The Oniria aquarium located in the port of Canet en Roussillon covers 3,500 m2 and presents 660 different species that are grouped around 10 universes distributed over 83 tanks.
DISCONNECT FROM EVERYDAY LIFE
Disconnect from everyday life on the terrace with a breathtaking panoramic view of the port and the beach while enjoying a contact pool dedicated to species from this same place. Nearby, restaurant, ice cream parlor and snack bar to extend this moment of relaxation.
FOLLOW A REAL ORIGINAL PATH
Follow a true original route, guided by the common thread of the water cycle, for a world tour marveling at the biodiversity of the species present and the varied ecosystems of Oniria.
BE AWARE OF THE MAIN CURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Visitors follow current scientific work to better understand the risks we take as a result of lifestyle and consumption.
EXPERIENCE A HOST OF EMOTIONS THROUGH THE MOBILIZATION OF ALL THE SENSES
Experience a host of emotions through the mobilization of all the senses. Sight, hearing, touch, balance, smell and punctually the taste of intensity at your visit.
THE SCENES VIBRATE WITH MANY SPECIAL EFFECTS
The scenes are shaken by numerous special effects: blizzards, huge silent attacks, varied projections, stage machines and much more.
ACCESSIBLE TO ALL
Accessible to all, the establishment is very attentive to all forms of disability: support for PRMs, hearing impaired, visually impaired…
LEARNING WHILE HAVING FUN
In Oniria several types of visits are possible with different readings and approaches. Fun, educational and/or scientific around touch tables, quizzes, educational games, QR codes, documentaries or even personalized visits in the company of an expert guide.
AN IDEAL ACTIVITY FOR ALL SEASONS AND WITH ALL TYPES OF PUBLIC
It is an ideal activity at any time of the year and with any type of public. Open 365 days a year, in winter and summer, the aquarium is suitable for all ages.
SOFTEN UP IN FRONT OF BABY FISH
To soften up in front of baby fish, baby jellyfish, coral nurseries. Direct contact with researchers invites visitors to discover these professions and the associated breeding programs.
THE PRICES OFFERED ARE THE LOWEST IN FRANCE FOR AN AQUARIUM OF THIS SIZE
The adjusted price policy even allows you to benefit from discounts. Don’t hesitate to consult the promotions!
The aquarium in Canet-en-Roussillon dates back to 1983 and covered more than 700 m2 of buildings belonging to a former fishery. The facility hosted 1000 individuals of 350 exotic and Mediterranean species in 55 aquariums with a total of 170 m3 of pond. This ruined building no longer allows the inhabitants of Canet-en-Roussillon and its visiting clientele to offer a visiting experience at the level of the rest of the infrastructures that the city can offer. Therefore, the choice was to build a new installation that could accommodate the many customers of the old aquarium and attract new ones. It was then that the new center called Oniria was born. This building, five times larger than the old aquarium, now covers almost 3,500 m2 and contains more than 1,200,000 liters of water in total. It consists of 83 groups that present to the public more than 3500 individuals of 660 different species, grouped around 10 universes.
Spectacular species and unique scenography
Spectacular species and unique landscapes. On the water, each of the ten worlds on offer is home to the most emblematic and spectacular species that exist in a unique environment. Ideal for discovering the inhabitants, carp, grey sharks, piranhas to brunettes, squids, scorpion fish, jellyfish or nautilus … beyond the ephemeral wonder of surprise! “It is by imbuing with positive emotions and lasting memories that Oniria wants to awaken visitors by stimulating their five senses.” It’s also the promise of seeing never-before-seen shapes, perceiving unique sounds, and having incredible tactile experiences in direct contact with different animal species.
A fun, educational and scientific world is born
A wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the diversity of the aquatic world through a series of virtual experiences, each more unique than the other: climbing a mountain on an adventure course to reach the clouds at the top of Canigou… A snowstorm in the world of “mountains”… An earthquake in the abysses of the ocean… a tropical rain in the jungle… a surprising encounter with the holograms of a giant octopus. And for the more adventurous… The little research booth that hides many surprises!
