Best islands in Spain for people with disabilities

Best islands in Spain for people with disabilities

Accessible vacation guide for the Spanish islands

Which are the best islands in Spain for people with disabilities? Read the Ferryhopper guide about accommodation, services, activities and accessibility features for vacation in the Spanish islands.

Couple at a beach in Spain using a wheelchair

Couple in love on a lovely beach in Fuerteventura

Vacation in Spain for people with disabilities

Vacation in Spain is a quite popular option among people with disabilities. If you want to plan your trip to the Spanish islands and get to enjoy the “fiesta and siesta” in safety and comfort, keep reading for more information about wheelchair access, vacation options and ferry routes.

Is Spain wheelchair accessible?

Spain is a great country to visit for wheelchair users. Most cities and major towns offer accessible accommodation and entertainment, as well as wheelchair-friendly activities and sightseeing. The majority of popular museums and sites have been adapted to accommodate people with reduced mobility and there are also ticket discounts for access to various attractions. 

Resort towns and destinations along the Costa Blanca or Costa del Sol are great for wheelchair-accessible vacation. There are many accommodation options and easy-to-visit beaches. Smaller towns and coastal villages may not be the perfect choice for wheelchair users, as infrastructure is rather limited off the beaten track.

You can get around Spain on a wheelchair traveling with a private vehicle, catching a ferry, bus or train, as well as flying. Spain has an extended ferry network as well as trains, which are accessible to people with disabilities and wheelchair users. 

For transfers in the city center, you can use the metro system, buses and trams. Catching the tram is one of the best options for people with disabilities, as it usually offers step-free access.

Wheelchair ramp for assisted sea access

Assisted sea access with the use of a special wheelchair ramp

Where can I go on holidays with a wheelchair?

There are many destinations in Spain for visitors traveling with a wheelchair. Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia are some of the best vacation destinations to visit in mainland Spain. The three large cities offer a plethora of options for wheelchair users. From step-free historical sites to accessible beaches and water sports, there’s a lot to see and do!

If you’re thinking of vacation on the islands, the Canary archipelago and the Balearic Sea are two wonderful options. There are regular ferry routes and flights to the islands, where you can enjoy luxury accommodation, peaceful beaches, wheelchair-adapted hiking, as well as dining at accessible restaurants by the sea.

Parking spot for people with disabilities

Parking spot for people with reduced mobility in Spain

What are the best islands in Spain for people with disabilities?

The 3 best islands for accessible vacation in Spain are Mallorca, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Find more information about vacation in the Balearic Islands and the Canaries for people with disabilities below.

Mallorca

The island of Mallorca is the perfect vacation destination for people with disabilities. Majorca is the largest island of the Balearic group and it is the most popular too. In Mallorca, there are many amenities for people with reduced mobility when it comes to accommodation, activities, beaches and transport.

You can find various accommodation options from boutique hotels to large resorts for an all-inclusive experience. People with disabilities can find rooms with wheelchair-accessible toilets, electric beds and spacious interior. Many resorts also have provisions for swimming pool access and step-free restaurants and bars. Some of the best areas to stay are Palma de Mallorca, Port de Pollensa and Port de Soller.

Tip: If you’re looking for private luxury accommodation, you can also stay at a luxury villa with step-free beach access, accessible jacuzzi, king-size electric beds and pool lift.

Mallorca is great for outdoor activities for people with reduced mobility. You can play accessible golf, go scuba diving with special equipment and ride the waves on an accessible waterskiing adventure. Most museums and attractions, such as the aquarium of Palma, are also adapted to wheelchair users.

Accessible waterskiing for people with disabilities

The exhilarating experience of accessible waterskiing in Mallorca

When it comes to beaches, Majorca is one of the top wheelchair-friendly destinations. You can find parking spots for people with disabilities, ramps, first-aid spots, floating wheelchairs and accessible showers. Some of the best beaches are Magaluf, Cala Millor and Alcúdia. Learn more about accessible beaches in Mallorca.

The best transport option for wheelchair users in Mallorca is to ride a wheelchair-accessible taxi. We recommend that you book your transfer in advance, to make sure there are available vehicles. There are also guided tours with accessible vans for people with disabilities.

The cathedral of Palma de Mallorca with fountain and promenade

The beautiful cathedral “La Seu” in Palma de Mallorca

Tenerife

Tenerife combines relaxing vacation, exotic landscapes and world-class amenities. The island of Tenerife is the largest of the Canaries and it enjoys high temperatures all year round. If you’re in the mood for once-in-a-lifetime accessible holidays, Tenerife is the place for you.

For accessible accommodation you can stay at Costa Adeje, Playa de las Américas or Santa Cruz. There are several hotels and all-inclusive resorts with all necessary amenities for an enjoyable stay. Hotel staff are trained and there are doctors on call. You can choose a room with step-free access and wheelchair-friendly shower. Stairlifts and handrails are also common in most resorts. There’s also a rehabilitation vacation center in Playa de las Américas.

If you prefer to go out and about, Tenerife is perfect for exploration. One of the must-try experiences on the island is to visit Mountain Teide and follow the accessible and wheelchair-friendly trail among exotic plants and impressive rocks. You can also try water sports with trained professionals, and wander around the García Sanabria park in Santa Cruz.

