The Oceanografic in Valencia is the largest aquarium in Europe. Here you can enjoy the marine fauna in a unique way, not only contemplating “fish tanks”. The 47 meter long underwater tunnel allows you to enjoy marine fauna from another point of view.
In addition, in few aquariums in the world, you will be able to enjoy a great variety of sharks, several beluga whales and an endless number of animal species. Join us and … plunge into the depths of the sea!
Where is largest aquarium in Europe located?
It is part of the City of Arts and Sciences. It is located within the city of Valencia, not far from Las Arenas beach and the port.
If you come by car, you have a parking lot in the City of Arts and Sciences (timetable and rate).
The Oceanografic is very complete, since it has many diverse ecosystems within the enclosure. You can visit from the Arctic to the Red Sea, passing through the Mediterranean Sea.
The areas in which it is divided are:
- Temperate and Tropical Seas
- Oceanic islands
- Mediterranean Sea
- Red Sea
Plan of the largest aquarium in Europe (Oceanografic of Valencia)
Here we leave you the official map of the Oceanografic of Valencia to make your visit easier:
Visiting the largest aquarium in Europe (Oceanografic of Valencia)
The Oceanografic of Valencia is a spectacular venue. Built relatively recently (2003), its avant-garde design and its careful facilities make this place a special aquarium.
It houses no more and no less than 450 animal species with 45,000 specimens. All in the best conditions that recreate their natural habitat.
But what makes this place more special is, without a doubt, the impressive underwater tunnel. In this way you can contemplate in an “immersive” way the spectacular fish that inhabit the Oceanografic.
Also the Arctic zone is perfectly recreated. In a special area, with low temperatures, you can see the impressive beluga, penguins and even a huge walrus.
Without further delay, we show you the animals that most caught our attention (it is impossible to list them all here):
- Sharks: Although they still carry the fame of lethal, only some of the 489 species are dangerous to man (mainly the white, tiger and bull shark). Here you can find sharks of various species: bull shark, gray shark, blacktip shark, leopard, etc … What a luxury to be able to contemplate these magnificent animals! (Read more about sharks).
- Napoleon fish: This giant of the seas can reach two meters in length and 200 kg in weight. Despite their size, they are completely harmless to humans. It stands out for its characteristic lips. Its natural habitat is in the Indo-Pacific arch (Read more about the Napoleon fish).
- Jellyfish: These beautiful gelatinous-bodied animals have a displacement that is hypnotic. Here you can find different types, colors, sizes, some of them very poisonous (Read more about jellyfish).
- Moray eels: These snake-shaped fish can be found in screaming rocks or reefs. Here they lie still stalking the fish that pass near their position. Moray eels inhabit tropical and subtropical waters (Read more about moray eels).
- Seal: These pretty animals can travel long distances and dive to great depths (up to 600 meters). They tolerate low temperatures very well since they have a thick layer of fat under their skin (25% of their weight). Seals are distributed along the coasts of the world (except in tropical areas) (Read more about seals).
- Sea Lion: Distant relatives of the seals, they have quite a few differences with them: larger (up to 300 kg), you have ears, separate rear fins and large, articulated front fins. This is why they perform better on land than seals. (Read more about the sea lion).
- Penguins: These cute to walk clumsy and unable to fly transform into water. Here they unfold in an amazing way, with quick movements to catch fish. Except in tropical areas, you can see them throughout the southern hemisphere (Read more about penguins).
- Toadfish: These fish are striking, but perfectly camouflaged on the seabed. They stand out for their characteristic shape and for the spine they use to attract prey. Found mainly in tropical waters (Read more about toadfish).
- Anemones: They are animals, although they are more like a plant. There is a great variety, since 1,200 species have been cataloged. They are found on the seabed and in rock / coral areas, where you can observe them and also contemplate the mutually beneficial relationship with other fish (it gives protection and receives cleaning from you) (Read more about anemones).
