Dolphins Driven
Dolphins Driven
Boat Tours • Dolphin & Whale Watching
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9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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868 reviews
Very good

Mike B
6 contributions
Oct 2014 • Couples
We went on this trip as we were in the area, and we were not dissappointed. I had a flyer and called from our hotel to book, we managed to get in on the same day, but only just as it is very popular. The trip itself was outstanding, we were also given a bottle of water each for the trip, which is a nice touch. The caves were absolutely stunning, and our guide gave us a commentary, and kept asking if we were ok. Spent about an hour going in and out of the rocks and into the caves then went out to sea at high speed, bouncing across the waves.

We had said to each other that the caves were brilliant, and if we did not spot any dolphins it would not have mattered, but what a bonus it was, saw a pod of common dolphins travelling and followed them, they were all around the boat and jumping out of the water, going under the boat and all around, What a sight!! Awesome!

Cost was 35 euros each, and well worth it. I would recommend this trip to anyone in the area.
Written November 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anuj N
Horley, UK38 contributions
It was totally unexpected. Skipper and team were very good, English speaking, ready to answer all your queries. The trip covers caves, coastline a of course Dolphins. But skipper will stop at any marine life he can show you. We had massive shark almost as big as our boat and loads of Dolphins. This a must go ride and must go with Dolphin Driven. Kids absolutely loved it!!!
Written April 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Manchester, UK70 contributions
Oct 2014 • Couples
For 35 euros this was a fantastic two and a half hour tour of the coastal caves west of Albufeira and a 25 knot sea-search for dolphins.
We arrived at Albufeira Marina without pre-booking, because we thought the weather may have been rough and rainy. At 11.50 we were disappointed to find the 12-seater RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) was full, but other people emerged wanting a trip also, so a second RIB was made available for us 8 late-bookers.
The boat crept out of the Marina at 3 knots, and then accelerated towards the coastal caves under rugged, eroded and stunning cliffs. The boat drove into several of the caves which was quite exciting as the sea had a 3-foot swell.
Then we sped off at 25 knots to search for Dolphins. The swell was considerable, so the boat left the water and thudded down onto succeeding waves. Standing “in the strirrups”, as if riding a horse, minimised the impact of the narrow seat on one’s buttocks and made for a thrilling ride. (Apparently the top speed is 32 knots / 36.8 mph.)
Rival boat companies pool their information about the dolphins’ whereabouts ... after about 20 minutes of high-speed searching we found a pod/school of dolphins playfully jumping out of the sea in twos or threes. They were hard to photograph because of the momentary time-lapse on my digital camera, and also because the bright sky made it impossible to see the image of the dolphins on the rear screen of the camera, so it was point-and-hope. A ring of five boats encircled the pod of dolphins as we sailed along, at their speed, for about 15 minutes .
Then it was a rip-roaring return to base at the Marina, feeling elated at having seen the dolphins in their natural habitat.
The crew (skipper and guide) were skilled, informative and made us feel safe.
So this was a superb sea-safari - try it if you have the chance!
Written October 22, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Liverpool2 contributions
Sep 2013 • Family
Went on this trip as a family to celebrate my husbands 40th birthday on our last day of holiday,6th Sept, it came highly recommended.The Thomas Cook rep organised the booking and I asked at the time if it was suitable for all of us but especially my 20 month year old, she said yes and I was there when she rang Dolphins Driven and gave in the ages of the children. The two youngest children where given life jackets but no one else, we were just all handed rain jackets. We went on the 5.00pm slot as the other 2 earlier in the day were fully booked. We had no idea what to expect from this trip and as we took off I instinctively grabbed my baby from her chair and put her on my knee,thank god I did or I don't think she would of been here now. although the boat started off quite slow it very quickly began to pick up speed as they crashed into the waves we were literally bouncing out of our seats,my baby was screaming shouting don't like it,don't like it,I was clinging on to her for dear life but inside I was shaking with fear.The staff popped down to the front of the boat once early on to check if we were all enjoying ourselves but this was before they decided to turn this trip into some kind of nightmare fair ride!! Every time they hit a wave my daughter screamed even more, I was trying to get my husbands attention who was on the row in front with our 7 year old but he couldn't hear me properly as it was so loud with the motor and also people laughing and squealing obviously enjoying the thrill. I also suffer from a back condition and have not long had an operation and so every bump for me was agonising physically as well as mentally.
I don't normally do reviews but I was so frightened by this experience I would hate to think of any other families with small babies going through what I did. As we left the boat the staff said no more crying now baby proving that they had clearly heard her!
Don't get me wrong this trip would be fab for adults, teenagers or children maybe over 5 but not small ones, anyone with medical conditions or pregnant women. I was astounded to find nothin on the Dolphins Driven Website to warn of the dangers or health warnings. We have put in a compliant to Thomas cook and are awaiting a response but they say they don't think much will change but maybe if there knowledge is and they do not recommend this trip for certain people or young children then maybe something good has come from this
