If visiting an aquarium doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, you should make Palma Aquarium an exception.
It has been developed by Coral World International, who are renowned for creating beautiful marine parks in Hawaii, the Red Sea and Australia. The Palma Aquarium is the newest of the group, having opened in 2007. The designers have faithfully recreated the habitats and ecosystems of the world’s seas and oceans to capture the excitement of the world below the tropical waters. Along with the multitude of fish tanks, you’ll find a large garden with play area for the kids, and a huge jungle roof garden.
Most exciting of all however, is the enormous shark tank. 33 metres long, 25 metres wide and 8.5 metres deep, ‘The Big Blue’ is the deepest shark tank in Europe and holds 3.5 million litres of salt water. Amongst the 200 species of marine life, there are four different types of shark - Blacktip Reef Shark, Smooth Hound, Sand Tiger Shark, and the Sandbar Shark. If you have a PADI diver’s license you can even dive in this tank and swim with the sharks. It’s a very exciting experience, as we can personally testify!
Before you get to the shark tank, you start at the beginning with a trip through Mediterranean waters, with 25 tanks displaying unique species found in this almost landlocked sea. Tropical oceanic ecosystems are next, with Oceania, Asia and America represented in 24 tanks displaying the different marine habitats of each area. Particular attention is given to corals in this section, as Palma Aquarium promotes the importance of coral reefs in providing shelter, protection, habitat, food, breeding grounds, survival and, in short, subsistence for species that are found on Earth only in these places.
The aquarium also has a large garden area featuring Japanese pools and waterfalls. Here you will also find interactive aquariums (rays, turtles and hammerhead sharks) where you can lend a hand at feeding times. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy the sunshine while the little ones are having fun with the play leaders, or searching for treasure on board the great Pirate Ship. The facilities in this outdoor zone are rounded off by two cafeterias, a hands-on Touch Pool (where you can pet creatures such as starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers) and a large playground area. Just off this area is a recreation of the Amazonian tropical rainforest. ‘The Jungle’ is the largest roof garden in Spain and the specially created microclimate ensures the optimum growth of the vegetation.
The kids will love the aquarium in the summer months, when special activities are organised – games, face painting, water fights on the pirate ship – or they can become assistants to the Ocean Guides, and help feed the turtles, rays and Koi fish. Birthday parties can be arranged at the aquarium, and for the ultimate party, you can arrange a sleep-over in The Big Blue with the shark tank in full view!
The gift shop at the end of your visit is a pretty good one – a wide range of gifts, books, CDs, films, games, jewellery (with a good selection of pearls), clothes, and children’s toys & games.
Palma Aquarium is dedicated to increase public awareness of the dangers facing Nature and the harm it is suffering, and there is an educational section before the shark tank that highlights specific problems facing marine life today. Current projects include ‘Save the Bluefin Tuna’, which has almost been fished to extinction in the Mediterranean Sea.
“Learn to value and value to protect” is the guiding idea behind the philosophy of Palma Aquarium and Coral World. We think that’s a philosophy worth supporting.
Prices for the Aquairum start from €24 for adults (€18 for residents of rthe Baleriacs) and €14 for children aged 4-12 years old (€12 for residents) and free for 0-3 year olds.
Location: Palma Centre & Marina
Level: Family Friendly
Sight Type: Aquarium
Activities: Children's Activities
Access: Disabled access
Car-parking: Public car-park: outdoor