Vacationing in southern Portugal and wondering which water parks to visit in Algarve? Or looking for the best water parks near Albufeira? In this guide, you can find an overview of the best aquatic theme parks in the Algarve, coupled with our tips and practical information for your visit. We also include info on how to get there from Albufeira or driving times to other popular vacation destinations nearby. Find out!
When it comes to family-friendly destinations in Europe, Algarve stands out as a top choice. With its stunning coastline, picturesque towns, and a myriad of attractions for all ages, it’s no wonder that Algarve has become a hotspot for family vacations.
But if you are visiting Algarve in the summer when it’s often rather warm for sightseeing, there is no better way to keep your family entertained than by spending a day at a water park!
Algarve boasts some really nice water parks promising a wet and wild adventure for all ages. And while most of them are suitable for families with children, there are a few excellent choices that are great for teenagers and young adults as well.
Below, you can learn more about the four best water parks in Algarve and find our experience-based tips to help you plan a splashing good time during your visit.
At the end of the article, you’ll also find a map indicating the location of each water park. We also share some general tips and things we wish we had known before visiting Algarve’s waterparks for the first time. Take a look!
Good to know: It’s not easy to rank Algarve’s water parks since each of them is different and unique in its own way. So don’t pay much attention to the order in which we listed them and be sure to check each description so that you know what to expect before deciding which one to choose.
These are the best water parks in Algarve:
1. Slide & Splash Water Park
WATER PARK ONLY. FOR ALL AGES. GOOD VALUE.
Slide & Splash in Lagoa is one of the best water parks in Portugal and is popular among both locals as well as tourists. While many theme parks in the Algarve offer a combination of pools, water attractions, animal encounters, and dry rides, Slide & Splash is first and foremost a water park.
The park features a wide variety of slides, including Boomerang, the Big Wave, and Big Fall, which are guaranteed to get your heart racing. There is also a big variety of water slides, several pools, and a jacuzzi.
For families with younger children, there’s a dedicated area called Tropical Paradise, with mini-slides and splash zones suitable for the youngest members of the family. They also have a low-key bird show, which can be fun for the little kids.
In addition to all the rides, there is also a fish spa and a massage tent. There is also a place where you can get a temporary tattoo or have your hair braided. This is something that you will find in most theme parks in Algarve.
Info for Visiting Slide & Splash
Practical info: Slide & Splash has several affordable restaurants, or you can bring your own food and enjoy a picnic if you prefer. You can rent sun loungers and umbrellas, but you are also allowed to bring your own beach chairs, blankets, parasols, etc. Lockers are available for a small fee.
Opening times: Slide & Splash is open from April to early November. In the summer, it’s open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. In April – May and in October, the opening hours are slightly shorter and the park is closed on Sundays.
TIP: For the best price and in order not to waste time at the entrance, book your tickets online in advance and arrive early to secure the best/shady spots on the lawn. Inside the park, you can also get a second-day ticket at a fraction of the cost of the original ticket, but you have to buy it before you leave.
Our experience (in July): We visited the park twice (that 2nd-day ticket was irresistible). Buying tickets online and starting with the wildest rides first was the best way to make the most of our time. All in all, this park is very enjoyable, and while the wait times can get longer during the day, they are not as bad as at Aquashow or Zoomarine (see below).
Getting there: Slide & Splash is 30 minutes drive from Albufeira or Lagos, 40 minutes from Vilamoura, and about 50 minutes from Faro or Tavira. It’s best reachable by car (parking is free), taxi/Bolt/Uber, or a private transfer. From Albufeira, you can book this highly-rated round-trip shuttle.
LEARN MORE: Tips & Tricks for Visiting Slide & Splash
WATER PARK + DRY RIDES. INDOOR PARK IS OPEN IN THE LOW SEASON. FOR ALL AGES.
Located in Quarteira next to Vilamoura, Aquashow is one of the best theme parks in the Algarve, offering a mix of water attractions, water slides, and pools, but also thrilling rides. They advertise themselves as “the most complete park of Portugal” and it’s quite true – you’ll find something for different interests and all ages here.
What makes Aquashow unique among the other water parks in the Algarve is that it has its own fabulous hotel (that can accommodate bigger families too) and an indoor water park.
Aquashow Indoor Park is the only one that is open during the entire low season when all the other aqua parks in the Algarve are closed. It requires a timed ticket which is quite expensive for just a few hours of water fun and there aren’t that many slides. But if you are visiting the Algarve in the late fall or in the winter and are looking for a nice place to spend half a day with your kids, it might be worth it.
