“ Contact: Off Poseidonos Avenue / Kato / Paphos / PO Box 61357 / 8133 Paphos / Cyprus / Tel: + 357 26 913 638 „
Every summer, I take Mini-Me out to Cyprus, to see my parents for a fortnight. In an attempt to get him enjoying the water that little bit more, we often take him to one of the waterparks. For the previous two holidays, this had been Fassouri Waterpark, near Limassol, a waterpark which became the subject of a large disagreement between my father and I on this years holiday.
Darrell (otherwise known as Mini-Me) has always seemed slightly fearful of the Fassouri waterpark, which had lead to me feeling that the whole day was somewhat ruined by his incessant crying, reluctance to try anything, and all this seemed to related to the main attraction of the children's pool in the waterpark; an activity gym, in which other children could turn pipes to torment other people climing steps to the two slides. Oh. And one more feature... A large Fanta bucket, which was designed to periodically empty itself over the kids play area, with a deafening roar, as so many gallons of water crashed down. To a 20-something year old me, it was irritating, off-putting. To an 18 month old, or 2 and a half year old child, it was terrifying. Now, as Dad planned our third nightmarish trip to Fassouri, I suggested Aphrodite's instead. "He'll never get over his fear if he doesn't face up to it!", my father argued. I'm not sure at what point a child regularly, if ever, has to face the prospect of gawd knows how much water tipping over and around them, but still. Luckily, I eventually managed to persuade my parents that we should at least try Aphrodite's, and thus, we'd see if it made any difference to how Darrell reacted to the waterslides.
Aphrodite's Water Park is based just outside the popular resort of Paphos, on the west coast of Cyprus, and covers 35,000 square metres of land, and features 26 rides and attractions. If you're staying in Paphos, the park can be reached by using the no. 11 and no.15 buses, or, if you're driving, by following the signs marked "Follow The Frog!". We drove into Paphos from Pissouri, and I believe the signs started from around 10km from the park. The park is open daily from May until October, although the website states that the park's season began on April 15th this year, with opening times of 10 am til 5.30 pm, although during July and August, the park is usually open until 6pm.
Upon arrival at the park, we were relieved to be able to find a shady spot under which we could park the car. The high temperatures had meant we'd often return to a scorching car, despite the sun blind having been put up, but this time, the car was truly covered. Entrance to the park was reasonably priced, at 29 euros per person over the age of twelve, and children between the ages of 3 and 11 at 16 euros. Children under the age of 3 are admitted free of charge to the park, and residents of Cyprus receive a 3 euro discount. We were then issued a paper wristband, which was used to collect charges in the park. This saved the issue of carrying cash around the park, or having to leave purses or wallets unattended, or countless dashes between the locker, just for another drink. The park does issue a "no food and drink to be taken into the park", but were more than willing to allow my son to take his juice bottle in, even though it was still mostly full. Once inside the park, you can then purchase a locker space, which means you can leave a change of clothes and anything valuable in the locker until you're ready to leave the park. We were quickly greeted by a 6 foot tall, rather friendly frog, who offered Darrell a high-five. Somehow, my usually chatty, lizard loving three year old developed a severe case of amphibiphobia (not sure if it's a real word, but you know what I mean), and burst into tears.
After a quick change into our swimsuits (or in Darrell's case, Buzz Lightyear swimshorts), we hunted down a set of deckchairs, so Mum could top up her tan, Dad could finish his book, and Darrell and I could wreak havoc on the waterpark. We found a set of chairs quite near the wavepool, the only attraction Mum used throughout the entire day, and set up camp, before terrorising the wavepool with the sight of me in a swimsuit. (To anyone who was at Aphrodite's that day, I apologise profusely...) We hadd timed this well, as less than two minutes after Darrell set foot in the pool, the waves started. Luckily, these were bigger than the waves we tried to make in the pool at my parent's villa, yet significantly calmer and smaller than the waves which had crashed over us at Curium Beach a few days previous. Darrell enjoyed the pool for the best part of twenty minutes before I managed to drag him away to try the kiddie's pool...
