Mobility issues need not deny anyone from the pleasures of soaking up the sunshine, relaxing on soft golden sands or capturing photogenic sunsets on a balmy summer evening. The Canary Islands, of which there are seven to choose from, are perfectly accessible for travellers who are disabled. Holidays here will see you experiencing mountain peaks, glistening shores and much more – it only takes a little planning, and these islands open their doors to anyone with limited mobility. Here’s a sneak peek into our favourite three! |
Famous for being home to the highest mountain in Spain, Tenerife is the perfect destination for anyone who is disabled. Holidays on this island can be based in a number of hotels that make accessibility a priority.
Arona has some beautiful beaches that all offer adapted facilities and obstacle-free amenities, while the capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz, is proud to be home to the first museum on the island that’s received a Universal Accessibility Management System Certificate. This venue – the Museum of Nature and Man – is a cultural gem that’s well worth a visit.
Climbing towering peaks and visiting out-of-the-way natural beauties can be particularly tough if you have mobility issues, but Mount Teide, a volcano complete with craters, vents and several other geological features, is very accessible for anyone who is disabled. Holidays on Tenerife really must include a trip to this incredible national park. With its flat open trail (El Alto de Guamaso) winding around the park, anyone in a wheelchair can experience the stunning views and get as close as anyone else to the volcanic cones.
A wonderful hotel that’s only 100m from the beach, the Arona Gran has five rooms that are designed with accessibility in mind. Showers have wheelchairs and fixed seats, and there are grab rails at the toilet and in the shower. This hotel also provides mobility-friendly transfers from the airport.
The most diverse and arguably the most naturally spectacular of the Canaries, Gran Canaria is a haven for nature lovers. A protected biosphere, the island’s natural species are surviving in abundance. A visit to Palmitos Park offers an incredible insight into the island’s tropical flowers and exotic wildlife, and the great news is that the park is wheelchair-friendly.
Another highlight of Gran Canaria that is also well-known for being wheelchair-accessible is the Cueva Pintada Museum and Archaeological Park. Cave houses, cave paintings and much more reveal life on the island before the conquistadors invaded. As the museum is carefully managed, tours only run with a maximum of 20 guests at a time; booking beforehand is a good idea.
For those looking for a more private holiday park environment as opposed to a hotel, this spot is perfect. Set in leafy grounds, the individual bungalows are designed to suit anyone who is disabled. Holidays here are tailor-made if you have limited mobility.
Lanzarote is an island that’s well-suited to anyone with a love for adventure. The Daivoon Diving School in Costa Teguise is geared up to instruct people with disabilities and introduce them to the magical world that lives below the surface of the ocean. Having mobility issues doesn’t mean that you have to miss out!
The beaches on Lanzarote have excellent accessibility for wheelchair users, so no one needs to worry about getting over the sand. Wooden walkways have been constructed, and you can even rent wheelchairs that are suited to beach use. Toilets have been designed with limited accessibility in mind, and there are lowered showers if you need to rinse off after a long day of sunbathing. Low curbs and a wide tarmac path along the promenade lead you to the many excellent bars and restaurants, too.
This beautiful complex is ideally situated close to the town of Puerto del Carmen and the beaches, and its rooms have been built with wheelchair access in mind. Limited mobility doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying all of the facilities at this pretty spot, which makes the perfect base for exploring the island.
With only a little planning and the help of an experienced tour operator, these islands open their doors to anyone with limited mobility who is looking for a sunshine-filled getaway. So, what are you waiting for?
Philip Scott is the owner and founder of Can be Done, a fully licensed UK tour operator specialising in disabled holidays across the world for individuals and groups who are travelling with a handicap. With over 31 years’ experience organising long and short breaks for disabled travellers, Philip has built a reputation for helping his clients select hotels and accommodation that offer high standards of accessibility to ensure that those with special needs can experience truly relaxing and carefree holidays.
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