11 wheelchair accessible travel tips for Costa Brava
Are you doubting whether to make that trip to Costa Brava by wheelchair? Here are 10 accessible Costa Brava treasures waiting to be discovered.
1) Warm beaches and accessible coastal villages
Beautiful and accessible beaches? Yes, in Spain they know how to make summer pleasant for everybody. The beaches we recommend are supervised by the Red Cross or any other organisation (depending on municipality) and have amphibian wheelchairs at their disposal. That is a great tool for travelers with disabilities. It enables you to float around in the water with the help of lifeguards. You can simply tell the local lifeguard you would like to try it and they will help you. A blissful experience.
- Llafranc and Tamariu are both small and stunning beaches in Palafrugell. Also the Red Cross staff on these two beaches is very competent and helpful.
- Platje de Pals and S'Agaró are large, sprawling beaches. They attract many families, and have several activity options, such as renting a kayak etc.
2) Water Fun for everyone
In the port of L'Escala you can go sailing on the Mediterranean Sea. To sail you don't need to use your legs, so basically this is a good sport for people in a wheelchair. The chances are likely that you'll sail as fast or faster than anyone else. The monitors of Club Nautic in L'Escala are specialised in assisting people with disabilities. They have years of experience with customers in a wheelchair and use eg. hoists to lift you in the boat. Also their building is accessible (toilets, changing rooms). Website: www.nauticescala.com
3) Discover the Illes Medes with Nautilus
The Illes Medes are small islands off the coast of Estartit. They are protected natural sites with exceptional fish and red coral. The Nautilus is a submarine with transparent walls that goes down daily to the Illes Medes. At least once a day the accessible boat for customers with physical disabilities sails. You best ask the staff in the morning about when the accessible boat will sail, and then make a reservation. Website: www.nautilus.es/nautilus
4) Stay in an accessible "Masia"
A Masia is an old rural house, often in a very natural environment, formerly used for local agriculture. The origin of a Masia goes back to the days of Roman villas. Today you have the unique combination of stunning architecture and accessibility for people in a wheelchair with physical disabilities. It offers you the luxury of a swimming pool, sunbathing in peace with friends and family, and often comes with a BBQ. Please contact us if you would like to stay in an accessible masia.
5) Sunday Market in Palafrugell
Palafrugell is hosting a Sunday market every week. In this cozy town you'll find fresh fish, meat, fruits, vegetables but also clothing, leather goods and handmade items. Besides the market there are also regular clothes shops where you can do some shopping. After shopping, you can enjoy tapas and drinks on the central square. The market and the streets of Palafrugell are accessible by wheelchair.
6) Discover the Venice of the Costa Brava
Empuriabrava is the Venice of the Costa Brava. The town has no less than 23 km. navigable channels. It is absolutely worth the effort to take a canal cruise. An intriguing experience!
7) Walk or bike the Vies Verdes
The Vies Verdes are beautiful green routes throughout the province of Girona. No matter where you stay, they are never far away as they walk along old railways. The routes can be explored by foot or by bike. Please contact us if you want to rent a handcycle. This is a special bicycle for people with physical disabilities. The 'pedals' are usually propelled by the arms so you don't have to pedal with your legs. Website: www.viasverdes.com/en/principal.asp
8) Unique birds & animals
In the Nature Reserve Aiguamolls de l'Emporda you'll discover magnificent dunes, horses, storks, etc. Spending an afternoon in Aiguamolls, is a an original and different experience compared to the sun, sea and beach life in Costa Brava. The reserve has wheelchair-accessible hiking trails and an accessible bird hide.
9) City of Girona
A nice piece of history. The streets along the river, the Rambla and the shopping districts of Girona are easily accessible. The oldest Gothic part near the cathedral is difficult for travelers in a wheelchair. Go to the Tourist Office (Rambla de la Llibertat) for their wheelchair accessible map with routes and tips.
10) Romance with Dalí
Visit the castle of Salvador Dalí's muse, Gala, in Pubol. She was Dalí everything. He decorated and bought this place entirely for her. Take a guided route and discover the details of this eccentric castle and garden. The museum is 90% accessible by wheelchair: the hall with Gala her evening dresses and the tomb are not accessible. Website: www.salvador-dali.org/en/museums/gala-dali-castle-in-pubol
11) Last but not least: timing!
Avoid the massive summer crowds in July and August. If you can avoid traveling during school holidays, then do so and come in May, June or September. Also early October, the weather is often still sunny and warm.
Do you also want to make an accessible trip to the Costa Brava? Please get in touch with us!