In many cities in Spain there seems to be an Oceanarium – there was certainly one in Barcelona and in Valencia whenÂ we visited last Spring. If you’re travelling with the family, there’ll come a point when the sightseeing starts to wear a bit thin, and L’Oceanographic was certainly a highlight for our children, although it wouldn’t necessarily have been my first choice.
L’Oceanographic in Valencia is part ofÂ the City of Arts and Sciences complex, a space age modern leisure and entertainment area with sculptural buildings and shallow blue pools which is worth a trip in itself.Â Once we entered, we spent a while wandering around the gardens and aviary before we descended into the watery underworld and gazed at countless shoals of fish, sharks and rays drifting past us in the huge tanks.
It was a bit incongruous to view the large beluga whale from the underwater windows, only feet away from the diver who was vacuuming the floor of his enclosure.Â The place was packed with excited school-children and teenagers on their summer outing.
The highlight of the morning was the dolphin show which takes place three times during the day.Â Iâ€™d get in early to make sure you get a seat,Â especially if you visit in high season or at weekends.Â My kids loved every moment, especially the burger bar at the entrance to the showÂ selling chips and slush puppies.Â The dolphins did jumps in the water,Â wagged their tales and flippers and played with the guys and girls in wetsuits, taking them for rides or pushing them out of the water.
Although it was on the expensive side,Â it was the big treat of the trip for my children, and probably the memory they came away with rather than the great tapas or sightseeing in Valencia.
Photos by Heatheronhertravels