The Water / Theme Park

Aquashow Park

The amusement park or better said water park Aquashow Park is located in Quarteira near the city of Faro and is the largest park in the country and at least theoretically divided into the two components that describe it. When you enter the park you first enter the amusement park area of the park, through a separate entrance in the middle of the park you can then enter the water park. At least that was the idea at one time, but more about that later. In addition, the park offers a lot of extra activities, like a space centre, a museum about Portuguese history or a skating rink, which are not included in the entrance fee.

Top Swing

Directly at the entrance the Fabbri Top Swing swings into the air, and my expectations were justifiably high; after all, the identical model at the Flamingo Land zoo and amusement park in England has clearly proven that you can overdo it a bit with airtime. Unfortunately the ride was quite short and not very varied, so that my enthusiasm was limited. Although the desired ride characteristics were offered, the airtime orgy was simply not the same.

Air Race

Directly opposite, the first European Air Race has been running for some years by now. This ride was the one that put the Aquashow Park on my list of amusement parks to visit; even though a much closer ride has been installed at the Copenhagen amusement park Tivoli Gardens last year. Overall, this type of ride is becoming more and more common in amusement parks all over the world.

As soon as the ride has started, the passenger carrier slowly swings up and creates a very bizarre hang time, which you are bound to enjoy a little longer. Once the ride has started, the passenger carriers roll over at a very fast speed and by no means powerless. In the interim, the direction of travel is reversed, so that as time goes by, a few rollovers in both directions add up, making for a very interesting and varied ride.


On the way to the park’s big roller coaster, the Montanha Russa, you inevitably walk along the Aquafly, which at least in theory is supposed to be a splash battle at lofty heights. In order to have enough water in the tank, the cars, which are designed as seaplanes, stop in a water basin and then follow the track at constant speed, similar to a gondola ride. As there was nobody else on the ride, the ride was not very convincing, also the guns were difficult to handle and therefore hardly usable.

Montanha Russa

Let’s now turn to – if you want to believe the park flyer – Europe’s only and largest water coaster: Montanha Russa. Of course, those who know Poseidon from Europa Park and Skatteøen from Djurs Sommerland in Denmark will hardly agree with this, but it reflects the humour of the park and is a clever, albeit mendacious advertisement. The design of the ride is exceptionally minimalist, but that’s not all that makes it stand out.

Once you’ve walked through the whole ride and finally found the entrance area, you’ll be off on the next best boat. The course of the ride is identical with Poseidon and so the boat bobs around the maintenance hall of the ride a little bit. Shortly after that the boat hacks into the chain with a strong jerk and climbs up the lifthill. At the top there is a small 180° turn and shortly after that the notorious highlight of this circuit follows, where normally even raising hands can be a test of courage. It would be wrong to say that the ride is smooth, however, Aquashow Park is the best place to ride this section that all water coasters of this type in Europe have in common; regardless the super modern production on the newest model. The following shot ride is known for its sweeping ride and the degree of wetness is at a surprisingly high level.

Full of anticipation for the next stroke while hacking into the lift, which did not happen, the Portuguese sun dries you a little. A panoramic view from a lofty height follows until the second shot is initiated. Thanks to the shape of the downhill run, you are torn out of your seat a little bit until you are racing over the bunnyhop at full speed to get a good shower shortly afterwards. This is unfortunately not due to the wave generated by the boat, but rather to the conveniently placed bridge over the splash area, where the water is broken and falls down onto the boat, while the passers-by on the bridge, interestingly enough, remain completely dry.

Speed Race

From this bridge starts the ascent to this year’s novelty of Aquashow Park and at the same time the reason why the separation of water and leisure park can no longer be taken seriously. This is a simple, but by no means small, mat slide called Speed Race. The interesting thing about it is that the end of the slide is built on a base and you leave the pool via a steel platform. While the mat slide in Slide & Splash had already proved to be very funny, here you miss the water pool at the end of the ride, which makes the braking not at all pleasant, at least not for men. Nevertheless, the experience is great enough to make the long way back to the starting point.

Piscina Tropical and the Slow Slides

Through a turnstile you enter the water park, where under a peculiar construction there is the large wave pool Piscina Tropical and an immense number of sunbeds, which are free to use. Four of the so-called Slow Slides also end in this area, whose individual names rather reflect what they actually offer. It’s a bit strange to call your much too fast and airtime-rich body slides slow – but it’s no wonder if at some point you realize that the park doesn’t take itself quite so seriously. Here you will find a variety of wonderful slides, all of which not only have a fast course with a good water flow in common, but unfortunately also a rather long way back to the starting position.

