The Other Side of Greece – Welcome to the Cretaquarium

Greece might be going through a tuff time, but its beauty and splendour are unmatchable. Greece is much more than we were taught at school and than we have seen in the photos with beautiful sunsets and golden sandy beaches. In Greece, you are in a crossroad of colors and cultures; you feel the strength of history and the warmth of the southern extremity of Europe and you get to meet some of the most hospitable people  in the world. Today, hellasfrappe opens a new column, “The Other Side of Greece”. In the weeks to come, we will be featuring many articles about various Greek destinations, people, and acheivments that tend to go unnoticed from the general view, since it’s the little stories and sites that make this country so unique. Also, we especially encourage our readers to contribute their own articles and experiences as well, and we promise to feature them on the blog in our future issues. 
Today, hellasfrappe takes you to the island of Crete and specifically to the largest aquarium in the whole of the Mediterranean, located 15 kilometers east of this island’s largest city Herakleion.
Not many people know about the Cretaquarium or the “Thalassokosmo”. The aquarium encompasses a research park and a training center as well as an entertainment and culture facility, extending over an area of 60,000 square meters. It is home to more than 2,500 fish and sea creatures that live and thrive in some 32 reservoirs. 
From 50 observation points, visitors here have the opportunity to become familiar with the way of life and the routine of sea creatures.
The organized tour starts with a video shown in low lighting, about deep-sea sites in Crete accompanied by lyrics from greek mythology, relating to the genealogy of the sea divinities.This creates a magical ambience when going through the passage-ways revealing rare species and sea organisms coupled with the beauty of the surroundings. “Thalassokosmos” literally makes you feel that you are in the deep blue sea.
The aquarium also provides an acoustics tour in the form of a device like a telephone, which broadcasts into your ear information, numerous explanations and comments about the sea world , listening at your leisure in four laguages: English,Greek,French and german.The visitor can enrich his trip as much as she/he desires.Specifically the visitor can “dial up” a particular fish tank and listens to the relative information.Other buttons provide more specialized knowledge about the various organisms,the tanks,the ecology of the sea and oceanography.
The Crete Aquarium is open every day all year long, even on official holidays. From 1/10 to 31/5, the Aquarium is open from 9am to 7pm, while from 1/6 to 30/9, it is open daily from 9am to 9pm.
If you want additional information on the opening hours and rates of the Aquarium, you can visit the website at www.cretaquarium.gr.
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