I am currently in Croatia (as I write this. I uploaded it the day after I got back home.) The other day, we went to Istralandia water park and then also to Aquacolors Waterpark.
Istralandia was Croatia’s first water park, which opened on 21st June 2014. It has been rated as the fifth best water park in Europe, and the best in Croatia.
We went on a Friday. It wasn’t stupidly busy like we thought it may be. We weren’t queuing for anything for a stupid amount of time. I think the longest queue was to get in.
Full price tickets are 180Kuna each (just over £20). You have options to hire a gazebo for 140Kuna as well (I THINK. This is roughly £17). I would reccomend doing this because then you have somewhere to go that’s slightly out of the way and out of the sum to use as a base. Food inside the park is very reasonably priced and not the worst food I have eaten, lunch for 3 of us came to the equivalent of £25. There are also options for lockers for valuables.
The park itself is fairly large and has a wide range of slides.
I started off by going on the 2 white slides (10 and 11). The lower one on the map here requires 2 people and one of the rings (provided). This is quite a good ride to start yourself off with. Number 11 is better. This is a one person ride, no ring required. You go very fast down this one and you have to lie down (not great on the back). At the end you go very fast into water that’s around 2feet deep (you skim along for a couple of seconds the make a very large splash.)
After this I went on a slide called Top Gun (number 15). This is a very short slide which rarely has a queue. You go shooting down the slide very quickly which when catapults you into the pool (1m20 deep). This is quite a fun ride, however you do get a very bad wedgie as a result.
I then went on ride number 12 and Family Rafting (number 14). Family Rafting requires a very large ring which is around my height in diameter (5ft8/9). This can be difficult to get up the stairs, however, between 2-4 of you can go in it. This ride is very good however it is a bit of a tight squeeze in the ring. It’s fine for smaller children, there are no giant drops however some of the corners are very tight which scared a couple of the people we were with. Number 12 is also really good. It requires the rings, you can either go solo or double. It is very dark with a few gaps with coloured rings in it (which is really cool) so there are a lot of sudden turns, but no big drops. Both of these rides catapult you into a pool around 1m20 deep.
We had quite a few goes on ride number 16. The queue for this can look quite long, however there are 6 lanes on it so it moves quite quickly. You go very quickly down this and then you are catapulted into yet another pool which was quite deep. I would not reccomend bikinis, someone we were with had a few issues with theirs on this ride in particular.
I then went onto Sky River (number 13) which is very similar to number 12, except a bit of it is open topped. I’m not sure how or when, but I lost my wristband on either number 12 or 14 and after getting off this ride I saw it under the lifeguards chair with a ton of other lost property, so I was able to get it back.
I’m not sure quite why, but where number 29 is on the map (shown as a viewing tower), the two slides there are not shown. There are 2 slides on this tower, a blue and a green. The green one is better and is a variation on slide number 12 (they do have names, I can’t remember them). You do not need a ring for this one and it is quite good. Except the dizziness at the end.
There is another slide to the left number 14 that is not shown, called Space Rocket (I think). I didn’t go on this, but my dad did. I’ve never heard him so high pitched. He said that the queue moves very slowly, but when its your turn, the floor drips beneath you and you almost vertical for a few metres then you shoot around a few turns then you come shooting out at the bottom into a very long (I would call it a pool but its not a pool) I guess deep tray?
As well as this there are 3 pools, a kids one, a wave one and a relax one with jacuzzis in it. I didn’t go in the kids one but I went in the others and they were also very good, although the relax one was a little bit cold.
Aquacolors is the largest waterpark in Croatia. We went to this one second (on a different day).
We arrived and one thing that we noticed straight away is they give you a waterproof electronic wristband thing which allows you entry to the park and while you are there just sets up a tab for all of your spending, which means you can leave your cash in a locker. It also saves your photos so you can buy them at the end.
Sunbeds were free to hire, however unlike Istralandia, there are no gazebos to hire.
I started off by going on the 2 green slides on the left. Both of these require a rubber ring, either solo or double. I enjoyed both of these rides however, the queue system was not great. Everyone stood in one queue, which meant at one point we stood in a queue for ages for a slide which no one had been on.
We then went on the straight orange slide. This was similar number 16 at Istralandia, except it was shorter and with 4 lanes and requires a float. This was alright and the queue wasn’t too bad.
Then I went on the large yellow slide. You need at least 2 people and regardless of how many people are on it, you need a 4 person float. The staff on this one were quite friendly and had a bit of a joke with us. They told us there was something wrong with the water so we had to wait 10 minutes, then went and pushed us off. The ride was very good, while not having to go particularly fast either.
I then went on the 2 purple slides directly next to the straight orange one (they don’t show very well on the map image.) They were OK. I wouldn’t reccomend queuing for them but if you go up and see there’s no queue, have a go on them.
Then I went on spheres (between the straight orange and yellow cone). The queue was very long and disorganised, no one knew which line they were standing in. For this one you need a rubber ring, double or solo. When it was eventually our turn, we found we kept getting stuck in the spheres. I assume the water is meant to guide you out of them, but we go stuck next to the exit, so I had to pull us along with my legs (not fun and quite difficult.) Everyone I spoke to had the same problem.
After this, we went on Uphill navigator, which shares stairs with Spheres. We jumped the queue by actually standing on the right side of the stairs. This ride is double only (due to weight balance etc) and needs a ring. The ride itself was quite good and actually worked.
Next we went on the long orange one on the right of the cone. This requires a ring of any size (single through to 4) and is unmanned (it has traffic lights.) Which means you can pretty much do what you want. It’s a good ride and doesn’t go stupidly fast so it’s good if you have small children.
We then went to have lunch, which we paid for on the wristbands. We got 2 pizzas between 3 of us for 90kunas (around £10). This fed us and provided snacks for the other 4 people with us.
I had to take some time out after lunch due to medical reasons (nothing serious, don’t worry.) After an hour or so, I felt slightly better so I went onto lazy river (the really long swervy pool) to take it easy. You get a ring and it has a gentle current which slowly pushes you around.
I then decided to go onto some of the slides that I knew were more gentle (so I went on a green, the orange, the race one, a purple, and the cone…) I was going to go on the blue ones on the left (another floor dropping one) but figured it was probably a dumb idea.
I think I failed to mention this earlier, but to get most the rides, you have to go right around the back of all of them because there is only one circular path there. So what should be 10-20 metres of walking was 100metres.
All things considered, I think Istralandia is the better water park because queue management is better and you are less likely to get stuck on a slide. It’s animation program was also much more engaging and popular and although Aquacolors was emptier, due to poor management of queues, it seemed much busier.
However, I would really reccomend both of these places should you find yourself in Istria at any point, it is worth a visit and you can make your own judgement.
Love, AkwardHuman xx
Note: None of the images used in this post are my own. All have been taken from google images due to the fact that I did not take my phone or camera with me.