Center Parcs is a popular staycation getaway in the UK, but did you know that some of the first Center Parcs villages actually opened throughout Europe?
England welcomed the first Center Parcs in 1987. But The Netherlands, Belgium, and France were already long enjoying Center Parcs’ accommodations, facilities, and activities.
Now, almost 55 years after the first Center Parcs opened in The Netherlands, there are six locations across the UK and Ireland, with a further 27 European parks in Belgium, France, Germany, and The Netherlands.
So, with so many Center Parcs to choose from, which Center Parcs Europe locations come out on top and which are worthy of a visit? With the help of reviews from previous visitors on Trip Advisor, we’ve managed to narrow down 15 of the top Center Parcs throughout Europe so you can experience the best of what the short break holiday villages have to offer.
Villages Nature Paris by Center Parcs, France
France is home to seven Center Parcs resorts. And arguably, one of the best is Villages Nature Paris. Not only is the 259-hectare resort jam-packed with activities. But as the park is located just six kilometres from Disneyland Paris, it is a fantastic accommodation option for those who wish to combine a Center Parcs holiday with the magic of Disney.
Spread out across the resort are five themed areas, which include Europe’s largest water park, Aqualagon, the Forest of Legends tree top adventures and BelleVie Farm, which has educational activities for little ones to enjoy.
With cosy apartments or expansive lakeside villas to choose from, families of all sizes can experience Villages Nature Paris and get involved with the sites’ eco-activities and sustainable living practices.
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs Villages Nature Paris visitor. “We booked a 3-bed comfort cottage for the week with a few days at Disney in between. On arrival, the staff were friendly and welcoming, and the cottage was clean and well-presented. The Aqualagon water park is the star attraction and is very impressive.”
Les Trois Forets, France
Another excellent French Center Parcs option is Les Trois Forets Center Parcs, which is set amongst a 435-hectare forest. While surrounded by lakes and natural beauty, holiday park guests can enjoy the Aqua Mundo with its seven impressive waterslides, The Ze place playground with climbing walls, bumpers cars, and laser challenges, and even the Deep Nature® Spa—the largest Center Parcs spa in Europe.
And if all that wasn’t enough, to add to the fun, Les Trois Forets has a range of accommodation options to choose from. They even have special-themed cottages that represent the Tale of the Kingdom, Adventure, or Animals of the Forest!
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs Les Trois Forets visitor. “Second visit to a European Centre Parcs travelling from the UK. And again, it did not disappoint. We were two families sharing a VIP villa with children aged between 4-15 years, and they all loved it. Our accommodation was perfect.”
Center Parcs Le Lac d’Ailette, France
Le Lac d’Ailette Center Parcs in Picardy, France is siutated on the Lac d’Ailette Lake. And the lake alone—with its range of attractions—makes it one of the best European Center Parcs locations. Families can enjoy water sports, nature walks, and outdoor activities like archery, all before hitting the Aqua Mundo water park or relaxing on the lakeside beach and lazy river.
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs Le Lac d’Ailette visitor. “Perfect for families, the swimming pool and surrounding areas are perfect. Everything you need in one place. The farm and water sports are also incredible. My favourite Centre Parcs in the summer. They make it very easy for families across all areas.”
Center Parcs Le Bois aux Daims, France
Center Parcs Le Bois aux Daims in France allows families to reconnect with nature with beautiful surroundings, free-roaming deer, and farming opportunities that the little ones are guaranteed to love.
The park’s standard cottages are modern and equipped with everything you could possibly need. But if you’re after a unique getaway experience, then we highly recommend booking a treehouse that offers some of the best views of the park and surrounding forests.
Like other Center Parcs locations in Europe, Le Bois aux Daims has its very own water park, indoor kids’ play area, and plenty of activities that kids of all ages can take part in.
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs Le Bois aux Daims visitor. “We are regular visitors to CP in the UK. But thought we’d brave a trip across the Channel for the final week of the summer holidays. And we’re so glad that we did. We were fortunate enough to have booked a treehouse last year at a very reasonable price. And it was truly magnificent. The park itself is comparable to the ones in the UK, except it is considerably larger, the activities are cheaper, and it was 28-30 degrees each day.”
Center Parcs les Hauts de Bruyeres, France
History and nature lovers will thoroughly enjoy Center Parcs les Hauts de Bruyeres as the park is just a stone’s throw away from the Loire castles and beautiful, dense pine forests. The castles are so close, in fact, that you can even set off on a bicycle route from the park, which takes you right into the heart of Loire.
les Hauts de Bruyeres has newly renovated cottages that can sleep up to 12 people. And it is home to classic Center Parcs activities like mini golf, bowling, and archery.
Be sure to make full use of the wave pool, outdoor pool, and water slides. And get involved with nearby offsite activities like hot air balloon rides and a trip to the Beauval Zoo.