Now, the kiddies pool was, for Darrell at least, the highlight of the holiday. Almost straight away, he headed for the small waterslides, which were set in what looked like a bunch of rocks. Luckily, the slopes and steps were covered with a grip to minimise the risk of burning feet or slipping on the way to the slides. However, at the top of the slide, Darrell set his eyes on possibly the most marvelous sight he'd seen in the seven days we'd already been there... A pirate ship occupied the opposite corner of the kids pool. In that dramatic manner kids have, he grabbed my hand, the shouted "there's Captain Jack Sparrow's pirate ship, Mummy!" I managed to get him seated on the slide, and, to my amazement, not a single grizzle was heard as water splashed in our faces when we reached the bottom. Instead, Darrell scrambled to his feet (which, when you're three feet high, and in water a foot deep, isn't that easy) and moved as fast as he could to the pirate ship. An hour later, and I'd lost count of how many time's he'd raced me to the bottom of the slides, shouting "Arrr, I'm a pirate..." Ahem. He did the shouting. I only made him "walk the plank"...
Now, all these slides and all this pretending to be a pirate makes for thirsty work, so we decided to stop for lunch in the fast food cafe, situated near the wavepool. i don't remember seeing any prices listed anywhere, but this may have been due to a lack of glasses on my behalf. The choices seemed ample, although, looking back, I'm not sure I remember seeing a vegetarian option. However, we found that the chips were somewhat lacklustre, with even my chip loving toddler leaving his box of chips almost untouched. The range of drinks was quite wide, however Mum seemed somewhat depressed at the lack of lemon iced tea, and settled for an orange juice. She did later decide to try their choice of "cannabis iced tea" (I'm not kidding!), which was made with 5% hemp blossom... with which she said "your brother would be impressed..." Oh. Dear. I suspect my mother may have been experiencing a midlife crisis...
After lunch, I felt a craving kicking in for the tube slides. Or, more specifically, the family rafter, also known as the rapids. Now, as Darrell is, on occassion, overly cautious about trying new things, I found the best way to get him trying the raft was to tell him "I was going on the big slide". Yep, it worked. There we were, getting into the raft, when Darrell suddenly decided he was going to protest that he didn't like the slide. However, after being assured it was fun, he quickly sat down, and, upon reaching the bottom declared "I like that slide, Mummy!" We then followed this up with a quick trip around the lazy river, a slow moving river, which you ride on rubber rings. As Darrell struggled to stay seated on his own, he sat on my lap, and used this as an opportunity to splash at me. This backfired when I managed to paddle under a waterfall, which left Darrell looking like he was about to cry, until he realised I was laughing, at which point he joined in. We then headed back to the rafting, where you can also head down on an rubber ring. This gives the added option of, after reaching the bottom of the rapids, heading down another tube slide, to reach the lazy river.
I mentioned the subject of the wristbands earlier, and do feel it is important to clarify their purpose. The park is by no means "all inclusive". Instead, you pay for your food and drink upon leaving the park. We found that for four main meals, twelve drinks and three ice creams we paid 69 euros, which is around 17.25 euros each. This did feel slightly pricey, but it is worth remembering that prices are usually bumped up in tourist attractions. Upon leaving the park, we were greeted by the ever friendly, 6 ft frog again. We had seen him five minutes previous to getting ready to leave, and Darrell had remained terrified of him. It seems even the offering of a balloon wouldn't get Darrell to approach him, although it did mean Mum had to confront her fear of balloons (oh the irony). This seemed to be enough to encourage a goodbye wave from Darrell.
Now, with a three year old in tow, I did find I didn't get a chance to head onto all of the rides. However, I found that the atmosphere and facilities at the park were commendable. I found the ride attendants were patient, and willing to help whenever asked. I definitely found Aphrodite's the more enjoyable of the two waterpark's we've visited, something I suspect was echoed when Darrell returned to nursery this week and talked about the big waterslides for an hour straight...
Before going on my recent holiday to Paphos, Cyprus, my family and I had decided that visiting the Aphrodite Water Park as a must. We thought that we would go a few days into our holiday when we had acclimatised a little, although this isn't easy in a country as hot as Cyprus. And sometimes while on a 'chill out' holiday it's hard to force oneself away from a comfortable sun lounger by the pool with ice cold drinks to hand but we knew we would all regret it if we didn't visit this attraction.
We bought our tickets from travel/excursion agents in Coral Bay, near to our hotel. Prices seemed to be the same price, where ever purchased, whether buying from reps at the hotel or booking offices. Tickets can be bought on the day at the water park itself but we had been advised that this might entail some queuing and buying in advance would ensure quick entry. This was preferable to queuing in the hot sun. The tickets cost 29 Euros (about £24-£25) each. This covers all rides. There are offers such as two day passes and group reductions available.
From where we were staying it was easy to travel to the water park as a bus stopping outside our hotel takes you right to the entrance. The park, on the outskirts of Paphos, is well served by buses and taxis. If you show your bus ticket at the water park entrance the fare will be deducted from your ticket, or if pre booked the cash returned. This was only 1.50 Euros but with a family this helps a little.
