Travel: Hol­land’s hid­den gem

Europe’s big­gest theme park, Eftel­ing, in the Nether­lands, prom­ises a fairy-tale ex­pe­ri­ence and a wide range of thrilling rides

Best - - CONTENTS - BEST TRAVEL WRITER LISA BLAKE

TRAVEL SNAP­SHOT

Eftel­ing Theme Park Re­sort in the south of the Nether­lands has some­thing for ev­ery­one. Favourite child­hood sto­ries are brought to life in the beau­ti­ful and en­chant­ing fairy-tale for­est. For the dare­dev­ils, the park – which is open 365 days a year, in­clud­ing Christ­mas Day – of­fers fast rides and roller coast­ers. And Caro, a new and cap­ti­vat­ing mag­i­cal theatre pro­duc­tion based on the ‘merry-go-round of life’, is guar­an­teed to wow all ages.

IN­SIDER’S GUIDE

Walk be­tween gi­ants and trolls in the Fairytale For­est sec­tion of the park, called Marerijk. Stop for a photo out­side Hansel and Gre­tel’s cute gin­ger­bread house, watch the evil witch climb Ra­pun­zel’s hair, and wit­ness a talk­ing tree. Also, take a trip on the 100-year-old carousel – a truly mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. The east side of the park of­fers thrilling rides and at­trac­tions. High­lights in­clude the Python, a dou­blelooped roller coaster; Sym­bol­ica, a vis­ually stun­ning ride that takes you into mag­i­cal rooms in King Par­dul­fus’s cas­tle, and Pagoda, an ob­ser­va­tion tower where you can view the park and sur­round­ing area.

DON’T MISS

Caro is a vis­ual spec­ta­cle of hu­mour, dance and ac­ro­bat­ics. The pro­duc­tion fea­tures very lit­tle dia­logue, so the show can be en­joyed by vis­i­tors from around the world. Tick­ets cost £22, or £7 for guests stay­ing in the park. Check the web­site for show dates.

GET­TING THERE

Easy­Jet of­fers re­turn flights from Gatwick to Am­s­ter­dam for around £60. From the air­port, take the train to Til­burg, chang­ing at ei­ther Rot­ter­dam Cen­traal, Breda or ’s-Her­to­gen­bosch, and then, from Til­burg sta­tion, catch the 300 bus to Eftel­ing. Train tick­ets cost from £17 at ns.nl/en. Bus tick­ets are priced from £2.

STAY­ING THERE

Hol­i­day Vil­lage Eftel­ing Loon­sche Land has hol­i­day houses and ho­tel rooms. Fiveper­son rooms are avail­able from £310 per night, in­clud­ing break­fast.

FOOD AND DRINK

Try the gourmet ham­burger with rus­tic fries and a large glass of blond Leffe at De Proef­tuyn restau­rant. Or there’s Pi­nokkio’s Ital­ian buf­fet, which has un­lim­ited pasta, pizza, salad, soup and meats. £24 per adult, £15 per child, un­der-fours eat free.

Pop over the North Sea to en­joy a fam­ily hol­i­day that you’ll trea­sure for a life­time

Eftel­ing is a truly mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence Thrill-seek­ers will want to try out the Python

Step into the pages of your favourite child­hood fairy tale

Cosy ac­com­mo­da­tion is avail­able close to the park

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