Enjoy the thrill of France’s best theme parks

Historic spectacle at Puy de Fou

Historic spectacle at Puy de Fou - Credit: Stéphane Audran

Discover a magical world from volcanoes to Vikings with a visit to our top three parcs d’attractions

Family fun at Futurscope

Family fun at Futurscope - Credit: Calune

Step back in history

You'll forget which century it is at the historical theme park of Puy du Fou. The past is brought back to life in thrilling style suitable for all ages. In the atmospheric surroundings of this ancient ruined castle at Les Epesses near Cholet, a series of performances by daring actors (both human and animal), amazing props and impressive special effects recreate various historical eras, from the Knights of the Round Table to the Vikings. Each show, which take place in settings including amphitheatres and ships, run for under an hour - you can catch as many or few as you like.

Adult advance day tickets from €36; puydufou.comFly like a bird

Hold your breath and fly like a bird at one of France's best futuristic parks, aptly-named Futuroscope. One you have recovered from the thrill of the round-the-world ride, known as The Extraordinary Journey, (voted best attraction in Europe), you can enjoy live shows along with games and rides set among strikingly-designed pavilions. Futuroscope lies within easy reach of Poitiers at Chasseneuil-du-Poitou, Vienne and is a great day out for all the family. Highlights include; La Forge aux Étoiles, an evening show by Cirque du Soleil and iMagic, a special interactive show featuring illusions and holograms.

Hands-on experiences of volcanoes at Vulcania

Hands-on experiences of volcanoes at Vulcania - Credit: Jerome Chabanne

Adult advance day tickets from €45; Futuroscope.comExplosive experiences

There's no better setting for a volcano-themed park in France than the Chaîne des Puys volcanoes. But Vulcania at Saint-Ours, Auvergne encompasses a range of natural phenomena including earthquakes and hurricanes. You can take a virtual voyage into deep space with French astronaut Thomas Pesquet or venture below the waves in a pod from the comfort of your own cinema seat. The rides are sedate and educational and it makes a memorable day out for budding young explorers.

Adult advance day tickets from €25; vulcania.com