When the weather starts heating up, there's no better place to cool down than a water park. But why restrict the fun to the summer? Choose the venue wisely, and you'll still be enjoying the slides and rides come winter. Thanks to its huge variety of indoor and outdoor water parks, you can enjoy year-round entertainment at Europe's wildest and wettest water parks. If you're craving some watery fun, check out our round-up of the 20 best water parks in Europe.
20. Aquaworld - Budapest, Hungary
It's not often you come across a water park that's been fashioned to look like the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia, but then again, it's not often you come across a water park like Aquaworld in Budapest. As you'd expect of one of the largest water parks in Europe, it's big on attractions, with 11 massive waterslides (including the massively popular Flying Carpet and Kamakaze) and 19 wave, surf, and splash pools. A very family-orientated kind of place, it boasts a variety of programs for the kids along with saunas and thermal baths for the grown-ups.
19. AquaPark - Druskininkai, Lithuania
Boasting over 30,000 square meters of pools, slides, and rides, AquaPark ranks as one of Lithuania's most family-friendly destinations. All ages are catered to, with a children's play area and sandy beach for little ones and a spa, bathhouses, and saunas for adults. There's also a ton of other entertainment on offer, including bowling and a 5-D cinema.
18. Therme Erding’s Galaxy Water Slide World - Erding, Germany
Therme Erding’s Galaxy Water Slide World is what adrenaline junkies have been calling out for. Located around 30 miles outside of Munich in Erding, the park boasts Europe’s longest water slide - the 365-meter-long Magic Eye - not to mention the stomach-churning, 44 mph X-Treme Faster high-speed slide. If you're looking for something a little less scream-inducing, a float along the Crazy River comes highly recommended. There's also a heated wave lagoon to relax in, along with some mini slides for the little ones.
17. Slide & Splash - Lagoa, Portugal
Ranked as one of the best water parks in Europe by TripHobo, Slide & Splash is a hugely enjoyable water park that's been keeping families in watery fun for generations. Spread over 10 hectares, the park boasts slides, rides, and pools, along with daily reptile, falconry, parrot, and macaw shows, massage treatments, several restaurants, and a shop. It's located a little outside the center of Lagoa, but there's a convenient shuttle service to take you back and forth.
16. Action Aquapark - Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
As cosmopolitan.com notes, Sunny Beach in Bulgaria has long been known as one of the most budget-friendly beach holiday destinations in Europe. Now, there's even more reason to visit. Action Aquapark is a sprawling, family-friendly water park that offers a little something for everyone. For grownups looking to escape the noise, there are several adult-only pools to retreat to, along with plenty of rides that are way too extreme for all but the most adventurous pre-teen. Kids are well served by a huge assortment of mini slides and splash pools.
15. Adaland Water Park - Aydin, Turkey
Ranked as one of the best water parks in Europe by Family Vacation Critic, Adaland Water Park is a must-visit if you're in the vicinity of Aydin. WIth a whitewater rafting simulator and slides like the 37mph Red Phantom, it's got plenty to keep adrenalin junkies happy. Those looking for a tamer experience should check out the lazy river and the wave pool, not to mention the Amazon Family Slide. For kiddies, there's a splash pool featuring a pirate ship, floating toys, a mushroom shower, and pint-sized slides.
14. Water Park - Faliraki, Greece
Located on the east side of Faliraki, Water Park drips with watery fun. With water slides, wave pools, and game pools to splash around in, it's the perfect place to escape the scorching Greek sun. There's also a great selection of rides to choose between, including a rafting slide, a kamikaze slide, and a 147m 'giant' slide. If you'd rather relax than check out the rides, there's plenty of deckchairs to lounge in, not to mention several restaurants and coffee shops to grab a snack and a glass of something refreshing from.
13. Fasouri Watermania - Limassol, Cyprus
If you've got a taste for adventure and a craving for some heart-pumping fun, don't miss Fasouri Watermania. Located just an hour's drive away from the popular resorts of Larnaca and Paphos in Limassol, its kamikaze slides will keep even the most extreme thrill-seeker happy. If you'd rather a slower ride, take a cruise along the lazy river, or even head to the massage parlor for some head-to-toe indulgence.
12. Aqua Dome - Längenfeld, Austria
Längenfeld is home to some of the most stunning scenery in Austria, and doesn't Aqua Dome just know it? The water park has milked its exquisite location dry, with soaring glass windows offering breathtaking views over the surrounding landscape. Kids get to enjoy the Noah's Alpine Ark Kids World, which features a funnel slide with light and sound effects, a tire slide, and several pools. Free supervision is available, leaving the adults free to enjoy the healing mineral waters of the thermal spas and baths.
11. AcquaPark Odissea 2000 - Rossano, Italy
Want to take a ride on one of the longest water slides in Europe? Then take a trip to Rossano, the setting for a whole heap of watery fun at AcquaPark Odissea 2000. In addition to the Titan Roller, there's Big Olimpo, the one and only water roller coaster in Europe, and a huge water playground for kids featuring waterfalls, rocks, and inflatables. Live shows and animations play throughout the day. If you get peckish, the site offers several restaurants where you can tuck into some delicious Italian cuisine.
