No European sunshine getaway is complete without a day at the waterpark. Whether you’re a total aqua-obsessed adrenaline junkie, or are more the lounge-in-the-lazy river type, nothing gets the whole family splashing and laughing quite like waterparks.
At most European resorts, you’ll never be far from a wet and wild adventure – but not all waterparks are created equal. Here are our top 10 favourites in Europe for thrills, spills and downright water mayhem.
10. Fasouri Watermania, Limassol, Cyprus
With over 22 incredible attractions, Fasouri Watermania more than earns its place among Europe’s best. Across the sprawling site, there’s something for absolutely everyone – be it high-speed slides or shallow kiddie pools that are perfect for splashing around in. There’s even a spa on site, so the adults can kick back while their kids go wild.
9. Alpamare, near Zurich, Switzerland
Easily one of Europe’s most impressive indoor aquaparks, Alpamare is just a short journey from the city of Zurich. Here, the slides offer a unique thrill – you’ll start your journey inside before speeding out through the cool Swiss air, only to head back indoors for splashdown. Among its biggest flumes are Icexpress, a 158-metre-long tube packed with a few surprises for those who brave it, as well as the tight twists and turns of Cobra.
8. PortAventura World Caribe Aquatic Park, Taragonna, Spain
You’ll no doubt have heard of PortAventura World Resort, home to one of the best theme parks on the continent. Though its spectacular waterpark is a little less known, it’s no less thrilling. Bursting with colourful Caribbean flavour, there’s something for everyone here – from the 100 metre plunge on Ciclon Tropical to the turbulent waters of El Torrente. The park is well within reach of Barcelona, and is certainly worth a day or two even if the theme park isn’t on your agenda.
7. Tropical Islands, near Berlin, Germany
What do you get when you cross a waterpark with a 360 metre-wide, 107-metre-tall aircraft hangar? You get Tropical Islands – just 50km south of Berlin. This incredible space is one of the largest buildings on Earth by volume, and since 2004 it’s been the home of a vast waterpark. Here, you’ll find Germany’s longest waterslide, a huge lagoon – and even an indoor hot air balloon ride. Explore its purpose-built forests and temples as you splash and play; there’s truly nowhere else like it.
6. WaterWorld Waterpark, Ayia Napa, Cyprus
With its elegant Grecian stylings, a day at WaterWorld will take you back in history. That’s not to say the rides and slides at this splashtacular waterpark aren’t thoroughly up-to-date however. Top attractions include the gravity-defying Fall of Icarus, which will see two of you spinning skyward on a raft before an inevitable, high-speed descent – as well as Drop to Atlantis – a flume that packs an unexpected plunge. When it’s time to relax, the beautiful Aphrodite’s Baths are the perfect spot.
5. Etnaland, Sicily, Italy
With both a theme park and waterpark on-site, Etnaland is one of Europe’s most thrilling attractions. With splendid summer temperatures, you’ll no doubt pull yourself away from the rollercoasters for some water-based fun. Not only will you find all the usual flumes and chutes, including the high-speed Hydro Kamikaze and the super-steep plunge on stukas – but this park boasts something unique. You’ll also enjoy a host of monstrous rides you’d usually find in an amusement park – from a raging river rapids to a temple-themed log flume.
4. Action Aquapark, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
For an incredible host of slides and rides, you can’t go wrong with Action Aquapark. The sheer number of attractions here will keep the kids busy for hours, while you take it in turns to kick back on a raft in the dedicated adults pool. Little ones will love Adventure Island, a huge and thoroughly-soaking playground, while bigger kids will feel the adrenaline on the Uphill Navigator – a 165-metre-long water coaster.
3. Aqua Fantasy Aquapark, Kusadasi, Turkey
Just north of the popular Kusadasi, this sprawling aquatic playground is a sight to behold. With its many flumes and chutes sprouting from a fairytale castle at its centre, there’s a sense of magic in the air. See if you dare take on Super Combo, frequently listed among the best slides on the Med. You’ll spiral your way around a spacebowl, before plunging through its centre and beginning your exhilarating journey back towards earth. Gentler thrills include the Adventure River, and the twists and turns of the Cobra slide.
2. Water Park, Rhodes, Greece
Located high on the hills above the resort of Faliraki, there’s a splashtastic time to be had at Water Park. With 13 large slides of varying extremity, there’s something to keep everyone happy, and the giant wave pool is the perfect place to kick back when you’re not rocketing through tubes. Highlights include the Crazy Cones, which will send you spinning through not one, not two but three huge funnels – and the Head First Mat Racer, where up to eight of you can compete to hit the water first.
1. Siam Park, Tenerife, Spain
With its incredible theming and unrivalled list of attractions, nothing in Europe quite matches up to Siam Park. Nestled away in Tenerife’s Adeje region, it’s a must-visit for anyone heading to this Canary Island. Top attractions include Dragon, where four of you will share a raft and plunge down rapids together, ending your journey by swishing around in a gigantic funnel. But perhaps most impressive of all is the Tower of Power. You’ll first brave a near-vertical 28m plunge, before passing through the middle of an enormous shark tank. It’s not for the faint-hearted.
All these great attractions, and many more, are right on your doorstep with flights from Manchester Airport.