With summer just around the corner you may be planning your holiday (if you haven’t already!). Looking to book a Spanish beach escape? If so, check out this list of accessible beaches to help you to choose the perfect resort.
When planning a trip, it is important to organise some things like hotels, transport, visits to monuments or restaurant reservations in advance. If you have a disability or a mobility problem, prior planning ensures you can choose buildings and locations which are accessible to you.
This guide will help you find the beaches that are best equipped with ramps, walkways, adapted changing rooms and other aspects to cover your needs.
What are accessible beaches?
As a general definition, accessible beaches would be those that have the necessary elements so that anyone, regardless of whether they have any type of physical, visual or hearing disability or mobility problems, can enjoy a comfortable and pleasant stay, and bathe safely with the greatest freedom and autonomy.
In this sense, it’s not only accessible beaches that we must talk about, but also beaches with accessible points, since it is very difficult for a beach to be accessible in the full sense of the word. That is to say, there are beaches which are totally accessible for people with reduced mobility but not for people with a higher degree of physical disability.
What elements or accessibility points should accessible beaches have?
Usually, the so-called wheelchair accessible beaches should have the following elements, or at least some of them:
- Car park spaces reserved for the disabled
- Access ramps connected to walkways
- Footbridges that practically reach the shore
- Adapted toilets, changing rooms, showers and foot showers
- Parasols with areas for people with disabilities
- Chairs and crutches suitable for the water
- Possibility to take part in adapted sports
- NOVAF machine (a type of adapted vehicle)
- Bathroom support staff
- Visual and sound devices for people with sensory disabilities
- Buoys and nets (they are especially useful for visually impaired people as it allows them to orient themselves and stay in the bathing area)
In addition, if you are looking for accessible beaches you must take into account whether or not they have the Blue Flag, a mark that the European Foundation of Environmental Education grants annually to beaches and ports that meet a series of environmental conditions and for their facilities.
For a beach to have a Blue Flag, it has to meet criteria such as water quality, safety, general services and environmental management. At Blue Flag beaches, you can generally guarantee that the facilities are in very good condition, but that doesn’t mean that they are accessible beaches as their accessibility points may not suit your needs.
Accessible beaches in Spain for your holiday
The Discapnet website offers one of the most complete guides on accessible beaches in Spain. In this guide (only available in Spanish), which is updated periodically, there are more than 600 destinations and beaches throughout Spain where people with disabilities can rely on different services and accessibility resources to enjoy the sea.
What are the beaches that offer the most services to people with disabilities? Here we leave you with a selection of the most accessible beaches.
Accessible beaches in Andalucía
- Playa La Misericordia (Málaga)
- Playa de San Nicolás (Adra, Almería)
- Playa El Palmeral (Almería)
- Playa Balanegra (Berja, Almería)
- Playa Las Marinicas (Carboneras, Almería)
- Isla Cristina (Isla Cristina, Huelva)
- Playa Las Piletas (Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cádiz)
- Playa El Rinconcillo (Algeciras, Cádiz)
- Playa La Cala (Mijas, Málaga)
- Playa Calahonda (Calahonda, Granada)
Accessible beaches in Asturias
- Playa Centro (Villaviciosa)
- Playa Santa Marina (Ribadesella)
- Playa Castro (Soto del Barco)
Accessible beaches in the Basque Country
- Playa La Arena (Zierbena, Vizcaya)
- Playa Isuntza (Lekeitio, Vizcaya)
Accessible beaches in Murcia
- Playa Calarreona (Águilas)
- Playa Los Nietos (Cartagena)
- Playa La Concha (Los Alcázares)
- Playa La Ermita (Mazarrón)
Accessible beaches in Galicia
- Playa Barbeira (Baiona, Pontevedra)
- Playa O Muíño (A Guarda, Pontevedra)
- Playa Carragueiros (Boiro, La Coruña)
Accessible beaches in the Valencian Community
- Playa Patacona (Alboraya, Valencia)
- Playa San Antonio (Cullera, Valencia)
- Playa de Pinedo (Valencia)
- Playa Les Bovetes (Denia, Valencia)
- Gran Playa (Santa Pola, Alicante)
Accessible beaches in Catalonia
- Playa Torre Valentina (Calonge, Girona)
- Playa Vilafortuny (Cambrils, Tarragona)
Accessible beaches in Cantabria
- Playa Los Peligros (Cantabria)
Accessible beaches in the Canary Islands
- Playa Las Vistas (Arona, Tenerife)
- Playa Amadores (Mogán, Gran Canaria)
- Playa Puerto de Naos (Los llanos de Aridane, La Palma)
Accessible beaches in the Balearic Islands
- Playa Talamanca (Ibiza)
- Cala Galdana (Ferreries, Menorca)
- Cala Degollador (Ciutadella de Menorca, Menorca)
- Cala Estancia (Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca)
- Campore Antoni (Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca)
Planning your summer escape? The right wheelchair can make all the difference to getting the most from your holiday. Check out our range of manual wheelchairs and powered wheelchairs on the Sunrise Medical website.