Get comfortable in your seat and spend a refreshing moment in the auditorium. Documentaries, short films, reports, the theme will be water in all its states!
Whether in the territory, from the summit of Canigou to Canet, or throughout the world, you will know more about this formidable water odyssey.
THE + ONIRIA
Sometimes director and cameraman of documentaries or renowned programs such as “USHUAÏA” (a 20 years collaboration with Nicolas HULOT and about fifty programs!). Sometimes director of photography in feature films or advertisements… Cyril Tricot has been traveling the world and the oceans for 30 years to testify and share his passion. He put his work at the service of Oniria by producing tailor-made films for the website. We’ll let you come and discover them without waiting!
In these laboratories, researchers and students follow international scientific research programs that focus on corals and coral reef fishes. You will be introduced to the different works in progress. This is also the space dedicated to the Oniria breeding program. Newly born individuals in the center are visible during your visit.
Let yourself be seduced by the rich and varied exhibition of unique marine models! Fifty exceptional pieces are presented and are constantly updated with new models. There are ships, but also aircraft carriers and warships. An area dedicated to the Mediterranean region highlights the SNSM lifeboats that have existed and served on the shores of Languedoc and Roussillon for more than a hundred years.
Caregiver’s – Aquariologist
A multifaceted profession with two main objectives: to guarantee the inhabitants of Oniria an optimal quality of life and, at the same time, to try to improve them every day. Using all their experience to offer the public a varied insight into the incredible beauty and diversity of aquatic worlds, while the same worlds are threatened by the activities of a single species: humans.
The profession of aquariologist is a passionate profession that can be used in many skills:
- Observe animals with an expert eye to see if characters are consistent for each species.
- Slow down small wounds or notice the onset of a disease or deficiency and apply appropriate care or treatment.
- Calculate measurements of physicochemical parameters of water, such as: temperature, salinity, pH, oxygen content, calcium or dissolution rate.
- Prepare and distribute food with the utmost care and attention, following feeding guidelines and rules by following dietary guidelines and rules.
- Acclimatize and protect young newcomers through donations or exchanges. Participate in fisheries to move fish or other animals when transferring ponds.
- Take care of prey rearing rooms containing phytoplanktonic algae, plankton: rotifers, copepods and artemia, gammarids, daphnia, insect larvae, crickets and other grasshoppers.
- He follows and even “covers” the farms of baby jellyfish, seahorses, clownfish… which require a lot of time and knowledge. Development and cultivation of corals in special nurseries for display aquariums, but also as breeding stock for other Oniria aquariums and scientists.
- Ensure the proper operation and maintenance of mechanical or biological filters, heat exchangers, UV reactors, ozonators, skimmers, limestone or calcium reactors… Adjust water additives, pump flow rates, various devices, minerals, etc.
- Track lights and their performance through accurate measurements.
- Regularly clean large acrylic panels and windows for perfect visual comfort for visitors.
- Regularly clean the bottoms, the sand of the aquariums, brush the decorations, the strainers, the overflow grids…
- Diving in the most important tanks, which requires additional qualification and appropriate safety instructions.
- Participate in educational activities for schools or the general public.
Why the name ONIRIA?
Associated with onirism, this name emphasizes that place apart and bearer of dreams that represents the aquarium. It wants to give visitors the sensation of entering a bubble, a world rich in itself, full of promise and discoveries. Oniria could be the title of a machine imagined by Jules Verne, of an unknown country, of an unexplored land.
The name capitalizes on an original character with a representation of Nature in all its beauty, its mysterious but also magical side. It is a poetic and timeless journey around the world to meet the biodiversity and ecosystems of the blue planet.
Test Virtual Reality, an original and innovative experience!
Aquarium Oniria offers you an unusual experience. Come and discover a virtual reality activity in collaboration with VR Café in Canet-en-Roussillon.
Virtual reality is an innovative technology with realistic sensations, which will immerse you in an extraordinary universe. Equipped with a virtual reality headset, live an immersive experience in a whole new dimension. ideal activity to have a good time with family or friends.
