Discover, Learn, Care
The Cretan Aquarium and the Hotel Nana Beach present the magic underwater world directly in front of our shores.
On the endless rocky coastline of the hotel is hidden a wide variety of species and biotopes characteristic for the Cretan sea. Scientists of the Cretan aquarium describe, photograph and present with an exhibition of 5 posters. Discover it with one mask and one breath.
An initiative which is manifested in Greece for the first time whose purpose is to make the visitors of Crete become acquainted with the fantastic Sea World.
Down by the waves
The rocky shore by the hotel is extremely steep in places and fully exposed to the waves. These factors govern the life to be found there – species that can withstand the strong forces produced by wave action. Yet another important factor is the abundant light, which favours the growth of seaweed communities. Sea urchins are to be found at the many points where the shore zone is devoid of vegetation.
On the shoreline rocks
The extensive web of rocks and reefs in front of the hotel plays host to a variety of Mediterranean animal and plant species. Light and rock gradient determine the points at which each species settles. Competition for a place on the rocky seabed is intense. Rock habitats with marine vegetation offer food and shelter to many invertebrate and fish species.
In the shadows of the rocks
Light is a key parameter in the aquatic environment. Both its presence and absence affect and shape the communities of marine organisms. Shady areas (reef slopes, overhangs, caverns) are remarkably rich in biodiversity, and the slight effort needed by the swimmer or diver to visit them is rewarded with an impressive variety of colours and shapes. Dimly lit spots are a heaven for sessile invertebrates; sponges, tunicates and bryozoans predominate on the greatest part of the surface, while the presence of algae is restricted due to the low light intensity.
Sponges are the most primitive multicellular animals; they form a group consisting of thousands of distinct species worldwide. They are filter-feeders, consuming microscopic particles and organisms present in the water by creating a constant flow through a system of channels that runs through their body.
Tunicates (or sea-squirts) form a distinct animal group that is the evolutionary link between invertebrates and vertebrates. They feed in a similar way to sponges. In certain species, individuals are organized in colonies, where they live in assemblages of hundreds under a common coating.
Reefs of various sizes are scattered throughout the area, covered in lush marine vegetation with a predominance of brown algae. These reefs are teeming with life and host several species of fish and invertebrates.
The sandy bottom extends a short distance from the groups of rocks on the shoreline. Small meadows of the sea grass species Posidonia oceanica are present here, a habitat endemic and protected in the Mediterranean Sea.
The meadows play a vital role in maintaining the equilibrium of coastal ecosystems, since they hold sediments in place; protect sandy shores against erosion; produce oxygen and organic matter; and serve as a habitat where hundreds of species of Mediterranean fish and invertebrates can find shelter and reproduce.