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cretaquarium cretaquarium

Discover the magic of the Cretan & Mediterranean marine life, in the 1600sqm of the largest aquarium of the Mediterranean.

The CretAquarium opened its doors in December 2005, but somehow it happened I have not heard anything about it. Actually it was during my last and shortest visit in Heraklio during May 2006 that I discovered this very special aquarium. I was on my way to the Nikos Kazantzakis Airport from Gouves ( a nice seaside town) when I noticed the new buildings in the former American base at Gournes.

cretaquarium cretaquarium

We stopped by to have a look at the "THALASSOCOSMOS" (meaning Seaworld) complex, the largest research, technology and entertainment centre in the Mediterranean. Part of Thalassocosmos is the CretAquarium which houses 32 tanks, with a total capacity of 1.600.000 litres, which we paid a visit.

As soon as you enter tour to the bottoms of the sea starts by choosing between the various activities available. The first section of the aquarium of Heraklio exhibits the genealogy of the marine deities and projects pictures of the Cretan seafloor. The rest four sections include the 32 spectacular tanks, which are replicas of existing seafloors at Matala and Vai, which are extraordinary ecosystems! In these tanks you will find 2500 different organisms.from tropical little fishes to -disgusting- large jelly-fishes! What really amazed me have been the two sharks the aquarium hosts, that you could see swimming right next to you.

The spectacle CretAquarium offers is unique and does not only captivate children - who were moving from chamber to chamber with an expression of amazement on their face- but all the adult visitors, too! Unfortunately, my visit was rather short due to lack of time (otherwise I would have missed my flight). But I really enjoyed the aquarium and look forward to coming back when the new exhibits they are constructing will open to public.

cretaquarium cretaquarium

More reasons to visit CretAquarium of Heraklio.

I have recently read at the paper an action of the scientist team of Thalassokosmos, which surprised me. They have rescued a wounded karata- kareta sea turtle, but do not intend to keep it at the aquarium as an exhibit. At the moment the visitor can see this animal that faces extinction in one of the tanks, but as soon as it recovers fully, it will be let her free at its natural environment.

cretaquarium cretaquarium

The intention of CretAquarium is not just to entertain the visitors, but inform, educate and raise public awareness of the variety of Mediterranean species and habitats - and this is also why I strongly recommend it..

So when you find yourself in Heraklio pay a visit to CretAquarium discover the magic od the Mediterranean sea and support the effort for the conservation of the Mediterranean underworld.


CretAquarium Thalassocosmos

Former American Base at Gournes,

P.O. Box 2214, Heraklion 71003 Crete, Greece

Tel: + 302810 337788 Fax: +302810 337882

Monday to Sunday 09:00 - 21:00 (From 01/5 to 15/10)

10:00 - 17:30 (From 16/10 to 30/4)

The entrance fee costs only 8 Euros and the entrance is free for all children up to 5 years old.

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