The Ultimate Guide to PortAventura

PortAventura
May 9, 2014

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Thinking about a visit to PortAventura theme park while you’re on holiday in Spain? This comprehensive guide will help you plan your visit, decide what rides to try first and even give you ideas for where to eat and shop!

1. Planning in Advance

These are some of the most important things to consider when planning a trip to PortAventura:

Book your tickets in advance!

If you’re planning to visit PortAventura, it’s definitely worth booking your tickets in advance. You’ll avoid the long queues, and at busy times of the year you’ll be guaranteed entry when the park might otherwise be full – because you’ve already got your ticket in your hand!

PortAventura tickets from AttractionTix are fully flexible so you can use them anytime during your holiday – just enter the first day of your holiday as your booking date.

Budgeting

Once you’ve got your ticket, things you may need to budget for include:

  • Transport – See the “Getting There” section of this guide for ways of getting to PortAventura
  • Parking – Costs are around €8.50 for the day (the car park is for both PortAventura theme park and Costa Caribe aquatic park.
  • Food & drinks – It’s not permitted to take food into the park, but there are plenty of places to pick up snacks, drinks and meals

Tips for getting around the park

Start your day at the back of the park and work your way forwards. This way you’ll be doing the opposite of everyone else and will probably endure less queuing!

A lovely train circumnavigates the park and is a nice way to travel around while taking the weight off your feet – the same goes for the boat which travels from Mediterrania to China.

PortAventura Boat

Valuables

Most of PortAventura’s rides have lockers where you can store cameras, phones or other valuables for €1.

Food

Each area at PortAventura has plenty of places for food and drink, including self-service, takeaways and snacks to sit down restaurants.

Eateries are themed towards the area that they’re located in, so in Mexico you’ll find chilli and nachos, burgers and ribs in the Far West and so on!

While it’s not permitted to take food into the park, some visitors report having done this in the past to save money.

Bag searches are operated at the parks, and tend to be stricter at the water park.

See the Restaurants at PortAventura section of this guide for more details.

Toddlers

PortAventura is quite strict with its height restrictions (1.10m – 1.40m being the minimum), so if you’re with toddlers, make sure you have an idea of their height to avoid disappointment and unnecessary queueing.

Need a place to take a break and cool off while the kids have some more fun? Head over to the China area where there’s a big adventure play area with plenty of shade for the hot-and-bothered!

For information about baby and children’s facilities, see the “Facilities” section of this guide.

Cocopiloto

What to wear?

It can get pretty hot, so it’s recommended to wear light, comfortable clothes and comfy shoes – basically nothing that could restrict you from having fun!

Don’t forget your swimsuit if you’re planning to visit the Costa Caribe waterpark too.

Don’t get burnt!

Don’t let sunburn ruin your day! Bring suncream with you (it’s available to buy in the park but can be expensive) and re-apply throughout the day.

There are some shaded areas in Portaventura, but it’s definitely advised to bring hats, especially for children, for those times when you’re walking around.

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2. Getting to PortAventura

From Barcelona

You can book a convenient Barcelona to PortAventura Day Trip ticket which includes transport to and from PortAventura and 1 day’s admission into PortAventura.

Using public transport, you can get to PortAventura from the Catalan capital easily by either train or bus.

By train:

The R16 train towards Tortosa/Ulldecona departs regularly from Estació de França, Passeig de Gràcia and Estació de Sants and goes directly to PortAventura (you can see the train timetable here). Return tickets to PortAventura can be bought from ticket offices and ticket vending machines on arrival at your departing station. Upon arrival, PortAventura train station is a short walk from the park.

By bus:

  • Route 36 can be caught from Passeig de Gracia (between streets Diputació and Consell de Cent)
  • Route 104-106 can be caught from the stop at Passeig de Gràcia/Rosselló crossroads (a few metres south of the Avinguda Diagonal metro exit)
  • Route 596 can be found on Avinguda Diagonal (between streets Casanova and Calvet),
  • Route 670-672 can be found on Avinguda Diagonal (in front of the exit of Maria Cristina metro station)
  • Route 686 can be found on Avinguda Diagonal (in front of the exit of Palau Reial metro station).

Bus routes can be planned in more depth using the BusPlana service.

