Family summer holidays are all about making the most of your time together. School and work can make it difficult to spend any genuine time as one so a family getaway is an excellent way to catch up with no distractions. With the school summer holidays fast approaching, families can still have a summer to remember with a last minute holiday. But before you can have fun or relax in the sun, you need to choose a destination for your child friendly holidays.
While Florida instantly springs to mind it can be a long journey, particularly if you live in Europe. But you needn’t trek around the world to enjoy the best theme parks; Europe offers some superb alternatives to those found State side. Europe particularly excels in water parks and makes for a brilliant day out to keep cool when the weather gets a little too hot. Here are the top three water parks in Europe.
Aquacity, Algarve, Portugal
A summer in the Algarve is perfect for those who like a little heat but not too much – temperatures rarely go above 30°. Aqualand is a name known all over Central Europe fun water activities with 13 waterparks. Aqualand Algarve remains a bit of hidden treasure it seems as queues remain fairly short. Kids will feel right at home at the kid’s playgrounds Children’s Paradise and Rainbow Park. Here they’ll find two children’s pools, a variety of structures to climb and of course many slides. The waterpark also offers a range of thrilling sides such as the Crazy Leap and my personal favourite Kamikaze. Any daredevils in the family with enough courage can take on the 36m slide and reach the bottom in just four seconds. But if that sounds too scary (and I don’t blame you), you can have a swim in the semi-Olympic sized pool, relax on the surf beach or float gently on the 270m Congo River.
Top tip: Take a picnic with you and stroll to the back of the park where it’s less crowded and plenty of space to set up camp.
Fasouri Watermania, Limassol, Cyprus
Cyprus is always a contender for the title of ‘best beaches in the whole of Europe’. 57 of the island’s beaches were recently awarded a Blue Flag – a symbol of their quality and cleanliness – beating the previous record of 56. Summers are reliably hot, with most days reaching 35°. Cyprus’ premier waterpark Fasouri Watermania lives up to its name with no shortage of fun water activities to try throughout the day. There are 21 rides to choose from, with many suitable for younger members of the family. Those looking to get their heart racing will be itching to try Extreme Black Holes when they lay eyes on it or they could try the unique Tarzan Swing for a real splashing good time! Fasouri Watermania is more than just a waterpark however. What separates the waterpark from others is its range of facilities such as the Garra Fish Spa to its range of cuisine like the Pirates’ Cove Restaurant.
Top tip: If you have Cypriot ID, you can receive discounted entrance.
Adaland, Kusadasi, Turkey
A typical summers day can see temperatures in the high 20’s; perfect for bargaining at the markets. And while experiencing the delights of a Turkish bath is a must, there’s more than one way of getting wet in Turkey. Travel to the resort town of Kusadasi and you’ll find Europe’s largest waterpark, Adaland, a maze of slides and a variety of pools to keep the whole family entertained. Highlights include the water coaster, comprising of a 90m drop and the Hillslide XL where you hurtle towards the bottom in every direction possible! For something the whole family can enjoy together, grab a boat which seats six people and slide together on the Amazoon Slide or race against each other on the White Tiger Slide. If that wasn’t enough, Adaland offers three pools, including one dedicated for kids and a wave pool, a Jacuzzi, a lazy river and even rafting! There are also two further parks to enjoy Head over to Sea Park and Dolphin Park for more water based fun!
Top tip: Have a unique experience to remember and swim with the dolphins in Sea Park!