One of Ireland's best kept tourist secrets is the whales visitors can see along the coast. The Irish government tourist agency is going to change that, and has begun to offer whale-watching tours.

Whale-watching has been growing in popularity particular along the south and west of the island.

Recently, a humpbacked whale gave viewers a spectacular show, leaping numerous times above the water.

Researchers from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group had a bonanza when a humpback whale breached clear of the water on 11 occasions off the coast of County Wexford last Saturday.

Irish waters are among Europe’s richest for whales and dolphins. An impressive 24 species have been recorded to date, and wildlife enthusiasts are flocking to the island where these magnificent animals can be spotted for approximately seven months of the year.

In 1991 Ireland was the first European country to declare its waters a whale and dolphin sanctuary, and visitors, particularly in the South, can now reap the benefits.

For more information on whale and dolphin watching trips in Ireland please contact Lisa Kearns,