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs les Hauts de Bruyeres visitor. “We went with kids aged 8, 6, 3. We all had a great time as there was so much to do for all of us. The kids were so busy and so happy, which made us really relaxed too. We spent a week there, which I think is probably the maximum length of time that I would go for.”
Center Parcs Erperheide, Belgium
Center Parcs Erperheide is rated as one of the best Center Parcs locations in Belgium. And it’s up against four other contenders!
What we personally love about Erperheide is its amenities and accommodation options that suit all budgets. But the resort’s activities are also something to rave about.
With swimming pools, water slides, a wave pool, indoor and outdoor play areas, and fun kids’ clubs, Erperheide is a true children’s paradise that guarantees to keep your kids entertained from the moment they step through the gates. Your kids will even come across various animal encounters, with miniature pony rides and petting zoos to explore.
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs Erperheide visitor. “We had a family week in Erperheide at the beginning of August. It was our first time in Center Parcs Europe, and we had a great time. We stayed in a Premium villa for 5, which was excellent and extremely clean. Kids loved the wobbly train bridge and pool! Great selection of activities on offer at reasonable prices.”
Center Parcs De Vossemeren, Belgium
If your family loves water sports, then look no further than De Vossemeren Center Parcs in Belgium. De Vossemeren is set around two large lakes which offer kayaking, flyboarding, and wakeboarding opportunities, amongst many other things. In total, there are 110 activities to take part in at De Vossemeren, with the subtropical swimming paradise of Aqua Mundo to top it all off.
Like Center Parcs Erperheide, De Vossemeren has different accomodation options to suit all budgets. So your time away doesn’t need to break the bank. (Keep an eye out for special offers to secure the biggest savings.)
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs De Vossemeren visitor. “We had a great week! The kids loved everything about the park. We had a renewed premium cottage, and it was lovely. Spotlessly clean and in a great location overlooking the lake. It’s a big site, so I would recommend selecting your cottage as some are quite a walk from facilities.”
Center Parcs Het Meerdal, The Netherlands
The Netherlands is home to nine Center Parcs resorts, with the top-rated—and most popular—location being Het Meerdel. Het Meerdel is surrounded by a nature reserve and expansive forests, providing it with the perfect setting for outdoor fun all throughout the year.
There are 38 activities on-site for kids to take part in, with the added bonus of the newly opened Water Playhouse that is guaranteed to keep your little ones occupied for hours on end.
With varying accommodation options—including a cottage that comes with its very own pony—Het Meerdel can cater for groups of up to eight people.
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs Het Meerdel visitor. “Just returned from a 7-day break here. My daughter (who is 6) really enjoyed our holiday, as did we! There’s so much to do both on-site and outside the park. In particular, the pony riding, farm and aqua mundo were her favourites. The staff are helpful and friendly.”
Center Parcs De Kempervennen, The Netherlands
De Kempervennen in the Netherlands is a unique Center Parcs location, as you can actually indoor ski all throughout the year! De Kempervennen in Brabant has two large lakes, surrounding forests, and renewed cottages for families to enjoy. You can even stay on a houseboat that has an outdoor deck overlooking the water.
If skiing isn’t your thing, then you can instead make use of the park’s water park, urban playground, and climbing area, amongst many other things.
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs De Kempervennen visitor. “Aqua Mundo swimming complex includes a wave pool, four good water slides plus facilities just for toddlers. It also has the white water rapids, which is ace, but it did cover me in bruises! They have a couple of outdoor pools, one with an ice-cold plunge and the other with an underwater aquarium themed around a pirate wreck.”
Center Parcs De Eemhof, The Netherlands
Center Parcs De Eemhof is surrounded by forests and the sparkling Eemmeer Lake, making it the perfect location for a peaceful family getaway. At De Eemhof, guests can choose from hotel rooms, apartments, standard cottages, VIP cottages, wellness cottages, and houseboats, meaning there really is an accommodation option for everyone.
You’ll find a whole range of activities on-site, from mountain biking and stand-up paddle boarding to paintball and climbing facilities. And, of course, De Eemhof also has an Aqua Mundo with five water slides, water rapids, and a surf simulator.
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs De Eemhof visitor. “Brilliant short break with the family. Accommodation was fully equipped and comfortable (although it would be even better with a mattress protector and newer pillows). Aqua Mondo was fantastic with a good selection of slides, a chilled lazy river and a crazy rapid ride, thoroughly enjoyed by our teenage kids and us middle-aged parents.”
Center Parcs Port Zelande, The Netherlands
Center Parcs Port Zelande in the Netherlands is a Mecca for water sports enthusiasts and beach lovers. As Port Zelande is right on the coast, you can take part in activities like kite surfing, beach sailing, motorboating, and body boarding—there really is no shortage of fun.
