Best holiday destinations for people with limited mobility
11th July 2023
Many people look forward to planning a future holiday, looking at destinations, hotels, cruises, excursions, and all those exciting prospects. For those with limited mobility, there is even more to think about when planning an upcoming holiday. Finding an accessible holiday is entirely possible. Some truly spectacular destinations are available to those who perhaps require a stair lift at home. In this guide, you will discover the best holiday destinations for travellers with limited mobility, helping you to plan a special trip.
Berlin is one of Europe’s most fascinating cities, with innovative architecture and important history. It’s also one of the best holiday destinations for limited mobility travellers, thanks to its commitment to being barrier-free. This means Berlin has been designed for those with physical and non-physical disabilities.
A big part of the German city’s appeal as an accessible holiday destination is thanks to its public transport. The U-Bahn, trams, buses, and S-Bahn are all accessible for people who are in wheelchairs or who have limited mobility. Berlin is also one of the best holidays for wheelchair users due to its wide, flat pavements and accessible attractions such as Museum Island and the Reichstag.
Barcelona is a beautiful city known for its cosmopolitan nature, artistic heritage, sporting greatness, and of course, Spain’s gorgeous summer weather. It’s an easy choice for holidaymakers, with many flocking to see the stunning Sagrada Familia church, the Picasso Museum, and the home stadium of F.C Barcelona.
However, Barcelona is also one of the best limited-mobility holidays available, thanks to its accessible nature. Lonely Planet has named it one of the most wheelchair-friendly holidays in the world, highlighting that 80% of Barcelona’s metro stations and all of its buses are wheelchair accessible.
Barcelona even has beaches with wheelchair access, only adding further to its incredible appeal. Martyn Sibley is a travel blogger focusing on accessibility and disability (who also lives with Spinal Muscular Atrophy). Martyn recommends Barcelona and says that a disability doesn’t necessarily limit the type of holiday a person can enjoy:
“I would never presume a certain type of holiday suits a person based on disability. I'm really quite weak, yet I've been skiing, sailing, scuba diving and flown a plane. That said, a destination’s accessibility is important. This is why I love Barcelona so much. The beaches, the streets, the buildings and the people are so inclusive.”
Martyn was also kind enough to offer some advice for those with limited mobility looking for a holiday: “My advice is to start with your dream trip, separate from your disability. List all the places and activities you'd love to do. Once you're excited, make another list of what you need. For example, adapted activities, accessible transport, wheelchair-friendly accommodation, flight, airport transfers, and mobility equipment (to take or rent). Then do your research. Speak to a specialist and mainstream agent. Read reviews by other disabled people. Ask online community groups like the Accessible Travel Club. Once you have the answers and the money, book it and enjoy it.”
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Playa del Carmen is a resort city in Mexico that offers fantastic weather and beautiful beaches and is far more laid-back than its famous neighbour Cancun. Playa del Carmen is known for its palm-lined beaches, coral reefs, and pedestrian thoroughfare of restaurants, shops, and bars.
Playa del Carmen is also one of the best holidays for limited mobility travellers, boasting a collection of accessible hotels and an accessible beach that offers beach wheelchairs. You can even go snorkelling along its coral reef with adaptive equipment.
The city is also very close to incredible historical cities like Chichén Itzá, a Mayan archaeological site that is just as accessible for wheelchair users as anyone else.
READ ALSO: Accessible weekend breaks across the UK
When it comes to holidays for people with disabilities, a great destination to consider is the Netherlands, a country coming highly recommended in particular from Lotte of the travel blog Phenomenal Globe. Lotte is from the Netherlands herself and therefore knows full well its myriad virtues:
“I think The Netherlands is a good destination for people with limited mobility. There are sidewalks everywhere, so you can move around safely. Public transport is well organised and accessible. Pretty much all the bigger museums have facilities for those with low mobility as well. If you are looking for a great place to visit in the Netherlands, I highly recommend Utrecht. It’s a beautiful old city with lovely canals, cosy bars, good restaurants and lots of history.”
The Canary Islands are proving to be an ever-popular holiday destination for many, especially for Brits, and this doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. With its stunning scenery, golden beaches, and delightful yearly climate, there aren’t many better destinations for those seeking sun for their next holiday.
The Canary Islands is also one of the best holiday destinations for limited mobility, with the Spanish archipelago and Spain as a whole offering one of the greatest range of options for people with mobility issues. In particular, Tenerife has a very large number of hotels with excellent facilities, and Lanzarote offers accessible beaches, helping to make wheelchair users feel welcome.