10. Waterworld - Ayia Napa, Cyprus
If you're in Cypres' party capital of Ayia Napa, give the bar hopping a break for a day and check out Waterworld. Designed around an ancient Greek theme with old ships, classical statues, and towering white columns, it promises oodles of family fun on its brightly colored (and imaginatively named) water slides. Once you've finished slipping and sliding down Apollo’s Plunge, Odyssey River, and The Fall of Icarus, there's a ton of rides and a big wave pool to enjoy. If you're in need of a break, head for one of the sun loungers on the patio - just be sure to wear flip flops in summer, as the ground can get sizzling.
9. Alpamare - Bad Seedamm, Switzerland
Alpamare has the distinction of being Europe’s biggest covered waterpark. Even if Bad Seedamm is buried under a foot of snow, you're still guaranteed plenty of family-friendly entertainment on its lazy rivers, indoor pools, and 11 outstanding slides, including the extraordinary ultra-sensory Ice Express and the thrilling Cobra Pipe. If the weather is sunny (or if you don't mind braving the elements), there's also a mammoth outdoor heated pool to enjoy.
8. Aquariaz - Avoriaz, France
The French alps might be as far away from a tropical jungle as it's possible to get, but you wouldn't know it from the lush vegetation, huge rocks features, and balmy temperatures of the Aquariaz water park. After a day of freezing on the slopes, its 30°C pools are the perfect place to defrost. Each of the pools has varying depths, resulting in plenty of safe fun for everyone. Along with the pools, there's a gentle lazy river to cruise along, a half-pipe slide, climbing walls, and chill-out areas with water jets. If you visit in winter, be sure to check out the heated outdoor spa, where you can relax in a hot tub surrounded by snow and stunning alpine scenery.
7. Aqua Done - Tralee, Ireland
As prima.co.uk says, regardless of the weather, Aqua Done offers four-season fun at its indoor water park. Boasting tropical temperatures all year round, it promises a great day out for the whole family, with a host of exciting attractions (including a wave machine, a lazy river, and a heart-pumping 90-meter high slide) that'll appeal to grown-ups just as much as kids.
6. Aquapark - Biscarosse, France
As ryanair.com rightly says, Aquapark is absolutely awesome. Located just a short drive from Bordeaux and Biarritz, it's a little different from most water parks. Rather than stick to the usual rainbow-colored half pipes and lazy rivers, it's decided instead to model itself after a giant, inflatable obstacle course, with a huge water slide, an equally giant catapult, inflatable zorbs, and a host of other attractions in the same vein.
5. Siam Park - Adeje, Spain
Ranked as one of the best water parks in Europe by the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, Siam Park offers an adrenaline-fueled, fun-filled experience for the entire family. Set against a backdrop of Thai-inspired architecture and tropical scenery, it's a treat from start to finish, with everything from lazy rivers to free-fall slides to enjoy. Whether you want to get wild on a slide or chill on a sunbed, there's enough here to keep everyone happy.
4. Caribe Aquatic Park (PortAventura) - Tarragona, Spain
Set just an hour's drive from Barcelona, PortAventura is a huge theme park that attracts over 3.5 million visitors each year. Unlike most theme parks, it values education just as much as fun, with the result that you'll leave knowing a lot more than you did when you arrived. Part of its offering is the Caribe Aquatic Park. Spread over 50,000 m2, it boasts more slides, rides, and water-based attractions than you can shake a stick at. There's a wave pool, a collection of giant slides, sun loungers, kiddie's pools and play areas, a lazy river, junior slides, a beach area.... the list goes on. If you ever get bored of the water, scoot over to the main theme park to enjoy some land-based fun.
3. AquaCity - Poprad, Slovakia
With 350 water attractions to enjoy, AquaCity leaves nothing to be desired. There's a pirate ship in a saltwater pool to explore on Treasure Island, an iguana terrarium, ziplines, a kid's fun zone with inflatable slides and toboggan runs, laser shows on the Blue Sapphire wave pool, steam saunas, and mineral water baths. As an added incentive to visit, it's the only water park in the world to be powered completely by geothermal water and solar energy.
2. Lalandia - Billund, Denmark
Lalandia is by far the biggest water park in Scandinavia. It features a staggering assortment of family-friendly slides (check out the Twister or Octopus for starters), heated pools, and a lazy river. Parents in need of some R&R should head for the aromatherapy saunas, leaving the kids free to enjoy watching the coral reefs and exotic fish in the Cave Pool or splashing around in the Aqua Splash water playground. Toddlers are catered to by five mini waterslides. As an added draw, the park is within striking distance of that other major attraction, Legoland.
1. Tropical Islands’ AMAZONIA - Brandenburg, Germany
Drive around an hour from Berlin and you'll find Tropical Islands’ AMAZONIA. Covering 35,000-square-meters, the sprawling water park offers year-round indoor and outdoor fun on its mammoth array of attractions. Just a small sample of the delights on offer includes an indoor ocean complete with a heated lagoon, a kid's pool with a water play table, and a 27-meter high waterslide. The fun doesn't end in the water - once you're ready to dry off, take a ride in an air balloon before checking out the turtles, flamingos, and macaws in the exotic indoor rainforest. If that's still not enough for you, stump up €8 extra for access to the exclusive tropical sauna and spa area, which boasts bubble loungers, massage pools, and even its very own replica of the Angkor Wat.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn