Palma Aquarium: one of the best days out in Mallorca

If you are on holiday in Mallorca then Palma Aquarium is one place that absolutely should not be missed: it’s a great place for those who like to discover new worlds which they never imagined could exist…

Step into my shoes; we are going for a day out to Palma Aquarium. 

Palma Aquarium

What is Palma Aquarium?

Palma Aquarium is a massive home where all visitors are welcome and where a plethora of different species reside in harmony.

Palma Aquarium is one big happy family. But it is much more than smiles and fun; Palma Aquarium is also a place where work is taken seriously, where conditions are monitored meticulously and where awareness is raised for endangered species in the world’s oceans.

Palma Aquarium is somewhere for everybody, young and old, to have fun and learn at the same time.

Palma Aquarium

A Visit to Palma Aquarium

As soon as you are through the door at Palma Aquarium you find yourself in another world – the Old World, to be precise.

The New World and the Old World at Palma Aquarium

The Old World is where we discover sea life from the Mediterranean. Bright tanks with interesting creatures glow vibrantly in the dark aquarium.

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In the New World, the stunning coral and brightly coloured fish make even the biggest cynics open their eyes in wonder and amazement, as strange, never-seen-before creatures emerge with curiosity from their hidden nooks and rocks to take a look at the new visitors.

Palma Aquarium

Throughout the Old World and the New World, beside every tank and aquarium is a touch-screen mounted to the wall with information in different languages about the relevant fish or coral.

Outdoor Fun at Palma Aquarium

As you follow the route through Palma Aquarium, you arrive at a huge outdoor area which replicates a Mallorcan garden containing all the flora native to Mallorca. We also find native Mallorcan animals and creatures, such as centuries old tortoises, stingrays and touch-pools with carp.

Palma Aquarium

The children can put their hands in some of the pools,taking interaction with marine-life to a whole new level as inquisitive fish approach to nibble on their fingers.

We find the restaurant in this huge area too. This is where lunch and refreshments are served. I have to say that the food in Palma Aquarium is generally good and is reasonably priced – a pleasant surprise as parks like this tend to offer plastic food with extorionate prices.

The drinks are quite pricey though; take a bottle of water with you just in case.

No More Pirates at Palma Aquarium

In the outdoor area there used to be two crazy pirates who tirelessly entertained visitors all day every day, with skits, jokes and general clowning around.

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At 2pm every day in summer there would be a water battle and these pirates would climb aboard their wooden ship to defend it from the scores of children playing on it. The children would be given water pistols to attack with, but the pirates would be defending with super-soakers!

Unfortunately this is no more as the pirates have gone from Palma Aquarium, to be replaced by two mariners dressed in navy blue sailor suits, who seem very tame compared to the fearless and daring pirates.

The reason, apparently, has something to do with the Pirates Adventure Show on the island, in Magaluf: I’m not sure if Palma Aquarium didn’t want to be associated with Pirates Adventure or if they didn’t want to be seen to be copying them. Either way, the pirates of Palma Aquarium have gone.

Palma Aquarium

Into the Jungle

Next we go into the jungle, where we feel the ground go soft and the humidity increase and we see all kinds of wonderful tropical plants that one would normally only get to see in the Amazon.

As we get deeper into the jungle, reptiles start to appear and we see all kinds of prehistoric-looking lizards and creatures.

There is a great waterfall that we pass under before continuing into the Big Blue.

The Big Blue

The Big Blue is the absolute highlight of Palma Aquarium, giving us an insight into the hierarchy of ocean life, where sharks, at the top of the chain, effortlessly glide around looking menacing, while at the other end of the scale, the “cleaner fish” shoot around after the sharks hoping for tidbits. All those fish in between just stay out of the way.

Palma Aquarium

The Big Blue is Europe’s deepest shark tank, measuring 8m deep and the glass is 28cm thick at the bottom.

There are scatter cushions around the floor by the Big Blue and people can sit and watch the sharks in fascination for as long as they wish.

Palma Aquarium

As you walk through the Big Blue, you walk through a glass corridor literally through the tank itself, meaning that at any moment you could have sharks swimming right over your head.

Every hour at the Big Blue there is a presentation in different languages and visitors can learn about life in the world’s deepest oceans. Staff are then around to give more information to those who have questions.

