It’s been a while since I wrote a day out post so thought I’d do my first Spanish family day out! I’ll be writing a lot of posts about things to do on the Costa Blanca with children as we explore more, so if you are planning a holiday to this area of Spain keep an eye out for my suggestions of things to do with kids in Alicante and the surrounding areas.
If you’re heading to the Alicante region of Spain with children this summer, the Río Safari Park in Elche is a must visit, especially if you fancy a day away from the Alicante beaches and the more touristy zoos and theme parks near Benidorm.
Elche is approx 30 minutes by car to the south of Alicante, on the Costa Blanca. It’s an easy drive and Google Maps directions will take you right up to the door. Like most attractions in Spain parking is free and there’s plenty of space available.
The park is open all year round though the opening times vary throughout the year, so make sure you check before you visit. During the main summer months, the park is open from 10am – 8pm.
If you’re planning a visit I’d recommend buying your tickets online in advance as you’ll get a discount. It also means you don’t have to get in the main queue at the ticket office. When you arrive you just need to show the barcode on a printout or your phone.
There’s a lot to see in the park, more than enough for a whole day’s visit, but it isn’t so large that you feel as though you’re walking around for ages – good when it’s likely to be very hot when you visit!
When you arrive you’ll be given a map and the times for various shows and the land train. If you do the train ride first you can see where everything is and choose which direction you want to walk first.
For a fairly small park, they have a good selection of animals including lions, tigers, giraffes, zebras, orangutans, chimpanzees and crocodiles.
You’ll probably find that as it’s so hot most of the animals will be flaked out and not doing much, but this does mean you can spot them quite easily. The enclosures have glass all the way around so you can always find a spot where you can see them clearly.
Each enclosure has a board with lots of information about the animal, where it’s from, what it eats and so on. It’s written in English as well as Spanish and Valencian so you’ll be able to find out lots of info about each animal. The signs are also a great way for kids to learn the names of animals in Spanish!
There’s also a small farm area with horses, donkeys, goats, sheep and llamas. Little H loved this more than seeing the more exotic animals as you can get up close and stroke the horses and donkeys, and feed the goats straw through the fence. Sometimes one or two of the goats jump over their fence and go for a wander around the park which amuses the kids!
There’s a bird enclosure you can walk through, with chickens, parrots and other exotic birds, and there’s also one of my favourites – flamingos.
We didn’t catch many of the shows this visit but there’s a parrot show, a sea lion show and you can also feed the lemurs at certain times.
There’s plenty of drink, ice cream and food kiosks, as well as a restaurant, but we took our own food and sat in the picnic area which is shaded and next to a play area. You can leave the park and go back to the car if needed, so don’t need to lug a coolbox around until lunchtime.
We first visited Río Safari a few years ago and since then they’ve also opened up a great water park on site. You need to pay extra for the water park which does make the day out quite expensive but we spent a few hours sat watching Little H play after getting very hot and dusty walking around so it was worth the money.
There’s a section with water slides more suitable for adults and older kids, but also a great area for children. At 8 years old Little H was old enough to play here by herself while we watched from the comfort of our sunbeds.
A day out to Río Safari Park isn’t cheap, the tickets to the safari and water park came to 68 euros for 3 of us, but it is a whole day out and a lot of fun. With the zoo and the waterpark combined, you can have a family day out in Spain that kids of all ages will enjoy. You can also guarantee that the Costa Blanca weather will ensure you can visit most times of the year!
If you visit the Costa Blanca on your summer holiday, we’d definitely recommend a family day out at the Río Safari Park. If you want any more information about the park or the area feel free to drop me a message or leave a comment below.