Greece Dolphin Conservation

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1. In Brief

Greece provides an irresistible blend of warm Mediterranean climate, fascinating ancient culture, and seas rich in marine life. Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to learn about and make an active contribution towards the conservation of two of the world’s most charismatic and endearing marine species – the bottlenose and short beaked common dolphin. By joining Frontier’s dolphin conservation project in the Mediterranean Sea you will be making a positive contribution to the protection of dolphin populations around the west coast of Greece, whilst at the same time gaining invaluable practical experience working for a marine research NGO and developing a wide range of conservation skills and techniques.


  • Explore stunning Greek islands whilst making a valuable and significant contribution to the conservation of endangered dolphin species 
  • Gain hands-on marine conservation experience
  • Create unforgettable memories and make lifelong friends
  • This is a Frontier Connect project!


Location Greece
Activities Daily visual surveys on board research boat
Matching of sighted dolphins with dolphin catalogue
Maintenance of dolphin identification catalogue
Identification of marine fauna
Accommodation Volunteer house


Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas and equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Accommodation
Project orientation, equipment & training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up


A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


On the Frontier Marine Conservation Group Projects, we will train you to PADI Advanced Open Water before you begin undertaking important biological surveys. Depending on how long you spend on the project, you may also have the option to take further courses up to Divemaster!

Please see the "Dates and Costs" tab for dive qualification prices or ask your volunteer advisor for more information.

Find out more about PADI qualifications.

2. The project


Dolphins have long held a position of significance within Greek mythology and culture since ancient times, with their strong and intimate bond with humans widely celebrated in artwork, and even on old Greek coins! However, despite their beauty, poise and popularity in modern society, dolphin numbers around the west coast of Greece are only a fragment of what they were a century ago. Currently dolphins face a number of threats including habitat degradation, injury from boats and commercialised fishing equipment, prey depletion caused by overfishing, and noise and health effects resulting from increased in-water pollution rates. 

There are still a number of key dolphin populations that inhabit and reproduce in the region, and so the protection of these elegant creatures is paramount. You will become a valued member of a dedicated team, committed to ensuring the conservation of a number of endangered dolphin species. The baseline data you collect will contribute towards the long-term management of the area and assist in promoting marine conservation in the wider Mediterranean region.


You will be part of a dedicated scientific team focused on the study and conservation of schools of charming, lively dolphins in the beautiful coastal waters of western Greece. Your daily routine will vary according to the particular demands of the project at that time, but typically volunteers will split their time between conducting daily surveys at sea and helping to collate and process this information back at the field base. You will work alongside experienced researchers who will train you comprehensively in data collection and analysis techniques. Each day you will take to sea on board the research boat, where you will actively engage in visual surveys, looking for dolphins, sea turtles and other marine fauna. Once dolphins are sighted you will help to record data on their spatial distribution, group size, composition (i.e. number of newborns, juveniles and adults) and behaviour. 

Back at the field base after each survey you will help enter the data collected into the research databases. You will be taught how to correctly prepare digital photos of the dolphins for subsequent identification, and learn how to match these using the natural marks on the fin with the digital catalogue of known individuals. If you’re willing to get stuck in and engross yourself in valuable work contributing to the conservation of these charismatic and enchanting species then this project is perfect for you.

3. What to expect


The project is located on the beautiful western Mediterranean coast of Greece. You will fly into Athens where you will then use our easy to follow instructions to make your way to the project site. We will provide you with all the information you need prior to your departure to enable you to plan your journey.  Upon arrival at the project site you will be met by a friendly Frontier representative from the research team and taken to your accommodation!


During your time on the project you will be staying at our volunteer house located in the village 50m from the seaside with your fellow volunteers and research staff. This house also acts as the field base for conservation efforts so you’ll spend the majority of your afternoons here analysing data collected from the morning’s survey. Within the house there is a large living room with comfortable sofas for you to relax on after a busy day in the field, an open kitchen with all the facilities you’ll need to cook up a feast and a big balcony. You’ll sleep in bunk beds in the spacious loft area with the other volunteers. The bunks can be divided by separators to provide you with some privacy, and all sheets and blankets will be provided. As well as sleeping, the loft can also be used to relax in after the long hours spent at sea and working on dolphin data. If you decide to venture out the house in your spare time, then everything you’ll need is within walking distance, including the harbour, supermarkets, bars and banks.   


You will be provided with food as part of this programme. Volunteers typically work together with the research staff to cook and complete all house-keeping duties. Make sure you come prepared with some recipes you’re comfortable with cooking for everyone - you may even pick up a new dish or two during your stay to wow your friends and family back at home! Alternatively the local village also offers a choice of inexpensive and traditional restaurants for you to sample authentic Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.     

Breakfast will usually consist of Greek yoghurt, cereal and toast, and lunch, salad, cheese, freshly baked pies and bread from the local bakery. Dinner will vary, but normally incorporate pasta, rice, vegetables and seafood or meat. Coffee, tea and fruit juice are available in the house throughout the day and there is safe, drinking water on tap to ensure you stay hydrated.

4. The reviews

A life changing experience!  | 20 Feb 2014
The town, the people, the animals, the adventures, and the new family I made over the past week h...

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My expectations exceeded by miles!!!  | 20 Feb 2014
My expectations for this project were high, but it has exceeded them by miles! While I thought we...

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Wonderful!  | 20 Feb 2014
Greece and it’s dolphins have been all I expected plus more.  Seeing the animals in th...

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I left with far more than some pretty photos!  | 19 Feb 2014
This is something I have wanted to do for years and in finally plucking up the courage to go for ...

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I will always be grateful for this!  | 19 Feb 2014
Thank you so much for introducing me to the wonders of the Seas. Our oceans are a part of our pla...

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I never would have imagined!  | 19 Feb 2014
I have come to Greece to learn about dolphins and about our past connection to this historic land...

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I had a great time on this project!  | 19 Feb 2014
I had a great time on this project: I loved the quaint, Mediterranean town and the valuable resea...

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Watching wild dolphins was my long-time dream!  | 19 Feb 2014
Watching wild dolphins was my long-time dream. This was an eye-opening experience. I want to stud...

Read more

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5. Gallery

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6. Extras

In your spare time make sure you take the opportunity to explore the local village and discover the best viewpoints for looking over the pretty village and its stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The large, medieval castle which looms over the village offers a brilliant spot to observe the villagers go about their everyday business. 

Frontier can organise a variety of projects in Greece for you, whether it is contributing towards sea turtle conservation or learning how to windsurf, we can help!

7. Dates and Costs


Project fee US$1,495

Registration fee US$195

This project runs from June until September only. Student discount available for June and September dates only.


6 days


2016 Departure Dates:

5th June 2016 - 1 place left

12th June 2016 - US$210 discount available for places on this date

19th June 2016 - 1 place left

26th June 2016

3rd July 2016 - 1 place left

10th July 2016

31st July 2016

17th July 2016

7th August 2016

14th August 2016

21st August 2016

28th August 2016

4th September 2016

11th September 2016

18th September 2016


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Advice on visas & equipment
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Project orientation and training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up


Nearest airport(s): Athens (ATH)



Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email .


For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.


You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.

Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

8. How to apply

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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