Dolphinariums and Aquariums

Artur Lebedev/TASS

One of the first dolphinaria to open in Sochi, the Kurortny Gorodok Delphinarium in Adler opened in 1998. A traditional summer dolphinarium, it offers outdoor performances all year round. Visitors can admire bottlenose dolphins and white whales as they dive, sing and even paint! The art created by the dolphins can be purchased at auctions held during the performance. Recently, the dolphinarium added another attraction to its list: now, visitors can also swim with the dolphins and whales.

Александр Демьянчук/ТАСС

The biggest oceanarium on the Black Sea coast, the Sochi Discovery World Aquarium opened in 2009. It boasts 30 aquariums that together hold five million litres of water, a 40-metre see-through underwater tunnel and tropical rainforest with a waterfall. Among the oceanarium’s many striking inhabitants are sharks, moray eels, jellyfish, corals, rays and turtles. Visitors love to study them for hours before catching one of the shows with all but real mermaids, or watching the fish being fed. Some of the fish can be fed by the visitors themselves, for instance, the greedy Koi Carp. Getting into fights over every little piece of food, these always put on a good show for children and adults alike with their antics. Those who desire can even go diving in the largest aquarium after taking a special lesson and receiving a diving certificate.

Alexander Demyanchuk/TASS

Boasting one of the richest collections of marine inhabitants on the Black Sea coast, the Matsesta Aquarium opened in 2005. Besides the traditional aquariums with saltwater and freshwater fish, the aquarium offers several pools with crocodiles, a hippopotamus, penguins, iguanas and animals from the northern seas such as the walrus and several varieties of seal. The real stars of the aquarium, however, are the river otters Ashley and Garry. In 2014, this pair foretold the outcomes of sporting events at the Sochi Olympics! Visitors to the aquarium can also watch sharks, penguins, the crocodile and the hippo being fed, or enjoy one of the daily shows with the walrus and seals.

Artur Lebedev/TASS
Sochi’s Riviera Park Dolphinarium became famous throughout Russia following the television show “Together with the Dolphins” (“Vmeste c Delphinami”). The programme featured show business and sporting celebrities training the dolphins and including them in their acts. In 2012 the Dolphinarium acquired new premises with a hall seating 1,300 spectators that allows performances to be held all year round. The main stars here are bottlenose dolphins, white whales and South American sea lions, who live and perform in six pools. In the seventh, visitors can swim with the dolphins. This can be done purely for fun, or as therapy: special sessions are held for children in need of rehabilitation. The Dolphinarium complex also includes a small zoo, a butterfly garden and even a penguinarium.