Aquashow Water Park (outdoors) has some amazing attractions, so it’s mostly worth coming in the summer. All the information below refers to the outdoor water park.
Aquashow features many exciting water attractions like Mammothblast, Montanha Russa, or Freefall, but also some wilder dry rides such as Air Race or Top Swing. These are all great fun for teenagers and adults as well.
If you prefer a more leisurely experience, there are also plenty of slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, several pools, and a jacuzzi where you can unwind after all the adrenaline rush. The park also has a shallow pool area for the little kids with several mini-slides as well as birds of prey, parrots, and reptiles shows.
All this makes it an excellent choice for families with kids of all ages. But Aquashow is also the best water park in Algarve for teens and adults who are looking for more exciting rides.
Info for Visiting Aquashow Water Park
Practical info: Aquashow has several restaurants and you can rent sun loungers with umbrellas, etc. They also allow you to bring your own food, beach chairs, etc. Lockers are available for a small fee.
Opening times: Aquashow Water Park is open from May to the end of September. It’s open daily from 10 am to 5-6 pm, depending on the month when you visit. Aquashow Indoor Park is open in the winter too.
TIP: Aquashow is one of the most popular of all Algarve water parks and is extremely busy. Book tickets online and arrive early. Head to the wildest rides as soon as you are inside. Otherwise, you risk spending an hour or even longer queueing at each attraction.
Our experience (mid-July): We arrived 30 minutes before the opening time to find a huge queue at the entrance already. But with the online tickets, it went quite smoothly and we were inside a few minutes after 10 am. We left our bags in the lockers and went directly to the most popular rides. By 11 am, we did 6 rides and another 4 by noon. After that, it got really busy and we mostly focused on the quieter rides and the pools. I read that many people complained about only being able to go on 5-6 rides in the whole day, so plan well or you’ll leave frustrated!
Getting there: Aquashow is about 10 minutes drive from Vilamoura, about 30 minutes from Albufeira, Faro, or Tavira, and about 50 minutes from Lagos. It’s best reachable by car (parking is free) or by taxi/Uber/Bolt/private transfer. From Albufeira, you can book this round-trip transfer.
SHOWS + DOLPHIN ENCOUNTERS + WATER PARK + DRY RIDES. FOR ALL AGES, BUT BEST SUITED FOR FAMILIES.
Zoomarine in Guia (Albufeira) is an aquatic theme park with animal shows with an educational twist. It is among the top experiences in Albufeira and the most visited theme park in Algarve, extremely popular with locals and tourists alike.
What sets Zoomarine apart from all other theme/water parks in Algarve is its emphasis on marine life conservation and education, plus the quality of its shows. The park features entertaining dolphin, seal, and bird shows, but also an acrobatic pirate show. All the shows really stand out and can easily compare to the ones we had seen at some of the best theme parks in the world.
While it’s not a traditional water park, Zoomarine offers a range of aquatic attractions, including a few water slides, a beach area with waves, a lazy river, and a refreshing swimming pool with a big separate area for the youngest kids. The water park section has been expanded recently and is a very nice addition to the already wide offer of entertainment.
There are also quite a few dry rides, but the majority of them are geared toward families with younger kids. That said, our teenagers enjoyed most of them as well.
Info for Visiting Zoomarine
Practical info: Zoomarine has lots of restaurants, and you can rent sun loungers, cabanas, etc. They also allow you to bring whatever you need so you see lots of locals packed up to their teeth with beach chairs, umbrellas, portable coolers, etc. Lockers are available for a small fee and you better get one early because they don’t seem to have enough of them on the busiest days.
Opening times: Zoomarine (including the main pool area) is open between March and November, but the water park area has a shorter opening season. In the summer, the park is open daily from 10 am to 7.30 pm. In the shoulder months, opening days and times vary a bit per month. But between April and October, it’s open on most days, from 10 am to 5-6 pm.
TIP: Get a 2-day ticket since there is a lot to see and do. The second day costs just 10 euros more and offers excellent value. Also here, booking online in advance will save you time and money. Arrive early to make the most of your time! For more tips, see our Zoomarine guide via the link further below.
Our experience: We visited Zoomarine in July with a 2-day ticket. There was a huge difference in the experience depending on the day of the week, so we recommend visiting on a weekend. Sunday is best, and mid-week is crazy busy in July and August.
