PortAventura: Get the most out of this theme park in 24 hours
During my 10 day trip of Catalonia, I decided to spend a night in PortAventura theme park in Spain.
PortAventura is a theme park in Salou, on the Costa Daurada in Spain. PortAventura attracts 4 million visitors per year. It is most famous for having Europe’s tallest rollercoaster.
How to get there
Reus is the closest airport to PortAvetura and takes about 15 minutes in a taxi. If you are coming from Barcelona airport, the easiest way to get to PortAventura is by bus. There is a direct bus that travels from Barcelona airport to PortAventura. However, if you are going from another part of Spain, the train might be the better option. Be aware trains are limited especially at the weekend. Make sure you plan ahead before travelling. There is a train that stops directly outside the theme park. The closest hotel to the train stop is the El Passo Hotel. If you are staying in one of the other hotels, go here first and they will order a shuttle for you to bring you to your hotel.
I arrived at Gold River Hotel at approximately 3 pm. The receptionist gave me all the information on the different parks and breakfast. This hotel was western themed and had a real feel of the Wild West. THe room was nice spacious and comfortable. The hotel room building was decorated to look like an old store you would imagine to be in the wild west.
We decided to go to try to fit in all the parks including Aqualand and Ferrari Land while we were there. There are six areas in the PortAventura theme park. Far West, Mexico, Polynesia, Mediterranea, China and SésamoAventura (Sesame street)
We entered the park via the Far West Area. We strolled down through Mederania to the entrance to Ferrari Land. This is the newest theme park in Port Aventura. It opened in April 2017 and as has everything related to the famous car company Ferrari. Tickets are 20 euros for a day entrance into the park. There is also a combined ticket you can get for both parks. They have a museum all about Ferrari and the best 4D simulator that recreates different race tracks around the world. Their main attraction is Red Force. It’s a ride that recreates the sensation of being in a real Ferrari race car. It accelerating at 180km an hour in 5 seconds. Ferrari Park is definitely a place to visit if you love cars. The whole park can be done in about 2-3 hours.
We went back to Far West where everything is American/wild west themed. We went on some of the rides there including Silver RIver Flume and Grand Canyon Rapids. There is a lot of entertainment on this side of the park. This includes line dancing and a cowboy show titled “Bang Bang West” where there is an excellent display of acrobatics.
As the name suggests this part of the park is Mexican themed. As you enter you are immediately transported into an exotic jungle full of forest and Inca temples. The main rides here are Yucatán, a ride that spins and Hurakan Condor, a 100-metre free fall drop. My favourite ride was actually a hall of mirrors “El Secreto de los Mayas”. It was really fun and was very well done. The show “Templo del Fuego” is excellent and runs throughout the day.
This area is a roller coaster lovers dream as this area is full of them. The main attractions in this area are the Dragon Khan and the terrifying Shambhala, the tallest rollercoaster in Europe. This area of the park seems to be on top of a hill. It was beautiful being in this part of the park in the evening time and just watching the sunset over this magical place.
This is an area for the kids. This whole part of the park is Sesame St themed and has lots of children’s rides. These include a mini rollercoaster and a tree that is the centerpiece of this section.
This area is Carribean themed and has my most favourite show “Noches de Fuego en Tahití” where people dance around with lots of fire. The biggest rides of this area include Tutuki Splash and Kontiki.
We finished off the evening in Mediterranea where we had dinner in Vinosfera tapes i vins. There are no rides really in this area. it is mostly restaurants and shops. The one ride that is in this area is Furius Baco. a horizontal catapult that flings you at 135 km/h in 3 seconds. The main event here is the firework show before the park closes at 11.40pm. This firework show is spectacular and it is something you should make the effort to see when you are there. If you plan on watching this get there early as it can get pretty crowded.
On the second day in PortAventura we went to Acuatic Park, the water park. This was really good fun with lots of rides to suit every age. My favourite was Rapid Race, a giant slide where you race with others. Their biggest attraction is King Khajuna. This a slide where you free fall from a height of 31-meters with a 55-degree descent.
After we finished in Acuatic Park we returned to the hotel. We collected our things and got the shuttle back to the train station where we went to Barcelona
Some PortAventura tips for your time in the Park:
One night is not enough. If you plan on going to all the parks you will need at least two nights in the park. You could easily do PortAventura and Ferarri Land in two days but in order to do Acuatic park as well, you need to spend another day in the park. I tried to do everything in two days and I was completely exhausted
Book your tickets to the extra parks before you go. They are cheaper online and will save you money by booking them in advance.
Get the fast pass tickets. These are really handy especially if you are only here for a day or two. There are different levels of passes. What pass to get depends on what rides you want to go on.
Eat in Mediterranea. The food is not great in the park however prices are reasonable for food and drinks in comparison to other theme parks like Disneyland. The nicest restaurants were in Mediterranea and I found a really nice hot dog stand just outside Far West on the way to Mediterranea
If you want to get to an area of the park quickly use the trains or the boat. There is a railway line that runs through the park. When I was there the trains did not seem to be running, however, there is a boat that goes from Mediterranea to China. this is a great short cut, especially if you are starting to get tired from the walking.
Go to the Haribo Sweet Shop called Dolços i més. I discovered this sweet shop at the end of Mediterranea just before you enter Ferarri Land. There is a wide selection of Haribo sweets with many to pick and choose from.
As I mentioned before go to the El Passo Hotel when you get off the train and they will take you to your hotel if you are staying somewhere else in the park.
If you are going to Acuatic Park bring very little with you or leave it in the lockers int he main theme park. Otherwise, you will have to get there early to queue for a locker. If you do find yourself looking for a locker. there are a few in the indoor swimming pool area which people forget to try.
Make sure to bring sunscreen. The shops and hotels sell sunscreen if you forget however you will pay a premium for the pleasure.
Before you go download the PortAventura app. this is an interactive map that gives you the waiting times for the more popular rides as well as information about facilities. This is great when that map starts to become grubby.