From Costa Dorada

Spanish Railways (RENFE) run a regular train service from Tarragona direct to PortAventura train station. The service runs hourly and takes around 10 minutes.

RENFE run a regular train service from Salou direct to PortAventura train station. The service runs hourly and takes around 3 minutes.

A train can be caught from Calafell to Sant Vicenç de Calders station, trains then run from Sant Vicenç de Calders to PortAventura every hour and will take around 30 minutes.

More information on other train routes from the Costa Dorada to PortAventura can be found on the RENFE website.

PortAventura is only a 15 minute drive from Reus airport.

The park has a direct exit off the AP-7 highway – Exit 35.

GPS details:

The full address is Avinguda de l’Alcalde Pere Molas, km 2, 43840 Vila-seca, Salou, Tarragona, Spain.

Latitude: 41º05’53”N Longitude:01º09’14”E

Decimal: 41.0980667; 1.15

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3. PortAventura’s 6 Lands

PortAventura is divided into 6 themed areas. Each one features a signature ride and a choice of other attractions, shows and restaurants.

Mediterrània

Based on a typical Mediterranean fishing village, this is where you’ll find one of the most fearsome rides at PortAventura, Furious Baco: a monstrous horizontal catapult that fires you from 0-135kmh in three seconds flat!

Don’t miss FiestAventura which takes place on the lake in Mediterrània, a spectacular mix of water, fire, special effects and magnificent pyrotechnics!

Mediterrania also has lots of shops where you can pick up all kinds of souvenirs and gifts.

The Furious Baco!

The Furius Baco!

The Far West

Join the Independence Day celebrations all year round in the biggest area of the park, which is themed in the style of American Wild West!

The most popular ride here is Stampida, a huge racing twin track wooden rollercoaster that’s not for the faint-hearted! For a less fiery ride try out the Blue coaster, which often has a smaller queue.

If you don’t mind getting a little wet, the Grand Canyon rapids & Silver River Falls water rides are ideal for a cool down in the Spanish sunshine!

Mexico

A tribute to Mexico’s ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures, this land’s major attraction is Hurakan Condor; one of the tallest drop towers out there at over 300ft high!

Kids will love the El Diablo runaway mine train coaster, and don’t miss La Gran Fiesta for some singing and dancing or the shops at the plaza where you can pick up Mexican jewellery.

Polynesia

Tutuki Splash in Polynesia

Tutuki Splash in Polynesia

Enter a tropical world of jungles, water and volcanos! This area realistically recreates the landscape, vegetation and environment of the islands of Polynesia in great detail.

Don’t miss the Sea Odyssey 4D simulator adventure and the notorious Tutuki Splash, a volcano which is anything but dormant! There’s also a great selection of exotic food and tropical juices, to be enjoyed while watching the energetic Polynesian-themed dancing shows!

China

Home to the famous Dragon Khan! This 110km/hour, 8-looping coaster, is brilliant fun from beginning to end and well worth queueing for.

Another must-do in China is Shambhala; this hypercoaster has been given 5 out of 5 by the Daily Mail, featured on the Travel Channel and has broken three European records:

  • The highest rollercoaster in Europe (76m)
  • Rollercoaster with the longest fall in Europe (78m)
  • The fastest European hypercoaster, it will reach 134 km/h on the first descent.

If you’ve got small children, head to the Mongolia camp for an awesome Children’s Area where little ones can ride on the back of a dragon, cross endless bridges, climbing nets and dive down a huge Chinese dragon slide.

SesamoAventura

SésamoAventura

SésamoAventura

This land is especially for the little ones! Small children can have fun with all kinds of attractions, games and rides based on their favourite Sesame Street characters, and even have the opportunity to meet the characters themselves!

Ride the Tami-Tami, a nice family coaster and one of PortAventura’s most popular rides, and enjoy shows in a special toddler-sized amphitheatre!

Find out more about PortAventura’s Rides:

The Best PortAventura Rides for Children

The most exciting thrill rides at PortAventura

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4. PortAventura Water Park

PortAventura’s water park has a Caribbean atmosphere where the palm trees, huts and relaxing reggae music will make you feel as if you’re on a faraway tropical island!

