NEED TO KNOW
■ 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 portaventuraworld.com/en 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 Holidayextras.com 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