Those who have a fondness of the oceans and all things nautical will be duly impressed by A Coruña’s extraordinary Aquarium Finisterrae. Translated as the ‘aquarium at the end of the world’, it lies on the very edge of the Atlantic Ocean, just a fishing line’s distance from the ancient Torre de Hercules lighthouse. Built 14 years ago, this imposing facility was designed to educate people about the sea while paying particular attention to the ecosystems of the Galician coast. Inside this mammoth monument to marine life you’ll be able to venture through various themed sections containing everything from Atlantic seals and sea horses to octopuses, jellyfish and sharks.
Helping to reel in visitors is the impressive Sala Nautilus – Europe’s largest underwater observation room. Holding a colossal 4,400,000 litres of water, this room is decorated in the style of the study of Jule Verne’s Captain Nemo in the submersible Nautilus. Not surprisingly, the exhibit is particularly popular with children, who also love to watch the more than 50 fish species including ferocious looking sharks. In addition, visitors of all ages can get some hands-on experience in the Charca de las caricias (the stroking pool), where anyone with a passion for pez (fish) can touch some of the marine life, including such gentle creatures as starfish and turbots.
The largest of the aquariums is the Atlantic Ocean exposition room, which houses more than 600 Atlantic species and also acts as a ballroom with a capacity of 350 people, should you feel like hosting an underwater themed party. Another fascinating feature is formed by the exterior pools that are connected to the Atlantic Ocean, allowing visitors to observe and learn about the movement of the ocean’s tides. Many a Beatles fan is also drawn subconsciously to the Octopus’ Garden, where as the name would suggest, you’ll discover an aquarium dedicated to one of Galicia’s culinary mainstays.
Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy all that this aquarium has to offer, for it is one of the most comprehensive and impressive oceanariums of its kind in the world!