With almost 2000 km of coastline, County Cork is a great place to spend a little time out at sea. For something a little different, try whale and dolphin watching. If you’re feeling adventurous, shark fishing tours are also offered.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
When thinking of the Irish coast, whales and dolphins generally don’t come to mind. However, Ireland’s seas are rich with maritime wildlife just waiting to be discovered. In recent years, whale and dolphin watching has exploded in popularity and with ever more companies offering tours, this trend looks set to continue. Baltimore has become the whale watching mecca of West Cork, and one can simply observe marine wildlife from the pier. However, boat trips allow you to get much closer to these majestic creatures for a true magical experience.
The season starts in Spring, when Minke whales and dolphins begin to show their faces. The late summer months see the number of sightings reaching a climax and if you’re lucky you might witness a giant fin whale make an appearance or an airborne humpback whale.
Other wildlife include seals, leatherback turtles, basking sharks and blue sharks. “Baltimore Sea Safari” and “Whale Watch West Cork” both offer excellent whale watching tours from Baltimore.
Baltimore is not only the best place from where to see whales, it also offers the best deep sea angling and shark fishing waters in Ireland. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, many exotic species enjoy these waters. For a different, but fantastic day out, shark fishing offers a rewarding challenge. There are several companies offering guides and these differ as to the time spent on the water, with some offering as long as eight hours fishing. All shark fishing is done on a catch and release basis, encouraging responsible fishing practices. Most tours run year round, depending on the weather, and can accommodate up to twelve people.