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This lagoon is located in the north of Coll. The rocks are surrounded by shallow clear water and a beautiful white shell sand beach. You need a boat or travel operator to get to this magic place.

The best time for snorkeling is during summer on a sunny day and a calm sea. Regarding the weather, it's usually best from April to the beginning of July. From mid-July to August rain occurs more often. September is also a good month for snorkeling in the protected lagoon.

Peak Season

Coll is very busy in July and August. During the peak season, it is more difficult to get an accommodation. The shark festival takes place in August which is very popular. 

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Our guide Luke, a marine biologist, explained that young sharks disappear as soon as you get into the water. It only makes sense to snorkel with older and bigger ones.

The season starts middle of June until September. The highest chance for a sighting is also the peak season on the Hebrides in July and August. Anyway, no guarantee at all. I booked a four-day trip to increase the chance for snorkeling with one and I only saw a young one from the boat. One guy had booked a trip for the third time and our three meters tall shark was his first one. You need the right conditions and also a lot of luck!!
I'd recommend August now. This is also the month when the shark festival takes place at one weekend.

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Cornwall is a hotspot for basking sharks and they first turn up here. The migration follows the coastline and passes Land's End in spring. They are attracted by the high plankton concentration.

The season for basking sharks usually starts in May and last until October. Actually, the best time is mid-May until mid-July. However, there is no guarantee to spot these sharks. In 2017 the best time was April until the beginning of May. In 2018 the first sighting of two sharks was at the end of April. In recent years, fewer basking sharks were spotted. In 2019 two basking sharks were already seen on March 12 which is pretty early.

Very important are good weather conditions, a sunny day and calm wind to spot them on the surface of the sea and for snorkeling with them as well. Book your trip at short notice. First, check if basking sharks are already around the coast. 

What Else to Spot
  • common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins
  • minke whales (very shy)
  • pilot whales
  • leatherback turtles
  • sometimes sunfish
  • blue sharks; season starts end of June, more reliable to spot them but not predictable
  • seals from mid-May until October

Check out the recent sightings for SW England

Where to Stay

There are many lovely B&B's in Penzance to choose from. Don't come here in a rush and for the basking sharks only. There is so much more like Kynance Cove, St. Michaels Mount, Minack Theatre and the hanging gardens to mention just a view. Our absolutely favorite B&B is the Marine Lodge. The view alone is worth to stay here. The Marine Lodge is spotlessly clean with wonderful owners. You couldn't wish for better.

Ocean Life
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