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20 Wheelchair Accessible Holidays Recommended By Wheelchair Users

From Spain to South Africa, sun holiday resorts to country retreats, I’ve got 20 wheelchair accessible holidays recommended by wheelchair users.

I am often asked about wheelchair accessible holidays, but I truly believe that the best recommendations can only come from wheelchair users. I have been following Leona and Michael Hennessy, AKA The Stuggle is Wheel, for many years now.

Inspired by their honeymoon in Sligo and California, the husband and wife team set up The Struggle is Wheel to document the highs and lows of wheelchair accessibility within Ireland’s tourism industry.

You can follow The Struggle is Wheel here on Instagram and Twitter / X.

wheelchair accessible holidays

I was thrilled when Leona and Michael agreed to write this piece on wheelchair accessible holidays. Not only have they listed their own recommendations, but they reached out to their wide audience for recommendations too, and compiled this super list of 20 holiday resorts with adapted rooms and wheelchair facilities from all over the world. 

When all-inclusive means all-inclusive….

With the growing use of social media and the realisation that wheelchair accessible holidays are no longer a touristic ‘niche’, many wheelchair users and couples like us, are rating and recommending places to stay.

The unique selling points of holiday resorts are their combination of the 3 Rs – Reliability, Relaxation and Recreation. From check-in to air cargo, wheelchair users and accompanying family members experience a lot of unreliability when flying, and so, to counteract that stress (especially when travelling with children), holiday resorts play a huge role in reliable tourism.

While the convenient self-contained nature of resorts may suit many wheelchair users, we personally love to venture out and explore the locality and support local businesses. However, it is great to have a safety net in case accessibility on the outside is poor, we can always resort to the resort!

Profiling tourists who are wheelchair users can range from young children, teens, parents, right up to the elderly, and all with different disabilities, so we have listed recommendations for wheelchair accessible holidays for a range of tastes and budgets.

Our reviews are always from a manual wheelchair user perspective with a spinal cord injury, but many suggestions here will overlap with power chair users too. We’ve also tried to add as much variation as possible from around the world and we are conscious not to promote any animal entertainment.

For us, pool hoists are a big priority, and so, from Cornwall to the Canaries, we have put together a list of holidays for wheelchair users that have pool access. We hope you find it useful when planning your next holiday abroad.

Leona and Michael Hennessy –  The Struggle is Wheel.

Wheelchair accessible holidays in Europe

1. Lanzarote: Nautilus Lanzarote Resort

wheelchair accessible holidays in Lanzarote

When the opening tagline of a resort reads ‘Nautilus Lanzarote is committed to promoting Accessible Tourism’, you know you’re in good hands.

While we ourselves are only familiar with the largest island of the Canaries – Tenerife, the 4-star Aparthotel Nautilus in Lanzarote has been recommended to us numerous times.

We had to include this wheelchair accessible resort in Lanzarote and hope to venture out there later this year. Boasting 47 adapted apartments including large two-bedroom units, pool-hoist, wheel-in showers, and adapted taxi transfers, it’s a good start to our list!

Read: Why Lanzarote is my favourite Canary Island

See more here

2. Greece: Eria Resort, Chania, Crete

wheelchair accessible swimming pool

Greece is a leader in beach accessibility. We welcomed the recent announcement by the country’s Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, of a new nationwide rollout of solar-powered, remote-controlled wheelchair-accessible tracks that enable wheelchair users to swim in the sea.

Known as Seatrac, the device so far has been installed on 147 beaches (the goal tally is 287). Accessing the sea is probably the number one holiday activity taken for granted by non-disabled tourists, so this €15 million investment is huge news. Many wheelchair users can swim and benefit greatly from this exercise but are often met with barriers.

Our choice for Crete is the Eria Resort, which boasts as being the first hotel in Greece to be designed ‘for people with accessibility needs, their family and carers’. Accessible Spas are so rare to find for couples like us, and there is a variety of wheelchair accessible hotel rooms, this must be one of the best hotels for wheelchair users in Europe.

Read: Top things to do near Chania, Crete

Travel Tip: We recommend following the Seatrac Instagram account and website to help you find beaches with wheelchair access and resorts close to one of the tracks.

See more here

3. Cyprus: Cavo Maris Resort, Protaras

wheelchair accessible beach in Cyprus

Renowned for its natural beauty, the award-winning beach hotel Cavo Maris, located in the resort of Protaras, has wheelchair accessible sea-view rooms. This is a rarity for accessible hotel rooms as many wheelchair users will tell you they usually get the blocked industrial windowscapes.