Activities at Palma Aquarium

As well as all the above, Palma Aquarium is constantly organising different activities and organising special events for visitors, to create more fun and more awareness. Here are a few things you can do at Palma Aquarium:

Snuba Diving

Snuba diving is a cross between scuba and snorkelling and allows us to enter one of the shallow outdoor pools and interact with the stingrays.

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This can be organised on arrival at Palma Aquarium and wetsuits and towels are provided. Children have to be over eight to participate and are taken, complete with breathing equipment down into the water by experts.

Backstage Tour

Something else that can be organised on arrival at the aquarium is the backstage tour. Have you ever wondered how many litres of water make up the Big Blue? Or how many kilos of food are needed to provide nutrition to the hundreds of species at Palma Aquarium?

With the Backstage Tour, you are taken around the installations, shown what goes on behind the scenes and introduced to some of the specialists.

Dinner with the Sharks

I know this sounds a little dubious; if the sharks are hungry then it’s not a good idea to be close!

But Palma Aquarium has come up with this alternative dining experience, by the Big Blue, where couples are served a romantic meal for two surrounded by the ocean. Let’s face it, when are you ever going to get another chance to do that?

In the Shark Tank

Oh yes, you can actually get in Europe’s deepest shark tank and get up close and personal with the sharks themselves. There are all sorts of ideas that Palma Aquarium has come up with to get people to go into the shark tank, including:

  • Feeding the sharks
  • Diving with the sharks
  • Getting married in the shark tank

This bizarre list goes on and on. And there have been wedding ceremonies in the shark tank at Palma Aquarium. If you have an event and you want it to take place with the sharks at Palma Aquarium then just contact the aquarium and if it’s possible they will organise it for you.

Palma Aquarium’s Efforts for the Planet

Palma Aquarium

Palma Aquarium is king when it comes to campaigns for raising awareness about the dire state of the world’s seas and oceans.

All the water used in the aquarium is recycled water, which is pumped directly from the sea and filtered into the aquarium in a huge cycle, going back out into the sea cleaner than when it was pumped in!

The main campaign that Palma Aquarium is involved in is to Save the Tuna, and there is a huge exhibition about the near-extinction of the bluefin tuna – read it and you won’t be eating sushi in a while.

Other campaigns include the Shark Campaign, against shark finning, and local conservation work to help protect the Limonium Barceloi which grows natively on the island.

How to book to go to Palma Aquarium

If you are staying on Mallorca and you want to go on an organised tour, just click here to be taken to No Frills Excursions website where you can check out your options.

Alternatively, click here if you just need entrance tickets.

How to get there

Palma Aquarium is situated in Playa de Palma, just outside the city and you can get there off exit 10 on the motorway.


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Opening Times

Palma Aquarium is open every single day of the year.

Click here for up-to-date opening times.

Accessibility

Palma Aquarium is a modern structure and is one of the few on Mallorca that boasts full accessibility for all visitors, with wide corridors and doors for wheelchair access and with lifts to every floor for those who can’t manage the stairs.

Photography at Palma Aquarium

You are more than welcome to take photos inside the aquarium but you must not use flash. They are very strict about this because it can be dangerous to the fish. So if you use your flash, prepare to see your camera being fed to the sharks.

Palma Aquarium is People-Friendly

I just want to finish this post mentioning that Palma Aquarium is not just marine-friendly but is also people-friendly; the staff are well-trained and are knowledgeable about the different installations and species. There are always loads of members of staff around who are always able and willing to answer visitors’ questions.

I love how at Palma Aquarium they pay attention to small details that make all the difference. For instance, I once went when it was raining and they were giving out rain ponchos for free to their visitors, meaning that no one was forced inside, missing the outdoor areas.

I also love the fact that this place is clearly not just a money-making business but is also a place where people can go to learn and to interact. The extra optional activities that I have already mentioned do not cost the earth and ordinary families can easily afford to participate.

I wish there were more businesses that incorporated this attitude into their philosophy. What do you think?

Have you been to Palma Aquarium before? Maybe you prefer a different activity in Mallorca. Let us know in the comments. Or click here for more inspiration about ways to spend the holidays in Mallorca.

Filed Under: featuredmallorcaNo Frills Excursions MallorcaPalmaspain

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About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....

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