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Aquarium Of Crete “Thalassokosmos – Cretaquarium”

Cretaquarium, “Thalassokosmos", Aquarium Of Crete (Gournes Heraklion)

Aquarium Of Crete “Thalassokosmos – Cretaquarium”

Heraklion Prefecture – Gournes


Details / Information  Overview:

Explore the Wonders of Cretaquarium: Where the Mediterranean Meets the Sea

Cretaquarium, also known as the Aquarium Of Crete or “Thalassokosmos”, offers a fascinating journey into the depths of the Mediterranean. Prepare to be captivated as you delve into the intricate world of marine life, a realm of extraordinary beauty and diversity. Let’s take you on a tour through the extraordinary exhibits and experiences you’ll encounter at Cretaquarium.

A Glimpse of the Sea’s Magic

Words cannot truly describe the magic of the Mediterranean’s sea floor and the mysteries that await you beneath the surface. That’s why Cretaquarium offers you an exciting virtual tour through its exhibits, where marine life is showcased in its natural habitats. Our goal is to inspire and educate, shedding light on the intricate ecosystems and biodiversity of the Mediterranean.

Playing with the Light

In the depths of the sea, not all areas are bathed in sunlight. Dark, hidden realms harbor an array of unique and intriguing organisms. These areas include the deep sea, caves, crevices, and rocky outcroppings, each teeming with life.

Your journey begins with the first section of Cretaquarium, where low-light conditions reveal mesmerizing species like dusky groupers, red corals, crayfish, gorgonians, and skates. Here, you’ll discover the secrets of the Mediterranean’s twilight zone.

The Open Sea

Moving to the second section, you’ll be introduced to the open sea of the Mediterranean, a world of pelagic fish, marine mammals, and awe-inspiring predators, including sharks. While the open sea may appear monotonous at first glance, a closer look reveals the diversity hidden beneath the sandy and muddy bottoms. Rocky reefs burst with colors and shapes inspired by the sea bed of Matala and Vai. Explore tanks filled with greater amberjacks, groupers, santer seabreams, and European seabasses.

Exploring Coastal Ecosystems

Cretaquarium continues its journey into the coastal areas, home to the world’s most productive ecosystems. Rocky bottoms, soft muddy grounds, and underwater meadows of sea plants create an ever-changing landscape. In this vibrant section, you’ll encounter parrotfish, rainbow wrasses, anemones, crustaceans, and echinoderms. The adaptation strategies of the species living here are nothing short of amazing.

The Aquarium Beyond the Glass

Step into a section of Cretaquarium that offers a unique experience. Visitors can observe sea life up close in shallow open tanks and gain insight into the art of tank-making. This is an opportunity to learn about the inner workings of our exhibits and the science behind creating environments for our marine inhabitants.

Journey to the Tropics

The final section of the Aquarium transports you to the tropics. Explore tropical species and “lessepsian migrants,” organisms whose presence in the Mediterranean was influenced by the construction of the Suez Canal. Learn about these fascinating newcomers and other tropical species from distant seas.

The “Behind the Scenes” section provides a glimpse into the complex infrastructure required to maintain the aquarium and the important research conducted behind the scenes.

At Cretaquarium, research plays a vital role in understanding and preserving marine life. Our collaboration with organizations like Aqualabs and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research allows us to contribute to the study of foreign species, including “lessepsian migrants,” as well as the care of endangered and protected species like sea turtles, marine mammals, and invertebrates.

Come explore Cretaquarium and embark on an educational journey through the wonders of the Mediterranean. Witness the splendor and diversity of marine life, all under one roof.

A Vision Realized: The Birth of Greece’s Premier Aquarium

CretAquarium stands as the embodiment of a grand vision, not just for local research but for all of Cretan society. The collaboration between the former Institute of Marine Biology of Crete and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research brought to life a modern and expansive sea Aquarium on the captivating island of Crete. With hundreds of thousands of annual visitors, CretAquarium’s success justifies the years of dedication. It offers a captivating window into the Mediterranean, a sea with unique biodiversity, home to ancient civilizations, and a global attraction. Featuring 2000 sea animals across 200 Mediterranean species, it boasts 61 tanks holding 1.8 million liters of seawater, authentically representing Cretan and Mediterranean marine life. Beyond its captivating displays, CretAquarium enriches minds with educational programs, assists injured animals, and continually introduces new marine species. Its expertise is rooted in the rich heritage of the Centre’s Mediterranean marine research. At CretAquarium, attractions become knowledge, and experiences spark curiosity, all in the pursuit of a sustainable future.

Embark on an Aquatic Adventure with CretAquarium Excursions

Ready to dive into the wonders of CretAquarium up close and personal? Join our exciting excursions and discover the secrets of the Mediterranean’s enchanting marine world. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an inquisitive explorer, or a family seeking unforgettable experiences, our guided excursions offer an insider’s view of the aquarium’s captivating exhibits. Don’t miss the chance to explore the mesmerizing world beneath the waves. Book your aquatic adventure [click HERE] today and make memories that will last a lifetime!

Address  Address:

Ex-American Base Of Gournes Heraklion

Location (City, Village, Area)  Location:

Gournes, Heraklion

Telephone number  Telephone:

(+30) 2810337788

Fax number  Fax:

(+30) 2810337882

E-mail address  E-mail:

[email protected]

Website Url Url:

Operating Period  Operating Period:


Operating Days & Hours  Operating Days & Hours:

09:30-19:00 (Summertime: From 01/04 till 31/10)
09:30-16:00 (Wintertime: From 01/11 till 31/03)

Admission Fee  Admission Fee:

• Adults:  12€ (01/04-31/10)
• Children: 5-17 yrs 6 €,  under 5 yrs FREE
• Seniors – Adults over 65 years old: 6 €
• Seniors – Adults over 65 years old: 6 €
• Virtual Reality experience: 5€

Organized visits for groups of over 20 individuals:
• 8€ for adults
• 6€ for concessions

Special Discounts:
• Students: 6€
• Individuals with disability: Free Entrance
• Aquarium Members: Free Entrance
• Tourist Guides: Free Entrance

Additional Services:
• Audio guide devices 3€
• Tour with Personal Guide 100€ (up to 20 persons)
• Behind the Scenes Guide Tour 150€ (up to 10 persons)
• Special guide for children 100€ (up to 20 children)
• Aquarium’s card member 20€ for the first family member, 10€ for each additional member

Notes  Notes:

• Parking area
• Cafe – Snack bar
• Souvenir shop (Aqua Shop)


 Media  Media:



* The above information, is subject to change without prior notification from the institution. In any case, has no responsibility for any occurred changes.

 Last update 30/10/2023

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