Many people kept asking me what the best (accessible) Canary Islands is to visit, but I did not know back then. But now I am sure it is Tenerife, the largest island of the Canary Islands. Tenerife is located about 400 km from the coast of Morocco, so you can imagine what the weather is like. Want to know more about this amazing Island? Keep reading..!
“A positive attitude can really make dreams come true – it did for me.” – David Bailey
Where to stay?
The accessible Mar Y Sol resort is located in Los Christianos, the southwest of Tenerife. It is completely wheelchair accessible and fully equipped for people with disabilities. There are two swimming pools, both have a pool hoist. The water temperature of one pool is kept at 32 degrees Celsius. The other pool has a water temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.
LeRo, located next to the resort, is a service company for people with a disability. They can provide care by a professional nurse during your stay, but you can also rent medical equipment or adapted buses. It is also possible to book accessible excursions and tours including adapted transportation.
The resort has 127 accessible rooms. Here is a short description of each type:
- Standard one-bedroom apartment: suitable for four people, equipped with twin beds and a living room containing sofa beds. The bathroom with a roll-in shower or bath. Small kitchenette, and a balcony.
- Premium one-bedroom apartment: equipped with the same as the standard apartments, but more spacious and larger balconies.
- Comfort room: this room has a twin or double bed with sofa beds. The bathroom is fully equipped with a roll-in shower with grab rails.
My experience is based on the premium apartment type. It was easy enough for me to move around in the apartment with my powerchair. The hired electric adjustable bed was ready to use by my arrival in the hotel. The bathroom was spacious enough and equipped with an amazing (free of charge) shower chair. With my self-brought passive hoist, the Molift 150 smart, it was easy enough to maneuver in the apartment.
What to do?
Our adapted van, from the Orobus company, picked us up at the airport and brought us to the hotel. But it is also possible to use public transportation with your (power) wheelchair to get to your destination.
The boulevard of Los Christianos is within walking distance from the hotel we stayed in. So on our first day, we didn’t do much, except for visiting the boulevard. The route to this boulevard was pretty accessible, apart from the steep hills of the mountains. But isn’t that why you’ll visit Tenerife in the first place?
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The best and cheapest way to get to the capital city of Tenerife is definitely by public transportation. It will take approximately one hour to arrive in Santa Cruz from the bus station in Los Christianos.
In Santa Cruz different options are possible to discover the city, but we chose to walk around. For example, you can take the Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Train which will take you to the most popular sightseeings in the city. This city train is equipped with a lift/ramp which makes it easily accessible.
In Santa Cruz we visited some public parks, like Plaza de España the largest square in the city and also the largest on any Canary Island. Visiting Parque García Sanabria is also very interesting. It is a large garden with fountains and architectural aspects and was opened in 1926. The park is on the list of cultural sights the Canary Islands.
La Gomera is one of the Canary Islands and is located next to Tenerife. On this island, you will find unspoiled nature and beautiful views. An interesting fact: the inhabitants speak a special language of their own, which is not spoken anywhere else in the world.
We took the ferryboat from Tenerife to La Gomera in approximately 45 minutes. There were not many accessible things to do on the island. We found an accessible taxi and toured around the island for 4 hours. The driver took us to the Garajonay National Park, which was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1986.
You can contact Autobuses Mesa for booking an accessible taxi. There are not many other options to discover La Gomera if you are in a wheelchair or on walking aids.
Volcano El Teide
Visiting the El Teide volcano is one of the excursions that should be on your to-do list for Tenerife. It is considered one of the most beautiful places in Spain. We booked it as an adapted Island tour with the Orobus company. Unfortunately, one of the most popular attractions, the cable car is not accessible for people with reduced mobility.
But accessible or not, the views were very beautiful like you were in a Star Wars movie. There is an accessible path (Roque de Caramujo Path) that takes you to enjoy the silence of nature. Make sure to take your time on this excursion, and don’t forget to bring warm clothes.
Loro Parque is a zoo in Puerto De La Cruz. Most people know it as the #1 zoo in the world. It’s famous for its extensive collection of parrots, Loro means parrot. There are various shows throughout the day, like the Orcas (killer whales) and sea lions.
The zoo is wheelchair accessible, but not very wheelchair friendly. There were many steep slopes and some stairs. If you are in a manual wheelchair, it could be very hard to get around.
The aquarium was so impressive, so make sure you visit it. Actually, most of the park was impressive. It is definitely worth a visit!
Besides all the above, there are many other activities you can do. My highlight of this trip was definitely the helicopter flight in Costa Adeje. It was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve ever done in my life, but I did it! I wouldn’t recommend you to do it if you need to be lifted, like me. You can book the flight at Helidream helicopters in Tenerife. See the video for my full experience.
If you like to discover on foot (or on wheels) you can walk to Playa de las Amèricas from Los Cristianos. It’ll take you around one full hour to get there, but the road is amazingly beautiful (and accessible).
On Sunday there is a local market in Los Cristianos. People sell handmade items and local stuff. I also let African women braid my hair, which was pretty awesome. The market is crowded, so you have to take that into account for yourself.
A relaxing day at the accessible beach? Go for it! At Playa de Las Vistas they have floating wheelchairs available for free use. There are 2 wheelchair accessible bathrooms and lifeguard supervision.