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BLOG Underwater worlds in Turkey

8 March 2016 / Lifestyle

Turkey's aquariums with state of the art technology.

Turkey’s beauty is famed worldwide but what lies beneath the surface is just as captivating. With state of the art technology, Turkey has some of the best aquariums on the planet. Boasting thematic galleries and huge tunnels created as close to natural habitats as possible, a day out here is exciting for adults and children alike.

What’s there

During the last ten years, there has been a significant increase in the number of aquariums built in Turkey. But this has done nothing to prevent the rise in their popularity with weekends being particularly busy as parents wait in queues to view the attractions with their children.

As visitor levels rise, the standard of aquariums has also increased to meet expectations. At a typical one you can expect to see sharks, mammals, fish and many other sea creatures living in state of the art tanks that have been developed to mirror their natural habitat. 

Istanbul Sea Life Aquarium

Europe’s largest aquarium is Istanbul Sea Life, offering visitors an amazing underwater world view together with thematic galleries. Take a journey through the Rainforest, Coastal Cliffs, the Black Sea, Touch Pool, the Great barrier, Indo-Pacific Reefs and the Docks and Piers to get a glimpse of what lies beneath.



Other highlights include an 83-meter-long underwater Ocean Tunnel, 270-degree panoramic viewing Sea Bed, 21 themed zones with 47 display tanks and more than 15,000 sea creatures including Spotted Freshwater Stingrays, Giant Murray Eels and the Alligator Snapping Turtle. Don’t leave without witnessing the 2.5-meter-long tiger sharks and small sea predators. For those that are feeling particularly brave, you can actually dive into the sea water and come face to face with the aquarium’s rescued sea turtles. If that sounds a little too daunting, touch a sea star and other creatures in the interactive touchpool experience. Istanbul Sea Life is located in Europe’s largest shopping centre Forum Istanbul Mall at Bayrampaşa, easily accessible by public transport from Sutanahmet and historical peninsula.

Aqua Vega Aquarium

Located in the country’s capital Ankara, Aqua Vega Aquarium is one of Europe’s largest tunnel aquariums boasting a total capacity of 4.5 million liters of both salt and fresh water.

There’s plenty to see including magnificent sharks as well as smaller sea creatures. There’s also the World of Adrenaline zone featuring 250 different wild animals. Here you can find the most dangerous species including snakes, tarantulas, poisonous frogs and many others that are among the deadliest in the world. 

Antalya Aquarium

Located in the heart of Turkey's tourist center, Antalya Aquarium is visited by thousands of local and foreign tourists each year. Learn, be inspired and discover facts and fascinating information about the sea and its creatures. Antalya Aquarium is 131 meters in length and 3 meters in width, making it the world's biggest tunnel aquarium. There are 40 different thematic aquariums offering such a diverse climate that you can make snowballs from real snow in the aquarium's Snow World. You can also see the most poisonous species in the tropical reptile house, WildPark, and sail the world's seas with the multi-dimensional movie technology in Oceanride XD Cinema. Located in the heart of Antalya, just 70 meters away from Konyaaltı Beach, Antalya Aquarium makes for a fascinating and fun day out.



Istanbul Aquarium

Istanbul Aquarium has a huge variety of fish species and is a place where you can easily spend the whole day discovering an underwater world. Situated in Florya on the European side of Istanbul, the aquarium is a double-story building covering nearly 22,000 square meters.

Within the 64 tanks there are a huge variety of both land and sea creatures from over 1,500 species. To make navigation easier, the aquarium is divided into 16 themes from the Black Sea to the Rain Forest. The latest technologies are used throughout to allow the animals to enjoy conditions as close as possible to those of their natural habitat. 



Swimming with dolphins

For an unforgettable experience, there are a number of Dolphinariums in Turkey, which offer the chance to swim with dolphins, watch training sessions and create special memories with family and loved ones.



In Marmaris, right on the beach front, the Dolphin Therapy centre offers fun, education and therapy programmes. Each session last about 40 minutes and due to high demand during the summer season, booking at least three days in advanced is recommended.

Side Underwater Museum

Europe's first underwater museum can be found in Antalya, Turkey. The Side Underwater Museum is the first and only one of its kind in Turkey and Europe and features 110 sculptures.

With 3 million tourists in the world who are actively involved in diving, the museum looks set to be very popular. There are several historical and cultural themes ranging from the “Turkish War of Independence” to “Whirling Dervishes,” “Camel Trains” and “Flower Gardens,”. The sculptures were constructed from specialised materials used to foster coral life.

All divers, whether amateur, semi-professional or professional are welcome to visit the sculptures that can be found located at three different depth zones.

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving in Turkey has become a popular pastime with dive centres now found nearby most of the holiday resort areas. Whether you are a beginner or diving expert, there are plenty of opportunities for those that want to learn or improve their diving skills.

The most popular areas for diving are the regions of Marmaris, Bodrum, Oludeniz, Fethiye, and Kas. There is a huge variety of dive sights and you can expect anything from wrecks through to tunnels or caverns and with many of these in the same trip.  

In many of the wrecks you can expect to see animals that dwell in the there as well as remains of amphora and pottery. During each dive, the variety of sea life will leave you spellbound and divers can expect to see morays, seahorses, stingrays, octopus, sponges, groupers, nudibranches, and sea bream.  Sometimes you may even catch a glimpse of turtles or dolphins if you are very lucky and get your timing right.

The best time to go diving in Turkey is between April and November when most of the diving centres are open. 


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