Don’t miss the chance to learn about Crete’s unique natural environment at this excellent modern museum.
Visit the Natural History Museum of Crete to explore the different ecosystems in the island’s unique climate and see some of the animals that thrive here. Learn about the species that existed here long before humans. Experience the sensation of an earthquake on the Seismic Table. Children can have fun while learning in the Stavros Niarchos Discovery Center with several interactive exhibits. Rest for a few minutes while you sit down and enjoy one of the excellent shows in the multimedia room.
The Natural History Museum of Crete was founded in 1980 and is one of the most comprehensive displays of ecosystems and natural diversity in Greece. Its dual focus on education and environmental protection makes it a valuable stop to appreciate the nature of this area.
Start in the Mega Dioramas. This is by far the largest area of the museum and has displays of nearly all the different ecosystems found in Greece. Explore the beech forests, the rocky and sandy deserts, the mountainous conifers and more.
Another favorite is the Seismic Table. Step onto this earthquake simulator where you can feel what it is like to be in one of the many earthquakes that have struck this area over the centuries. Learn what makes earthquakes happen and plot the tremors on a seismograph.
Head to the Live Museum to see some of the creatures that inhabit Crete’s dry landscape. You’ll see lizards, birds and aquariums filled with tropical fish. From here, make your way to the model of the gigantean deinotherium, a prehistoric elephant native to this area. See additional ancient species in the Fossils Room, which contains over 8,200 fossils from the area.
Let children entertain themselves in the Stavros Niarchos area with its several interactive exhibits. These include a large model of an ancient ship which they can explore. Equally enjoyable is the Light Mysteries exhibit, which explains the nature of holograms and optical illusions.
The Natural History Museum of Crete is located just west of the harbor. The museum is open daily and there is a small charge for entry.