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Crete Aquarium - Heraklion,Gournes

The two international standard aquaria operating under the HCMR umbrella have a major role in its mission to stimulate interest in, and to develop and spread knowledge about the marine environment and in particular to promote knowledge concerning the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Hydro-biological Station of Rhodes was first constructed by the Italians in 1936, and has operated as an Aquarium/Museum and Research Station under its present name since 1963. Formerly part of the National Centre for Marine Science, it now operates as one of the arms of the HCMR.

There is also a completely new aquarium, the CretAquarium, which was opened in Crete, in December 2005, in a location, which combines recreation and science, as part of the marine centre site now named Thalassocosmos.

The CretAquarium was officially opened in December 2005. It provides its visitors with a special experience, a trip to the underwater world of the Mediterranean Sea and its creatures.

The CretAquarium is part of the building complex "Thalassocosmos" of HCMR of Crete, located within the old American Base of Gournes 15 km from Heraklion city. The aquarium together with the modern facilities of the Institute of Marine Biology & Genetics and the Institute of Aquaculture make "Thalassocosmos" a unique park whose focus is on science, education, culture and recreation and whose goal is to promote, share and spread knowledge concerning the marine environment

The CretAquarium is comprised of 32 tanks of a total capacity of 1.600.000 litres of seawater. Fifty viewing points will allow the visitors to observe the living creatures of the sea and their habits, while special cameras, which the visitors can handle, will point out "hidden" spots in specific tanks.

Underlining the relationship between humans and the sea, the CretAquarium aims at reaching out and introducing its visitors to the wonderful world of the sea from which life on our planet evolved and on which all land ecosystems still depend. CretAquarium and "Thalassocosmos" in general will undoubtedly contribute to this realization by providing its knowledge and sharing it with the public through the aquarium while encouraging its visitors to become aware, sensitive and active on issues concerning the marine world.

The size of the aquarium

1,600m2 of exhibition area
2,600m2 of technical support / backstage area
32 Tanks with 50 viewing points
3 - 900m3 volume of tanks (average approx. 73m3)
1,600,000 litres of sea water
300m2 of transparent surfaces

Duration of the visit - approximately 1.5 hour
A multipurpose room of 150 people
See for yourself the construction of the Cretaquarium!
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday 10.00 till 17.30
Telephone: +30 2810-337788, +30 2810-337888