Getting there: Zoomarine is located just 15-20 minutes drive from Albufeira center, and about 30-40 minutes from Lagos, Vilamoura, Faro, or Tavira. It’s best reachable by car (parking is free) or with a taxi/Uber/Bolt or private transfer. From Albufeira, you can also book a round-trip transfer with hotel pick-up.
LEARN MORE: Tips & Tricks for Zoomarine Algarve
4. Aqualand Algarve
WATER PARK ONLY. FOR ALL AGES, BUT BEST SUITED FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNGER KIDS.
Aqualand Algarve is a smaller water park and is best known for its family-friendly atmosphere. It has 12 water slides/attractions and is purely a water park (so no dry rides or shows). You can also get a massage or a temporary tattoo, which is something you’ll find in all water parks in the Algarve region.
The park boasts several adrenaline-pumping slides such as Banzai (only for the daredevils), and the recent addition, King Cobra. Hydra is also really nice. But most other attractions are less thrilling and aren’t really comparable to the ones you find at Aquashow or Slide & Splash.
Aqualand also has an Olympic-size swimming pool, a wave pool, and a lazy river, ideal for those looking to relax and soak up the sun. The park also has a dedicated Children’s Paradise area for the little ones.
Good to know: The main advantage of choosing Aqualand Algarve over the other water parks is its lower price (but only if you book online!) and that it’s not as busy. Even in the peak season, there are hardly any queues here.
They also have a Fast Pass which allows you to skip the queues altogether. It could be useful on a weekday at the end of July or in August, but it also adds 10 euros to your ticket price making it more expensive than other water parks which have a lot more to offer.
Info for Visiting Aqualand
Practical info: Aqualand has several restaurants, but when we visited in the peak season, only one of them was open. You can rent sun loungers and sun umbrellas for a small fee, but it is NOT allowed to bring your own beach chairs or umbrellas here. Lockers are available for a small fee, but you can only access them from either men’s or women’s bathrooms which is not very convenient for families.
Opening times: Aqualand Algarve is only open in the summer – from mid-June to mid-September. In the peak season, it’s open from 10 am to 6 pm.
TIP: Be sure to buy your tickets online because the prices at the entrance are much higher. If you are planning to go for lunch and only one restaurant is open, go early (around noon). It gets quite busy at around 1-2 pm.
Our experience: We visited Aqualand on a weekday in August. It was busier than expected, but the queues were 2-10 minutes. We found that the park didn’t manage it very well though. There were plenty of unused ‘Fast Pass’ tubes while in the meantime dozens of people were waiting in lines for no good reason. It felt as if they tried to upsell you, or maybe it’s their way to keep people busy because the number of attractions is really limited. After doing all of the slides several times, we left the park 3 hours before it closed.
Getting there: Aqualand Algarve is located in Alcantarilha, right next to the A22 highway. It’s about 20 minutes drive from Albufeira center, 30 minutes from Lagos or Vilamoura, and about 40 minutes from Faro or Tavira. It’s best reachable by car (parking is free) or with a taxi/Bolt/Uber or private transfer. From Albufeira, you can also book a round-trip shuttle with pick-up/drop-off at your accommodation.
More Water Parks & Theme Parks in Algarve
In addition to the four main water parks in Algarve mentioned above, there are a few other theme parks that also have a small pool section. In most cases, it’s not much more than a pool and maybe a slide or two, though.
But if you are looking for a mix of wildlife encounters, low-key rides, and a refreshing plunge in a pool, you may want to check out the following theme parks as well. They are best suited for families with young children.
- Krazy World is an interactive zoo with a petting farm, animal presentations, and a pool with a slide. They also have a mini-golf, pedal carts, a zip-line, etc.
- Lagos Zoo is the best animal park in the Algarve with over 150 animal species. It is primarily a zoo, but they also have a beach/pool area which is open in the summer season (April to September).
TIP: If you have some time to pop over to the Andalusia region in Spain, there is also a very nice water park in Seville – Isla Mágica (it’s just 1.5-2.5 hours drive from the main towns in Algarve). You may also want to check out our recommended itineraries for 1 day or 2 days in Seville. Just don’t forget to inform your car rental company if you are planning on crossing the border!
Map of Algarve’s Water Parks
The majority of Algarve’s water parks are located in the center of the region, more or less around Albufeira. But – as you can see from the information above – they are all less than 1-hour drive from all the main towns in the area.
Lagos Zoo is a bit further west and Krazy World is a bit more inland, but if you have a car, it’s not a big deal. Otherwise, look for a taxi or a private transfer. They tend to be quite affordable in Algarve.
