Four sharks are heading your way, but all you can think about is getting a selfie with them. You’re at CretAquarium – Europe’s most modern aquarium and part of Thalassocosmos, the Mediterranean’s biggest center for marine research. Spread over an area of 5,000m², it is home to more than 2,000 marine animals and 200 species, living in softly lit tanks big and small that are designed to emulate Crete’s marine environment.
The largest of these tanks, standing 20 meters high, contains the big fish of the open sea and dozens of dusky groupers, languidly swimming around among them. If you choose the audio tour, you will learn all sorts of interesting details such as the fact that all groupers are actually born female.
Another highlight – which, however, needs to be arranged beforehand – is the tour of the “backstage” area. Guides take you through the “nursery” where newborn octopuses are allowed to grow in peace; the fish “hotel” that takes in new arrivals and allows them to become acclimated before being introduced to tanks; and the “hospital” for injured Caretta caretta sea turtles.
*Originally published in MinoanWave magazine
Gournes (former US base)
Open: May-September 09.30-21.00, October-April 09.30-17.00
Tel. (+30) 2810-337.788, www.cretaquarium.gr