Even if you’re not familiar with the characters, Parc Astérix still makes for a fun family day out and is an easy side trip, just 35km north of Paris. France’s second largest theme park has been running since 1989 and is now home to 7 themed adventure areas. An array of amusement rides and live shows take visitors on a journey through history, with displays including French legends like the Three Musketeers, a Gaul village, a collection of towering Viking boats, a Roman arena and a show of French legionnaires.
There are 33 themed rides including the 1.2km Tonnerre de Zeus, the largest wooden roller-coaster in Europe, with speeds reaching 80km/h; Le Grand Splash, where water sprays and an 11-meter waterfall will ensure you wind up soaking wet; Goudurix, a huge 7-loop rollercoaster; and the Wooden Horse of Troy which offers some incredible views over the park. Particularly popular are the live shows, which include a dolphin and sea lion show and a variety of historical spectaculars featuring gasp-worthy swordplay routines and horseback stunts.
It was perfect timing. We arrived right before the park opened, and left right after.