- Mantis Shrimp: This brightly colored crustacean stands out for its front claws, which can propel at 350 meters per second. In this way it is capable of much larger animal hunts (up to 8 times). What’s more, there have been cases of divers who have suffered a broken finger due to getting too close … (Read more about mantis shrimp).
- Dolphin: These cetaceans are some of the smartest animals in the world (not just in the oceans). In addition, they have a powerful echolocation system to guide and hunt in the sea. They are very sociable animals that live in family groups (Read more about dolphins).
- Leaf fish: These animals are well known because they are highly prized in aquariums. However, they are not very abundant in nature. The main characteristic that defines them is their shape and colors, ideal for camouflaging themselves with their surroundings (Read more about leaf fish).
- Starfish: We are used to seeing remains of starfish, but not so much to seeing them alive and moving. There are species of different sizes and colors, the majority being 5 arms (not all) (Read more about starfish).
- Ray: Cartilaginous fish with a characteristic flat body. Although most of them are totally harmless, there are 2 stingray families that have a poisonous stinger in their tail. They are closely related to sharks (Read more about ray).
- Bull ray: Also known as tiger manta, highlighted by a pronounced and pointed snout. It can measure up to 1.5 meters in wingspan (Read more about bull ray).
- Beluga: Beautiful cetacean that lives in the cold arctic waters. Of characteristic white color, it can reach almost 6 meters in length and weigh about 1,500 kg. It is also special because it lacks a dorsal fin (Read more about the beluga).
- Giant spider crab: Although its body is small, its gigantic legs mean that it can measure up to 4 meters in wingspan. It is mainly found in the Pacific Ocean, mainly off the coast of Japan (Read more about the giant spider crab).
- Clownfish: It is known worldwide for the animated movie “Finding Nemo”. Brightly colored, it lives among anemones. In this way it is protected and, in return, cleans anemones from parasites. You can find it in tropical areas, mainly in coral reefs (Read more about the clownfish).
Although most of the enclosure is dedicated to showing the seas and their inhabitants, in the Oceanografic Valencia you can also enjoy a small space that recreates the wetlands and birds found there.
Tickets for Valencia Oceanografic
Today it is closed due to the Covid-19 emergency, but will surely open shortly with the necessary security protocols for a safe visit. So we leave you here the link to the official page so you can buy the tickets later:tickets for the Valencia Oceanografic.
Where to stay in Valencia?
We were at Dormavalencia Hostel and we loved it. It has a quality/price ratio very good. Also, it had automatic reception, so you didn’t need to keep an eye on reception hours.
However, if you prefer other accommodation, you have plenty to choose from in Valencia …
What to see in the city of Arts and Sciences?
In addition to the Oceanografic, there are other buildings within the City of Arts and Sciences that we also recommend visiting:
- L’Hemisfèric It is a spectacular 3D cinema with a 900 m2 curved screen (IMAX Dome), where you can enjoy projections on different themes: Oceans, Space, Amazons, … All of them magnificent (Cinema listings in L’Hemisfèric).
- Príncipe Felipe Science Museum: It is a museum dedicated to science, with a large presence of elements and interactive experiences. Here you will be the protagonist and experiment with the laws of physics in a fun and educational way (Read more about the Science Museum).
- Queen Sofia Palace of the Arts: If you are a lover of the opera, or of the great musical shows, you have a must visit. Check before the performances come and enjoy the show in this magnificent building (Read more about the Palace of the Arts).
- Ágora: This modern building in the city of Arts and Sciences is a multipurpose space. Here you can enjoy, among other events, Valencia Fashion Week (Valencia Fashion Week), painting exhibitions, an ice skating rink … (Read more about the Agora).
We loved the Oceanografic Valencia, the largest aquarium in Europe, as we were able to enjoy a wide variety of marine fauna. It is, together with the Cabarceno nature Park, the nature space that we liked the most in Spain.
P.S.: Official links with information about Covid-19: (Official information to Spain), (Official information to Peru), (Official information to Chile), (Official information to Argentina), (Official information to Colombia).
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