The Moray Firth is home to a resident colony of 150 bottle nose dolphins, plus porpoise, seal and the occasional orca or minke whale.

Special dolphin watching boat trips run throughout the summer months leaving from Inverness and Avoch. Perhaps the best trip however is with Ecoventures in Cromarty. They operate all the year round, weather permitting, and as well as offering you an excellent chance of spotting these magical creatures, will take you close to huge sea-bird colonies. You may be lucky enough to spend virtually the whole trip surrounded by dolphins cavorting beside you and also spot some puffins. Visit their website at for more information.

The dolphins are very sociable creatures and can be remarkably unafraid of humans but on occasion they will not come up to the boats at all. That is their right as wild animals and all three boat companies operate a voluntary policy of not crowding these magnificent beasts. If you don’t fancy or can’t fit in a boat trip, it is also possible to watch from the shore. Good vantage points are North and South Kessock, Nairn Beach, Fort George and Chanonry Point.