Oniria offers you 3 sensational experiences to choose from:
- Encounter with a life-size whale
- Dive into a beautiful coral reef
- Discovery of the ocean abyss
- From 6-7 years old.
- Attention, the number of places is limited!
- Registration only on the day of the activity at the entrance desk of the Oniria Aquarium, subject to availability.
- Duration: approximately 8 minutes per person.
- Free of charge.
Do you want to extend the pleasure?
The new virtual reality center VR Café revolutionizes your leisure and welcomes you at 2 rue Pilou in Canet-en-Roussillon. Young and old can learn about virtual reality through several themes to experience with your family and friends.
Setting up the “Descent into the Deep Sea” pools
Oniria’s aquariology teams are currently using the sand in the 16 basins of the Deep Water Descent zone. This space that turns Oniria into a visit takes you from Canet beach to the Strait of Gibraltar. A gradual dive into the Mediterranean Sea to discover the species that shape it. Black quartz, marl, pebbles or gravel are aquariums dedicated to the Mediterranean biotope. In total, more than 45 tons of sand were produced at the site. Water treatments also begin the maturation phase. This step, which takes several weeks, is essential. Biologists must ensure that the filtration media are sufficiently enriched with bacteria before being able to ingest the species that live in these aquariums, because they participate in the biological balance of each pond. They have an essential role in the decomposition of ammonia and then nitrites, formed from fish droppings and uneaten food. To ensure a perfect result, a special polishing process is used to improve micro-scratches that could slip on the methacrylate windows. A watch movement that promises a sensational result!
Arrival of the first boarders in the new pools!
This is a crucial step in the development of Oniria. An episode that initiates the last major phase of the project during which the missing part of the new site, replacing the old aquarium, will be built.
To preserve diversity, the municipality of Canet-en-Roussillon keeps a dynamic collection produced over the years. The choice of a construction that would be divided into two main phases was a requirement of the functional program to keep animals in the old building until they were integrated into the new facility as soon as they were installed. For more than two weeks, teams worked tirelessly to move more than 1,000 individuals of 350 different species. A moving moment, but also a historic, since it ended with the demolition of the old aquarium in 1983, itself the result of a fishery built in the 1960s. A delicate maneuver crowned with success, meticulously orchestrated by the teams of Baudin Chateauneuf (the company representing the group responsible for the construction of the building) with the support of the technicians of SPL Sillages (mandated project leaders and public service company) Construction and operation of these facilities on behalf of the city of Canet-en-Roussillon).
This process follows a long period of maturation of the 83 new tanks, which eagerly awaiting the arrival of the old aquarium’s inhabitants. Before being able to absorb the species that give life to this unprecedented journey, teams had to ensure that the filtration media were sufficiently enriched with bacteria, and that bacteria contributed to the biological balance of each pond. This is a long-term task, but one that is essential to organize the movement of the animals in optimal conditions. Tropical fish, Mediterranean species, corals and invertebrates have now taken their place in their new environment.
A collection that will soon be enriched to reach more than 660 species represented by about 3500 individuals! The arrival of these future new inhabitants (which do not come from samples of the natural environment but from the breeding and rearing program) was introduced in 2021. A spectacular show awaits visitors who will live unique sensory experiences, making Oniria a fascinating and innovative place to discover and understand natural cycles. These large-scale works will make Canet-en-Roussillon even more attractive, a structuring tool for a city that continues to develop.
INDICATIVE TIMETABLES & RATES
These rates are indicative and are subject to variation. Please consult the official website of the aquarium for more details.
There is no specific opening or closing time; the doors are open 365 days a year
- 0 – 2 years old: Free
- 3 – 10 years old: 11 €.
- Adults 11 years and over: 14, 50 €.
20% discount, valid only at checkout of entry and on presentation of proof for:
- Large families
- People with disabilities
- Canet residents (upon presentation of the resident card, which can be ordered from the Town Hall)
PROMOTIONS VALID ONLY ONLINE
The packs allow you to save money!
