Wildlife conservation and community volunteer projects and internships worldwide

Dolphin Research Volunteer Project, Greece

1-4 weeks from

16 + for individuals - families 8+
minimum age

  • Work alongside scientists to research bottlenose dolphins in a dolphin hot spot!
  • Seek out the Mediterranean Monk Seals and Common dolphins in the Inner Ionian Sea
  • Learn all about dolphin behaviour and gain hands on experience in the field
  • Experience the hospitality and charm of the Greek people in the quiet fishing village of Vonitsa

"I would definitely recommend this for anyone else looking to do their first volunteer experience"

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I am 16 yrs old and joined the Dolphin Research project in Greece in August for one week after I finished my GCSEs.  It was my first independent volunteer experience and it was so amazing!! We saw at least one thing super cool everyday, monk seals, dolphins and turtles. The staff were very calm and friendly I felt so welcome. We were able to swim on different beaches when its was free time and even after a long day on the boat sometimes they would take us to beautiful coves and we could have lunch and go swimming. I also learnt all about Greek marine life during which was really cool. We all had to take it in turns cooking meals each night and it made me feel more independent and try different foods. I got to share the experience with other people my age so I really got along with the girls there, I still speak to them!! Me and the other volunteers when we were free which was most afternoons would go into the small town and sometimes shop, and on the last night we all went out for dinner with the managers as well.  So I would definitely recommend this for anyone else looking to do their first volunteer experience too,  because I had the best time.

Thanks, Rosie

"This is our 4th research project and similar to the others, we loved every moment"

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In July 2023, my wife and I The Dolphin Research Volunteer Project, Greece, involving daily surveys carried out in The Gulf of Ambracian. With the very unique nature of the gulf’s environment, the dolphins rarely leave to the open sea and so the research is to study the current circa 150 dolphins that inhabit this area.

With team led by Carmen from Spain and supported by Lucrezia, from Italy, we joined 3 other volunteers, Danielle from Belgium, Derin from Japan and Arun from UK. We all stayed in the project house, where we cooked, ate, and rested together and every day we would go out to the gulf, spot, photograph and observe the dolphins and every afternoon we would download the data to complete photograph grouping and identification activities.

This is our 4th research project and similar to the others, we loved every moment and feel privileged to have the opportunity to learn and support this fantastic project’s initiative.

"I feel fulfilled about life and my future goals"

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Working as a volunteer at Dolphin Research Volunteer Project in Greece I can state that I feel fulfilled about life and my future goals. I am grateful every day for this adventure thanks to working abroad. Learning all about dolphin behaviour and helping scientists to research bottlenose dolphins in Vonitsa, has been the best experience I’ve ever had.

Helping is an act of love that brings abundance. The best of times, up close and personal.

"We had the most amazing week"

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We had the most amazing week with the Dolphin Project and could not be more grateful to JoAn and Carmen for sharing their knowledge, hospitality and friendship with us. They adapted their program seamlessly to fit the dynamic of our young family, engaging our two boys, ages 6 and 8, in the most inspirational way possible. Watching JoAn and Carmen connect to our kids and inspire them with the power of science and research is something that will stick with us all for life. I only wish we had more time and hope that we can return soon to continue to learn from JoAn and Carmen.

"It was the best week I've had!"

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I attended the Dolphin Research Volunteer Project, Greece on the 4th of July for one week and it was the best week I’ve had! The researchers we stayed with were lovely and great cooks! My favourite part of the week was seeing the dolphins out on the boat and identifying the dolphin seen on the current day and matching that photo to a photo of the same dolphin from previous years: it was so interesting and I learnt so much. The locals were so welcoming and the village was beautiful. I enjoyed the food and meeting new people also on the project. I would recommend it to anyone considering applying!

"An experience I'll never forget"

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I spent the most amazing week in Greece with Joan and Carmen. We looked at how to photo ID the dolphins and group them together after spending the morning on the boat taking photos of them. Once we grouped the dolphins together, we matched them to pictures in a catalogue to see how the dolphins have changed over time. It was incredible to see dolphins in their natural habitat and it’s an experience I’ll never forget and has inspired me to pursue a career in marine biology.

