By Andrea Romano
July 08, 2019
Whales in Scotland
Credit: Getty Images

Wouldn’t you like to go sailing on the water, watching majestic creatures swim and jump amongst the waves, all while gazing at the stunning views of western Scotland? It sounds like a whale of a time.

Whales in Scotland
Credit: Chris Gomersall/Nature Picture L/Getty Images

Now, it’s even easier to know where to spot whales while visiting Scotland. According to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, the organization has released a specially mapped-out Hebridean Whale Trail, which connects 33 of the top places to see whales while visiting the country, according to a statement.

Many places along the Scottish west coast are known for being incredible spots for finding whales and dolphins. Whale-watching is one of this region’s top tourist activities, and people can often catch glimpses of humpbacks or even pods of orcas depending on where they go.

The Hebridean Whale Trail offers land-based sightings of not only whales but also dolphins, porpoises, and other species including sharks and seals.

Whales in Scotland
Credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

“Scotland’s west coast is one of Europe’s best places to catch sight of whales, dolphins, and porpoises from land – and you may see bottlenose and common dolphins, harbor porpoise, minke whales and killer whales,” said Karl Stevens, Hebridean Whale Trail manager, in a statement. “We want people from all walks of life to visit the Hebridean Whale Trail to enjoy exploring the region’s unique nature, culture, and history, and to be inspired to support marine conservation.”

The trust has spent over a year planning the trail to create the most accessible route for whale watchers to follow. But, it doesn’t just stop at popular tourist sights. The trail also takes adventurous whale watchers to more wild locations like the Oa on Islay.

In addition, whale watchers can bask on some of the best beaches in the country, visit historic lighthouses, take part in conservation efforts in the area, sample fresh, local cuisine, and learn about local history while they look for these beautiful cetaceans.

“The trail encourages accessible, low-impact whale-watching from land, which for many is a completely new way of thinking about viewing marine wildlife,” said Alison Lomax, director of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, in a statement. “Ultimately we want people to experience the thrill of watching a fin breaking the surface in the distance, and the challenge of identifying which type of whale they’ve seen, sharing that experience with others, and learning about the threats these animals face in our seas.”

Visitors can effectively plan their trip by visiting the official Hebridean Whale Trail website, where they will find maps, suggestions for transportation, details about each site, and more helpful tools.