Once there we waited just a few minutes to enter. There were signs stating that you could not take any food or even bottled water into the park and warnings that if found you would be fined 10 Euros! I was going to be allowed in with my half bottle of water until the attendant noticed that another member of our party also had some water left in a bottle and she demanded that we both left our bottles at the entrance. She watched like a hawk while we surrendered the bottles. I then thought that I probably wouldn't like this place, but I was wrong. It was friendly once inside. We were all given wristbands which meant that we didn't need cash while at the park; every time one made a purchase the wristband was scanned and payment was made on leaving the water park.
We had made sure to travel as lightly as possible on this day out but although we didn't have that many possessions, we used the locker facility for wallets, purses and a few valuables. The locker costs five Euros plus a five Euro refundable deposit which is credited to your bill (wristband) when the locker key is returned on exiting the park.
This water park looked inviting. We arrived there at about eleven a.m. and easily found five sunbeds with parasols together. Towels were placed on the beds and the map we were given and began our adventure.
Well, I'm not as brave as I used to be, and also because usually at water parks you can't wear shoes on rides, I tend to not bother. I can't walk barefoot and so it is very difficult to access rides. Two years before when visiting the Ayia Napa water park I was told that I had to remove shoes for all rides apart from the lazy river, so I was surprised when attendants/life guards here were happy to allow me to keep my Crocs on. Well that meant I had no excuses! Was I brave enough?
I started off on the lazy river with my husband while the other three (aged 17, 20 and 22) ran off to enjoy the more adventurous rides.
The lazy river was lovely so we went around twice. I then thought that it was time to send my husband off to have some fun while I watched them all from a safe place.
They went on the kamikaze. My husband thought this really hurt his back and shoulder blades. I think for the middle aged these rides often can cause damage, hopefully only temporary.
He preferred the free fall and went on that a few times.
We then all spent some time in the wave machine pool, bobbing about in rubber rings.
I had my doubts but felt it was about time my children saw me enter into the spirit of things so I went, biting nails, with them for the climb up the hill and to the start of the fast river, which runs into the lazy river. The five of us all squeezed into a family raft and down we went! It was great and I was glad I was brave! On the fast ride down it felt as if we would capsize, but it was a lovely feeling being splashed as we travelled under the scorching sun.
Next I went with my husband on the fast river but in a double ring. This is scarier but still tremendous fun. On this you travel further and join the lazy river with a big splash-trouble is we got caught in the flow on joining the lazy river and capsized, much to my children's delight!
I think the rest of my family went on everything at least once. Although August and the Cypriot children were on holiday from school the park wasn't too crowded. Queues were never too long or slow moving.
The food seemed as if it would be expensive but on seeing the size of the portions it wasn't too bad. My husband chose a chicken donner kebab which cost about six Euros. Altogether we spent quite a lot on food but had we realised how big the portions were then we would have ordered less. The pizzas were large and filling and could have been shared by two. The food was quite tasty. There wasn't a great vegetarian option-but there were cheese and tomato pizzas and jacket potatoes with various fillings. We found staff very friendly and helpful in the food outlets (we also bought drinks from a kiosk).
The gift shop was quite small and expensive. It would have been better if a greater variety of merchandise was offered. We didn't buy anything, which is unusual for my aughter, who is a sucker for a souvenir.
Photos were taken as one went on rides around the water park. These were expensive. I seem to remember they cost six Euros but I'm not sure.
The toilets weren't bad but weren't quite as clean towards the end of the day. There were enough of them.
Only one of us used the changing rooms as the rest of us, having dried quickly in the hot sun, put our clothes on top of swim wear. The changing rooms were said to be adequate.
I preferred the Aphrodite Water Park to the larger park at Ayia Napa. Although the Ayia Napa Park had more harrowing rides and was larger I found he atmosphere inside this park even friendlier than at Ayia Napa (which I still liked) and welcoming. As it was smaller, it was easier to find ones way around and therefore make the most of all rides. It was easy to find family members and join them on rides.
It was a great day out and I would definitely recommend this water park to young and old.
As for myself, I was pleased that I had been on more rides than my usual floating around the lazy river. My daughter remarked that she was very proud of her mum.
FACILITIES (Taken from the website)
First Aid Station
Photographer to capture fun moments of your day
Free trial dives in the leisure pool etc.
Further details and to view the comprehensive website: aphroditewaterpark.com