Last updated: November 2017
Why do we love splashing around in a Barcelona water park so much? Does it awaken the genetic memory of our ancestral origins as sea dwelling creatures 200 million years ago? Is it an instinctive response to the hot Spanish sunshine? Or could it be an urge that bubbles up from our so-called inner child, leaping upon this golden opportunity to do what it likes best – to play and have fun.
With sharks reportedly prowling the coasts of Barcelona, and public swimming pools lacking those enticingly named structures such as “Kamikaze”, “Dragon’s Lagoon” and “Wildwater Rapids,” perhaps you’d like to check out one of these aquatic playgrounds and plan an unforgettable day out in a water park near Barcelona.
This Costa Brava water park is located in the popular package-holiday resort of Lloret de Mar. You can expect to find some amazing rides, wave pools, fast slides and themed pools here. The Relax Lagoon and Rafting River are ideal for families, whilst the Water Ràpid and Riu Salvatge are only recommended for the brave. There is also an epic 50 metre long Wave Pool, with waves of up to two metres high.
Ctra Vidréres km 1.2, Lloret del Mar. Free bus service from Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar, Blanes, and other locations. Prices: 19€ under 1.2m, 33€ over 1.2m.
2. Illa Fantasía, Villasar de Dalt
A perfect summer day trip near Barcelona, its 23 attractions and 3 large pools promise endless fun for kids of all ages. Highlights include the Pirate’s Lagoon aquatic adventure trail, the covered Torpedo ride and Llac area for kids. There are slides of all shapes and degrees of perpendicularity, from the sharp twists of the Espiral to the steep Kamikazee drops. Several restaurants offer meals and refreshments, and a large picnic area provides shade for those who prefer to bring their own goodies.
Finca Mas Brassó, Vilassar de Dalt. Prices: 17€ under 1.2m, 28€ over 1.2m. Free buses and trains leave from Barcelona every day.
Part water park and part aquatic safari, you can watch how the penguins, seals and dolphins splash around before getting out there and flipping your own finest tricks. The Anaconda slide might trigger almost as much adrenaline as encountering the real thing, whilst the Super Slalom for Kids is always a favourite for younger daredevils. One of the largest pools in Spain, the Surf Beach area offers 1,400m2 of azure waters where you can relax and enjoy yourself.
Finca les Basses, Albinyana. Bus service from Sitges, Tarragona and other locations. Prices: 3-4 year 8€, 5-10 year 17€ and 11-64 year 26€.
Do you dare to step into the Black Hole and spin down this steep slide in total darkness? Or cling tightly onto your raft as you take the plunge into the 15m Boomerang half pipe? This water park in Catalunya has a Children’s Paradise area that delivers on its promise, with an extensive area of themed pools, entertaining activities, and aquatic adventures for the tinies.
Its Dolphinarium is a pioneer in breeding common bottlenose dolphins; so far there have already been over 10 births in the park. You can catch a dolphin show daily at 12:30 or 17:00. California sea lions, Humboldt penguins from Peru and Chile, and an aviary with 10 kids of exotic birds including pink flamingos also add another dimension to the Marine Land experience.
Location: Carretera Malgrat, Palafolls. Free bus service from nearby towns such as Lloret de Mar, Malgrat de Mar, Calella, Pineda and Blanes. Prices: 3-4 year 10€, 5-10 year 17€ and adults (over 10 years) 28€.
Calling all surfers and wannabes! The new Grand Kahuna attraction gives you the perfect place to learn or practice becoming one with a foam surfboard, whilst more experienced surfers can take the curves on a fibreboard. This is a unique installation, the only one of its kind in a water park near Barcelona. Ready? Get set… Go! Line up with your friends and family on top of the Speed Race attraction and see who splashes down first into the pool that lies in wait at the bottom of this exhilarating slide. There is also an enclosure for dolphins and sea lions, where these beautiful creatures give shows and can be watched during their feeding times.
Passeig Pau Casals, 65, La Pineda. Daily buses from Tarragona, Cambrils, Salou and Reus. Prices: Junio & Senior 20,95€ and Adult 28,95€.
PortAventura Theme Park has some of the tallest roller coasters in Europe and 6 theme areas that will transport you to exotic destinations such as Mexico, China and Polynesia. However, if you want your rides to end in a splash, head straight to its Costa Caribe Aquatic Park. Young pirates and princesses love playing in Woody’s Lagoon, an aquatic wonderland of dripping pipes, tunnels and fountains, and will experience new thrills on the Junior Body Slides that are sure to top a high score on their favourite iPad game. Standing at 31 metres, King Khajuna is the highest free fall slide in Europe. The Rio Loco challenges you to battle the bubbles and stay afloat as it circles for almost 1500 metres around the park, and the new Playa Paraíso adult pool will transport you to the Caribbean without a stamp on your passport.
Location: Av. Alcalde Pere Molas, km.2, Salou. Direct trains from Barcelona to PortAventura station. Price: 40€ age 4-10 and 60+, 47€ age 11-59. www.portaventura.es