Water Parks, Theme Parks and Zoos
Water parks are naturally popular attractions in the Algarve for both locals and tourists.
Just outside Vilamoura you have one of Portugal’s best water parks – Aquashow Park. This vast aquatic playground has its own hotel, selection of slides from extreme to easy and even its own water coaster.
The Zoomarine Park is 20 minutes away and promises to be a great day out for the entire family. It is most popular attraction in the region, it is also the only place you can swim with dolphins.
Other options include Slide and Splash (Lagoa) and Aqualand (Lagos). All of these parks are exceptionally busy from mid-July to end of August.
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Aquashow Water Park
CLOSED FOR 2021 SEASON
There are some fantastic water parks near Vilamoura and the best one is almost on your doorstep. Aquashow Park and Hotel is only a 5-minute drive away from Vilamoura and ideal for the whole family.
The 22 attractions include Europe’s biggest water coaster (740m), one of the world’s tallest free fall slides (ranks 12th at 8 stories high), unique rides such as the White Fall and Portugal’s biggest wave pool.
The slides and amusement rides are spread out over an extensive area and surrounded by tropical landscaped gardens. There are a live animal shows with replies, tropical birds and birds of prey.
You will find a good variety of rides for all ages and levels of thrill. Some rides have age and height restrictions to ensure safety and life-guards are assigned each attraction.
- stay at the Aquashow Hotel, guests have free access to the park and hotel provides shuttle to Vilamoura Marina;
- buy tickets before going, the queues for tickets at the park can be really long;
- there are many agents in Vilamoura selling tickets usually with the same discount as online;
- busiest period is during Portuguese school holidays from mid-July to end of August;
- do not book the Aquashow transportation from Vilamoura a taxi or Uber is much cheaper;
- metal objects are forbidden on rides, leave jewellery at home;
- glasses are also not allowed on rides, use contacts if possible;
- you can bring food into the park, no glass is allowed.
Zoomarine is a family theme park, zoo and water park rolled into one. It is the top family attraction in the Algarve, with half a million visitors per year.
This park is located in Guia a mere 20 minute drive from Vilamoura.
Zoomarine manages to provide entertainment, leisure and environmental education in a beautiful setting that is fun for the all ages.
Live animal shows – dolphins, seals, sea lions, pirate shows, birds of prey and tropical birds
Amusement Rides – Atlantida merry-go-round, Harakiri slide, Jurassic river, Farol Freefall, Manta Ray ride and Ferry
Zoological Attractions – Aquarium, 4d Cinema, walkthrough habitats (turtles, tortoises, alligator), Macaws, Rehab Centre and Museum.
Swimming with Dolphins
Swim and interact with the dolphins in the Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon), access to this area is restricted to participants in the Dolphin Emotions programmes.
High Season – (01/06 to 19/09)
Adults (11-64yrs) €35
Junior (>1m – 10 yrs): €25
Senior (+65): €25
Children less than 1m tall: Free
Low Season – (06/03 to 31/05 and 20/09 to 31/10)
Adults (11-64yrs) €29
Junior (>1m – 10 yrs): €21
Senior (+65): €21
Children less than 1m tall: Free
Closes: 17h00, 18h30 or 19h30
- Download the app and plan the day, get notifications for the shows before they start;
- Great for the whole family but best for small children – fun but not for thrill seekers;
- Kids under 1m go free;
- Some rides have restrictions for kids check on the app;
- July and August can be really busy;
- Buy tickets before to avoid the queue online or at agents;
- 2-day ticket is valid for 10 days after your 1st visit
€8.00 pp return
-+ €30 each way
Slide and Splash
Slide and Splash is one of the largest water parks in Portugal and the most popular in Eastern Algarve. Located in Lagoa this park is a half-hour drive (46km) from Vilamoura.
The water park’s 17 attractions include some thrilling rides like the Black Hole, Disco River, Wave or Tornado but there are also a number of rides appropriate for every comfort level. Children have their own dedicated area and on some height-restricted float rides they may accompany adults.
Visitors can also watch the animal shows with reptiles, birds of prey and macaws or enjoy a massage and fish spa. For lunch or snacks there are 6 restaurants although you are welcome to bring your own food and drink into the park.
The Aqualand water park is located between Lagoa and Albufeira, a 25-minute (33km) from Vilamoura.
Although this is the smaller of the 4 water parks it is still a great place to spend the day with the kids.
The park has 8 rides, a wave pool, a large pool area and dedicated kids area. There is a fast-food restaurant in the park, extensive green area and small shop.
Aqualand does not get as busy as the other more popular water parks, so the queues and waiting time for rides are generally shorter. You can purchase a fast track ticket for the rides at the park for €10.
- This water park is small, if staying in Vilamoura there is not really a good reason to travel that far when Aquashow is 5 minutes away;
- Bring a towel or blanket, there are plenty of shaded areas and grass to camp out for the day;
- Sun loungers are available to rent;
- Avoid wearing jewellery, metal or other objects that may cause injury on the rides.
Lagos Zoo is one of the most highly rated attractions in the Algarve. A small zoo located between Lagos and Sagres, 50 minute drive from Vilamoura.
Over 140 different species from 5 continents live in this beautifully designed zoo in Lagos. However, do not expect to see large animals such as giraffes or elephants.
The enclosures are cleverly designed and animals have plenty of space to roam around. There is also a petting farm where visitors can feed and interact with some of the animals.
On site you will find a restaurant and across the road is a highly rated authentic Portuguese restaurant.
Krazy World Zoo
The Krazy World park and Zoo is a great way to spend a full day out, especially for small children. It is of the few venues that is open all year round.
The zoo is located in Algoz, which is about a 30 minute drive from Vilamoura. It is not a large venue but has plenty of activities for a fun and educational day out.
The main attraction is of course the animals, crocodiles, snakes, exotic birds, llamas, lemurs and many others. Visitors can feed some of the animals and also watch the shows.
The park has a restaurant, pool area with a slide and baby area, tree climbing activities, pony rides, paint ball, pedal carts and quad bike hire. Some of these activities have an extra charge.