If you’ve had your fill of the local holiday attractions and can’t be bothered to go to the beach with the kids, then consider heading to a water park for the day. There are plenty of rides and slides to keep kids of all ages amused, on-site restaurants, and loungers and parasols if you want to relax and simply soak up the sun. Here are the coolest, biggest, cleanest and most fun water parks to visit this summer.
Destination: Tenerife, Canary Islands
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Water Park: Siam Park
Opening Times: 1 May-31 October: 10am-6pm
Best for: Daredevils
Siam Park’s beautiful Thai paradise is famous for its terrifying rides and world record-breaking attractions. It’s home to the highest elevated lazy river, the largest man-made wave and the biggest range of slides in all of Europe. Siam Park is like the Disneyland of water parks. Try the Vulcano, a huge bowl slide with a flashing laser show. While the Tower of Power is a vertical transparent slide that shoots riders through sharks and stingrays. Or surf up a storm at the Wave Palace on the park’s own artificial beach.
Destination: Barcelona, Spain
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Water Park: PortAventura
Opening Times: 24 May-20 June and 8-21 September: 10.30am-6pm; 21-30 June and 1-7 September: 10.30am-7pm; 1 July-31 August: 10.30am-8.30pm
Best for: All-inclusive
PortAventura is the most visited theme park in all of Spain and is made up of a five-land theme park, Costa Caribe Aquatic Park and four hotels. There are plenty of attractions to suit everyone, as well as on-site accommodation, so you can get direct access to both the theme park and water park all day, every day.
Destination: Paphos, Cyprus
Water Park: Aphrodite
Opening Times: May-June: 10.30am-5.30pm; July-August 10am-6pm; September-October: 10am-5pm
Best for: Families and groups
Aphrodite Water Park offers special group and birthday-party packages that include unlimited use of the rides, reserved areas and food. If you have a big family, there are plenty of rides suitable for multiple people, including Racer, the Wild Water and the biggest family rafting ride in Europe.
Destination: Dalaman, Turkey
Water Park: Atlantis Marmaris
Opening Times: 15-31 May and 1-10 October: 10am-5pm; 1 June-30 September: 10am-5.30pm
Best for: On-land activities
Not only is Atlantis the biggest water park in Marmaris, but there are also plenty of other activities to try if you’re feeling a little waterlogged. Visitors receive a wristband that allows for multiple entries throughout the day. So you can take a break and play a game of mini-golf, bowling and air hockey, or grab a bite to eat at one of the may restaurants.
Destination: Majorca, Balearic Islands
Water Park: Western Water Park
Opening Times: May, June & September: 10am-5pm; July & August: 10am-6pm
Best for: Couples
This Western-themed wonderland has plenty of two-person rides for you to make a splash in with your loved one. The Boomerang is a heart-pumping 16m-high half-pipe, while the Tornado is a double-cowboy ride that sucks you in and spits you right out. Race your partner down the Tijuana Twins or raft down the 260m of the Mega Slide. They’re not exactly romantic, but they will certainly take your breath away!
Ready to hit the water park? Just remember to bring that sunscreen when you pack your bag.