Pistas Foam, Lazy River and Wild Snake

Passing the wide slide Pistas Foam, well-known from the Slide & Splash water park nearby, we now head towards the park’s own hotel, where the trivial and not really attractive Lazy River is located. However, as there is a slide featuring an endless helix, which ends in it, the Lazy River was also tested. Visually, the Wildsnake slide takes a lot of getting used to and is also rather boring from the ride in this tyre slide.

White Fall

After what felt like an eternity, we finally reach the end of the flow channel and climb up the mountain with a different tyre towards the biggest slide in the park. White Fall is a fully-grown version of the Tsunami slide from Polin, which, like the ride in Djurs Sommerland, can generate one or the other Adrealin thrust. In contrast to the ride in Denmark, here you don’t just swing back and forth, but towards the end of the halfpipe-like section you are pushed into the next section by two big guiding rolls. There, you go over a few hills towards the pool at the end of the hill.

Pictures Aquashow Park

Conclusion Aquashow Park

Aquashow Park is a decent water park with some attractions that you can find in some theme parks. In general the park offers more than it should and so a space centre for example seems to be completely out of place, also the skating rink is a place to argue about and if you have to offer the shows on top of that. that all other parks in the Algarve seem to offer. Aquashow Park is therefore a bit of everything and does what it does quite well. At least it’s no wonder why the Aquashow Park is Portugal’s most popular theme park.


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Great Shows and a Rapid River


After leaving the water park Slide & Splash nearby Lagoa, I reached the animal and theme park Zoomarine around noon. It exists since 1991 and should not be confused with the Mundo Aquático park of the same name near Rome. Like similar parks, Zoomarine is characterised by a large number of shows, so that despite the manageable size of the park, you can easily spend a whole day here.

When I entered the park I knew from the beginning that I wanted to see at least one of the shows, because the entrance fee is by no means low in this park either. Since the show called Flying Colours was supposed to start in about 20 minutes the time was enough to explore the park a little bit. Soon I noticed a peculiarity of the park, because the attractions in the back of the park opened staggered one after the other and so did the only roller coaster of the park.

The parrot show then turned out to be very entertaining, instructive and quite well produced. The transitions were fluid, the story was stupid, but parrots who destroy a flat are just very funny and more or less reflect reality. It’s a bit strange that Zoomarine attempts to deal with the dangers of the shrinking habitat, only to sell some animal welfare bracelets shortly afterwards. Last but not least, the tree that has been impressively chopped down is hydraulically lifted back up into the sky.

In general, animal welfare activists will not be very satisfied with the animal husbandry in this park, so a visit is not recommended for this group of people. The few animals that are shown here in the enclosures, however, have enough space for their needs. The animals shown for the presentations have just as much space in generous aviaries or basins and even the dolphins can have it worse elsewhere with their lagoon. Of course, with the best will in the world this is definitely not ideal, especially as the dolphins’ lagoon can also be visited as an up-charge attraction.

Buffalo Coaster

As a roller coaster, Zoomarine offers small Zamperla Powered Coaster called the Buffalo Coaster. The ride with the Twin Helix layout is beautifully designed and is a lot of fun due to its lateral forces during the two helices; luckily it was only a three laps special.


If you follow the path further on, you will come to a junction where you can either continue up the mountain and see this year’s novelty, or go down to the Harakiri dinghy slide or the almost non-existent rafting, which should open at 2 pm. At that time I had basically achieved my goal, but I decided to take the Rapid River as well. Because the Era T-Rex was not supposed to open for half an hour I took a closer look at the front section of the park.


Passing some animal enclosures I went into the aquarium Aceanus, which is quite inconspicuous from the outside. It is very close to the Sea Life centres, apart from the missing design and the very dark and exclusively blue corridors. The aquariums were all large and well populated, but the highlight here is the huge tank towards the end of the run, which can be seen from three sides. This is where you could spot some sharks.

Era T-Rex

Back in the daylight I quickly looked at the other enclosures before I decided against the pirate-style sea lion show called Wonderland and walked towards the rapid ride. Prior to this, I took a closer look at the tent of the Era T-Rex, which looked rather unsuitable from the outside. The inside turned out to be a quite solid museum with some animatronics in which guided tours take place regularly. Since I didn’t want to wait for the next group I joined another group that was already advanced in the guided tour.

