Zoo Marine Algarve Review + Pictures

Zoo Marine in the Algarve is my happy place and is an amazing marine waterpark with dolphins, a sealife centre, swimming pools, a lazy river and so much more.

We highly recommend that when you visit the Algarve that you dedicate 2 days to Zoo Marine, to be able to enjoy it to its fullest.

Zoo Marine Reviews

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Zoo Marine Portugal

There is so many reasons why me and Dom call Zoo Marine our happy place and after a day out at Zoo Marine, you will soon see what all the fuss is about.

You have dolphin shows, you have a small waterpark, you have kids fairground rides, you have a lazy river, you have a sealife centre and the list goes on and on.

Between the summer of 2008 and the summer of 2021 we called The Algarve our home (you can read here why we left the Algarve after 13 years) and our favourite day out was always Zoo Marine.

We watched over the years as Zoo Marine improved its amazing facilities and made it even better.

We remember when they first added the Zoo Marine wave pool, the lazy river, and the kids remember most when the pirate’s waterpark section was added.

Today we wanted to share with you all about Zoo Marine and so that you can have the best Zoo Marine experience.

Entering Zoo Marine

I remember having a season pass in the summer of 2014, also the summer I was pregnant with Sofia. On one of the days that summer we went for Kyle’s birthday (he turned 13) and he brought his best buddy with him.

His friend was shocked when we entered the super busy queue, and we were then moved by a member of staff to the front of the line and entered zoo marine first.

You see there is a law in Portugal, that a lady that is pregnant, someone with walking difficulties or another disabled person don’t have to queue.

One of the best perks of being pregnant in the Algarve and it also works everywhere else including supermarkets!

Then once you are front of the queue you will have your tickets scanned and be into Zoo Marine and will also be given an itinerary for what the times are for the various shows such as the dolphin show.

But as soon as you walk through the gates you will be asked if you want to do a family photo to take home as a memento. I have never done this, instead, decline and walk about 10 steps in front and they have a cute little fish area and the big Zoo Marine sign, and this is perfect for getting a pic of the kids or doing a selfie.

I have so many pictures taken in this section of Zoo Marine and it’s a good money saver.  

Zoo Marine Photos
Here is me & Sofia at the Zoo Marine sign with the lovely fish in the background. Such a great photo opportunity when you arrive at Zoo Marine.

Planning Your Zoo Marine Visit Wisely

We have been to Zoo Marine as annual pass holders at various times of the year and OMG July & August are seriously busy and can be a shock to the system if you are not prepared.

Just like planning a trip to Disneyworld you need to be prepared for this and plan your day around this.

The Zoo Marine Food Court is at its busiest between 12.30 and 2pm. If you can avoid eating during this time. Either go with an early lunch or take a picnic. Or we like to take some snacks and then we can top it up with some French fries.

The swimming pools can also be very busy. BUT the capacity of people in pools goes down during the peak 12.30-2pm lunch time rush and also when the shows are on. So look at the dolphin timetable and if you are not going to the dolphin show at that time note that a lot of people will be, so you can actually get a peaceful go on the lazy river without the masses.

Do the fairground rides first. There is nothing worse than the kids getting wet from the swimming to then drying them and dressing them to do the rides later. Though occasionally just as we leave the park if its slightly early, we will finish on an extra go on the carousel.

Things To Do At Zoo Marine In Portugal

There is just so much to do at Zoo Marine that when we went to Seaworld Orlando we thought the shows were boring, as we had done them so many times in Portugal and the same goes for a lot of the other sealife.

That is just how good zoo marine is and why you MUST visit!

1.      Indoor Sealife Centre

Its not quite as big as the sealife centre at Blackpool or the Sealife Centre at Scarborough but considering its just one small part inside of a marine waterpark, its pretty impressive.

It has nemo and dory in the tank, some small sharks, and several other sealife creatures to look at. Because we often went to Zoo Marine during the very hot months it was wonderful to have a break from the heat.

Zoo Marine Aquarium
We found Nemo at the aquarium inside of Zoo Marine. So that’s where nemo was!

2.      Zoo Marine Cinema

Another escape from the heat is the cinema. It’s a massive building and you won’t miss it as you head around.

It gives you a fantastic 4D experience of the marine environment and it splashes you with the 4d effects, so you really do get the full experience.

The kids will love it and expect to get a little wet.

3.      Zoo Marine Shows

Of course, this is all about marine life, so there are a lot of shows. You have the Zoo Marine dolphin show, the seals and sealions, and the birds. Though in between shows you can go and see the dolphins and the seals in the tank as well as turtles and other creatures at Zoo Marine.  

Dolphin Show At Zoo Marine
Here are some of the dolphins during the dolphin show at Zoo Marine. There are lots of them and more you can see in the tank too.
Seals Show At Zoo Marine
There are also plenty of sealions and seals for you to look at and we prefer their show over the dolphins.

4.      Zoo Marine Fairground

This is the last of the dry activities that you can do at Zoo Marine and the kids favourite beyond getting wet.

They have a fantastic big wheel where you can see the whole of Zoo Marine and is good to do early in your visit as it’s a good way to see everything from above.

The Original Look Of Zoo Marine Before The Splash Zone
This is the view from the big wheel of how Zoo Marine looked before it swapped its baby pools for a splash pad.

Though I don’t feel like the sides of the big wheel cars are secure enough if kids touch them. So do make sure your kids are sat down. I won’t take the kids on it, unless Dom comes too. Call me over cautious.

You also have the carousel ride and I have been going on the horses with the kids since they were very little, and you never get too old for it.