To give you a better idea of where all these places are located, we created a map indicating all the water parks and theme parks mentioned in this article. See below.
You can also click on the picture of the map if you want to see the exact locations on Google Maps.
Tips for Visiting Algarve’s Water Parks
In addition to the tips mentioned above and in our detailed guides to some of the water parks, here are some general tips based on our personal experience. These apply to all the water parks in the Algarve.
- Visit on a weekend. Contrary to what you’d expect, Algarve water parks tend to be much busier in the week than during weekends. This is because many tourists are arriving/departing on weekends. The quietest days are Sundays.
- Book your tickets in advance! The tickets for all the water parks in Algarve are cheaper if bought online. It also saves you a lot of time on the day of your visit! We bought all our tickets on the GetYourGuide website. If you are planning on visiting Benagil Cave or a few water parks, you may also want to check the Tiqets website. The ticket prices are usually the same everywhere, but Tiqets often have 2-in-1 combi deals for a few popular attractions together. This can save you several euros per person.
- Arrive early: Most water parks open at 10 a.m. so try to be there when they open. It’s the best way to beat the crowds and make the most of your day. Ideally, you are already wearing your swimwear (you can bring a set of dry clothes to change at the end of the day).
- Pack water shoes. The pavements can get really hot and it’s so much easier to enjoy your day if your feet are not burning all the time. Of all the water parks, there was only one slide in Zoomarine that asked us to take off these shoes. Whereas in flip-flops or sandals, you’d have to leave them behind all the time (so it’s not really useful). Some water parks also sell water shoes, but they usually have limited availability of the most popular sizes. We bought ours on Amazon.
- Wear a UV rash guard T-shirt. You will be in and out of the water and in the sun the whole day. We saw so many people with red backs and shoulders everywhere – painful! Most water parks sell UV shirts too, but it’s usually simpler to buy them in advance. See here if you are not familiar with UV T-shirts. And no, you cannot wear regular T-shirts on water slides!
- Pack – and use – plenty of sunscreen. Be sure to apply sunscreen to all the exposed areas at least every 2 hours! Locals recommended using waterproof sunscreen with a factor of at least 50.
- Check height restrictions: Be aware of height restrictions on rides to ensure everyone in your family can enjoy the attractions. At the same time, don’t worry about it too much because all the parks have really nice water play areas for the little kids.
- Use single tubes on busy days. Many slides have the option to choose a single or a double tube, and there is usually a separate queue for the two. While double tubes are always in high demand, you can often skip the longest lines by opting to go on your own. That being said, sometimes there are minimum weight requirements, so if you are not sure, simply ask the staff.
- Don’t bring anything you don’t need and use the lockers. Most water parks do not allow watches or jewelry, so it’s best to leave as much as possible in your hotel room. If you need a locker, rent one as soon as you arrive as they are in high demand. Also, bring some cash as some places require that you pay the deposit for the locker in cash (usually 2-5 euro).
- Pack a towel and – if you have it – a beach chair and sun umbrella. All the water parks except Aqualand allow you to bring this. Alternatively, simply rent whatever you need (but do it in the morning before the best spots are gone!). We always take our fast-drying travel towels with us.
- Bringing a picnic will save you some money. But in general, food/drinks are quite affordable in the Algarve.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially on hot summer days!
- If you are planning on doing lots of sightseeing in the Algarve, rent a car, as it will likely be cheaper than taking taxis/transfers everywhere. We always use the RentalCars website and rent a car directly from Faro airport. On the other hand, if you are only visiting one or two places, it’s simpler and cheaper to just book a transfer or get a taxi. Uber and Bolt are also available, just expect that the prices will go up at peak times (before 10 am when the water parks open and around 5-6 pm when they close and everyone leaves at the same time).
So, this is our guide to the best water parks in Algarve. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping rides or a relaxing day by the pool, there is something for everyone in the region.
If you ask for our personal favorite, it’s really difficult to say since they are all so different. Aquashow gets our family’s vote for the best rides, Zoomarine – for the best shows and a wide diversity of things to do, and Slide & Splash is our favorite if you are looking for a more relaxed experience and family atmosphere. You really cannot go wrong with any of these!
TIP: We have tons of articles about the Algarve region. So if you have some time to explore this beautiful area beyond its beaches and water parks, take a look at some of the highlighted articles below!
More travel inspiration for the Algarve region:
- Top places:
- Along the coast:
- More town guides:
- Practical info & seasonal guides:
- For more destinations, please see our Portugal travel guide.
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