Ride at full speed through the rapids, surf the waves of the lagoon pool or relax on the lazy river that runs around the park. Take the plunge down pulse-racing slides or just relax on a lounger.

There’s also a Caribbean-themed playground for the little ones to enjoy, a Bahama Beach area for parents relax in the sun and an indoor area in case the sun gets a little too hot!

A separate Costa Caribe waterpark ticket is available – so you can visit it without buying a full PortAventura ticket

Costa Caribe Water Park

Tips for Costa Caribe Aquatic Park

Costa Caribe is open from May – September. Exact dates and times vary so if in doubt it’s always best to check before going.

Be an Early Bird!

  • Sunbeds: Sunbeds are limited, make sure you get in early as they can go very quickly after park opens, especially during the busy months.
  • Rides: Try to go on the family raft ride early in the day too, as queues can become huge later on in the day.
  • Lunch: Try to eat lunch early we left it late and our daughter spent at least 30 minutes queuing for her lunch.

Pre-book your tickets

As with PortAventura, booking your tickets in advance means you can avoid the long queues, and be guaranteed entry even in the busiest months.

Get an outside locker

Queues for lockers inside the water park can be enormous. Save yourself some time and head to the kiosk outside the entrance – you can hire a locker there instead.

What to bring:

  • Towels are not provided so remember to bring your own!
  • Jewellery isn’t permitted in the water at Costa Caribe, so you’ll need to leave it in a locker or leave it at home!

Rides & Slides at Costa Caribe Aquatic Park

Rapid Race at Costa Caribe

Rapid Race at Costa Caribe

Ciclón Tropical – Attention pirates! This Tropical Cyclone is the most feared phenomenon throughout the Caribbean Sea!

Junior Body Slides – The coolest water adventure you’ve ever had! Junior Body Slides also feature in Costa Caribe’s indoor area

King Khajuna – The star attraction at PortAventura’s Aquatic Park, and the highest free-fall slide in Europe!

Rapid Race – Zip down one of the most fun and refreshing attractions at Costa Caribe Aquatic Park

El Río Loco – Challenge the raging current of the Mad River and stake your place as the bravest pirate in the Caribbean.

El Torrente – Grab your friends and hold on tight as you glide down this looping course on a raft!

El Triángulo de las Bermudas – The most challenging wave pool around the Caribbean -the Bermuda Triangle – is tight at the centre of the water park!

….and lots more!

Shops at Costa Caribe

The Costa Caribe Shop has a host of Billabong products, as well as sunscreen, swimsuits, sandals and towels, so you don’t need to worry if you’ve forgotten something vital

Where to eat at Costa Caribe

The Surfer

Self Service restaurant serving hamburgers, hot dogs, salads and more. Relax on the terrace with a refreshing drink as Caribbean music plays in the background.

Reggae Café

Self Service restaurant serving pizzas, pasta, salads, chicken, fish & chips and desserts. Enjoy outdoor dining in an idyllic setting overlooking the attraction Rio Loco

La Cabaña

Snack Bar serving baguettes, hotdogs, burgers, ice cream and more. Located in front of the beach, with stunning views of The Bermuda Triangle.

Focacceria

Healthy meals typical of the Mediterranean diet, including salads and focaccias, located in front of the adult swimming pool

Snack bars at Costa Caribe include:

  • Beach Bar – Iced drinks, soft drinks and coffees
  • Cutting’s – Fresh fruit and natural juices
  • Laguna de Woody – Ice creams, iced drinks, snacks and soft drinks
  • Fresh Island – Slushies

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5. Restaurants at PortAventura

PortAventura has a wide selection of restaurants spread through its 6 lands. Here are just a few of our top picks:
PortAventura Restaurants

Vinosfera Tapes i Vins (Mediterrania)

One of the most popular restaurants in the park. This minimalist restaurant offers tapas, snacks and typical Mediterranean local products, along with specially selected wines to accompany the exquisite dishes. The restaurant doesn’t require a booking and is open from 10am.

Bora-Bora (Ploynesia)

One of the only places in the park where you can dine in the middle of the jungle! Sit amidst the beautiful tropical garden and enjoy panoramic views whilst tucking in to their meat dishes, fish or delicious desserts. If you fancy something a little lighter, you can choose from a selection of exotic salads and tasty fruits. Bora-Bora is open from 12pm until 4pm, perfect for afternoon recuperation!

