El Museo del Mundo Marino (Marine World Museum) at Matalascañas on the stunning Huelva coastline is situated in the heart of Parque Dunar (Sand Dune Park) in an incredible landscape dominated by sand dunes and pine groves. The museum building is emblematic of the Park and inside you can see a model on display of the plans afoot for the not-too-distant future projects afoot in Parque Dunar.
This fascinating, educational world of marine life is one of the most successful attractions to date in Doñana National Park. The idea behind setting it up within this protected setting is a successful initiative to bring in resources to keep this natural world alive, while allowing people to learn some of the secrets of nature.
The museum has five themed halls – one of the most popular being ‘The Cetaceans’ where 13 full scale replicas from real skeletons of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises, etc) are on display, suspended in mid air. Some are as much as 20 metres long. It is quite a spectacular site to see dolphins ‘flying’ through the air. The setting is a NASA designed Ecosphere (planetary ecosystem) has been created for the purpose. It is one of only two in Europe and is hermetically sealed, holding within it the whole vital life cycle, with some help from the museums artificial lighting. It even shows plankton being generated by photosynthesis.
The five themed rooms represent the different ecosystems and natural landscapes which can exist in and around Doñana, from the moving sand dunes to the virgin beaches where the whales and dolphins bask every year.
This area fully describes the ecosystem of the sand dunes, explaining the transition from see to land. Both the fossil and moving dunes reflect the dynamic and permanent movement around Doñana, with its particular flora and fauna.
Whales, dolphins and porpoises can be observed from Gibraltar, due to the right climatic and marine conditions. In this room you can see the 13 real life forms of these species, as well as other life sized models, suspended in mid air.
When you enter this room you feel as if you are walking along the bottom of the sea. It is representative of the marine area in the straits of Gibraltar. Images captures by the European Space Agency show life like a never ending ecosystem.
Boats and Sea Routes
Transatlantic routes from Huelva and the different ship building techniques are on display here, where there are many model boats to see.
El Parque Dunar (Sand Dune Park): This park represents one of the most important natural areas in Europe. The National Park organizes guided tours, leaving from the Acebuche and Rocina Reception Centres. The vast Huelva beaches to be contemplated from the Parque Dunar are the very shore from which Columbus left to discover America.
A visit to this area would not be complete without sampling the wonderful gastronomy and wines of the Huelva region. There is plenty of opportunity for hiking, walking, cycling, horse back riding and water sports. There are also boat trips on the Guadalquivir and 4 x 4 guided trails.
The Centre CLOSED.
Crta. de Matalascañas a Mazagón
Matalascañas - ALMONTE
Tel: 959 448 409
Fax: 959 448 061