Rapid River

Next, I headed straight towards the Rapid River, whose entrance is located halfway down the dinghy slide. You can only find it through the signs in Zoomarine, but not on the notes of the individual opening hours of the rides, nor on the park map. Nevertheless, the ride was actually open and so it didn’t take long until I was sitting in one of the round boats.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much and the waterfall visible from the outside only looked as if it would, like in other parks, wet the boat a little bit, if at all, by splashes. But as it turned out after the first few meters of the ride, this was a very wrong estimation, because in fact this small passage is enough to wet at least half of the passengers due to the rotation of the boat. The following curvy stretch is then unfortunately free of any rapids and surprises, but nevertheless, the beautiful design and the rather less beautiful foam tunnel provide enough elements to distract you and shortly afterwards to introduce the great finale. The similarities with the dark ride Bubbleworks from Chessington World of Adventures are not to be denied, but the water jets end here all inside the boat. Shortly afterwards the lift and the end of the ride is reached.

The ride, built by L&T Systems, is a magnificent and, above all, wet pleasure which, once you are in the park, should not be missed. A bit annoying is the late opening time of the ride and the resulting time spent at the park.

Zoomarine Beach

Apart from the individual shows, of which I unfortunately didn’t watch any more, you can also visit the small water park Zoomarine Beach and test the two water slides and the large wave pool. In addition to that, the park also offers a 4D cinema with a film about turtles, a nicely designed carousel, a small boat swing and a Ferris wheel.

Pictures Zoomarine

Conclusion Zoomarine

Zoomarine is a park that looks quite expensive in the first place, especially if you visit it just for its roller coaster. However, if you take the time to see the shows, the aquarium and the attractions that open later, Zoomarine is a good park where the price/quality ratio is good.


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Sliding & Splashing in the Morning


When I planned my Something with Portugal tour I knew from the start that it would not be dominated by theme parks or even roller coasters. A little bit of culture and the one or other water park was allowed. As so often in Portugal, the number of such destinations is manageable, but a look at Parkscout helped to find out at least the names of these parks. A little research later the water park Slide & Splash near Lagoa turned out to be especially interesting to start the day there.

Slide & Splash


Shortly after the opening I went into the park, changed my clothes and together with some English people I searched for an already opened waterslide. Whilst the other slides were being prepared, I grabbed a mat and climbed up the rather impressive hill for the first time, only to slide down the rather steep section of the Banzai slide on my belly and then hop over the water surface of the landing pool.

Rio Rapido

Right next to the mat slide Banzai is the relatively inconspicuous tube slide Rio Rapido. On this slide you race down the mountain in a straight line. But Rio Rapido wouldn’t be Rio Rapido if the slide wouldn’t have a hill on which – thanks to the pronounced airtime – you are almost thrown out of your tube. Shortly afterwards and after a small jump you reach the landing pool of the slide.

Escorregas Grandes

The Escorregas Grandes start from the highest point of the Slide & Splash water park, seven slides, each with creative names, all of which are characterised by a multitude of curves and jumps. Unfortunately, these body slides are all a bit older, so you can unfortunately feel the joints a bit. Furthermore, the speed of the slides is not high enough to take off during the jumps. Nevertheless, the Escorregas Grandes offer an extremely solid sliding pleasure for the whole family.

Rio Turbulento

The Rio Turbulento is another tube slide that starts at a similar altitude. The beginning of the slide is a credit to its name. Unfortunately, before the final and quite steep shot, there is no speed at all, so that one struggles a little through the channel.

Kamikaze and Tornado

The starting point for the kamikaze slide and the Tornado funnel slide are located on an annex. While Kamikaze precisely reflects what is to be expected, the Tornado turns out to be a rather boring slide. The speed is just enough to make one lap in the funnel and let yourself drift in the direction of the exit by the water jets.

Black Hole

At the back of the mountain, next to the show arena, where a parrot, reptile and bird of prey show takes place, there are also the black hole slides, which I could not test. Two persons are required to ride in the mandatory double rings. Too bad that nobody ever gets around this part of the Slide & Splash water park. In addition, the park was generally very empty.

Pistas Brandas

Next to a spacious restaurant, you will find the small and large wide slide Pistas Brandas. As I have already ridden a similar ride in the Danish Djurs Sommerland, I was very curious to see how quickly one loses one’s footing here and was surprised to find the wettest slide in the park due to the spray coming up during the slide.


Nearby are the small Saltos slides, which you should not underestimate. The speed here is relatively high, the jumps accordingly pronounced and at the end the fall into the cool water is waiting. With the right technique, a rollover is possible at least on the left slide, which initiates the fall during a turn.

Pictures Slide & Splash

Conclusion Slide & Splash

Slide & Splash is a really good water park, which is not only nicely designed, but also has a lot of good slides. Due to the emptiness of the park I could slide everything interesting several times, so that the slightly higher entrance fee was definitely worth it. On the way to the next destination of the day, the zoo and amusement park Zoomarine, I also passed Aqualand Algarve, but I skipped this one because of budget and time reasons.


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