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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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