Reviewed by David Lomas, November 2010:
There are probably criteria for the minimal size of zoo or aquaria for inclusion in the Good Zoo Guide and this aquarium may push that boundary to its limit. This is a modern aquarium that is part of an interpretive centre for the Archipelago of Cabrera National Park, that’s just off the coast from Sant Jordi in southern Mallorca.
The aquarium is small with only 18 exhibits. The tanks are brightly lit and the visitor has to navigate their route through the aquarium using the light from the displays. You walk on a rippled floor that emulates the sea bed and if you look up you’ll see a simulated sea surface with the hulls of small dinghies. It brings a new meaning to the concept of an “immersive experience”. All the animals and plants are drawn from the waters from around Cabrera. Several of the larger aquariums are about 3 metres high. Besides shoaling fish, huge Murray Eels, crabs and lobsters, there’s a rock pool of smaller fish and deep red coloured sea anemones.
Your exit from the aquaria is via one of two tubular glass elevators that are in one of the larger aquariums. From the lifts you emerge onto a broad spiral walkway that takes you to the top of the building and its panoramic views.
This Aquarium is so new that there is neither species labelling nor a guide - which is a little sad for an interpretive centre. That said, labelling and guides are promised. This is an aquarium with a mission to inform and educate the public about the Archipelago of Cabrera and its wildlife. I can’t think of a better way to experience and sample its marine life.
And finally, admission to this purpose-built Cabrera Visitor Centre, including the Aquarium, is absolutely free!