From energetic tots to dare-devil teens, there’s something about a water park that brings out the joy in everyone – even the adults! And with summer temperatures in the Mediterranean often hovering around 28-30°C during the day, there’s no better way to stay cool and still have lots of fun. With paddling pools, beaches and low slides for the little ones, through to ever-higher, ever-faster, ever more thrilling attractions for the most adventurous, waterparks also offer plenty of places to grab a bite to eat, as well as more relaxing zones where you can chill out in the shade and catch your breath before moving on to the next ride.
Siam Park, TENERIFE
On the sunshine island of Tenerife, spend at least one day at Siam Park and earn some serious parent brownie points from the kids. Beautifully landscaped among tropical palm trees and with a Thai theme throughout, its giant wave pool, awesome slides and rides, excellent adventure area for the little ones and plenty of quiet areas to relax in mean you can all immerse yourselves in water park heaven – and will probably want to come back the next day.
Aqualand El Arenal & Hidropark, MALLORCA
In Mallorca there’s Aqualand El Arenal, home to one of the most popular waterslides on the continent, King Cobra, but generously offering plenty of less terrifying activities for the more fainthearted among us. It’s easy enough to get to from the Cala d’Or area in the east and local transport is available if you don’t want to drive yourselves. Hidropark meanwhile is the park of choice for anyone staying in the north of the island near Alcudia and Pollensa. The wave machine is a highlight, with mini golf as well as slides at different points on the speed scale!
Aquaparks, Aquashow & Zoomarine, ALGARVE
In the Algarve you’ll be spoilt for watery choice, with a host of parks packed with attractions. One of the largest is Slide and Splash near Lagoa, with corkscrew tunnels and slides aplenty, to get the adrenaline pumping of anyone staying in the Carvoeiro area. A little further west near the resorts of Guia, Gale, Sao Rafael and Albufeira you’ll find Aqualand. Those with a thirst for thrills can set themselves against the 95 metre Kamikaze slide and the almost vertical Banzai Boggan, which sends you skimming across the water with astonishing momentum. Aquashow at Quarteira meanwhile is a perfect all-rounder, with both gentle tube slides and plenty of adrenaline-fueled delights, from the super-fast rollercoaster to the nerve-jangling White Fall and Free Fall slides. At Guia, the marine conservation park Zoomarine offers a completely different day out, with captivating sea lion and dolphin shows, a 4D cinema as well as slides, pools and a wave beach for cooling off. It’s a fun day out for all the family and, with few height restrictions, even younger children are able to take part in most of the activities on offer.
Aphrodite Water Park & Watermania, CYPRUS
On the island of Cyprus, meanwhile, the Aphrodite Water Park is not far from the popular Paphos area. It boasts the largest family rafting ride in the world, plus plenty for younger children to do. In the south, near Limassol, is the superb Fasouri Watermania with lots of watery challenges as well as a great selection of slides.
Greece has its own share of the fun, one of the most popular parks being Aqualand on the island of Corfu. With over 30 different water slides and 15 adventure pools, there’s definitely something for everyone here.
PortAventura, COSTA DORADA & Aqualandia, COSTA BLANCA
If you’re heading to one of the Spanish coastal resorts, chances are you won’t be too far from a water park. From PortAventura, just south of Barcelona on the Costa Dorada and boasting the 31m King Khajuna freefall waterslide, to Benidorm’s Aqualandia, a fabulous salt water wonderland with Europe’s highest standing slide, you won’t be short of challenges.
If you’re still wavering about exactly which location and which villa to choose for this year’s holiday, throw a water park into the mix and you can rest assured you’ll have everyone on board! And when you’ve had your share of wet and wild thrills, nothing quite beats returning to the peace and comfort of your villa.
This article is in our Summer 2017 Magazine which is out now and can be ordered for free from our website, an excellent read including travel, food and top tips to get the best from your villa holiday.