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  • The best whale watching destinations in the world

    Monterey

    Monterey

    The giants of the deep, the largest mammals on the planet, are not quite as easy to spot as one might think, considering their size. Although whales live in many parts of the world ocean, but their populations are constantly dropping due to whaling and pollution, so seeing a whale in its natural habitat is a very special experience.

    Whale watching is among the most popular wildlife watching activities in the world, and it’s not difficult to arrange or book a whale watching expedition once you know where to look. If you want to see some of these majestic creatures in action, here are some of the best whale watching destinations in the world.

    Kaikoura, New Zealand

    Sperm whales have the biggest brains of all animals in the world, and they are the largest toothed mammals living on our planet too. Sperm whales get their names for spermaceti, a waxy white substance that can be used for making pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, which meant that they were hunted in great numbers in the past.

    The best place to see sperm whales is around Kaikoura, on the eastern coast of the South Island. The whales don’t migrate because they find plenty of food in the area, so you can see them all year round.

    Husavik, Iceland

    Minke Whale, photo by Martin Cathrae on Flickr

    Travel to Husavik in Northern Iceland in summer to beautiful Minke whales in large numbers, as well as the occasional humpback whales and blue whales.

    Many whale watching tours are operated on restored old fishing vessels, and nearly all trips are successful. And if you’re in the area, you might as well visit the town’s Whale Museum, the first of its kind in Iceland, where you can see interactive displays and huge whale skeletons.

    Hermanus, South Africa

    The picturesque small town of Hermanus, near the famous Garden Route, is a very nice place for a holiday, but it is made even more interesting thanks to the Southern right whales that live off its beaches.

    The Southern right whale can grow up to 15 meters long and can weight as much as 47 tons, and from August to November you can see them close to the shores near Hermanus. At that time of the year, the whales come to rear their young, so you’re in for a double spectacle!

    Monterey Bay, California

    Whale in Monterey Bay, photo by timparkinson on Flickr

    The endangered Humpback Whale migrate every year from their mating places along the coast to Mexico to Monterey Bay from April to December to feed.

    Humpback whales are very lively, and you can often see them jump, lob their gigantic tails and breach the surface. Some whales are rather friendly, and can come close to boats and even rub against them, or curiously look up at the passengers!

    Azores, Portugal

    This small island chain in the Atlantic is not only extremely scenic, but it is also one of the best whale watching spots you could ever find. Most of the whales seen in the area are short finned Pilot whales, but other species can be glimpsed as well. The whales are circling the islands all year round, but the weather allows whale watching trips only May through October.

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