With three days in Heraklion (aka Iraklio), you can discover the area’s 4,000 years of history, savor the local cuisine, wander landscapes like the Samaria Gorge—and even visit another island.
Gournes, Heraklion, Crete, 710 03
Along with the island’s Dinosaur Park, Cretaquarium is one of the most popular kid-friendly attractions on Crete and a highlight of family-focused tours. Some itineraries also stop at the island’s Labyrinth Park and include a hands-on children’s pottery class for a day of fun and adventure for the entire family. If planning to visit the aquarium on your own, be sure to purchase tickets in advance to avoid a wait at the entrance.
Things to know before you go
- Though the aquarium is an especially family-friendly attraction, its many exhibits and tanks are fascinating for visitors of all ages.
- There is a restaurant for meals or snacks inside the aquarium with a panoramic terrace overlooking the sea.
- Information labels on each tank are translated into a variety of languages, or visitors can rent an audio guide or book a general tour or children’s tour at an extra charge in advance.
- The aquarium is completely accessible to wheelchairs via ramps and elevators.
How to get there
Cretaquarium is located at the former American military base in Gournes, 6.8 miles (14 km) from Heraklion, and can be reached by car or bus. The easiest way to visit is via a driving tour or shore excursion that takes in a number of family-friendly attractions on the island.
When to get there
The aquarium is open daily all year round, even on holidays. The halls can be crowded on weekends and during the summer, so tour in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the worst of the throngs.
Highlights of the Cretaquarium
As well as educating visitors on the mysteries of the deep, Cretaquarium plays a serious role in marine research and conservation, caring for injured fish and marine life from the Mediterranean. Its 60 tanks are themed to recreate different Mediterranean marine environments, and include walk-through tanks with sharks, loggerhead turtles, comical groupers, and velvety rays floating overhead. There are also 100 observation spots where entertaining and informative information is laid out for children as colorful shoals of fish flit in front of their eyes. Specially designed touch pools allow interaction with marine invertebrates and there are daily workshops and lectures for families.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Cretaquarium (Thalassokosmos)?
What else should I know about attractions in Heraklion?