult can swim there too?
Thank you.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Yes, Benita, they also take adults. Perhaps email them or call to find out about your friend.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner