“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

(Mark Twain, 1835-1910)

During the lifetime of Mark Twain – author of Huckleberry Finn, which no doubt inspired many to set off and adventure – this sentiment would not have been extended to those faced with difficulties in getting around. The facilities just didn’t exist and the infrastructure was not in place. Now, however, in 2016 there are no more excuses – it’s time to get out there and see the world.

You could be forgiven for assuming that accessible holidays might be subject to enormous geographical restrictions, but that, thankfully, is simply not the case. There are so many wonderful places in Europe and beyond that tick all the necessary boxes for an exciting, but comfortable holiday adventure for those who need assisted access.

Of course, the very term ‘accessible holidays’ is a blanket term that covers trips for people with an array of disabilities or mobility issues, ranging from blindness or learning difficulties through to those in wheelchairs. For the blind, there is an excellent company called Travel Eyes, who offer trips that place a great emphasis on enhancing experience through the other senses (hearing, smell, taste, touch) and just like mainstream tour operators offer a choice of holiday type to help narrow down the opportunities.

  • Activity Breaks
  • City Breaks
  • Discovery
  • Sun, Sea & Sand
  • UK Breaks

The fact that you have to ‘narrow down’ the search fields just shows how far things have come. It’s important to reiterate this message as many might not be aware just how things have progressed in such a short timeframe.

There are many sites online which offer guaranteed accessible holidays – usually stating that there will be a room with a level access shower (as a minimum base level of accessibility). Let’s take a look at some of the amazing places that can be visited.

Finland (Lapland)

Perhaps one for Christmas, this is many people’s dream winter holiday and thanks to a wonderful safe catering cabin in the notorious skiing village of Ylläs, this trip can be ticked off the bucket list! With a ramp at the front of the property and a wheel in shower with grab rail, it’s accessible for most needs.

Accessible holiday Finland

The bus to the ski fields takes 15 minutes and there are restaurants within 1km of the property.

Thailand (prachuap khiri khan)

Thailand Accessible holiday

This stunning accessible pool/villa combo offers a wonderful opportunity for a longer haul getaway to warmer climes. Incredibly kitted out, there are some outstanding features that make this property, in Hua Hin (the Royal Beach Resort) as comfortable as it is breath-taking.

  • Wheel In Shower
  • Air Con
  • Electric Beds
  • Mobile Hoist Assisted Shower Chair
  • Drop Down Shower Chair
  • Pool Access

In addition there is also a grocery package and free maid service. Suffice it to say, this Thai getaway has all the bases covered.

Closer to home there are many choices of gites and cottages all over France, from Brittany and Normandy to the Dordogne and for wine lovers, near St Emilion in Bordeaux. One of the more peaceful and completely accessible getaways in Britain involves these stunning little cottages in Scotland (Dumfries and Galloway).

Accessible holiday cottages in Scotland

Even the kitchen is fully adapted to be friendly to those needing assisted accessibility. There are stunning views all around and yet civilization is not far away, with a village half a mile down the road.