PortAventura World is the largest in Catalonia entertainment resort complex of three theme parks, known in Spain and abroad. Approximately 3 million people visit them every year. The variety of activities is designed to cater for a wide range of guests of all ages and preferences, who want to have a fun weekend or vacation with friends or family.
History of the complex
It all started with the construction of PortAventura Park, which was allocated an area near Barcelona, between the Spanish cities of Vila Seka and Salou. It was sponsored by Spanish investors, the American brewery Anheuser-Busch and the British Tussauds Group. The grand opening took place in 1995. The creators wanted to make PortAventura amusement park one of the most impressive in the world. In the course of operation, the old constructions were periodically repaired and new ones were erected.
In 2016 and 2017 2 more theme parks were opened nearby: the summer water park PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park and Ferrari Land Park for speed enthusiasts and racing cars. In the latter all in one way or another is connected with the history of the famous Italian company Ferrari.
Thematic zones of PortAventura Park
The territory of the first park is divided into thematic areas, which invite visitors to take a trip to popular exotic regions of the world and get acquainted with the culture of other nations. The journey begins in the Mediterranean. The route continues along Polynesia, Celestial Empire, Mexico, Far West and ends at Sesame Street.
As many people spend all day in the park, there are restaurants and hotels on the territory. Thematic shops offer to buy goods as a reminder of a pleasant time spent in the park.
In the first thematic area, guests are welcomed by a typical Mediterranean fishing village and immediately immersed in the atmosphere of the unique world of the park. The most popular attraction in the picturesque village on the Costa Daurada is the catapult style Furius Baco roller coaster, which not everyone can go for a ride on.
Before the opening of the Red Force (a highlight of Ferrari Land), they were considered the fastest in Europe. In just 3 seconds, the train with the seats to the right and left of the rails accelerates from 0 to 135 km/h. The track length is 870 km.
A ship departs from Port de la Drassana to Ancient China. From the north station there is a train to the Far West.
In the Polynesian jungle, guests can enjoy the attraction called Tutuki Splash, a canoe ride through the exotic parts of the park, a 4D simulator and a huge swing called Kon-tiki Wave.
While riding on the Tutuki Splash, visitors ride a raft on an artificial volcano. First, they float along the calm river, then enter a dark tunnel and quickly roll down the mountain slope into the lake. At that moment they are taken by a professional photographer. Then the raft again sails along the quiet river and “falls” from another slope, reaching a maximum speed of 56 km/h. When it comes back, the spectators water the passengers from the bridge.
On the territory of “China” the main entertainment before was riding on steel roller coaster Dragon Khan. However, in 2012 other interesting roller coasters were added – Shambala models of Hyper Coaster. The “Dragon Khan” from the Sitting Coaster series is designed by the German engineering bureau Stengel GmbH. On the road length of 1269 meters there are 8 inversions. Before the appearance of the Colossus attraction in the British park Thorpe it was a record number. The guests have 3 trains at their disposal, each of which consists of seven carriages for 4 passengers. The speed of the train reaches 105 km/h. The entire journey takes 1 minute and 45 seconds.
Shambala was recognized as the highest (76 m) and fastest (134 km/h) hypercoster in Europe after its opening, but in 2017 the Red Force rollercoaster set a new height record (112 m). Passengers are carried on 3 trains out of 9 carriages with a capacity of 2 people each. The duration of the trip is 3 minutes.
Another fascinating attraction is Angkor, reminiscent of the famous Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat. Visitors armed with water pistols take a boat trip through the Asian jungle, where they face various dangers. The adventurous meet with enchanted villages, water snakes, tigers, monkeys and temple ruins. Their task is to shoot at everything that moves, including other boats and spectators. In the end, no one is left dry.
There are colourful carousels and playgrounds for kids in China zone. An oriental-style ship carries children and adults to the Far West.
In colonial Mexico, there are many interesting things for big and small ones: fast Yucatan carousels with dragon’s head and quieter Armadillos with carriages in the form of armadillos, riding on nice Mexican horses, maze with optical effects EL Secreto de los Mayos. For the most daring there is a 100 m high free-fall tower.
The El Diablo roller coaster stands out from other buildings. A mining train from the carriages takes tourists through the mine, where, according to legend, the workers have mystically disappeared. The blame is laid on the devil himself.
This is the only area where you can race between two 25.6-metre high parallel wooden Stampida carriages built in 1997 by Custom Coasters International. After 10 years, the construction was slightly modernized and all four trains were replaced by new ones. They reach a speed of 74 km/h and travel a length of 953 m in 1 minute and 30 seconds. Stampida is very popular with the Spaniards, so those wishing to ride have to stand in a queue.
