Little flashack for this blog post where we will tell you about our experience atPort Aventura where we went over the Easter weekend. It was our first time in there and the least we can say is that it was truly amazing ! We had a blast over those two days accompanied by several friends and so we decided to write for you this pretty Port Aventura handy guide containing all the information you have to know before going there!
Accomodation in Salou
We stayed in an apartment of the Pierre & Vacances Residence located in Salou, just at a ten minutes drive from Port Aventura. We were in a 2 bedroom apartment, that can fit 6 people with every comfort and overlooking the lovely pool. Simple but effective and for a price quite affordable! The apartment consisted of a bedroom with a double bed, a bedroom with two twin beds, a sofa bed and we also brought an inflatable mattress 2 places. Being only couples, we decided to draw lots every evening the distribution of rooms (straws, cards …) and we are unfortunately fell 2 times on the mattress! That’s the game!
We were very surprised by the fact that Salou is just a dormitory town filled with shops and restaurants of all kinds mainly to attract the tourists visiting Port Aventura. Needless to say that getting there on the Friday night of a holiday weekend wasn’t the best idea in terms of parking. Salou was just saturated with cars and we literally drove around our residence for 1 hour and ½ in search of the coveted parking spot! After almost having a nervous breakdown, we finally found a spot in a small dirt parking lot that was just at a 5-minute walk from the residence, on Avenida Pompeu Fabra. Parking there is free from 6pm to 10am and the 24-hour pass only costs €4 (around $4), a real good deal! You should be rigorous though about your ticket’s expiration time because the meter maids are very punctual!
On our first day in Port Aventura, we followed the trend and parked for free nearby the park on Avenida del Battle Pere Molas. But when returning to our car at the end of the day, we noticed there was a lot of broken glass on the sidewalk along the avenue. We heard that thieves often hang around this place and that the tourists’ vehicles parked along the road are regularly vandalized and/or robbed. Fortunately more fear than harm for us but the prospect of paying for a secured Port Aventura parking spot the next day was much more cheerful! Especially since the price of €9 (around $10) per car for a day is not so excessive if you have the opportunity to share the cost, the price for peace of mind!
Rides of Port Aventura
Being devoted thrillseekers, we obviously found our happiness at Port Aventura which combines the fastest and highest attractions in Europe! While this significantly increases the budget of your stay, we strongly advise you to buy express passes when you arrive in the park! Again, that’s the price of the peace of mind, and we were very happy to cut the very long queues. Without that, the experience would have been much less fun and we would have had far fewer rides! The €27 ($29) ticket (one express pass by attraction) is more than enough and you will always have the opportunity to return to your favorite rides later in the day when people have started to go home.
In this category, our preference definitely goes to the Shambala that we did 3 or 4 times in 2 days! This is the highest rollercoaster (76 meters or 83 yards) with the longest descent in Europe (78 meters or 85 yards)! The first ascent is super stressful and only being “attached” by the waist is not at all reassuring but once you’ve passed the first descent, it is just happiness! Try to get yourself a seat at one on the ends of the train for maximum thrills! In second place in our ranking there is the incredible Dragon Khan with its 8 loops and the Furious Baco which goes up to 135km/h (84 mph) in three seconds but goes by, therefore, way too fast! We were a little disappointed by the Hurakan Condor which is only based on anticipation. Sure, the slow 100-meters outdoors ascent with your feet in the emptiness is very stressful, but once you’ve begun falling, everything happens in a snap of seconds and you don’t feel that many sensations. We loved it and did it several times but we were a little disappointed anyway.
As for water attractions, we had a great time at the Tutuki Splash although we were completely soaked when coming out of it; fortunately it was a hot day! The Grand Canyon Rapids was also pretty fun but the real surprise was Angkor! We went there dragging our feet but to be honest, it ended up being so much fun! Don’t be fooled, it’s more than just a quiet cruise along the water! Each boat is equipped with 6 water nozzles and you have to spray other boats as much as possible. The war was truly declared between our 2 boats but also with the people passing nearby the attraction that also had water nozzles at their disposal as well as the “villagers” who took pleasure in soaking us with water buckets! Again, we left completely soaked but it was very fun, you shouldn’t skip it especially if you are a group of people. Think about bringing a raincoat or a waterproof jacket so you don’t have to find yourself buying the €8 (around $9) poncho in the park!
Regarding the meals in Port Aventura, there won’t be any problem. The fast food restaurants of the park are much more affordable than the ones at Disneyland! Most menus there are at about 10 €, not much more than a McD’s. We believe it is even possible to bring your own sandwiches in the park since our bags have not been searched, it’s worth the try! Finally, if you would like to taste the real Spanish gastronomy, you will just have to stroll around Salou and go to one of the many restaurants in the evening. After walking for several minutes, we found by chance a sports bar which offered a very wide variety of tapas for a very affordable price. We tried many Spanish specialties such as small chorizos, melon served with Serrano ham or squid fritters; everything was absolutely delicious! The mojitos were also very good and we even had the pleasant surprise to have after-dinner liqueurs on the house! All in all it was a really good evening with friends punctuated by a lot of good humor, it was very nice and very affordable, we paid 15 € per person overall!