Roll-in showers with seats are included in these rooms. Cyprus now has 36 accessible beaches and this hotel is in prime beach location, also with a Seatrac!

Travel Tip: Check out the cycle paths at the Cavo Greco National Park just seven minutes away.

See more here

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4. France: Center Parcs Les Villages Nature Paris,

Disneyland Paris

Center Parcs is no stranger to reliable tourism and while we’ve heard great feedback from their Irish Center Parcs resort in Co, Longford, we thought we’d pick a French option that was accessible by ferry, as many wheelchair users prefer to commute via ferry than to fly.

There are seven Center Parcs in France, however some are a five-hour drive from Cherbourg. Keeping the car journey short, we picked the more convenient Les Villages Nature Paris.

This is an unusual Center Parcs resort because it is a joint venture with Disneyland Paris (30 minutes away), but this means you get all the benefits of Center Parcs facilities alongside easy access to Disneyland Paris.

The wheelchair accessible accommodation includes cottages with ‘Reduced Mobility Options’ including low-level kitchen and oven, shower seats and wheelchair accessible terraces.

Read: 20 Disneyland Paris tips you need to know before you go

See more here

5. Italy: Kikki Village, Sicily

wheelchair accessible holidays in Sicily

‘An accessible holiday resort designed with disabled people in mind’ – the four-star Kikki Village is another resort recommended to us for wheelchair accessible holidays. This fully accessible resort is located near to the south coast of Sicily – approximately 10 minutes drive from the seaside town of Pozzallo.

For your room you can hire shower chairs and mobile hoists, and it also has pool access. With the resort being close to a UNESCO site – Ragusa city, and Mount Etna approximately two hours away (which has an accessible cable car), excursions via their accessible minibus are a great option to have!

See more here

6. Spain: Hotel Vulcano, Tenerife

pool at Vulcano Hotel

With 14 accessible beaches along its coastline and boasting year round sunshine, Tenerife is extremely popular with disabled and non-disabled tourists alike. Hotel Vulcano is a very popular recommendation so we thought it should be included in this list. All adapted rooms have a terrace and pool view, with pool access of course.

If you need a break from the busy resort scene, we recommend renting an adapted car with rental company CICAR. Drive up the mountainous roads towards rural village Vilaflor, checking out the cloud forests of pine trees along the way up towards Mount Teide National Park.

Travel Tip: If you want to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat get in touch with The Shogun Ship as other boats in the Costa Adeje Port are not wheelchair accessible.

See more here

7. Malta: DB Seabank Resort

holiday to malta

‘Put your mind to rest and enjoy an all-inclusive stay that caters to your needs in our accessible rooms’. Malta has been mentioned to us a few times with The DB Seabank Resort being a popular recommendation.

Any hotel that showcases their wheelchair accessible rooms on their website impresses us, as it’s incredibly rare to see within the Irish hotel industry.

This all-inclusive wheelchair accessible hotel also showcases a YouTube video of a wheelchair user navigating the hotel which is handy for those who would like a visual. Their website also mentions shower chair dimensions along with doorways – the devil is in the detail.

The resort is approximately 30 minutes from the main coastal resort town of Sliema known for its shopping and entertainment, but it’s the Baroque Palaces that would catch our attention!

Read: Top 10 reasons to visit Malta

Travel Tip: Avoid the hot temperatures of July and August and visit in the months of April, May, September or October.

See more here

8. Spain: Aparthotel Playa Garden, Alcudia, Majorca

Playa Garden Alcudia is a suitable holiday resort for wheelchair users

When you think of a classic sun holiday, Majorca is up there for childhood resort memories. Located in the bay of Alcudia (near accessible beach Playa de Muro), the Aparthotel Playa Garden, really stood out for us as a great option for wheelchair accessible holidays for families.

Have a look at the website images and see for yourself. Accessible features include wheel-in showers, ramp into pool and adapted taxi transfers. As well as a 7-mile stretch of a golden beach, shops, bars and restaurants, Alcudia also boasts ancient Roman ruins and an amphitheatre.

See more here

9. Spain: Sunset Beach Club, Benalmádena, Costa del Sol

accessible holidays at sunset beach club

Spanish resorts are often seen as the backbone of inclusive resort holidays. You won’t be stuck for finding wheelchair accessible holidays in Costa del Sol, but we’ve picked the Sunset Beach Club located on the seafront of Benalmádena.

