Carousels, roller coasters, picnicking and swimming
There are not many amusement parks in Portugal, and the few that are there are not very attractive. So we were surprised to find Magikland in the small town of Penafiel (just north of the Douro) to be quite acceptable. I would like to point out in advance that a visit is especially worthwhile for younger children. Older children will certainly not be enthusiastic about the rather unexciting or outdated rides, and you will hardly get your money’s worth unless you can enjoy the enthusiasm of the little ones.
Slowly, the old car is pulled up,
higher and higher.
It remains for one last moment
and falls unrestrainedly down
into the old iron construction,
around angular curves
and steadily up and down,
accompanied by the joyful screams
of many voices.
But for our two daughters, there was a lot to experience. At 7, Lia could immediately get enthusiastic about all of the attractions and could barely be held back; however, Laura was still too young for some of the more exciting amusements like the roller coaster. This, an old whitewater ride and some other attractions were taken over from the Bracalândia amusement park near Braga, which was closed in 2011 due to insolvency.
Also, Magikland is not characterised by an enormous rush of visitors, which made it all the more attractive for us because we didn’t have to wait long at any of the attractions. Also, the restaurants and picnic places were so spacious that we could choose where we wanted to sit down.
The park is divided into different thematic sections. At the entrance, there is the Africa theme, with a restaurant under thatched roofs, an airplane carousel, a bumper car, a boat scooter and a truck safari. Right next to it, the Crazy World begins, where our Laura had her fun. Further themes are: Medieval Village, Pirate Country, Arab Market and Wild West. In addition to the usual attractions, there is also a swimming pool, several bars and restaurants, and nice picnic areas under large trees.
It wasn’t easy to win Lia over for the roller coaster, which I knew from my own childhood and which certainly came from exactly that time, and while we were pulled up the slope at the start of the ride, I heard Lia next to me loudly regret that she let herself be persuaded to join in. When the old monster finally started to crack, we screamed together with all our might, be it out of enthusiasm, fear or a mixture of both, until the little train finally came to a standstill after a minute of racing around the many curves, which felt more like corners and inspired Lia to scream an enthusiastic: “AGAIN!”
But I won’t soon forget our trip on the Rio Bravo. The iron boat, which was supposed to sail us through a tunnel and over a single rapid of about 1.5 meters height, was so wet that we got rid of our shoes and socks before we even got to the dangerous river. The trip itself was relatively unexciting, but the unexpectedly fast fall from the rapids resulted in me losing my footing and one of my toes involuntarily stretching in another direction for the first time in more than 40 years as we got out of the boat. So, I had the strange pleasure of getting to know the Penafiel Municipal Hospital, where I was able to race through the corridors with a few other freshly injured people.
And although said toe has yet to change direction, the four of us have fond memories of the adventurous day in Magikland. If you’re staying in Porto, you can be there in half an hour. Or, you can combine a stay at the Douro or a hiking tour on the wooden walkway Passadiços do Paiva with a visit to this relaxed amusement park.
Children 0–4: Free
Children 5–12: 12 Euro
Youth and adults 13–64 years: 17,50 Euro
Seniors 65–75: 12 Euro
Seniors 76+: Free
For larger groups, there is a discount of up to 25%.
July and August
Daily 10:00 am to 7:30 pm
Daily 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
On weekends and public holidays: 10:00 am 6:00 pm
April, May and September
Only partially open, better stay informed in advance.
Website for Magikland:
Overview map for Magikland (PDF):
From Porto, take your own car east on the A4, then take exit 12 on the N15 towards Penafiel South and follow the signs.
GPS (Parking area):
Swimwear and towels for the swimming pool and the ride on the Rio Brava.
The 4 snack bars serve typical Portuguese snacks and fast food: Pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and lasagne, crepes and ice cream. The self-service restaurant in the Arab market offers a complete menu, but not on all days and only at lunchtime.