One of the most exciting things about booking a holiday is the sense of adventure that comes with getting away from the routine of day-to-day life. But for some people with mobility impairments, choosing a travel destination can pose a challenge due to lack of accessibility or lack of adequate information about accessibility.
Fortunately, over the past couple of years, thanks to such media highlights such as the 2012 Paralympics and the more recent Commonwealth and Invictus Games, the issue of accessibility has come under the spotlight. Everyone has the right to satisfy their urge for adventure and to get the full benefit of attractions and activities when abroad.
Here are some of our top accessible European destinations off the beaten track...
1. Kaunertal Valley, Austria
The breath-taking Kaunertal Valley boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in Tyrol. This region is a year round destination, reflecting the seasons with verdant greenery in the summer months and carpets of pristine, white snow in the depths of winter.
Those with mobility impairments can enjoy a range of outdoors activities including accessible skiing, biking and scaling the Kaunertal Glacier. Kaunergrat Nature Park sports a range of accessible trails and the majority of accommodation, bars, restaurants and swimming pools in the Kaunertal take accessibility into account.
2. Lipno, Czech Republic
A family-friendly destination, Lipno plays host to plenty of fun and accessible attractions such as Aquaworld and a treetop walkway with panoramic views of the Alps. During the summer, Lake Lipno is the ideal place to rent a tandem or hand bike for a cycling tour or to sail an electric boat. When winter sets in, a visit to the ski resort and renowned skiing school is a popular choice for families.
3. Pistoia, Italy
Situated a short journey from Tuscany, this town is a cultural dream. The churches, cathedral and colourful facades of Pistoia and nearby spa town, Montecatini, showcase some glorious Art Nouveau architecture whilst historical re-enactments and festivals are deeply entrenched in the culture of the Tuscan people.
The 'Pistoia For All' guidebook gives specific tips on accessible tourism in this area with clearly marked walks through the medieval city, trips through the caves and a variety of nature trails.
4. Ottiginies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
This destination combines the beauty of the countryside with a blend of urban conveniences and some excellent shopping opportunities. The town centre has a youthful ambience and was designed with accessibility in mind. Most of the museums, shops and theatres are accessible and the pedestrianised streets and well-marked countryside trails ensure that getting around is a pleasure, not a chore.
5. Marathon, Greece
For those that love to be beside the seaside, Marathon may well be the destination for you. The 25 mile-long coastline is dotted with beaches that look out onto glassy, clear waters with many accessible restaurants and bars to help you soak up those sea views.
Archaeological sites of interest, museums and hotels have all the necessary adaptations such as ramps and suitable hygiene facilities whilst the National Park of Schinias makes a fantastic day out with its observatory and nature trails.
Contact Medical Travel Compared on 0844 887 2110 to ensure you are properly covered for your trip with insurance suitable for your individual needs.
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