Barbados is a much sought-after holiday destination for people all over the world, and it’s not hard to see why, with its attractive climate, picture-perfect beaches, and friendly people. Barbados also happens to be a great destination for a limited mobility holiday, which is why travel agency The Destination Lounge recommend it so highly:
“Most resorts across the world are now proactively working to ensure they can accommodate clients with any mobility issues. One of our favourite destinations is Barbados in the Caribbean. The Sandals Royal Barbados has been designed from the ground up to meet these requirements and is on level ground, with good access and also offers level access to the lively St Lawrence Gap with its shops, bars and restaurants. Fully accessible rooms are available, and the resort has lift access to facilities which are not at ground level, such as its sky pool and a rooftop bar and offers beach wheelchairs too.”
Egypt features highly on many expert rankings for must-visit destinations. It is home to some of the most iconic attractions in the world, such as the pyramids, Cairo, Alexandria, the Valley of the Kings, and the river Nile.
While Egypt and its top attractions are ancient, tours are available for those with limited mobility and Enable Holidays offer some excellent, accessible hotels. Enable Holidays are experts in arranging travel for people with disabilities and those with limited mobility, so linking up with them for your next holiday should certainly be considered.
A great way to visit Egypt is with an all-inclusive package. Knowing that all your desires are taken care of on holiday and that you won’t need to worry about seeking out simple pleasures like food and drink can be a great bonus for those with limited mobility. So, securing an all-inclusive holiday to somewhere like Egypt should certainly be considered.
READ ALSO: Worldwide Attractions Accessibility Guide
A fantastic holiday destination that all will do well to consider is the island of Sicily, a beautiful piece of paradise in the Mediterranean just off Italy. Sicily is known for its tranquil natural beauty, wonderful climate, and fascinating history, featuring many wonderful sites to explore.
If this is all sounding rather appealing, an accessible holiday to the island can be secured with the folks at Limitless Travel – which has a goal of enabling everybody, no matter their mobility, to explore the world. Their ‘Escape to Sicily’ holiday is ideal for those with limited mobility, with the hotel chosen for its top-notch accessible facilities. Guests can look forward to the full support of qualified care staff and an exciting itinerary to the likes of Mount Etna, which can be experienced via wheelchair-accessible transport.
India is a fascinating and beautiful country, with many travellers calling it a trip of a lifetime. However, India is a vast land, and to take in as much as possible and to do so in an accessible way, you could consider exploring the country by train.
For example, for those who desire to see a number of far-flung locations on their holiday but are concerned about all the transfers and troublesome travel arrangements involved with changing hotels, considering a holiday aboard the luxurious Maharajas' Express would be a wonderful idea. This famous train takes the traveller across the beautiful country of India, allowing them to see many incredible sights all in one holiday and all in supreme comfort.
This award-winning train provides a look at India’s rich cultural heritage (a country that is growing more important on the world stage every year). Those with limited mobility will love the convenience of the Maharajas’ Express, the beautiful range of luxury cabins, as well as restaurants and lounge bars. All of this combines for a truly convenient and stylish way of travelling.
USA & Canada
Two countries that are increasingly popular for British travellers are the USA and Canada. With their diverse geography, famous sites, and accessible cities like Vancouver, Toronto, New York and Los Angeles, there are many great reasons why travellers are flocking to North America.
A great way to experience the USA and Canada is via an exciting cruise holiday. Cruises are perfect for those who don’t want to arrange hotels, dining arrangements and various excursions, with the cruise line organising all and the ship itself providing all the amenities and entertainment that one could ask for right on your cabin’s doorstep.
Several cruise lines offer some fantastic holidays to North America with ships designed with accessibility in mind. Look for accessible cabins, wide doorways, floor space for wheelchairs and scooters, grab rails, and ramped access/elevators.
Vanessa Rivers of the popular travel blog We Are Travel Girls highly recommends cruises for those looking for a limited mobility holiday: “Taking a cruise is a great way for people with low mobility to easily be able to explore a new destination! On a cruise, everything is right at your fingertips, so you can just walk out your cabin door and go to a nice restaurant, a show, or the pool, and you get to be on the ocean all day long!
“I took a four-day Caribbean cruise with Carnival Cruise Lines. It was my first cruise, and I was very surprised by how much there was to do on board. There was a nice mix of families, middle-aged people and older people and the cruise provided plenty of activities for every age and mobility level. If you are interested in booking a cruise, you can read more about my experience here. Happy travels!”
READ ALSO: What to pack when travelling in later life
Holidays for people with limited mobility
- Playa del Carmen
- The Netherlands
- Canary Islands
- USA & Canada
As you can see, there are some incredible holiday destinations for those with limited mobility. If you want to book an accessible holiday, consider one of the above and carefully consider what is right for you.
For more tips, guides, and advice, visit our news page.
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.