ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL EXPERIENCES IN SPAIN
ACCESSIBLE ATTRACTION OPTIONS IN SPAIN
Last year, the Spanish Tourist Board in the United Kingdom announced its new campaign, ‘Spain for All’, which underlies the country’s aspiration to be a welcoming destination for all. With an ongoing commitment to improving accessibility, eliminating discrimination, and improving diversity within the travel sector, the Spanish Tourist Board is dedicated to making an accessible Spain the reality.
Below are four recommended accessible activities and initiatives for travellers to Spain.
Explore Valencia's initiatives for travellers with speech, language and communication barriers
The charming historic city of Valencia is one of Spain’s most famous destinations and is a popular choice to visit throughout the year. Pictogram imagery can be found across the city, aiming to improve accessibility for visitors with speech and communication difficulties, including those on the autism spectrum disorder. A map of the city featuring these pictograms can be downloaded here, meaning that those who might find a standard map challenging can navigate the city and feel less overwhelmed when doing so. For those with impaired vision, Visit Valencia also offers audio recordings of the six main routes around the city, helping all visitors to discover the city.
Ascend the walls of Ávila in a wheelchair
Every year tourists flock to take in the view from the 1,000 year old medieval walls of Ávila, Castile and León. Refurbishments to this monument include accessible entrances to certain parts of the wall for travellers with reduced mobility or wheelchair users. The Ávila Visitor Centre also loans out wheelchairs for reduced-mobility visitors to the town so that they can enjoy their visit in greater comfort. Enterprises like these made Ávila the first ever city to receive the Access City Award from the European Commission (2011), marking the city’s work to creating an environment accessible to locals and visitors alike.
Ávila was also highlighted as an example of accessibility at the International Congress on Tourism for All, organised in Spain by the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT). Find out more about the accessible enterprises in Ávila that have contributed towards the city being recognised as one of the most accessible in Spain here.
The capital has attractions to suit a range of travellers, including those with additional needs and disabilities. Madrid Tourism Board’s Accessible Tourism Guide, downloadable here, provides a plethora of ways to enjoy Madrid and supports travellers with any barriers they may face. With seven accessible tourism routes of interest and information on accessible accommodation, restaurants, attractions and transport to name a few, the guide is the perfect resource both before and during a trip to Madrid. Accessible Madrid also arranges accessible tours of Madrid and the surrounding area, alongside advice on travel in and around the capital.
Take an accessible tour of Montserrat, Barcelona
The UNESCO-listed site of Montserrat, just outside Barcelona, is home to breathtaking rock formations and the eponymous Montserrat Monastery, the spiritual heart of Catalonia and the location of the mythical 12th-century Black Madonna (Mary). Accessible Spain Travel have created a Montserrat Half Day Accessible Excursion to allow travellers with reduced mobility enjoy a visit to Montserrat. The tour is tailored for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility, with highlights of the tour including a scenic mountain drive and a visit to the Basilica of Montserrat, with weekday tours also providing the opportunity to enjoy hearing one of the most famous choirs in Europe – Escalonia de Montserrat.
Visitors to Spain can obtain accessibility support and information through Spain Is Accessible; a seal of approval used by Spanish institutions to standardise the accessibility criteria across multiples sectors such as culture, food & wine, nature, sun & beach, health & beauty - to name just a few.
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