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The Cretaquarium building is part of the Thalassocosmos complex, the largest research, technology and entertainment centre in the Mediterranean.

Thalassocosmos extends over 6 hectares in the northwest shoreward section of the former American Base at Gournes, Heraklion Prefecture (5Km west from Analipsi).


This is where your experience exploring the Mediterranean sea world begins.

Come face to face with hundreds of species and thousands of living organisms.
Be fascinated by their behaviour as they reveal the wide variety of shapes, colors, habits and needs of their own world.

Learn about them and reflect on what our common future may


In the Mediterranean sea… ..the smallest wave is full of grace and beauty.
The wild north wind says one thing; the stormy, treacherous south wind says another; the short lived easterly yet another. The shallows on the shores of the Aegean make up one kind of dreamyscene, the seas another, and the fathomless depths of the marine trenches yet another.

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The labyrinthine crevices in underwater rocks form one backdrop, the imposing, inky sea caves another and the golden sand on the seabed yet another. In passing, mankind has left other backdrops such as ancient wrecks and sunken cities.

The Cretan Parrotfish, the multicolored Ornate Wrasse, the mighty shark, the silent mollusks and the ever-swaying marine plants all differ in their behavior.
The life of the motionless coral is entirely different from that of the ever-moving tuna fish, the pulsating anemone, the supple sea fan, the flying skate or the drifting jellyfish.

Lessepsian migrants was the name given to the fish that populated the Mediterranean once mankind dug the Suez Canal. New to the Mediterranean, they were old inhabitants of the warm tropical seas and coral reefs.

They flourished in their new home, as the Mediterranean was filled with exotic new tropical colors and shapes.
And just as with migrants, the life of times past was enriched and invigorated.












It includes the Central Building (approx. 5,500m2), which houses research facilities for marine sciences such as 
Marine Biology and Genetics, Oceanography and Marine Biological Resources, alongside the administrative and financial services of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (Crete).
Added to this is the Institute of Aquaculture Building (approx. 3,500m2) and Cretaquarium (approx. 3.500m2). 


The Cretaquarium building lies about 100m from a long sandy bathing beach.



Opening Hours

Cretaquarium Thalassocosmos is open 365 days a year, including all public holidays.


Season Months

Opening hours


June – July – August



Winter October – November
December – January 
February - March
April – May













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