As part of my travel series and upcoming roadtrip; I would like to launch an exciting new partnership. I am working with Lero in Tenerife. This post outlines my love of the island of Tenerife and how Lero have enabled this a great deal.
For those who know me well, it will come as little surprise to hear me say “I love Tenerife”!
As a child I had a few family holidays to the Canary Islands. With my disability I need to take my electric wheelchair with me, have support with all personal everyday tasks, and have full access to transport and accommodation. In the past mum and dad organised this aspect for me, but I have no recollection of a bad holiday – ever.
Since becoming an independent adult; living in London, working full time and having 24/7 personal care assistants – I have to do all the arranging. I have still been abroad with my parents, but in general the planning falls on me these days.
The first reason why I love Tenerife falls around the fact this organising is so easy. The flight booking and arranging additional assistance is the same everywhere. Then having found Lero I know I can book a reliable and accessible wheelchair taxi (something uncommon in many holiday destinations), a manual hoist will be ready at the hotel and I have back up for any emergency. As a child I remember the shower chair being too low for the toilet, and mum returning 20 minutes later with the correct version. Lero also offer care services with nursing expertise if required.
To have such a choice of products and specialist knowledge all on hand is vital. It enables you to relax and enjoy your time away from home.
Having cracked the boring but necessary disability aspects; my love continues on. With my condition (Spinal Muscular Atrophy); my feet are always cold, my chest infections hard hitting and my muscles weaker in the cold. So, to be able to get out of the UK in winter, stay warm, healthy and revitalised has boosted me many a time.
Furthermore there is so much to do on the island. The beach is accessible with wooden boards and accessible toilets. The lifeguards from the Red Cross are always willing to help. There is an amphibian wheelchair that takes you over the sand and floats you into the sea. Very liberating. There are also many shops, cafes, bars and nightlife.
My typical day would be sunbathing all day, some lovely Canary potatoes for dinner and cocktails into the night. I could recount multiple funny karaoke nights and meeting other cool holiday makers. Not all buildings are accessible, but the island is improving every year. As many disabled people go to Tenerife to recover from accidents or for other health reasons; the local council and people are more aware of disability. It’s a slow burner, but ask for help and people will respond well.
If you are more adventurous you can book yourself onto an accessible excursion. The bus is fully accessible, and the tour guides understand disability. You can see all of the island, including the beautiful mount Tide. There are also great markets and amazing views away from the beach scene.
Personally I have been SCUBA diving. This was one of the most amazing experiences ever! It took ages to get into my wetsuit, but the instructors and my PA somehow managed. To then be carried out to sea, propelled underwater and along the sea bed was special. The feeling of weightlessness and general freedom was so cool. Here is the video!
I could go on, but you get the point – I love Tenerife.
I love the disability awareness, the good access, the sunshine, the beaches, the people, the food and the nightlife.
Have you ever been here and what are your thoughts?
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I haven’t been to Tenerife since 1977 when I became disabled in the Pan Am / KLM crash. I tried to forget about this experience, even changing my name a year later. I never got to see much of the Canary Islands and I never have been back.
Thanks for posting this interesting and personal account of your visits to Tenerife. I think Arona is justifiably recognised as one of Europe’s most accessible destinations – for many of the reasons you mention.
May we re-publish this article on the ENAT website Forum page? (http://www.accessibletourism.org/?i=enat.en.forums )
Let’s talk soon abolut your trip around Europe. We have many ENAT members – accessible tourism professionals, NGOs and tourist bodies, who I am sure would like to meet you on your travels.
All the best, Ivor at ENAT.
Please do re-post 🙂
I leave Friday, so can we talk asap?
To be honest I didn’t like this place at all. Way too much focas on ones disability. Yes for many I’m sure it suits but as a ‘Taveler with a high level of Access needs’ ( hoist, toilet chair, 24hr PA) I still would not return. I also thought it was over priced and once again disabled people paying way to much for a destination like Tenerife!
I write this reply from Spain whilst road tripping the whole coast researching and developing a guide. So if any of your readers feel as I do than watch this space for a ‘Travel guide with a twist’.
Hey Leah, hope Spain is treating you well!
I think you are referring to Leros sister company ‘Mar y sol’? (http://disabilityhorizons.com/travelzone/spain/mar-y-sol).
I have stayed here once and found the facilities amazing. However, like you, a more experienced traveller, I prefer getting out and about on the island too. I’d say they are more for travellers with a disability and less travel experience.
Keep me posted on the guide!
When I was on Tenerife I tried trekking it is a great. Tenerife is the awesome weather that makes it such a pleasure for adventure. By our next vacation I’ll be going back to Tenerife. And when that time come we will be booking flights to tenerife as early as possible.
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