Wheelchair accessible beach

8 of the Best Wheelchair Accessible Beaches in the World

Wheelchair accessible beaches are more common than you might think. Many countries around the world have really begun to understand that great locations should be open to everyone. That’s good news if you are in a wheelchair or have a disability and want to enjoy all the world has to offer.

What makes a beach be considered as accessible?

Anyone in a wheelchair will understand that logistics can get complicated when sand and water are involved and careful planning needs to be made when deciding to travel with a wheelchair.

When it comes to wheelchair accessible beaches, here are just a few things to look out for:

  • Public transport should stop in an area where the individual feels comfortable getting off
  • If travelling by car or SUV, sufficient parking space is required to allow for any ramps to be put into place from the vehicle,  even during busy times
  • The handicap beach access to the sand should be clear and there should be beach wheelchairs (with wider wheels) available to use
  • Specially built pathways alongside the water to allow wheelchair users access nearer to the sea
  • Wheelchair friendly washrooms and changing facilities should be available

The good news is that it’s possible these days to go online and check the accessibility options that beaches and other tourist attractions have.

Below are some recommended accessible beach locations:

1. Freedom Shores, Mexico

There are no better examples of wheelchair accessible beaches than the ones created by disabled people themselves. That’s the case with Freedom Shores which was designed by a quadriplegic war veteran. The stunning views and beautiful beaches are all perfect and the resort has many wheelchair friendly facilities such as roll-in showers and boat rides.

2. San Diego, California

Accessible beach California

California has a pretty good reputation around the world when it comes to focusing on wheelchair accessibility options. Their beaches are no exception. From Mission Beach to Ocean Beach, you’ll find accessible paths that wind through sand dunes as well as beach wheelchairs that can be hired on the day.

3. Key Largo, Florida

Another location that has a great reputation and has done so for a number of years is Key Largo. This iconic part of Florida has more than just great walkways and ramps which give you access to many beaches.

A number of enterprising businesses also offer the opportunity to take part in diving and snorkelling specifically designed wheelchair users. Most areas have beach friendly wheelchairs for hire too, so getting around is not a problem.

4. Pattaya Beach, Thailand

Asia has more than its fair share of wheelchair accessible beaches and Thailand is one of the best examples. One location worth mentioning is Pattaya Beach and, in particular, the A-One Pattaya Resort. This has been built from the ground up with accessibility in mind.

If you want to combine luxury with a hotel that doesn’t bar you from certain areas just because you’re in a wheelchair, you’ll certainly feel at home here.

5. Loutraki, Greece

Europe has made great strides in improving accessibility for wheelchair users in their towns and cities. One great example is the Siren’s Resort in Greece. They not only have rooms that have been created with accessibility in mind, you can take advantage of facilities such as wheelchair ready taxis and local excursions too.

6. Barcelona, Spain

This iconic Spanish city is another place that has a surprising level of accessibility. While you may think of beautiful architecture and football when it comes to Barcelona, it also has some pretty nice beach fronts. There are plenty of accessible ramps and route-ways as well as also a swimmer assistance service and wheelchair friendly changing rooms.

7. Cornwall, England

Yes, Cornwall has some fantastic clifftop sea fronts but there are also a wide range of different beaches which have been made wheelchair friendly. The locals have put a lot of work in to improve accessibility over the last few years and you can check out their resources with Cornwall Mobility.

You’ll find many sites have beach ready wheelchairs available and you can even explore more challenging rockier areas.

8. East Frisia, Germany

Germany, like many other European countries, has come a long way over the last couple of decades in its quest to improve accessibility. It has some excellent beaches too.

East Frisia is in Lower Saxony and has some excellent beaches where wheelchair hire is available. Local business also provide accommodation that includes accessible facilities such as roll-in or seated showers.

There’s no doubt that accessibility has improved over the last decade and more and more areas like beaches have opened up to those in wheelchairs. Many places have resorts and accommodation that are highly accessible connected to them which means there is no excuse for not getting out there and having some fun.