If you are travelling with children and want some time off from the usual sightseeing or day at the beach, visiting one of Portugal’s many amusement parks might be a great option. PDV selected five different theme parks, all in different areas of the country, which we are sure will delight children and adults alike.
Portugal boasts of plenty beautiful beaches and picturesque scenery, all of which may prove enough to leave you with wonderful memories of your holiday. But if you are visiting with children and want to spend a different kind of day, why not try one of the country’s amusement parks? From waterparks to family-friendly safari parks, there are plenty of offers that promise to delight grown-ups and children alike. PDV has already shown you where to take the kids in Lisbon, where the large indoor Oceanarium will let them get up close with countless marine species and Kidzania offers them a world of their own, but the rest of the country also has many other parks worth visiting. All you have to do is pick the right one, and just let them run wild.
Portugal dos Pequenitos: a miniaturised version of the country
Only staying in Portugal for a few days but want to show your children all the unique things the country has to offer, from regional architecture to some of the country’s most iconic monuments like Lisbon’s Tower of Belém? Then head to Coimbra, where Portugal dos Pequenitos (literally, Portugal of the little ones) houses all these monuments, buildings and replicas in one place, but with a twist – they’re all miniatures! Portugal dos Pequenitos is a theme park filled with miniature houses and monuments that express the Portuguese way of thinking and living. It encompasses parts of Portuguese history, including the many countries that share the language and many of the cultures the Portuguese came into contact with during the Age of Discoveries. It is divided into five theme areas: Portugal and its monuments, Portuguese-speaking countries, Coimbra, Madeira and the Azores, and regional architecture. Within the park there are also three different museums worth visiting: the costume museum, the naval museum, and the furniture museum.
Founded in 1940, the park is more than just a miniature town where children can learn through playing, it is also a qualified exhibition of Portuguese sculpture and architecture. Adults will be equally amazed by these little houses and their detail, designed by one of Portugal’s leading 20th century architects, Cassiano Branco.Where: Coimbra Admission: Children aged 2 and younger – Free Children between 3 and 13 – €5.50 14 to 64 year olds – €8.95 Over 65 – €5.50 Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) – €23.95 Opening times: 10am-5pm (Winter months), 10am-7pm (Spring months), 10am-8pm (Summer months) Telephone: (+351) 239 801 170/1 Website: http://www.portugaldospequenitos.pt/index.php/english/Home.html
Aquashow: swim with sea lions and have some poolside fun
Sea lions are one of the latest attractions at one of Portugal’s most visited water parks, so why not spend a day in the water, sliding into pools and splashing around? Aquashow is a large water park near Vilamoura in the Algarve, with a newly opened hotel and theme park attractions. With over nine different water rides, a large swimming pool, a children’s play area and the country’s largest wave pool, there is plenty to keep you entertained throughout the day. You also have access to several shows featuring trained animals, such as reptiles and birds of prey, among many others.Where: Quarteira, Algarve Admission: Children aged 4 and younger – Free Children between 5 and 10 – €18 Adults – €27 Senior citizens – €18 Swimming with sea lions – €49 Opening times: (open between May and September) May: 10am-5pm; June: 10am-5:30pm; July: 10am-6:30pm; August: 10am-7pm; September: 10am-5:30pm Telephone: (+351) 289 389 396 Website: http://park.aquashowparkhotel.com/?lang=en
Badoca Safari Park: watch the tigers sleep and the giraffes eat
If after having seen Madagascar your child has a thing for lemurs, then look no further, for Badoca Safari Park houses many of these creatures in an area called “lemur island”, where you can not only see these animals threatened with extinction, but can also interact with them. Africa, with its blazing sun and fascinating wildlife is a place many aspire to visit. Although not on the African continent, Portugal also boasts of this safari park in the Alentejo region. Giraffes, tigers, buffalo… The Badoca Safari Park is home to many wild animals and enables you to get up close with them on their one hour safari ride.
If you are a fan of tropical birds, the park also has a section dedicated to these where you can admire a multitude of feathered species, with their strident cries and impressive colours.Where: Between Santiago do Cacém and Grândola, on the IC33 road, Alentejo Admission: Children between 4 and 10 – €14.50 Adults – €16.50 Senior citizens – €14.50 Opening times: 9:30am-8pm Telephone: (+351) 269 708 850 Website: http://www.badoca.com/
Zoomarine: swim with dolphins and learn about sea creatures
Don’t miss the opportunity to swim with dolphins while you’re in Portugal. Zoomarine provides the experience either in a large group of fourteen people or a more private setting limited to two persons. The water park promises to make your swim something special, but this is not the only thing it has to offer. It will also show you the wonders of sea life, revealing the needs and amazing feats of marine creatures as well as their secrets, while providing entertainment with shows were they are the main cast. Zoomarine take it upon themselves to enlighten their guests in the ways of the sea, showing how careful humans must be to preserve this environment and its inhabitants. The dolphins are the main characters, perhaps because they are a favourite with visitors, but sea lions and seals also take part in the performances.
After a full morning of shows, why not enjoy some family fun at their theme park? From classic rides such as the ferris wheel to some water fun in their pools and aquatic rides, there is enough to take care of your afternoon as well.
Where: Guia, 10 km from Albufeira Admission: Children under 1 metre – free Children over 1 metre up to the age of 10 – €18 Adults – €27 Senior citizens – €18 Opening times: Late March-early November 10am-6pm, except July and August when the park is open until 7:30pm Telephone: (+351) 289 560 300 Website: http://www.zoomarine.pt/index.php
Magikland: the biggest amusement park in Portugal
Get ready to enter a world of creativity and imagination, where one second you’re fighting with pirates and the next you’ll be in the American Wild West running from flying arrows. Magikland is the country’s biggest amusement park, with six different theme areas: Africa, World of Confusion, Medieval Village, Pirates’ Refuge, Souk, and Wild West. Each area has a specific feel to it with different rides. The Medieval Village takes children back in time to an age of knights and princesses, Africa focuses on the many wonders of that continent, Pirates’ Refuge allows children to play on a full-scale pirate boat, Souk focuses on a typical Arabic marketplace, and the American Wild West allows kids to run wild while playing cowboys and indians. Magikland is a place where “magic happens”, according to their slogan, and as such warns its visitors not to be surprised by the many things they will encounter. There is even a miniature Eiffel Tower in the World of Confusion section! The park is especially popular with children and seniors.Where: Penafiel, Braga Admission: Children aged 4 and younger – free Children between 5 and 12 – €10 Adults – €15 Senior citizens (65 to 75) – €10 Super senior citizens (over 75) – free Opening times: (open between June and October) Early June and late October: 10am-6pm; July, August and early September: 10am-8pm; late September and October: 10am-5pm Telephone: (+351) 255 712 357 Website: http://www.magikland.pt/index.php