Written September 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Customer,   we’ve read your post and carefully analyzed it. We value our customers inputs and take them very seriously.   We investigated what happen that day, September the 6 th. We found out that at that day in the 17:00 pm slot we had a mechanical problem in one of our boats. The problem was detected upon the boats arrival from the previous sail, so 5min from the time of departure. We had to find an alternative boat in a few minutes, which we did, along with a skipper from the company owning this replacement boat. To make sure our quality standards are met, in this rare cases we send one of our staff members in these boats. When inquired, she reported the ride was in fact  a bit bumpy that day but also assured us it was not enough so as to cancel or to take extraordinary measures. She also reported the life jackets in this company’s boat are normally placed at the seats back, under the rain jackets.   This said, we apologize for your not-so-good experience. As corrective action, we will prepare and disseminate to all our partners a written policy concerning young children, pregnants, elderly and handicapped people.   We thank you for your input and also for classifying us as great in your same day’s post concerning Joinal Villas Apartments were you had stayed. I hope you find reasons to come back to Albufeira, in which occasion please consider a family invitation to go with Dolphins Driven (obviously for free) so we can have the opportunity to prove how carefully we pamper our valued customers and why so many others give us a great classification.   Best regards,   Dolphins Driven Managment
Written October 3, 2013
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cork, Ireland8 contributions
Sep 2015 • Couples
On coming across a Dolphins Driven leaflet while visiting the old town in Albufeira we made our way to the Dolphins Driven Kiosk at the Marina. We spoke to the girl at the desk to get information about the trip and one of the questions we asked was about how the weather would affect the trip and if we would be notified if they had to cancel. She informed us that we would get 24 hours notice if they had to cancel.
We booked this trip for a Saturday in September. At €35 euro each it seemed reasonable for what was advertised. Got a taxi to the Marina in Albufeira at a cost of €15. Got on the boat with 10 other people and headed out. After leaving the Marina it was obvious that the wind was quite strong and the two very pleasant staff on the boat explained that they would not be able to go near the caves, or stop on the beach. They suggested cancelling until the following morning. All 12 people agreed with that and we headed back to the Marina. We were upset that it had been cancelled but totally understood why and were glad that our safety was a priority. We paid another €15 taxi fare back to our hotel. On Sunday morning we again paid the €15 taxi fare to the marina to arrive at 9.45 as instructed. When we got to the Dolphins Driven desk we were told it was cancelled again as the wind was too strong. Dolphins Driven had our hotel name and our room number from our booking and we had also written it down for them as requested on the Saturday. We were extremely upset about the cancellation not because they cancelled but because they had not contacted our hotel to inform us of the cancellation. Dolphins Driven also had our mobile number which they could have rang but did not bother. We expressed our upset to the girl who told us of the cancellation and explained about our taxi fares and her only comment was that if we had booked a transfer with them we would not have had to pay for the transfer on the second day. So we ended up €60 out of pocket for taxis and no trip. We were not the only couple who had made our own way to the Marina by taxi and other couples were also out of pocket but Dolphins Driven did not even offer to transfer us back to our hotel on the second day. Extremely bad customer care.
Written October 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear chipper14 Thank you for your constructive review We acknowledge and totally understand your frustation , what would have been great, was that we could of done the activity "caves & kayak " unfortanly Weather conditions where not good on both days although weather forcasts showed favorable conditions . Thank you for taking in consideration the pleasant staff on board the boat and their concerns about safety of our clients and it being a priority. Dolphins Driven understand that something went wrong in the comunication of the cancelation on the second day although we had your contact details falied to contact you . We do have to cancel sometimes activities due to sea conditions, normaly this kind of situation Doesn´t happen. For this we are truely sorry and will take strict mesures to prevent this in the future . Hopefully we will see you again soon and let us take you to see the beatifull cost by kayak . Thank you very much Kindest regards Dolphins Driven
Written October 15, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Edinburgh, United Kingdom13 contributions
Oct 2015 • Couples
Took this tour for three reasons, first being the boat is modern and sizeable. the second was that they sell the tour as the caves and dolphins but with an on board marine biologist. lastly because they are up front and honest from the outset before they take your money that you may not see dolphins.
The tour begins with a meet and greet from the crew, your welcomed aboard and given a small cool bag containing a bottle of water and some seasonal fruit. following the safety brief you depart for the first part of the journey covering 18 kilometres of rugged spectacular and breath taking scenery, viewing private beaches and more so the caves of the western Algarve. Whilst on board the crew interact with the group collectively and on a one to one basis, giving interesting facts about the scenery and the evolution of the caves. very interesting and informative. Only downfall is the size of the vessel does not allow entry to the caves. However at the end of the coast tour the vessel doe enter one of the larger caves and you have the opportunity for some amazing photographs.
Next you head out in to the open sea. travelling for approx 45 mins to an hour in search of dolphins. following a little bit of looking we came across a POD of common dolphins. To explain this in words would take for ever. To see these creatures in their natural environment is breathtaking and a surreal moment in any ones life if you have not seen them before. The on board crew ensure everyone is made aware of the sighting and allowed to view them from the ample deck space on board. the interaction with the younger members of the group was second to none. educational for the younger ones but fun and informal. Following approx 20 - 30 mins following the dolphins we headed back to port, but only once the crew was satisfied that every one had managed to obtain pictures or videos of the dolphins.
On our journey back the crew continued to interact with the group and kindly offered a complimentary drink from the bar.
Off all the tours available i have no doubt in recommending this one. It was amazing.
Written October 28, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

County Kildare, Ireland36 contributions
Aug 2015 • Couples
Anna was fantastic, she took us on a kayaking trip around the grottos on the coast, she was informative and funny. It genuinely didn't feel like we went as far as we did because she kept it interesting. I enjoyed it because not only was it exercise but it was fun for me and my partner. I would suggest taking the later trips because it gets hotter from the morning. It was more enjoyable for us. Also ~ this is important ~ if you are a couple - get separate kayaks... I've seen relationships die because couples shared a kayak.
Written September 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Julie F
Maidstone, UK10 contributions
Jun 2015 • Friends
What an exciting experience! We went on 15th June. Frankly I was dreading it as I am not a good sailor but my daughter had been desperate to go so I had, reluctantly, to go with her. SO VERY GLAD THAT I DID! The staff were friendly and fun, merrily fitting us all with life jackets, giving us each a bottle of water and a souvenir tote bag and off we went. At no point did I feel unsafe or, very importantly, sick! We were lucky enough to see loads of dolphins.... a sight that I will never forget. The staff spoke about them with genuine care and affection. We then saw the caves and unique rock formations and then sped back to the harbour with everyone laughing as we all got soaked by the sea spray. Just a tip: don't, as I did, wear white they got soaked they became almost transparent! Lovely lovely fun, and memorable day.
Written June 25, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hugh E
London Colney, UK5 contributions
Oct 2014 • Couples
Just back from a great time in Algarve.
We went to do the dolphin driven tour (booked through the Thomson holiday rep from our hotel - Riu Guarana) on October 6th, which was a great experience.

The staff cannot do enough for you when you get to the marina in Albufeira - everyone is given a life-jacket and some water for the trip.
You then get on the 12-16 persons speed boat and head out to sea (wind-breakers are available on board in case it gets cold)
Firstly we went to visit the caves around all the beaches and then out to sea to find the dolphins and get pictures taken.

It didn't take us long to find the dolphins who were feeding on shoals of fish - plenty of opportunities to get videos and photos. We then followed the dolphins around for a good 30-45mins and got loads of pictures - a great experience.

I would recommend this to everyone, the staff cannot do enough for you and are helpful at all times. The boat is a bit bumpy getting out to the dolphins but it is worth the wait.

Definitely go and do this trip if you are staying near Albufeira or Olhas D'Agua

Great trip.
Written October 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Knowledge Ninja
Edinburgh83 contributions
Jul 2012 • Couples
My wife and I booked this trip via our thomsons rep at our hotel. Paid 35eur each and it was worth every penny. The dolphins driven group are based at Albufeira marina ( as are every boat trip company). We went on the 12pm trip. We were given life jackets, a free camera pouch and plastic dolphin ball which was a nice touch. The boat was a decent size, and our trip was full. Unlucky for us, we were sat behind really tall ignorant spaniards, with iPads???!! But aside from that, the trip was excellent. We got to see a gorgeous family of bottle nose dolphins on the first part of the trip. All the boat companies radio each other when dolphins are spotted, so they know where to go and see them. It was magical. The dolphins had a baby recently so didn't come very close to our boat, but we still got loads of fab photos. The skippers on the boat were friendly and explained what was happening at various parts of the trip. We went to the caves, close to Portimao at end of the trip. The caves are awesome, really worth seeing! Lots of little beaches and places you will never see or find unless you go on a boat trip.
Written August 5, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Dolphins Driven (Albufeira) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go