Other Far West attractions:
- Buffalo Rodeo autodrome with buffalo-machines;
- Silver River Flume, a roller coaster where “tree trunks” roll into the water;
- Tomahawk children’s roller coaster;
- the “ruins” of the Laberinto Black Smit maze;
From Penitence Station, black trains leave the station, that take everyone around the park.
It is a zone for the youngest guests. Kids are greeted by characters from the popular international TV show “Sesam Street”. They ride the Tami Tami children’s slides and Coco Piloto planes, take a tour of Elmo farm, and make teddy bears with their own hands.
At the service of children:
- Mariposas Saltarinas carousels,
- the El Huerto Encantado swirling slides;
- the Waikiki mushroom court and much more.
Each part of the park has its own theme shows, which are ideal for relaxation between attractions. As they take place at a certain time, guests are advised to record the shows they are interested in at the entrance and come back a few minutes before they start.
The Mediterranean zone attracts the largest parade, as well as fireworks against the night sky. In the Polynesia area you can get acquainted with the traditional Polynesian rituals, incendiary music and dances of the peoples of Oceania. Mexican zone invites to the performance in the stunning temple of the Aztec fire god Xiuhtecuhtli, which was built at a cost of 30 million euros. The history is about the theft of treasures and the terrible revenge of their owner. The fire show remains in the memory of the audience for a long time.
In the territory of China there are musical performances, the Chinese alchemist inflates huge soap bubbles. The Far West amazes with colorful cancan dance, frightens with horrors of Texas and offers an opportunity to feel like a real cowboy, taking part in a special show. The kids love the dances and songs of their favorite characters from Sesame Street. Growth dolls invite you to sing and dance with them.
Entertainment at the Caribe Aquatic Park
The aquapark, which occupies an area of 34,000 m², offers a variety of “wet” activities for both large and small. There are dizzying descents with countless turns, a wave pool “Bermuda Triangle”, “crazy” river Rio Loco and a steep slide King Khajuna for adrenaline lovers. Dizzying speed thanks to the 55 degree gradient of the gutter. The height of free fall is 31 m.
Tired of being entertained, you can take a time out and lie on a lounger at Playa Paraíso or Bahama Beach while enjoying the quiet rustle of the waves. Young pirates should be taken to the Galeón Pirata ship and the colourful tropical island of Junior Body Slides. They’ll enjoy the shallow, warm pool of the Sésamo Beach Kinderpool and the slides in the Laguna de Woody lagoon.
There are restaurants and shops on the territory of the aqua park. The total area of the pools is 8500 m². Everything here is reminiscent of the resorts of the Caribbean Sea: palm trees, beaches, Latin American music and reggae.
Working hours, prices
From mid-June to the end of August, the parks are open from 10:00 a.m. to 00:00 a.m. The rest of the year varies. The sooner it gets darker, the sooner it closes. From November 4 to February 20, the complex works only on weekends.
Ticket price to 2 parks (amusement park and aquapark) for 1 day:
- Teenagers and adults (11-59 years old) – 57 euros;
- Pensioners (over 60 years old) – 50 euros;
- Children from 4 to 10 years – 50 euros;
- Disabled – 35 euros;
- Children under 3 years of age – free of charge.
The more days you decide to spend here, the cheaper the ticket will be for 1 day. Special offers include discounts when buying online and ordering a day trip to one of the parks in Barcelona. Less pay large families, groups, people with special needs.
Many attractions have growth restrictions. However, half of them are allowed to ride smaller children if they are accompanied by adults.
If tourists stay in one of the theme hotels, there is no need to pay for the use of attractions. To find out all the details of this offer, it is recommended that you read the information carefully when booking a room. PortAventura has 4 hotels: PortAventura, Cold River, Caribe and El Paso.
PortAventura also has three unique golf courses designed by renowned golfer Greg Norman. The green lawns are surrounded by archaeological ruins, swamps and pine forests. Behind the trees you can see the blue sea.
How to get there?
The entertainment complex PortAventura is located about an hour from the capital of Catalonia, on the Mediterranean coast, near Salou (Costa Dorada, Tarragona).
To get there, drivers should follow the route marked on the map as AP-7. It is also called Autopista del Mediterrneo (E-15). Then you need to turn at the exit at number 35.
From Barcelona, suburban trains by Renfe run every 2 hours and stop at Port Aventura Station after about an hour and a half. From there you can walk to the park or take a free mini-train ride.