THE size of five football pitches and featuring 25 splashing rides in a vast water paradise, Europa Park in Germany has opened its mega water park Rulantica.
Themed around a mythical Nordic wonderland, the entire park is covered by a scallop-shaped dome and inside it’s a toasty 32 degrees year-round.
Outside there’s a further heated pool and more than 500 sun loungers for when the weather is warmer.
The park features 17 water slides including two with adrenaline-inducing freefall drops as well as a wave pool and a lazy river.
The family-friendly water park can host up to 3,500 visitors at a time and is expecting to welcome around 5,000 people a day.
An elaborate legend was invented ahead of the opening of the water park, telling of a hidden island created by the mischievous Norse god Loki. According to that story, Loki created the island of Rulantica to lead humans into temptation.
The water park’s nine themed zones bear Norse-sounding names, including Rangnakor, Trølldal and Vinterhal.
The water park’s mascot is Snorri, a cute-looking cartoon octopus who wears a Viking helmet with jutting horns.
And kids will love the Trølldal area with its water playground featuring trees and rocks hiding little trolls as well as shallow pools, climbing frames and slides.
The Vinterhal area will feature a host of rides through icy landscapes and the Skog Lagune is the place to relax with bubble beds and a water bar for a cocktail or two.
Refuelling after the rides won’t be a problem – there are two restaurants and four bars and you can catch your breath on one of the 1,500 sun loungers or upgrade to sofas or the ultimate Komfort Hyddas, retreats with lounge furniture overlooking the water park.
The park is next door to the newest of Europa Park’s six hotels, the 4H Krønasår, which has 276 rooms and 28 suites and continues Rulantica’s Norse legend theme with a spiralling skeleton of a giant sea snake in the lobby and a replica Viking longship hanging above the tables of the hotel’s buffet restaurant.
There’s also a fine-dining restaurant, cafe and bar.
Guests at the Krønasår can enter Rulantica an hour earlier than the water park’s regular 10am opening time, and the park stays open until 10pm.
Europa Park – Germany’s biggest theme park – and Rulantica are near the town of Rust, near the German-French border. It’s an hour’s drive north of Basel airport and two hours’ drive from Stuttgart.
Tickets can be booked online in advance.
Entry costs £32.90 for visitors aged 12 and over. Day tickets for people with disabilities and children aged four to 11 cost £30.30. Evening tickets, valid from 5pm, are reduced by £2.50.
Rooms at the Krønasår hotel start from £91.75pp including breakfast. For details, see europapark.de/en.