If you’re taking a family holiday to the Algarve, you might find that you need some entertainment up your sleeve for the younger members of your group. While there are some superb, white sandy beaches where you can top up your tan, sunbathing might lose its appeal for kids after a while (and it’s not good for them to be out in the sun for too long anyway). So why not grab your swimming gear and visit one of the best waterparks in the Algarve?
The perfect way to let your children burn off some energy, there are some outstanding Algarve waterparks with attractions, rides and slides for everyone from toddlers right up to grown-ups (who haven’t quite grown up all the way yet). To help you decide which ones to visit, we’ve put together a quick guide to the best water parks in the Algarve.
Slide and Splash
Slide and Splash is one of the Algarve waterparks that definitely ought to be on your list. Slide and Splash, located in Lagoa, has been thrilling visitors for over 30 years and is widely hailed as one of the best waterparks in Europe. Covering around 16,000 acres, it opens its doors at 10am and closes them again at 5pm, seven days a week. During the peak season between June and September, the opening times extend to around 5.30pm.
There are smaller rides for smaller children and knuckle-whitening rides for older visitors such as the Black Hole and the Corkscrew. For grown-ups who want to kick back and catch some rays there are expansive lawns to relax on, or you can rent a poolside sun-lounger and take a dip to cool off from the heat.
Head to Faro and look out for Aquashow. A hybrid of waterpark and zoo, it offers both wet and dry entertainment. It opens between 10am and 5pm, although extends its closing time until 8pm in July. The Aquakids zone is ideal for little ones, with age-appropriate rides, slides, and pools. As one of the most popular waterparks in Algarve, it has some long-established attractions, the biggest and best of which has to be the Roller Coaster. One of the biggest in the world, it stands over 23 metres high and has a track-length of around 740 metres.
Alacantarilha is home to Aqualand, one of the biggest waterparks in the Algarve. It’s easy to get to (courtesy of the park’s own shuttle bus), and there are onsite restaurants to keep everyone fed and watered. There are two dedicated kids’ pools packed with mini slides, fountains and castles. If you really want to test your nerves, join the queue for the Kamikaze, which is the tallest waterslide in all the waterparks in the Algarve. Standing over 100 metres high, you’ll get to the bottom in less than four seconds.
East of Silves you’ll find the crazy, crazy world of Krazy World. Expect some surprises here, including crocodiles (not in the waterslides, you’ll be pleased to hear), giant snakes, and lizards in the wildlife zoo. There’s plenty of splashtastic fun, as well as donkey rides, mini-golf, and bouncy castles. Open from May-August from 10am to 6.30pm and from 10am to 6pm from September to April.
Approximately 7km north of the huge Albufeira resort is Zoomarine, which is great if you don’t want to spend all your time at a waterpark as it’s got plenty of other attractions to keep you entertained too. There’s fairground rides, bird shows and plenty of wildlife to see, as well as a wave pool, water slides and lots of restaurants for hungry families. Open from March to November.
Portugal has a big reputation for some very, very big waves, but if you’ve never hung ten before, start off slow and steady at X-Flow. You’ll find it at Rua Tamalho Ortigao, in Albufeira, and the surf rides are perfect for kids and adults alike. The centre has the only surf simulator in the country, ideal if you want to boogy-board or just try and get up on your feet for the first time. It’s not one of the biggest waterparks in the Algarve, but it’s certainly one of the friendliest.