While whales are most commonly spotted in the west of Scotland, cheeky and charming wild dolphins have primarily claimed the east coast of the country as their home.
If you’re hoping to spot dolphins in their natural environment, here are the best places to visit.
Located between Fortrose and Rosemarkie, south of Cromarty, the narrow peninsula of Chanonry Point is well known as the best place to see pods of dolphins in Scotland.
Look out across the Moray Firth just as the tide starts to rise, and you are highly likely to spot dolphins as they swim in-land to feed.
Just across the water, you can get an entirely different perspective on the Moray Firth from the shores of 18th century fortress, Fort George.
The dolphins heading for Chanonry Point have to travel past Fort George, so it’s a great viewing point if you want to see these magnificent creatures in action.
Further south, between Moray Firth and Beauly Firth, and just north of Inverness, the shoreline at Kessock Bridge offers excellent dolphin-spotting opportunities.
Pods often travel up this way after visiting Chanonry Point, and Kessock Bridge has the added benefit of being much more peaceful than that more famous viewing spot.
Merkinch Local Nature Reserve
Not too far away, Merkinch Local Nature Reserve is a beautiful and quiet green spot to see all kinds of wildlife, including dolphins.
Scottish Dolphin Centre
It’s no surprise that the Scottish Dolphin Centre near Fochabers is a great place to see some dolphins.
Free to visit, the centre is based in an 18th century salmon fishing station, and is a haven for wildlife.
As well as bottlenose dolphins, you may well catch sight of ospreys, grey and common seals, the occasional otter and many coastal birds here.