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Costa Brava beaches to be made more accessible for people with disabilities

Specially designed chairs, for example, allow those with reduced mobility to swim in sea

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10 September 2018 02:46 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Beaches in Catalonia may be beautiful, but they are not always easy to get to, especially for people with mobility difficulties.

Now 22 municipalities in the Girona region along the Costa Brava have decided to adapt their beaches to make them more inclusive.

Sant Antoni de Calonge is one of these municipalities. At Torre Valentina beach, up to seven special chairs adapted for people with disabilities so that the can swim normally. This us what the aresa' tourism coordinator, Meritxell Serra, explained on Monday.

One user, Laura Gonzàlez, has been coming to the beach for nearly 17 years. Her mother, Fina Agustí, explains that at the beginning they had to bring the wheelchair. "But the council has improved accessibility little by little, and now we only need to bring a swimming costume," she said.

Once they arrive at the beach, a team of lifeguards help Laura's mother transfer her from the wheelchair to the special chair that allows her enter the water. They then accompany Laura in the water and swim with her, looking after her. Once Laura is tired, they help her out of the water and back into her wheelchair.

Fina admits that without this service, she would not be able to take her daughter to the beach every day because she "weighs practically more than" her.

Inclusive tourism on the Costa Brava

Beyond improving accessibility at the beaches, the Costa Brava has also launched a campaign to turn it into an inclusive tourism destination.

According to a report by the Costa Brava Tourist Board, municipalities in Girona have a significant offering of accessible leisure for different groups of people.

This summer, for example, activities such as snorkelling, paddle surfing and more could be done in anadapted way.

Museums and other sites of interest have also begun to adapt to people with differing disabilities. The ruins of Empúries is already prepared for people in wheelchairs to follow the route without problems, and most places offer audio guides for the blind.

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  • Two lifeguards help Laura Gonzàlez into the water at Torre Valentina beach (ACN)

  • Two lifeguards help Laura Gonzàlez into the water at Torre Valentina beach (ACN)