CretAquarium (Thalassocosmos) takes visitors on a trip through the Mediterranean, from its seabeds to the coastal habitats of the Greek Islands. Visitors young and old come to take in a variety of sea life on display, everything from stingrays and octopus to jellyfish and clownfish.
Housed in a former US Air Force Base, CretAquarium opened its doors in 2005. The aquarium aims to educate visitors about the sea life of the Mediterranean through a series of exhibits. There are more than 2,000 specimens on display, including sand tiger sharks, stingrays, lobsters, jellyfish, and more. Visitors can opt to rent an audio guide to learn more about the 200 different species residing at the aquarium.
Things to Know Before You Go
Entry to CretAquarium is via paid ticket, with an audio guide available for an additional fee.
Discounted tickets are available for seniors and children under 17. Children aged 4 and under visit for free.
There’s a cafe/restaurant and souvenir shop on site.
The aquarium is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
CretAquarium is about nine miles (14 kilometers) outside of Crete’s capital city Heraklion, at the former Air Force Base in Gournes. It’s easily accessible by road from Heraklion and Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport. Local buses run to the aquarium from Heraklion, and visitors can arrange taxi transfers. There is a free parking lot.
When to Get There
The aquarium is open daily, with longer summer hours. It’s busiest in the early afternoon—plan to visit in the morning or early evening for a quieter experience. It’s also a popular rainy-day activity on the island.
Visit Dinosauria Park
For a full day of family fun, combine a trip to CretAquarium with a visit to nearby Dinosauria Park, about a half-mile (one kilometer) away. An interactive theme park devoted to all things dinosaur, Dinosauria Park features replica fossils, a life-size T. rex (along with other dinosaur models), adventure playground, and more.