The Sentinel - - GETAWAY -

■ STEVE WOL­LAS­TON stayed at Por­taven­tura as a guest of the park. Ho­tel prices start at £178.91 per night in­clud­ing un­lim­ited Por­taven­tura Park en­try and one-day ac­cess per stay, per per­son for Fer­rari Land tick­ets. For full de­tails visit por­taven­tu­ra­ or call 0808 234 3399.

■ Hol­i­day Ex­tras of­fers trusted park­ing ser­vices at all ma­jor UK air­ports. To book park­ing from £21.64 for a week, visit Hol­i­dayex­ or call 0800 1313 777.

■ 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 0844 871 0878. Car hire is also avail­able to book through TUI from £9 a day.

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 has a top speed of more than 80mph and at 75 me­tres tall, you can see it from quite a dis­tance. Up close, it’s even more ter­ri­fy­ing.

When rid­ing it, it has a huge first drop that leads to var­i­ous twists and turns at ter­rific speed. If you’re brave enough, look to your left when you’re on the hill climb – the views over the Salou coast­line are quite breath­tak­ing.

Por­taven­tura isn’t just about big white knuckle rides, though. There’s plenty for all the fam­ily, with wa­ter rides and gen­eral theme park at­trac­tions de­signed to of­fer thrills for every age group.

There’s a great Western-themed Sil­ver Flumes ride that had the big­gest queue I saw dur­ing our stay, prob­a­bly due to the sear­ing heat and the guar­an­tee of a cool­ing drench­ing.

Smaller chil­dren are well catered for in the Sesame Street

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