Sichuan (China)

Venture over to Sichuan where you will find a multitude of Chinese dishes including spring rolls, rice, kebabs and an array of traditional Chinese dishes. This self-serve restaurant is open from 12:30pm until 4pm.

La Hacienda (Mexico)

Add a little spice to your palate and book a table at this beautiful postcolonial restaurant! You can enjoy nachos, fajitas and burritos here whilst taking a well-earned break on the patio or grand terrace. You will need to book a table for La Hacienda by calling 0034 977 77 90 90.

The Iron Horse Hotel (Far West)

If you fancy tasting classic American food then we recommend you book a table here. You will find a mouth-watering array of meaty plates, Caesar salads and brownies – sure to satisfy the fiercest of appetites! This restaurant is open from 1pm until 4pm however you will need to book beforehand by calling 0034 977 77 90 90.

La Cocina de Epi (SésamoAventura)

Situated in the most colourful area of the park, this restaurant is ideal for those who just want to take some time out and enjoy some tasty food. Here you can find pizza, pasta, burgers, fried chicken, salads, desserts and coffees. It can be found in the SésamoAventura and is open from 12pm.

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6. Shops at PortAventura

Take the best memories of your day at PortAventura home with you by visiting some of the best shops in the park:

PortAventura Shops

GolAventura

Perfect for the football fans! You can find collectables and sporting goods from the leading football clubs here.

Records de PortAventura

If you’re looking for souvenirs then this is the shop for you! With Woody Woodpecker, Betty Boop and Sesame Street products including t-shirts, photo frames and all kinds of items set to remind you of your visit to PortAventura.

Surf Paradise

Here you can find some of the latest ranges from Quicksilver and other surfing brands. Great for those who fancy treating their wardrobe.

Lotus Palace

Situated in China, here you can find kimonos, traditional Chinese teapots, Xian warrior replicas and more.

Taxco

Whether you need some energy for you day at the park or for the journey home, you can stock up on your favourite sweets at Taxco!

General Store

This is one of the most popular shops within the park, with a range of soft toys and souvenirs based on the characters from Sesame Street! The General Store is opposite The Old Steak House in the Far West.

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7. Facilities at PortAventura

Pram & pushchair hire

  • For a single child 7€
  • For two children 12€

Lockers

You can rent a single locker for the day for 5€, or a family one for 8€

Special lockers where you can leave your belongings before going on a particular ride for 1€ are also located at the entrance to Silver River Flume, Tutuki Splash, Furius Baco and between Shambhala/Dragon Khan.

ID Bracelets to keep your children safe

  • Free waterproof ID wristbands can be obtained for your child at the Customer Service Office
  • If you get split up, park staff will be able to identify your child so you don’t have to worry about them getting lost!

Pet Kennels

Your pet can be looked after at the Day Centre for $5. Remember to bring their pet passport!

Toilets & baby changing

  • Toilets can be easily found all over the park – just refer to your park map to find the nearest one.
  • They are kept very clean and most have water fountains to fill up water bottles.

Disabled Access

There are accessible parking spaces near to the entrance & ticket office.

People with disabilities can also get a special pass that gives access to rides without waiting – ask at the Customer Service Office.

Wheelchairs can be rented by the day – 9€ per day for a manual, 30€ per day for motorised

Many of the park’s shows and attractions are suitable for people with reduced mobility, including Shambala, Dragon Khan and Hurakan Condor.

Parking

There is plenty of parking available at PortAventura. Parking will cost around €8.50 for the day (the car park is for both PortAventura theme park and Costa Caribe aquatic park.

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Want to book tickets for PortAventura?

There’s a variety of PortAventura tickets to choose from, no matter how many days to want to visit or even if you need transfers to the park!

See all PortAventura ticket options

Please Note: All prices quoted are correct at the time of publishing.

About the author

Farrah Hedwat

Farrah is AttractionTix’s resident Copywriter. A city girl at heart, her best-loved travel moments are exploring new cities across the world like Barcelona or Los Angeles. Farrah’s favourite things are eating, sleeping, shopping and animals (but mostly animals). Her pet hates are bad grammar and other writing-based “offences”.