Aquarium Crete

The Aquarium of Crete has for many years been a great attraction in the tourist region east of the capital Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete. In the modern aquarium you can see mainly fish and other sea animals on the Mediterranean Sea including meter long sharks and giant turtles. The aquarium in the town Gouves is directly by the sea and easily accessible by car or public bus.

What do you see in the big aquarium on Crete?

The Thalassocosmos (translated sea world) has several dozen basins with fish and other marine animals. The big fish swim in the very big tanks. The visitors stand amazed in front of the largest tank of the Crete aquarium. In the basin swim over 2 meters long sharks (sand sharks and sand tiger sharks). Also in front of the large sea turtles often large groups of visitors form. Also interesting are the many smaller fish species of the Mediterranean Sea in the Aquarium of Crete. We estimate that there are more than 100 species. In addition there are other sea animals like starfish, lobsters, crabs, squids, jellyfish, sea urchins and some more.

One walks on a circular path through the Cretaquarium Thalassocosmos. The rooms in the modern zoo for sea animals are barely illuminated, the tanks with the fish are brightly lit. Thus, one sees the animals very well and can photograph and film the fish well. At each tank in the Thalassocosmos-Auqarium there is a sign with the fish species in several languages, almost always in German.

Admission prices 2018

Admission to the Thalassocosmos Aquarium costs 9 euros, children pay 6 euros, small children up to 4 years are free. In the low season and in winter (from 1st November to 30th April) there is a reduced entrance fee of 6 Euro for adults.

Since the aquarium is very popular, more and more tourists buy their tickets in advance on the Internet. On this link you can buy the tickets.

Opening hours 2018

The Aquarium in Gournes is open daily from 9:30 to 21 (May to Sepetmber). In winter the opening hours are slightly shorter: 9 am to 5 pm.

Is a visit to the Cretaquarium Thalassocosmos worthwhile?

We mean yes!

The entrance fee is not too high, most aquariums of this size in Europe are much more expensive. We find it interesting that in the largest aquarium of Crete there are mainly native fish to be seen. Especially with children, a visit to the marine zoo is a wonderful experience. Hardly any visitor has regretted the visit afterwards.

How to find us

Car: The Crete aquarium is in the small village of Gournes. The big tourist resorts Chersonissos and Malia, as well as the airport Heraklio are 20 to 30 kilometers away. The great highway of Crete from Heraklio to Agios Nikolaos runs directly behind the village of Gournes.

Gouves (other name Gournes) is assembled with Kokkini Hani. Just follow the signs from the motorway to Kokkini Hani or Gournes. The marine world of Thalassocosmos, as the aquarium is called in Greek, is well signposted. There is a large, free parking lot. The zoo for marine animals is right on the coast. Next to the car park is a beach with beautiful sand.

Bus: The connections are very good, but you have to walk a few minutes from the bus stop. All buses, except rare express buses, between Iraklion and Hersonissos and Malia stop in Gournes. These buses depart every 15 to 30 minutes during the season, a little less in winter. When buying tickets at the ticket counter or at the conductor in the bus, one simply says that one wants to go to the aquarium, it is very well known in the area.

Gastronomy in the aquarium

We also liked the café and restaurant in Aquarium Crete. There are large, delicious sandwiches with sausage or tuna fish with lots of salad for 3 euros. On the large menu there are also complete main courses with moussaka, spaghetti or meat dishes for well under 10 euros. Also the ice cream (scoops), the pastries like cheese bags (Tiropita) and the drinks are not overpriced..

In the village of Gouves there are several other good taverns. The tavern Ambrosia always gets many good reviews almost directly at the sea about one kilometre from the sea zoo in direction of Heraklion or west.

Species of fish and other animals in Thalassocosmos

There are a lot of species to see. Those who are interested in the animals of the Mediterranean will have a lot of fun in the aquarium in Gournes. Some interesting animal species:

Sand Shark(Carcharias taurus): Probably the most spectacular fish in the Cretaa aquarium. This shark species can grow up to 3 meters long. They have long teeth, which are well visible. These sharks live in many warm coastal waters around the world, also in the Mediterranean Sea around Greece.

Big Turtle (Caretta Caretta): The famous turtle that lays its eggs every year on some beaches in Crete. This species of turtle can grow to over a metre in length and weigh over 100 kilos.

Green sea turtle (also soup turtle, Chelonia mydas): another large species of turtle that also lives in the Mediterranean.

Giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus): Large fish that can grow up to 3 metres long.

Anemonefish (also Clownfish, Amphiprion): Colourful fish, which are to be seen in the aquarium on Crete in different kinds. Clown fish are very popular aquarium fish in saltwater aquariums because of their bright colours and beauty.

Cobia (also officer-perch, Rachycentron canadum): These fish migrated through the Suez Canal from the Red Sea into the Mediterranean Sea..

Large red scorpion fish (Scorpaena scrofa): Fish with a mild sting, common in the Mediterranean Sea. The poison is very dangerous for humans.

Other (examples): Wreckfish, Wreckfish, Sea bass, Sackfish, Sea bream, Sharpshout seabream, Marbled seabream, axillary seabream, Triggerfish, Cardinalfish, Bear crab, Octopus, Rabbitfish, Eaglefish, Mullet, Doctorfish

Other sights for fans of the nature of Crete

The new, grandiose botanical garden of Crete near Chania. Absolutely recommendable!

The Amazonas Park near the city of Neapoli, about 30 km away.

The little zoo of Chersonissos. Mini private zoo of a Scottish migrant. Almost everyone is thrilled.

Strauss-Farm (Ostrich Farm), only about 10 km from the Aquarium of Crete

The Crete Natural History Museum in Heraklion

Very close to the aquarium is the Dinosauria Park, an amusement park on the theme of dinosaurs.

Important tickets for Crete

Some tickets for Crete can be bought in advance on the Internet. This improves the planning of your holiday and saves time as you don't have to queue up at the ticket offices or search for ticket sales points on Crete. Tickets for the 3 most important sights on Crete:

1. Excavation of Knossos, often long queues at the cash desk: tickets Click here

2. A good overview of bus tours to the famous Samaria Gorge, which can be booked online: Click here

3. Former leprosy island of Spinalonga. Various tickets, ferries, tours: Click here

See also: Many other tickets, excursions on Crete: Tickets Crete


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