Adapted ground floor rooms with hydraulic pool chair access are the bread and butter of a wheelchair accessible sun holiday. The level of detail on the adapted room page sets the standard for other wheelchair accessible hotels.

Travel Tip: Parts of Torremolinos can be hilly, so if not choosing the Sunset Beach Club, check out the geography of other resorts first.

See more here

11. France: La-Garangeoire Camping Resort, Vendée

wheelchair accessible camping holidays in France

For families who love the great outdoors, this 200 hectare tree-filled park has accessible chalets as well as a mobile home where you can actually download the pdf of its accessible floor plan! The resort also has a pool chair lift for the main heated pool.

If flying isn’t an option, wheelchair users can get to La Garangeoire by ferry, it is located four hours from Cherbourg.

There is a FAQ section for disabled holidays on their website and a very impressive rundown of how the site can cater for wheelchair users, including Kids Club activity requests and information on the accessibility of the Vendée region.

Read: The best family campsites in Europe – 20 top picks

See more here

12. Germany: Stettiner Haff Resort, Altwarp

Stettiner Haff Resort

‘Unforgettable adventures and pure relaxation for everyone – whether young or old, for people with or without disabilities’ – that’s what Stettiner Haff Resort in the idyllic fishing village of Altwarp offers.

For some families, busy resorts may not be their holiday style, so we picked this retreat which really emphasises the ‘Barrier-Free’ approach to holidaying.

The Stettiner Haff Resort website showcases Nordic style accessible homes located on the Szczecin lagoon bordering Germany and Poland. Situated close to a harbour and fishing village, this resort really emphasises sustainable and accessible accommodation.

See more here

13. Portugal: Wyndham Grand Algarve Hotel

algarve hotel wheelchair friendly
I haven’t stayed in this hotel, but if you are looking for five star accessible hotels on the Algarve, then it might be worth checking out the Wyndham Grand Hotel in the upmarket resort of Quinta do Lago.

In addition to luxurious facilities and top class dining options, the Wyndham Grand Algarve boasts wheelchair friendly ramps and pathways throughout the hotel.

You can also enjoy wheelchair accessible rooms as well as one-bedroom suites with roll-in showers, open planned kitchen, dining and living rooms.

The XXL Restaurant can be accessed via a lift, and the wider Quinta do Lago resort is also wheelchair accessible.

See more here

Wheelchair accessible holidays in England

14. England: Cayton Village Scarborough, North Yorkshire

You might not think of Scarborough as a typical holiday destination, but not everyone loves the heat. If you’re a wheelchair user with a spinal cord injury – it can be hard to regulate your body temperature, so we love the temperate latitudes just as much as the tropical!

Glamping has really taken off lately, yet most of these sites remain largely inaccessible to us. However, we found some accessible glamping pods at the Cayton Village. Named after native bird species (nice detail), Cayton Village has two quaint accessible pods that can host a mixed family or couples.

From a lowered kitchen, wet room, remote-controlled blinds and vibrating alarms for the hard of hearing, the information is all there for you to download.

This location is a great base for driving around and taking in those views of the North Yorkshire Moors. See more on the area here.

See more here

15. England: Gwel an Mor Resort, Cornwall

Gwel an Mor Resort

Apart from pasties and clotted cream, when you think of Cornwall as a wheelchair user you may associate it with old shopfronts, narrow nautical pubs and coastal terrain.

While that maybe all true, (as we ourselves experienced it), we did not expect to hear about an award-winning 5-star holiday resort that offered luxury Cornish cottages with an ‘accessible self-catering collection’.

Attention to detail includes family lodges with en-suite wet rooms, sun decks, electric bed tilt and swimming pool hoist. Commuting via ferry also takes out the stress of flying as a wheelchair user.

Travel Tip: Go visit The Eden Project, it’s an accessible must see! (approximately 1 hour drive).

Read: 10 Unique family breaks in the UK

See more here

16. England: Butlins Bognor Regis, West Sussex

pool at Butlins Bognor Regis

You can’t talk about resorts and not mention one of the most famous resort chains known on this side of the world. Founded by Billy Butlin, a South African-born British businessman, Butlins holiday camps are still going strong in England.

Situated in West Sussex in the traditional seaside town of Bognor Regis, you’ll find adapted rooms and apartments at Butlins Bognor Regis, with disability changing rooms/changing places, and both pool hoist and pool chairs to roll down along the pool ramp for the Splash Pool.

Travel Tip: Ask in advance the best times to avoid busy pool hours.

