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Improving The Accessibility Of Travel And Leisure In The Algarve

IMPROVING THE ACCESSIBILITY OF TRAVEL AND LEISURE IN THE ALGARVEAs part of Portugal’s new plans to support greater inclusion, the 360 degrees accessibility programme proposes the development of increased access to transportation infrastructure and public facilities for people with disabilities. In the Algarve, both tourists and residents with mobility issues can take advantage of a range of accessible travel options, and find support to access a variety of leisure activities.

Encouraging Leisure Activities For Children

The most common cause of physical disability in children is Cerebral Palsy (CP), and up to 1% of children in Portugal are born with the condition. Damage to the brain can occur before or during birth and, occasionally, because of preventable birth injuries. CP Family Network notes that establishing the cause of the condition could improve access to interventions and services. These could include beneficial recreational activities offered by Portuguese social services and local charities in the Algarve. Levels of ability can vary, but, with support and encouragement, children with CP enjoy leisure activities ranging from horse riding lessons at Pinetrees Riding Centre, to a day out at one of the many accessible beaches in the area.

Offering Accessibility To Beaches

Two years ago, Portugal was the first country to receive the award for Accessible Tourism Destination from the World Tourism Organisation. Initiatives that led to the award included the production of accessible itineraries and an app to provide information on hotels, eating out, and cultural activities. Although the award recognised the promotion of accessibility specifically for tourists, anyone with mobility issues can benefit from the 43 accessible beaches in the Algarve. As well as offering reserved parking and adapted toilet facilities, many of these beaches provide specialist amphibious equipment to make it easier for those with reduced mobility to enjoy the sea.

Providing Options For Assisted Transport 

In addition to improving access to leisure activities, anyone with reduced mobility can also enjoy easier travel around the local area. On arrival at Faro Airport, the MyWay service offers personalised assistance to help with mobility in and around the terminal. From the airport, adapted taxis, accessible public transport, and specialist travel firms for wheelchair users can safely transport passengers to their destination.  

Throughout Portugal, improvements continue to be made to provide greater accessibility to people of all ages with disabilities. From arrival at Faro airport to enjoying a day at the beach, assistance is available for anyone with mobility issues visiting or living in the Algarve.

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