One thing that France really has got more than its fair share of is theme parks. Whichever region you happen to be heading to, chances are you won’t be far from at least a handful of world-class parks for adults and kids of all ages. From water-parks to big-brand theme parks to those of a slightly more educational nature, all tastes and needs are catered to in spades. So if you happen to find yourself with the pick of the bunch, consider paying a visit to one of the following top 10 theme parks in France:
1 – Disneyland Paris
Sure it’s obvious, but it’s also by a huge margin one of the most incredible theme parks in Europe. Not only this, but it’s also the only official Disney theme park in the continent. Occupying an enormous plot that’s larger than most French towns, Disneyland Paris is easy to get to from the UK, from Paris itself from pretty much anywhere in France. Wild rides, quirky characters and your favourite Disney stories brought to life – epic on so many levels!
2 – Puy du Fou
All you really need to know about Puy du Fou is that back in 2012, it was voted the best theme park on Earth. Which when you consider how many of the things there are is a pretty spectacular achievement. From medieval knights to Romans to musketeers to Vikings, to say that history comes to life in a colourful way would be something of an understatement. The daily highlight is the evening stage show, which features no less than 1,200 actors and performers!
3 – Futuroscope
Another simply gigantic theme park, Futuroscope really doesn’t fit into any conventional genre. The reason being that it created a brand new type of park in its own right – one based on multimedia and technology. From robots to 4D cinemas to incredible rides and experiences, it’s a little like stepping into the future and making your own personal playground out of it!
4 – Festyland
Festyland is another historical theme park and very easy to get to from the UK with Brittany Ferries running ferries from Portsmouth to Le Havre – this theme park is a huge hit with younger kids in particular. After all, where else would you get to see dinosaurs, vikings and pirates all in the same place? Featuring a medieval castle, water-slides, rides, shows and everything else you could wish for, Festyland is also delightfully compact and easy to explore.
5 – Parc de Préhistoire de Bretagne
Sticking with that dinosaur theme for just a moment, everything prehistoric comes well and truly to life at the Parc de Préhistoire de Bretagne. The setting itself is nothing short of stunning – lakes, forests and gorgeous parklands that hide more than a few surprises. Seriously – turn any corner and you might just find yourself face-to-face with an impressively realistic life-size dinosaur!
6 – Cité de l’Espace
Adults and kids alike never fail to get a kick out of Cité de l’Espace, which as the name quite rightly suggests is a theme park that’s all about the big black. Boasting life-size replicas of real space craft and even the Mir space station, it’s about the closets most will ever get to blasting themselves off the face of the Earth an into the great beyond! The moonwalk simulator is also a must, for obvious reasons!
7 – Terra Botanica
How exciting can a plant-themed theme park really be? Take a trip to Terra Botanica and you’ll find out! It’s all about fantasy here – something that becomes immediately apparent upon noticing the elves and bicycles riding about the place throughout the day! White-knuckle thrills are replaced by an idyllic open garden with endless opportunities for total relaxation.
8 – Parc Astérix
Definitely the most famous French theme park after Disneyland Paris, Parc Astérix is divided into a variety of zones with different historic themes. From Egypt to Rome to Ancient Greece to the Vikings and many more besides, Parc Astérix is less about education and more about spectacular fun. There are rides and attractions to suit all tastes and ages across the board – getting to meet those iconic characters in person is also a treat not to be missed!
9 – Aqualand – Bassin d’Arcachon
If you’re out to find a good waterpark, Aqualand Arcachon is the best of the best. Feel free to test your nerve against the Black Hole flume – a terrifying slide that plunges brave riders into pitch-black darkness!
10 – Vulcania
Last but not least, if you’re looking for something that’s an absolute one of a kind, look no further than Vulcania – the volcano-themed fun park! Less of a white-knuckle thrill-fest and more of an experience, most of the action takes place underground – right at the heart of an active volcano! Or at least, that’s how it’s all set up, incorporating a number of rides, plenty of experiments to play with and a wild n’ wacky 4D cinema.