See more here

Wheelchair accessible holidays in America

Although accessibility can range from state to state, America is one of our favourite countries to visit – you can even find budget-friendly motels with pool access! This is probably a lot to do with the strength of their American Disability Act (ADA) federal regulations, compared to that in Ireland. Because of this, we have included a few American options on this list.

Florida is arguably the go-to state for accessibility, and there are many accessible holiday resorts there, so I’ve chosen two other states that are also great wheelchair accessible holiday destinations.

Travel Tip: The usage of the word ‘Handicap’ is frequently used in America both in official signage and casual language, so be prepared to hear it. The historical meaning behind this word is highly problematic, yet it seems to be accepted in this country.

17. USA: Little Valley Mountain Resort, Tennessee

Little Valley Mountain Resort

Little Valley Mountain Resort over in the Smokey Mountains has probably the best website we’ve seen for showcasing accessible accommodation. Families like us have the choice of 11 accessible cabins all listed with different names from ‘Harvest Moon to ‘Smoky Bear’. This resort also has wheelchair accessible fishing ponds.

See more here

18. USA: Cavalier Oceanfront Resort, California

san_simeon_oceanfront_resort

With direct flights via Aer Lingus from Dublin, as well as being regarded as one of the best American states for wheelchair access, we had to add California to our list!

While road tripping along San Simeon, we stayed at the 3-star Cavalier Oceanfront Resort, where we found pool/jacuzzi hoists, wheelchair accessible beach telescopes – ideal for dolphin watching, and parking directly outside our cabin.

Depending on the time of year, elephant seal colonies are close by for people to see at a safe non-invasive distance. This was definitely one of our favourite accessible stops on the Pacific Coast Highway, and it’s also near Hearst Castle!

Read: The ultimate guide for driving the Pacific Coast Highway

Travel tip: We only booked one night here but regretted not booking two nights. Bring warm clothes for the coastal fire pith area.

See more here

Wheelchair accessible holidays around the world

19. South Africa: Klaserie Nature Reserve

wheelchair accessible safari holidays

New on the scenes of inclusive tourism, is this gem of a resort – it is the World’s First Wheelchair Accessible Safari. This may be a budget stretch for wheelchair accessible family resorts, but for any avid wildlife lovers who fancy something different, this is for the bucket list.

I was lucky enough to complete a Game Ranger Course out on another reserve in Limpopo years ago, and it was the experience of a lifetime, something I’d love for Mick to experience.

This particular reserve borders Kruger National Park and includes accessible game driving jeeps, pool lift, bar seat height adjustment, accessible bird photography huts and wheelchair accessible safari lodges.

Travel Tip: You’re never guaranteed to see the Big 5 game on safari so be thankful for any wildlife you do see to avoid disappointment.

See more here

20. Australia: Byron Bay Rainforest Resort

Byron Bay
Byron Bay

Originally established in 1987 as the Wheel Resort, this place caught our eye. Byron Bay Rainforest Resort offers accommodation and facilities that are designed for people with restricted mobility or disabilities. Here you’ll find nine cabins surrounded by coastal rainforest gardens, accessible trails, and swimming pool access.

Their website emphasises how their property is best suited to couples, young families, disabled travellers, and people travelling with their pets (no hardcore party-goers allowed).

Cabins have large sliding doors and no stairs. It may look a little off the grid but its only five minutes away from Byron Bay!

Travel Tip: Check out HaveWheelchairWillTravel

See more here

21. Cruise Holidays

cruise holidays for wheelchair users

‘It’s the single most accessible holiday by far, these ships have thought of every detail and you can just switch off’. Recent feedback from one of our former followers, the late Catherine Chan who reminded us that wheelchair accessible holidays don’t always have to be on land.

Catherine booked a 10-night ‘The Best of Spain and Portugal’ Celebrity Cruise and it looks ideal as it cut out numerous flights. The ports of call were Barcelona (one of the most accessible cities in Europe), and while some Med stops were not the most accessible, advice was given in advance of an accessible day trip itinerary.

This cruise included stops at Valencia, Palma, Malaga, Cadiz, Porto and Lisbon. Hoists at pool and hot tubs were included, but it is important to note that wheelchair accesible facilities vary depending on the cruise ship. It is best to talk to a dedicated cruise specialist if planing a cruise holiday. You can see lots more information on wheelchair accessible cruises here.

I hope this post on wheelchair accessible holidays will help you plan a trip away soon. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy it is important that services and facilities are subject to change. Always discuss your requirements directly with the hotel before booking.

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