But if water sports aren’t your thing, then Port Zelande also has plenty of land-based activities on offer. With bike rentals, mini golf, bowling, and indoor skiing on the activity list, all members of the family will be entertained throughout the entirety of your stay.
Accommodation options at Port Zelande are also fantastic, with cottages, apartments, and lodge tents available.
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs Port Zelande visitor. “Had the best time visiting Port Zelande in May. The staff were unbelievably friendly. And our three-story cottage had a veranda that looked out right onto the harbour, which was pure bliss. The Dutch are so friendly, and all the shops and restaurants people went out of their way to help us. Unlike the UK Center Parcs, there are free activities for families in the evening – live music, quiz nights with great prizes, and you get free activities as part of your holiday.”
Center Parcs Het Heijderbos, The Netherlands
Center Parcs Het Heijderbos, close to National Park De Maasduinen, puts you right in the centre of a wooded valley. As trees are so prevalent at Het Heijderbos, it probably comes as no surprise that tree-top activities are in abundance.
Resort guests can enjoy ziplining, high adventures, and climbing alongside activities and attractions a little closer to the land. One such attraction is Het Heijderbos’ Aqua Mundo with waterslides and Center Parcs’ fastest wild water rapids!
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs Het Heijderbos visitor. “Really enjoyed our week’s stay here. Stayed in a comfortable cottage that was clean and well-equipped. The resort facilities were great. Our two boys (12 and 14) had plenty to keep them occupied. The Aqua Mundo facilities were brilliant. We ate out in the restaurants and found them good value and quality. I would definitely recommend this Centre Parcs and will be returning.”
Center Parcs Limburgse Peel, The Netherlands
Another beautiful Netherlands Center Parcs location in Europe is Limburgse Peel. Surrounding the park are forests and the nature area De Heere Peel, with countless walking and cycling trails that get you up close to nature. Limburgse Peel’s Aqua Mundo has an interactive waterslide and a separate children’s water play area, as well as a wave pool and lazy river.
Activities are also in abundance at Limburgse Peel, as you can take part in sports, animal care, fishing, archery, and bowling. With accommodation that can sleep up to eight people, Limburgse Peel is a great getaway destination for those who love what Center Parcs has to offer.
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs Limburgse Peel visitor. “We deliberately chose a smaller park for our toddler’s (3) first trip abroad and to allow our nearly 11-year-old a bit more independence, going to the park/scooting round the cottage by himself. It was perfect. Although this is the smallest park in the Netherlands and smaller than others we have stayed at on the continent, it didn’t feel like it. There was still plenty to do!”
Center Parcs Park Bostalsee, Germany
Germany plays host to six Center Parcs resorts, but Park Bostalsee is a firm favourite amongst foreigners and locals alike. The main attraction at Park Bostalsee is the giant water sports lake, where water enthusiasts participate in everything from kayaking and canoeing to sailing and windsurfing.
However, with that being said, Park Bostalsee also has various other attractions for your family to enjoy. Whether you like geocaching, swimming, biking, fishing, tennis, or bowling, Park Bostalsee has something for everyone, so expect a non-stop getaway that ticks everyone’s boxes.
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs Park Bostalsee visitor. “Very nicely located Center Parcs, with very good facilities. It is located next to a great lake and has a small beach for the youngest with a corded-off swimming section. There is a mini golf place and a very nice sub-tropic swimming pool with an outside area, three cool slides and a larger wave pool.”
Center Parcs Bispinger Heide, Germany
The final mentionable Center Parcs in Europe is Bispinger Heide in Germany. The famous Lüneburg Heath encompasses the park, which provides excellent hiking and cycling trails. Accommodations at Bispinger Heide range from hotel rooms and cottages to boathouses and tree houses, so you can make your trip budget-friendly or truly unforgettable.
On-site, you’ll find an Aqua Mundo with water slides, wild water rapids and a large children’s pool. As well as indoor play areas, sports opportunities, workshops, and animal encounters.
Review on Tripadvisor from a previous Center Parcs Bispinger Heide visitor. “One of our best family vacations ever! Everyone had an amazing time. The indoor pool and outdoor activities kept us busy, and the nature setting allowed us to relax and enjoy time together. It was exactly what we needed. The perfect vacation!”
Center Parks Has So Much To Offer
In conclusion, Center Parcs offers a plethora of options for a memorable staycation or holiday in Europe. From the enchanting Villages Nature Paris in France to the adventurous Les Trois Forets, there is something for everyone.
Whether you’re seeking water sports at De Vossemeren in Belgium or a nature-filled getaway at Het Heijderbos in the Netherlands, the possibilities are endless.
With numerous activities, accommodations, and attractions, Center Parcs ensures that families of all sizes and interests can have an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and embark on an extraordinary adventure at one of Europe’s best Center Parcs locations.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.