One of Europe’s most popular theme parks has just celebrated 30 years of nature conservation and family fun in the Algarve. Located in Guia, a few kilometres from Albufeira, Zoomarine was opened on 3 August 1991 by Pedro Roberto Lavia, whose dream and vision was to create “a space for environmental education, science and conservation, citizenship, joy and family, and a commitment to a more environmentally conscious future”.
He wanted to pay tribute to the sea and the family, and believed that Portugal – and specifically the Algarve, as the country’s premier coastal tourism resort – would be the ideal home for such a project.
Three decades later, his dream has been transformed into a flagship oceanographic and amusement park with numerous national and international awards.
According to Zoomarine, over 30 years they have welcomed more than 13 million visitors and employed tens of thousands of young people and adults who have witnessed the births of hundreds of animals. They have rescued, rehabilitated and returned to the wild hundreds of other animals confiscated by the authorities, and planted tens of thousands of trees and organised several beach clean-ups.
In addition, they have developed dozens of educational programs, and published and assisted with the publication of countless scientific projects, as well as welcoming researchers, interns and volunteers and hosting hundreds of classes and interacting with thousands of students across the academic spectrum. On a lighter side, Zoomarine has also been the host of soap operas, short films and thousands of presentations.
All that activity has resulted in the park being voted the seventh best in Europe and the 24th best in the world. “We are proud to be elected, year after year, the best company and touristic entertainment park in Portugal. And, above all, we are humbled to know that we have managed to create a space of joy and smiles, security, peace, family, future and unforgettable memories.”
Zoomarine’s attractions include presentations with dolphins, seals and sea lions, tropical birds and birds of prey, a shark aquarium, diverse habitats, a 4D cinema and (for aquatic fun for children and adults alike) water slides and a wave beach with salt water surrounded by sand.
As for COVID-19 restrictions, the park notes that it began the 2021 season “with a limited number of visitors, in an area of more than 26 hectares where most spaces are wide and outdoors, meaning that there is enough space for visitors and employees to maintain the minimum mandatory distance.
“All areas of the park were duly reorganised and resized according to their capacity in order to comply with the recommendations of the required social distancing between groups of visitors.
“The safety and well-being of our visitors, employees and animals have always been our highest priority. It is our goal to make you feel safe and comfortable throughout your visit.”
(More information about preventative and safety measures and mandatory advanced booking requirements here.)