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5 of Europe’s best waterparks

If, like me, you have young boys, you’ll know that a family day out at a top waterpark is hard to beat.  Whilst many of the world’s best waterparks are in the United States, there are still a number of gems to be found on the other side of the Atlantic.  Here we share with you five of the best waterparks to be found in Europe. Siam Park, Tenerife, Spain This Thai-themed waterpark is in the Adeje region of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Siam Park lays claim to the world’s longest lazy river in Mai Thai, but it’s landmark attraction is the Tower of Power, a slide with an 85-foot drop that concludes with a tunnel that passes through a tank full of sharks (don’t worry, they can’t get you!).  Other rides include a vertical-drop water slide called the Dragon, as well as the Volcano vortex-style slide. A large wave pool complete with sandy beach and nine-foot high waves offer great fun for surfers or anyone looking to have some fun.
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Caribe Aquatic Park, Port Aventura, Costa Dorada, Spain If the azure blue coastline of Spain’s north east Costa Dorada isn’t already enough for you, then head along to Caribe Aquatic Park for a taste of the Caribbean. This waterpark has a distinct Caribbean theme (whether it be the rides on some of the food on offer). If you’re feeling brave, take on the typhoon ride El Tifon or the corkscrew down The Mambo Limbo. The neighbouring Port Aventura theme park comes with four hotels on site, so it would be easy to make a weekend of it.
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Tropical Islands, Brandenburg, Germany This huge (and we mean huge, it’s the third largest building in the world!) indoor waterpark can house up to 8,000 people and can be found in a disused airplane hangar. In the heart of Bavaria, yet just 60km from Berlin, the unusual Tropical Islands has not only slides (look out for the Turbo Slide which will have you shifting along at speeds close to 70 kilometres per house!), but also tropical pools, beaches and a rain forest.
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Alpamare, near Zurich, Switzerland Despite Tropical Islands’ size, Alpamare is actually the largest covered waterpark in Europe (but it’s not housed in a building as such). Close to the shores of Lake Zurich, it offers both indoor and outdoor swimming, as well as the usual selection of slides, including one 295-foot lazy river ride. And if all that’s not enough, there’s even an outdoor pool with underwater music.
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Aquariaz, French Alps, France Not only is Aquariaz one of Europe’s newest waterparks, it’s also its highest. It is by no means the biggest, but did come with a whopping €200m price tag, and for that you get all manner of rides. Owned by Pierre & Vacances and part of the Avoriaz Resort, there’s accommodation on site. It’s open year round so can offer you the ultimate in apres ski during the winter or works equally as a summer destination for families looking for something different to the usual beach holiday.
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Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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18 Comments

  1. Can I add one more to this list – the Xel Ha Park in Cancun, Mexico. It’s so much more than a water park it’s a beautiful natural park based around a lagoon where you can swim with dolphins, sting rays and manatees. There’s plenty of rides to keep kids entertained and the park encourages people to protect the environment. A winner!

  2. Great top, specially loved the Alpamare – looks sooo good! I also have a little kid ( 4 y.o. daughter), so we travel a lot to different water amusement parks and I have my own top of European water parks. This include the Tropical Islands that you’ve mentioned. But my totally favorite one is the Aqualand on Corfu (Greece) – so much fun!

  3. Just wanted to add the Aquopolis Water Parks. I’ve been to 3 now and loved them. The Aquopolis La Pineda, near Salou, has great slides, fantastic dolphin show and the kids could swim with the dolphins too. Night shows with music and entertainment and … my favourite.. VIP zones !

  4. Fab read! I love Waterparks when I go on holiday, I suppose I’m like a big kid :-) I love the water park in Cyprus Ayia Napa really good day out.

  5. The Alpamare is a pretty nice waterpark despite of it has become quite expensive. The outdoor option is great and offers a fantastic view on the Lake Zurich

  6. Hello, a question. Are there age restrictions at any of the water parks? Or on any particular slides/features? Thanks

  7. From my experience of going to them, Karen, there are not usually age restrictions on entry in the parks. Many of the rides, however, may have height restrictions.

  8. Anika
    you shouldn’t give money to parks that treat animals like commodities, rays and dolphins deserve to be in open oceans, they aren’t bread in captivity they are taken from their families for selfish people like you to indulge themselves

  9. I agree Dave. We had the opportunity of going to Zoo Marine in the Algarve this year but shuddered at the thought of dolphins being used to entertain.

    People should be the only mammals in water parks.

    We ended up at Aqua Land and had a brilliant time. It isn’t huge but the rides were more than enough for my 6 and 7 year olds. They adored the place. Well organised, very clean and the staff were very helpful.

    Might try the Zurich water park when we go see family. Will keep you posted :)

  10. I came to your blog as we prepare a family holiday to Switzerland. We have been to over 30 Water Parks all over the world with our aquatic kids-now teenagers.

    If your idea of fun is a 90 min wait for a 30 sec ride then go ahead, Port Avenura and Siam Park will float your boat. We have been to both in the past 24 months (as of Aug ’15)

    Also the atrocious food at Siam Park is worthy of mention as they are fastidious about you not bringing your own food into the Water Park.

    I would also say that the rides at both these parks are only marginally better than your standard Aqualand fayre. The additional cost, waiting time etc do not compensate.

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