ROLL WITH IT: There’s no time to re­lax on a theme park break to Spain

South Wales Echo - - Life Style -

A NEW five-star all-in­clu­sive ho­tel has just opened in Tener­ife.

The Fan­ta­sia Bahia Principe, above, in Golf del Sur on the south coast, fea­tures a whim­si­cal set­ting with a cen­tral fairy­tale cas­tle and 372 rooms, in­clud­ing fam­ily suites and adults-only swim-up ac­com­mo­da­tion.

It of­fers four restau­rants, six bars, two pools, kids’ and teens’ clubs, free wi-fi through­out and the cas­tle will fea­ture a nightly show.

Rooms start at £175 a night, based on two adults shar­ing. See

MY ob­ses­sion with theme parks has been part of my life for as long as I can re­mem­ber. On a re­cent trip to Pem­brokeshire I in­sisted that we took a de­tour to Oak­wood to ride the wooden beast that is Me­gafo­bia.

When I sug­gested we spend some time in Salou, my wife had vi­sions of re­lax­ing af­ter­noons on the beach and lit­tle else.

Un­til I told her what I re­ally had in mind. Roller­coast­ers, big ones!

PortAven­tura has been the jewel in Costa Do­rada’s en­ter­tain­ment crown since 1995, and has grown over the years from a theme park into a ful­lyfledged en­ter­tain­ment re­sort.

Just a 10-minute ride from Reus Air­port, the sheer scale of the place is im­pres­sive. The re­sort houses five ho­tels with a sixth Fer­rari-themed op­tion in the pipe­line.

Our ac­com­mo­da­tion, The Cal­laghan’s, was one of the new­est ad­di­tions to the site, loosely linked to the park’s West­ern-themed Ho­tel Gold River.

You have to pinch your­self to re­alise that you aren’t ac­tu­ally in the mid­dle of a cow­boy film set.

From the cac­tus trees lin­ing the walk­ways to the au­then­tic shop fronts, it oozes pe­riod de­tail.

The in­side of our an­nexe was taste­fully de­signed, with an im­pres­sive en­trance hall straight out of a Clint East­wood movie.

HIT The Strip in fab­u­lous Las Ve­gas for a three-night room-only break at the four-star Luxor Ho­tel and Casino.

Price from £419pp in­clud­ing flights from Heathrow on se­lected dates in Fe­bru­ary, or fly from Manch­ester for £439pp. Book by Novem­ber 18 at trav­el­

■ Hol­i­day Ex­tras of­fers trusted park­ing ser­vices at all ma­jor UK air­ports. To book park­ing from £21.64 for a week, visit

Hol­i­dayEx­ 0800 1313 777.

or call ■ TUI Air­ways of­fers re­turn flights from 10 UK air­ports to Reus air­port on May 17, 2019 from £185 per per­son in­clud­ing taxes and charges. Visit your lo­cal TUI hol­i­day store or call

Car hire is also avail­able to book through TUI from £9 a day.

0844 871 0878.

My jaw was al­ready on the floor and we hadn’t even got near the theme park yet.

One of the real plus points of PortAven­tura is that ev­ery­thing is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble. You can float around in the pool while watch­ing rid­ers scream on the roller­coast­ers.

Our first ride was my favourite. Not that I was sur­prised. I’d done my home­work.

Stamp­ida is a huge sprawl­ing mass of tim­ber, one of the world’s finest wooden roller­coast­ers. Any en­thu­si­ast will know that a coaster made of wood is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to rid­ing a modern steel struc­ture. There’s some­thing about the creak­ing tim­ber and the bone-shak­ing na­ture of it that just adds to the thrill. Ride it in the dark if you can, and make sure you sit on the back.

It’s not the only im­pres­sive thrill ride in the park. Sham­bala

Ban­jul beach

FLY from Manch­ester to Gam­bia on Novem­ber 21 for a week on B&B ba­sis at the four-star At­lantic Ho­tel in Ban­jul.

Starts at £397pp, based on two shar­ing, sav­ing £254 per cou­ple. Book at olympi­chol­i­ or call 020 8492 6868.

Caribe Aquatic Park

Cal­laghan’s Ho­tel, left, and the Far West zone groan with pe­riod de­tail

Visit Sin City

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