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We have family visiting us at the moment and they kindly treated us to a day at Zoomarine Algarve.
Zoomarine is a sea-life based theme park near Albufeira, with an aquarium, water and fairground rides along with various animal shows.
I’ll start my report with a word about dolphins. Until I mentioned on my Facebook wall that I had been to a dolphin show which attracted several comments, I was unaware that a lot of people see these shows as being inhumane.
Now I can’t say for certain, as I struggle to speak Portuguese, let alone dolphin, but the affinity the trainers seemed to have with these dolphins was both touching and awe-inspiring. One section when the dolphins pulled the trainers through the water by their feet, following by lots of affectionate cuddles with the dolphins truly brought a tear to the eye. I must say that from what I saw, it certainly appeared that the dolphins and trainers shared a lot of love and the dolphins seemed to love performing.
I may be wrong about all this, and it may be that other places like this do not treat the dolphins correctly, but everything I saw at Zoomarine seemed to be about caring for the animals and the environment – if it IS inhumane they hide it well – anyone with evidence to the contrary, please tell me and I won’t go back!
Anyway, back to the point. After the dolphin show, which really blew us away, we had a good look round and went on the basic but fun fairground rides, including a big wheel which terrified my dear wife!
The aquarium wasn’t the biggest one I have ever seen but was enjoyable – I can spend hours happily looking at fish. We also went on the water rides and spent a while sitting by the inviting, but hugely busy swimming pools.
Food was the typical theme-park junk food, but, very surprisingly, sold at prices that weren’t a huge rip-off – a very welcome break from the norm.
All in all, a lovely day with the family at a place that didn’t rip you off, and accommodated the crowds fairly well, aside from the scrum just before the dolphin show – this isn’t the place for adrenaline filled theme park rides but for a great day out with a lot of variety I do recommend Zoomarine.
Photo credit: The Admiralty