- As a family (2 adults, 2 children) 43€ instead of 51€. Offer valid only on the website.
- Between friends (4 adults) 50€ instead of 58€. Offer valid only on the website.
Plan your visit, buy online, save money, and skip the lines.
To enjoy Oniria even more, treat yourself to a pass valid for 1 year from the date of purchase! Come back as many times as you like with unlimited access to the site and enjoy many benefits*.
- Adults 11 years old and over: 32 €
- Children 3 – 10 years old: 24 €.
*As a subscriber, you benefit from:
- – 20% discount on the tickets of your companions
- – 10% discount for birthday parties at the aquarium
THE GENESIS OF ONIRIA: The story of a marine biologist
Oniria, a name taken from the dream world, is a wonderful world full of poetry in which the beauty of nature can be fully expressed. This magical world impregnated with a single drop of water takes us on a sensational world tour. The biologist, who was previously at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco and was passionate about nature, started with a simple blank sheet of paper to imagine the concept of Oniria. After years of observation and study of the aquatic environment, he armed himself with a ruler, pencil and eraser and created hundreds of sketches and calculations to give the exact dimensions of the rooms, the functional plan and the millimeter dimensions of all the aquariums that equip the site today. After the modeling, a small assembly was made that represents the virtual tour of the project. This film appears as a bomb that immediately arouses enthusiasm because of the originality of the story told. In 2010, a strong dynamic was put in place, led by the mayor at the time: Bernard Dupont. The continuity of this action is ensured by the new team of the current mayor Stéphane Loda, who has expressed his commitment to the success of this project. Today, his greatest desire is to ensure that the aquatic environment is understood and loved by as many people as possible. It is an approach that interests him a lot, because it allows to protect the blue planet and its most precious treasure: water. This is how an entertaining, educational and scientific world was born and he is convinced that Oniria will surprise all visitors.
Oniria, a name taken from the dream world, is a wonderful world full of poetry in which the beauty of nature can be fully expressed. This magical world impregnated with a single drop of water takes us on a sensational world tour. The biologist, who was previously at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and was passionate about nature, started with a simple blank sheet of paper to imagine the concept of Oniria. After years of observation and study of the aquatic environment, he is armed with a ruler, pencil and eraser and created hundreds of sketches and calculations to give the exact dimensions of the rooms, the functional plan and the millimeter dimensions of all the aquariums that equip the site today. After modeling, a small assembly was made that represents the virtual tour of the project. This movie appears like a bomb that immediately arouses enthusiasm because of the originality of the story told. In 2010, a strong dynamic was put in place, led by the mayor of the time: Bernard Dupont. The continuity of this action is ensured by the new team of the current mayor Stéphane Loda, who has expressed his commitment and commitment to the success of this project. Today, his greatest desire is to ensure that the aquatic environment is understood and loved by as many people as possible. This is an approach that interests him a lot, because it helps protect the blue planet and its most precious treasure: water. This is how an entertaining, educational and scientific world was born and he is convinced that Oniria will surprise all visitors.
The design of the project
The Société Publique Sillages is the delegatee of the public services of the parking lots, the Aquarium and the marina in Canet-en-Roussillon. On December 20, 2013, SPL Sillages was awarded a new public service delegation for the construction and operation of the new Aquarium in Canet-en-Roussillon.
The tourist establishment that enhances the living collection of the old Aquarium, also integrates the collection of marine models of the city and new specimens taken from the public as sharks of great size.
In terms of design, the visionary architect Jacques Rougerie who was entrusted with the project. Jacques Rougerie leads directly his two passions, the sea and architecture. He bases his research and achievements on a bionic architecture that takes sustainable development into account. He builds habitats, underwater laboratories, marine centers, transparent hull ships, underwater museums and projects for villages and living places under the sea to take into account the beauty and the fundamental role of the sea in the great history of humanity. Always inspired by the work of Jules Verne, he has adopted the maxim “Whatever one man can imagine, other men can do”.