Wheelchair-accessible hiking trail at the foot of Mount Teide in Tenerife

Accessible hiking trail through the Roques de Garcia at the foot of Teide

Tenerife is home to several beaches of inimitable beauty. Some notable beaches that are accessible to wheelchair users are Jardín, Las Teresitas, Las Vistas and Los Cristianos. Playa Las Vistas is one of the top accessible beaches in the world. It features adapted bathing wheelchairs, shaded resting spots, trained lifeguards, ramps and accessible boardwalks. Find more information about the history of accessible tourism in the region.

You can easily get around Tenerife with trams, buses, taxis and private vehicles. Trams feature reserved wheelchair spots on board and are completely barrier-free. You can easily use the bus network too, as vehicles are equipped with hydraulic lifts and ramps. Find useful details about accessible taxis in Tenerife.

The seaside town of Puerto de Santiago in Tenerife

The quaint Puerto de Santiago on the western coast of Tenerife

Gran Canaria

Vacation in Gran Canaria is a great idea for wheelchair users and people with disabilities. The amazing weather, distinct natural beauty and developing accessibility facilities make Gran Canaria an up-and-coming destination for travelers with reduced mobility.

There are several accessible accommodation options on the island. We recommend that you search for newer hotels and resorts, as some of the older buildings do not have all the necessary accessibility amenities. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is one of the top places to stay on the island, as the city’s infrastructure is quite developed. Other suitable options include Melonera and Playa del Inglés, some of the flattest regions in Gran Canaria.

Traditional colorful houses at the town of Teror in Gran Canaria

The colorful town of Teror in the mountains of Gran Canaria

The exotic island is known for its impressive desert and sand dunes. You can visit this little piece of Sahara on the Canary archipelago and ride a camel at one of the accredited centers. Camel riding is a fantastic experience and provided that you are strong enough to hold on your seat, you will thoroughly enjoy it! If you’re a city lover, you can visit the Cueva Pintada Museum and Archaeological Park in Gáldar. The museum is wheelchair-accessible and it features tactile tours and audio guides.

You can’t leave Gran Canaria without visiting the Playa de las Canteras. This amazing beach is located in the capital and it is less crowded than other beaches in the area. You can find ramps, accessible pathways, beach wheelchairs and trained lifeguards, who can assist you in and out of the water.

Getting around Gran Canaria by public transport can be quite tricky, so we recommend that you have your own vehicle or book a taxi in advance. There are wheelchair-accessible taxis on the island and you can also find adapted vans. Visit the website of the company Sol, which specializes in mobility services, for more options.

Tip: Find more information about arriving and getting around Gran Canaria Airport

Camels resting on sand in Gran Canaria

Camel riding in Gran Canaria: a popular activity among travelers with reduced mobility

Can people with disabilities catch a ferry to the Spanish islands?

Most ferries in Spain are suitable for passengers with disabilities. You can easily catch a ferry from mainland Spain to the Canary Islands and the Balearics throughout the year. Find more details about ferry schedules in Spain for 2021.

Ferries are equipped with accessibility features such as ramps and handrails, anchor points, enhanced seats, wheelchair-accessible toilets and back-up wheelchairs and trolleys. Additionally, the ferry crew will help you board and disembark and will guide you to your seat, cabin and parking space in the garage.

Good to know: Smaller vessels operating between the islands are not the best option for passengers with reduced mobility, as restricted on-board space makes it challenging to board and stay safe during the trip.

Emergency "SOS" point for people with disabilities on a Spanish beach

Emergency and assistance point for people with disabilities on a beach in Spain

Where to book ferry tickets to the Spanish islands?

On Ferryhopper you can book cheap ferry tickets to the Spanish islands. Compare ferry companies to find amenities and accessibility features on our Ferry Operators page and book your trip in just 4 clicks!

Sunset over the port of Alcudia in Mallorca

Relaxing during sunset at the promenade of Alcúdia in Mallorca

Useful tips for vacation in Spain for people with disabilities

  • Discover more information about accessibility features, travel regulations and on-board ferry amenities for people with disabilities in Spain.
  • The flattest of the Canary Islands is Fuerteventura. If you’re looking for accessible accommodation in the Canary Islands, you can choose to stay at the port areas and coastal resorts.
  • The best time to visit the Balearic Islands is from May to October, when temperatures rise. If you’re planning to visit the Canary Islands, you can get there all year round, as weather conditions are great even during the winter months.
  • Find available crossings and schedules on Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries to plan your trip.
  • Make sure you inform the ferry company at least 48 hours before departure, to avoid delays and unnecessary challenges with boarding.
  • Mallorca is situated in the center of the Balearic Islands and it’s a great starting point for island hopping in the Balearics. You can normally visit Ibiza and Menorca with Baleària and Trasmediterránea. These ferry companies have large vessels with various accessibility features.
  • If you’re visiting Tenerife by ferry from mainland Spain, we recommend that you book a wheelchair-accessible cabin for privacy and comfort during the long route.