Quinta da Lago Waterpark
Although the resort of Quinta do Lago is world famous for its top class championship fairways, there are a lot of other attractions in and around the area. Water plays a big part of any trip to the Algarve; with a hot and sunny climate, a refreshing dip in the pool is almost an essential part of the day during the summer!
Quinta do Lago lies on the Ria Formosa nature reserve which includes deep blue tidal lagoons, nestled up against the sand dunes before opening out into the calm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The beaches of the Algarve are amongst the cleanest in the world, and offer the chance to enjoy a dip in tropical waters without jostling for space.
However, although the natural waters are a spectacular sight to behold and the pools on the resort are a great place to laze away a few hours, a trip to a waterpark is a great excursion for the whole family.
A day at the Aquashow Waterpark promises great fun
Here's some more information about what's available in the area.
Just a short trip away from Quinta do Lago lies the Aquashow Waterpark, which doubles up as an ice rink during the Christmas period.
Aquashow is part of a bigger fun complex known as Aquashow Park Hotel, which also includes a theme park. In the summer months, an entry ticket allows access to both. A family waterpark, there's rides of all kinds including those suitable for young children right the way through to the adrenaline-filled plunges which aren't for the faint of heart!
Aquashow also boasts the largest wave machine in Portugal, giving visitors the pleasant sensation of the ocean gently lapping at their feet without the inconvenience of the sand. With parts of the pool with larger waves, and other parts with just a gentle ebb and flow, the water is suitable for all members of the family.
There's also a traditional pool if you simply want to do a few lengths of front crawl to burn off those ice-creams before heading back to the rides.
The rides in the park are subject to change at any time and may be open or closed for maintenance/repair but here's an idea of what you might enjoy during your visit:
Wild Snake: Curving round a central post, White Snake towers 16 metres tall taking swimmers through its tunnel in pitch black darkness before tumbling out of the serpent's mouth and then gently coasting down the river to the end.
White Fall: One of the newest rides at the park, and one of the most popular, White Fall is a V-shaped slide of gigantic proportions. Plummeting almost vertically down on a rubber ring, you will be propelled almost immediately up the opposite side before hurtling down into the collection pool.
Foams: 5 lines of pure water slides over humps allowing swimmers to race their friends to the bottom; perfect splashy fun for all ages.
Tubes: There's a huge variety of regular water slides ranging from the steep and scary to the gentle curving inclines for those looking for a less intimidating entry into the water!
Aqualandia: An area designed specifically for younger swimmers, everything is on a much smaller scale and far less scary, perfect for smaller children and toddlers to enjoy the park.
Lazy river: No waterpark would be complete without a relaxing lazy river to drift round on; Aquashow has 250 metres for you to enjoy. Away from the rides, there's an area for sunbathing with loungers and parasols, restaurants and snack bars as well as changing rooms. The waterpark is open from April until October although it is used during the other months for other events, such as the fabulous ice rink in December.
Slightly further away but equally as much fun is the impressive Aqualand park. Lying on the other side of Albufeira, Aqualand is easily reached via the main A22 road which runs directly to the attraction.
The beach at Albufeira is also worth checking out
Aqualand has a vast number of rides and slides but it's also possible to get up close and personal with a variety of animals the staff members have on show, including iguanas, snakes and even an eagle. For a small fee you can have your photo taken with one
The rides at the waterpark range from big and scary to those suitable for toddlers, and everything in between. Here's an overview of what you might enjoy during your visit:
Crazy Race: A traditional wavy slide, where you can free form slide without a rubber ring, racing your friends to the bottom!
Rapids: Perched in a rubber ring, feel the thrill of the white water rapids as you spin around in fast moving water.
Kamikaze: A ride almost guaranteed to make your toes tingle; you will drop from the top to the pool, a total of 36 metres in a blistering 4 seconds. Try it if you dare!
Banzai: A ride not for those wanting a gentle slide, Banzai launches you from 23 metres high, sending you skimming across the water, hanging on as you bounce across the pool.
Flying Carpets: A more traditional type of water slide and suitable for the family, enjoy the twists and turns as you splash through the water on a mat.
Surf Beach: A realistic wave pool, Surf Beach provides the choice of either taking it easy at the edge and enjoying gentle waves washing over you or wading into deeper waters and feeling the water surge up and down.
A view of Aqualand Water Park
Children's Paradise and Rainbow Park: Two areas designed for smaller children, there are not just mini slides and shallower waters but castles, fountains, showers, animal figures and even giant crayons! Designed to captivate and enthral, this is a safe but entertaining area for younger swimmers.
Congo River: The chance to take it easier, enjoy drifting around the 270 long Congo River whilst relaxing on a rubber ring.
The park is open between June and September each year and permits food to be brought in, although there are kiosks and restaurants to purchase refreshments on site too. These months are the hottest in the Algarve, and the weather is likely to be extremely warm. Suncream and clothes to cover up are essential for any trip to the waterpark.