Zoo Marine Carousel
Nothing beats a ride with the kids on the carousel on a lovely warm summers day in the Algarve.

Another highlight, especially for the smaller kids is the Zoo Marine Express, which is great fun for whilst you wait for another ride.

Zoo Marine Express
Me and the kids are always on the Zoo Marine Express together and it’s great fun for them especially when they are in the front seats.

There are a few more rides than these, but these are the kids favourites.

There are also more attractions at the marine park, but there are just so many that its hard to remember them all!

Zoo Marine Waterpark

When you are ready to hit the water, you have so many options and it has increased in size a lot, since our early visits and they are always adding something new every year.

1.      The Main Swimming Pool

Firstly, they have their main swimming pool with a shallow end and a deep end, and you could do some swimming in there, if it is not too busy.

They also have a kid’s pool with a bucket, and a few little kids slides. These kids slide pool is more aimed at the under 4s and our kids have always loved it.

But to the side of the swimming pool, they have a splash zone where you have run through the fountains and its brilliant to cool off after a hot day.

Splash Zone At Zoo Marine
Here is Jorge having fun running through the splash zone. Its also good for the kids that don’t like swimming pools and have a bit of a fear of water. As that what Jorge was like when we first started going there.

We always book the sunbeds that are just in front of the splash zone and its good for watching the kids in the splash area from the sunbed.

2.      The Lazy River

You will also love the lazy river. Our favourite place and we will walk around to the lazy river from the pirate’s waterpark and go around it a few times until we are bored and ready to go somewhere else.

This lazy river is also kid friendly and you can have a double ring and share it with one of your kids.

The Lazy River At Zoo Marine
Even right in the middle of the summer holidays there is always room to get on the lazy river and its so big and can take a lot of people, yet it never felt overly busy.

3.      The Zoo Marine Beach

There is also a zoo marine beach with a wave pool which is also fun. It has a typical Portuguese beach vibe about it and kids can bring their bucket and spade and use it in this section.

4.      The Pirates Waterpark

This is my favourite area and I love this for a cool down. Because of the depth of the water, its ideal when its super hot in August to just sit in the water to cool off whilst the kids are going down the slides.

There is also a lot of choice in the pirate’s area of slides to go on and its got that holiday waterpark vibe.

Though if you love the water, it’s easy to lose the day to these 4 water areas and forget about dolphins and other things going on.

When we were season pass holders at Zoo Marine we never got bored of the waterpark or the sealife centre or the fairground and that became our typical day and we would go at 10 for when it opened and then leave at 5pm.

Zoo Marine Swimming With Dolphins

We have framed pictures on our wall from when I treated Dom to the Zoo Marine dolphin experience.

You go to a meeting point, get the wet suit gear on and then have a few minutes with a dolphin.

You are not on your own, and are having your experience with other people and probably get about 10 minutes with the dolphins in total and of course, some pictures you can frame.

But is it worth it? It is to be able to say you did the bucket list thing and swam with a dolphin BUT it’s expensive and if its going to be too much of an outgoing from your holiday spending money, then it will be good to just go to Zoo Marine with a regular ticket.

Zoo Marine Food

For a waterpark the food at Zoo Marine is not bad. The worst food is their piri piri chicken which is very hit and miss as to whether it is any good or not.

The plus, is their homemade pizzas and chips which is delicious and you will nearly always see a long line for the pizza.

If you just want a snack you will love their popcorn which is available around the park and tastes so good and is great for filling a gap.

Popcorn At Zoo Marine
Here is Sofia waiting for the popcorn at Zoo Marine. They often have some between the rides and then Dad has to hold it whilst they are on the rides!

Plus, in typical Algarve style, there is plenty of cold drinks and ice cream and ice lollies available through the day. 

Zoo Marine Albufeira Visitor Information

  • Getting to Zoo Marine. Portugal Zoo Marine is located in the Albufeira region of the Algarve, in the Guia area and close to Algarve Shopping. You can get a bus to Zoo Marine from several local areas and local hotels often offer a bus service too.
  • Zoo Marine Algarve address. The address for your sat nav is N125 KM 65, 8201-864 Guia, Portugal.
  • How much is entrance for Zoo Marine Algarve? The Zoo Marine tickets are 32,50€ or for a family of four for the day it would be 112€. BUT and this is the best BUT it is an extra 10€ each for a 2 day ticket. If you get a 2 day ticket you have the cheapest zoo marine tickets of 19€ per person per day.
  • Zoo Marine Opening Times. Zoo Marine opens at 10am and closes at 6pm in high season and closes at 5pm in low season. Though if you would like a good sunbed position, we recommend getting to Zoo Marine at 9.45am and reserving your sunbed first.
  • Is Zoo Marine open in October? Yes, Zoo Marine is open in October, but October is low season so it’s not every day. In October, it is Tuesday through to Saturday. As Saturday will be busy with locals plan a day between Tuesday and Thursday to visit.   
  • Are you allowed with smartphones inside Zoo Marine Algarve Yes, you are allowed to use Smartphones. All the pictures you see on here in our Zoo Marine Review was taken on our own phones.

Pin Zoo Marine Algarve Review For Later!

Well, that’s a wrap, do you have any questions then do ask below and if you want to refer back, to this later for planning your Zoo Marine visit then don’t forget to pin it to your travel board or days out board on Pinterest.

Our Trip To Zoo Marine Algarve

Plan A Visit To Zoo Marine
About the author

Run by Sam, Dom, Kyle, Sofia & Jorge it documents our family’s love for eating out, day trips, road trips and great holidays.

We just love a trip, we love to travel, and here we will show you with a little planning, how to have a great adventure and create new memories along the way!

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