I’m sure you’ve heard me say this before but I think holidays are good for the soul. And as difficult as it might be to take a holiday when you have a disabled child, it is not impossible and can be great for the whole family.
In a past life, when things were far less complicated than they are now, I lived in Mallorca and worked as a holiday rep. I am ashamed to say that in my whole career overseas, I didn’t have a single disabled guest to look after. Of course, it never occurred to me back then that this was strange! But I think travel has become more accessible for disabled people in recent years so things have changed now, thankfully.
Fast forward 15 years and I still class this beautiful island as my second home. It has such an impressive assortment of landscapes, from white sandy beaches with tropical overtones and crystal clear sea, to green fertile plains with orchards and vineyards. There are impressive mountain ranges, and of course the city of Palma is sophisticated and historic.
Now of course, I see it Mallorca through the eyes of a parent of a disabled child, and pay far more attention to it’s accessibility than sightseeing.
That’s why I wanted to share 5 reasons you should choose this beautiful island for your next holiday, even if you, like me, have a child with complex needs.
Palma airport is a short flight from the UK – under 2 hours from Gatwick. And is served by many airlines including Monarch, which is usually the airline of choice for parents with disabled children as they offer the Travel Chair for children who require some postural support during the flight.
For a small island there is a lot of choice when it comes to resorts. Most are pretty flat and all have lovely beaches. My two preferences would be:
If you like the quieter areas and enjoy eating out in the evenings. This area has small beaches with shallow, and therefore warm, waters. Lovely restaurants along the promenade with choices including tapas, seafood and steaks. There is a lovely weekly market and as the area is very flat you will see other wheelchair users in the area.
Palmanova / Magaluf.
It may seem odd that I’d recommend this area because we all know the reputation Magaluf has gained over the years. But, surprisingly, this is also a very family friendly resort. There are some beautiful hotels and the beach, with its crystal clear water, is one of the best in Europe.
You can avoid the noisy areas pretty easily by picking one of the numerous family friendly hotels at either end of the resorts. There are lots of things for children to do in this area, including a theme park, water park and of course Pirates Adventure. These may not all be suitable for children with complex needs but if you are travelling with other children in your family then these will certainly keep them entertained.
This island has such a wide range of hotels, apartments and villas you are pretty much guaranteed to find somewhere suitable to stay. When we travel we look for specific facilities such as a fridge and microwave but there are also hotels and villas which offer more specialist equipment such as wet-rooms, pool hoists etc.
There are also several places on the island where you can hire mobile hoists and other disability equipment if your preferred hotel does not provide it. As Mallorca is not a large island, you will find the rental companies for such equipment will usually deliver to all resorts.
4. Wheelchair access.
Mallorca offers some of the best views in Spain and a lot of the tourist attractions are now wheelchair accessible.
Of course if you are on holiday with a disabled child, sightseeing may be the last thing on your mind so you will be pleased to hear that many of the islands beaches now have wheelchair access right to the sea! Some beaches also have disabled toilets on the beach, I haven’t come across any changing places style toilets yet but this is a forward thinking island so I’m sure with some persuasion that could be something we might see in a few years time.
The summer in Mallorca is lovely. It can get very hot in July & August, but it is rarely a humid or uncomfortable heat and of course the sea is lovely to cool off. May and September are slightly cooler and may be more comfortable for wheelchair users.
One thing I would advise if you are visiting Mallorca with a wheelchair user, would be to book a private wheelchair accessible transfer or taxi. Most coach transfers are not wheelchair accessible & can take a very long time as they will drop off at numerous hotels. Private transfers or taxis can be booked in advance or you could consider car hire from Holiday Extras.
Find out more about Majorca holidays at Holiday Gems