The sun-drenched resort of Salou, on Spain’s northeast Costa Daurada, with its excellent hotels and hospitality, wide range of activities and fantastic gourmet offering, has long been a popular holiday destination for British tourists. But with recent development and emphasis on improving the resort’s accessibility credentials, it is also now an inviting spot for sun worshipers with disabilities. From beaches and restaurants to hotels and tourist sites, the authorities in Salou have worked hard to ensure that the delights of this coastal port can be accessed by everyone.
And delights there are a plenty. Whether you want a family holiday, a cultural getaway, or maybe you’re more of a party animal who wants to take advantage of the night clubs and nearby theme parks, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this accessible resort.
Salou is famous for its beautiful beaches and coves which snake their way down the coast south of Barcelona. With a total of nine beaches to choose from, four of them boast wheelchair access, and toilets and facilities specially designed for those with mobility issues.
One of the resort’s two main beaches, Llevant is a wide expanse of sand which runs parallel to the bustling Passeig Jaume I, the heart and soul of the resort with its wide range of bars, restaurants and cafes. The beach is more than a kilometre long and, as well as wheelchair ramps on to the sand, it has a range of water sports, a water platform, children’s play area and lifeguards.
Separated from Llevant by the marina, Ponent is Salou’s second main beach. With wheelchair ramps and facilities it is perfect for visitors with mobility issues who want to spend the day soaking up some of the wonderful Mediterranean sunshine.
The pretty cove of Platja Capellans is a more sheltered spot which tends to be a little quieter. Surrounded by hotels and holiday accommodation it does get busy in the high season but the lack of water sports here tend to mean it is used by families and serious sun-lovers. There is wheelchair access on to the sand and widened toilet facilities.
The Lumine Beach Club is the major selling point of Platja Llarga, the longest beach on Cape Salou. A little further out of town, but still on the resort’s long, wheelchair-friendly promenade, Llarga is a quieter beach than those in the heart of the resort. Attracting a local and family crowd, this fully-accessible stretch of sand is a great place to spend the day.
As you would expect from a resort which has done so much to welcome visitors with disabilities, many of the modern hotels which line the shore in Salou offer fully accessible accommodation. It’s worth checking before you book, but many hotels (like the four-star Hotel Cala Font) not only offer wheelchair-friendly rooms and communal spaces but also wheelchair pool lifts in their swimming pools.
If the sand, sea and sun isn’t enough to lure you to Salou, then perhaps I can persuade you to come for the delicious Catalonian cuisine. Celebrated in a variety of disabled-friendly restaurants across the resort, the local cuisine features fish caught in the waters off its shore, delicious Mediterranean vegetables and rich, hearty meat stews.
Whether you want to enjoy barbecues beside the beach, tapas in lively bars, elegant fine dining (or just a pizza or burger and chips), you’ll discover that most of the restaurants in the resort offer space for wheelchair users.
How to Get to Salou
Another great point in Salou’s favour is its proximity to Barcelona Airport with its wide range of direct international flights. Airlines such as British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair and Jet2 all offer flights from airports across the UK making it simple to get there by whichever airline you prefer. Once you arrive in Barcelona the transfer to the resort is around an hour along the coast. I would definitely recommend booking your transfer before you set off with a company like Shuttle Direct. Let them know when you’re booking that you will need wheelchair facilities and they will provide a vehicle specially adapted to your needs (saving you the stress of trying to find a wheelchair-adapted taxi at the airport).
Where to Stay
Portaventura Lucy’s Mansion – Theme park lovers will want to put themselves right at the heart of the action and you can’t get much closer than Portaventura Lucy’s Mansion, set in the grounds of PortAventura. Stays in one of the accessible rooms here include free entrance to the theme park.
4R Regina Gran Hotel – Enjoy the indoor and outdoor pool, spa and proximity to Llevant Beach at the four-star 4R Regina Gran Hotel. The two restaurants, beauty treatments and wellness center mean you may not want to leave the comfort of the hotel at all.
Hotel Acqua Salou – Set just back from Llevant Beach is the Hotel Acqua Salou. The comfortable accommodation, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, restaurant and bar make this a great base for beach lovers in Salou.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is Europe’s leading airport transfer provider. Its wheelchair-adapted vehicles include a rear lift or ramp so that it is easy to enter the car without having to get out of your chair. There are extra safety features added to all Shuttle Direct’s wheelchair-adapted vehicles to secure your chair in place, and all the drivers are fully trained to offer passenger assistance.