"I had a fantastic time volunteering"

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I had a fantastic time volunteering. It was an awesome experience and made some good friends.

"It was the best experience of my life"

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The project was so amazing, it was the best experience of my life honestly. It also was so well put together and I learned so much. There’s nothing that I could add to have made it any better. I made some amazing memories, and I hope to have the opportunity to participate in another program through WorkingAbroad Projects. Thank you for this opportunity.

"I would do it again 100%"

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My time volunteering with the dolphin research project was amazing. The team was so welcoming and made sure I was comfortable. Actually, when I first arrived to Greece my luggage got left behind in Toronto, and instead of having to cab to the airport to get my luggage, my research manager drove me, so they definitely made my stay a great and accommodating one. The research itself was great, I learned so much and I could tell that everyone there was really passionate for the work that they do. I was able to not only research dolphins but also monk seals which I was so thrilled about. Every day went smoothly and I would do it again 100%.

"The spirit of the team was excellent"

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I had a wonderful time and a great experience, the environment was very friendly and helpful, but more important the spirit of the team was excellent! Our instructor Joan and his assistant Sara were very professional and helpful! I wish I could have a chance to go there again! Its a lifetime experience. I also got inspired and I am thinking about focusing on Marine Biology! Dolphins are amazing social animal but they need our attention to survive in continuing changing and polluted environment!

Thanks a lot for the opportunity!

"I was actively involved in data collection and contributed to the research of the project"

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The Dolphin Project was a very enjoyable, learning experience, much better than I personally expected. I really had a great time in Vonitsa, and I am grateful that I was actively involved in data collection and contributed to the research of the project.

"The Dolphin Research project in Greece allows you to connect with the magic of the sea and the wild dolphins that still live alongside us in our crowded and industrial world"

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As a co-Founder of WorkingAbroad, I am fortunate to be able to visit the projects we run abroad and this summer, I went with my family and we participated in the Dolphin Research Project in Greece as volunteers for one week.

The first thing we experienced upon arrival in Greece was the warm welcoming southern wind that caressed our faces whilst taking our first steps down the stairs of the aircraft. It was a moment similar to sinking into a bath after a long working day. Within minutes we had removed any wool left over from the UK and reached for our flip flops – and those flip flops would stay on our feet for the rest of the week.

Once through customs, we were greeted by Ioannis and Beatrice, two young and bright-eyed biologists who were there to lead and work with us during our stay. The journey from the airport to Vonitsa, where the volunteer house is based, is only a short drive through meandering roads flanked by a the sun-baked landscape of cypress, juniper and ancient olive trees. Ioannis, the Principal Investigator of the programme, was verbose and enthusiastic from the start and after five minutes into the journey, he had already captivated us by the world of cetacean science and dolphin observation. The stories he told us in the car inspired us and made us all eager to get on the research boat.

Click here to read the full blog piece…

"This was a life changing experience."

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The town, the people, the animals, the adventures, and the new family I made over the past week have imprinted upon me something that I cannot express. This was a life changing experience.

"I had a great time in Vonitsa: I love this quaint, Mediterranean town"

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I had a great time in Vonitsa: I love this quaint, Mediterranean town and the valuable research that the project conducts.  I chose this research expedition to explore a new country and to gain practical experience in marine biology – mission accomplished!

"Thank you so much for introducing me to the wonders of the Seas"

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Thank you so much for introducing me to the wonders of the Seas. Our oceans are a part of our planet that until recently I have had little time to explore. Your project has not only educated me on the issues in this breathtaking region but also on serious conservation issues worldwide. I will always be grateful for this.

"I will leave this country feeling a sense of ownership for the intertwined nature of our world- people, animals and ideas"

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I have come to Greece to learn about dolphins and about our past connected to this historic land. I feel I will leave this country feeling a sense of ownership for the intertwined nature of our world- people, animals and ideas- in a way that I never would have imagined.

Dolphin Research Volunteer Project, Greece

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