Autumn can be quite hectic, with work and school going at full pace. A short holiday or weekend trip can be a nice break from the stress and duties of your everyday life. At this time of the year, there are fewer tourists around as well, so queues and crowds are less of a hassle. Here are four friendly, and accessible, getaways for you and your family:
1. Beachlife, swimming and spas in Jūrmala, Latvia
Coming in third in the Access City Award 2017, this Latvian town lies next to 25 kilometers of sandy, Baltic beaches. Jūrmala has a strong focus on accessibility, which is evident in the town’s attractions and transportation, which are mostly accessible. The town is known for its spa offerings, with a strong focus on therapy, social and medical rehabilitation.
Jūrmala is just half an hour drive from Riga, meaning you can land in the Latvian capital and arrive in Jūrmala in no time.
You can easily access the beaches from the city with a 850 meter accessible trail. Once at the beach, you’ll find accessible changing facilities and ramped access. You can even rent special wheelchairs to swim in the sea, with assistants available to help. At this time of the year however, the baltics can be a bit cold, so we recommend saving your swimwear for the indoor spas!
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2. Enjoy food, flowers and waffles in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Rotterdam–Holland’s next biggest city–is another great option for an accessible holiday with the whole family.
Once there, you’ll see that the city looks and feels relatively new. This is due to the extensive rebuilding of the city after the second world war.
Outdoor spaces and pavements are generally accessible, and are built and moderated according to city’s accessibility guidelines. The city’s beach offers free beach wheelchairs and walking devices. These offers, alongside the effort of making the city more accessible, have contributed to the city being awarded second prize in the 2017 Access City Award.
We highly recommend the city’s food and flower markets, with great food for the whole family (try the delicious stroopwafel here–a thin, crispy waffle with caramel in the middle). Make sure to visit the Markthal, which is a stunning covered market that should cover all your cravings. The market is accessible, with wheelchairs available to rent for free.
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3. Get a history lecture and visit the animals in Chester, UK
Voted number one in the Access City Award, Chester is without a doubt one of the most accessible cities in Europe. Considering the fact that all the city’s buses and taxis are wheelchair friendly, it’s most certainly a great destination for visitors with special needs.
You can easily reach Chester from Liverpool or Manchester airport, both approximately 40 minutes by road.
The city is probably best known for the City Walls, an ancient defensive structure that forms an almost complete circuit around the former medieval city. It’s got ramps and level accesses, making it a very accessible attraction.
Next to the City Walls, the city is probably best known for its zoo, which is one of the biggest of its kind in the UK. You can just find about everything from the animal kingdom here, and it can all be enjoyed from accessible pathways. Wheelchairs and electric scooters can be rented for free, and carers can enter the park for free as well.
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4. Get a glimpse of summer in sunny Tenerife
Tenerife offers sun and beautiful beaches for frozen guests. It’s a great place to go and extend the summer.
Costa Adeje is a relatively new area with modern attractions and facilities. There’s plenty of accessible hotels and accommodation, making it a great destination for people with disabilities.
You can enjoy walks along wheelchair friendly beaches, have fun in the many hotel pools and eat at a variety of different food in the area’s restaurants. Prices are relatively friendly here too, so recharging your batteries for the winter shouldn’t be too expensive.
Though autumn is less busy than the high season in the summer, you’re not the only one who’s considering booking a trip this autumn. Start your planning now so you can get tickets before prices shoot through the roof.
Have a great break!
The author worked as Head of Marketing for Made for Movement for 7 years before she pursued other adventures in her own company. Trine Roald has over 20 years of international experience within a variety of industries. As Head of Marketing for Made for Movement she was passionate about communicating stories and know-how featuring possibilities for improving the quality of life among people with severe disabilities.
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