SOMTOTS

Experience twice as much

On the image bove, a panoramic view of a Pyrenean mountain range, with different shades of green and mist in the valleys. Picture by Eduard Sánchez Ribot. Below, a panoramic view of a small cove on the Costa Brava with boats on the sand. In the water, three kayaks skirt the rugged coastline. Picture by Oscar Rodbag.

Are you a beach or mountain person? Urban or country lover? Are you more into the seaside or the snow? Would you rather learn or have fun? Be active or chill-out? Would you rather be in couple or with friends? You’re lucky, you needn’t sacrifice any of these things. You can have it all at Costa Brava and the Girona Pyrenee.

Charming towns and villages

Between the mountains of the Pyrenees and the sea of the Costa Brava is the county of Gironès. If you like urban life, Girona is not to be missed. It offers the visitor the appeals of a lively and dynamic capital, with an important historical and cultural heritage to enjoy at your leisure. On the Girona Tourism website, you can check an extensive section on accessible tourism, with information on touristic routes and accessible resources.

In the heart of the Costa Brava, Baix Empordà is a region of coves and cliffs, of the Medes Islands and the sierra del Montgrí. Nature in its purest state surrounded by medieval villages full of charm. An example of this is Pals, which fosters one of the most beautiful and well-preserved Gothic enclosures in the Empordà region. The historic centre has an accessible route with information signs in Braille. The Baix Empordà has promoted the Tourism Accessibility Plan, with a fully accessible website and a section with proposals for everyone.

A general view of the main exhibition hall of the Palamós Fishing Museum, accredited by the Baix Empordà Tourism Accessibility Plan. In the central part, a large wooden fishing boat with a large yellowish sail stands out. Picture by Javi Cabrera.
A general view of the main exhibition hall of the Palamós Fishing Museum, accredited by the Baix Empordà Tourism Accessibility Plan. In the central part, a large wooden fishing boat with a large yellowish sail stands out. Picture by Javi Cabrera.

Sea and mountains

In the Girona Pyrenees, in Cerdanya you can enjoy cultural tourism, discovering the key aspects of its Romanesque churches, or sports tourism, practising a wide range of mountain sports. In winter, skiing is king. In summer, hiking and cycling or handbike activities are the main attractions. The go-to place for inclusive proposals is the Adapted Sports Centre of La Molina, managed by the Play & Train association, which allows people with disabilities and their families to enjoy recreational and competitive sports activities. The capital of the county, Puigcerdà, has different cultural routes and spaces without architectural barriers. This is the case of Puigcerdà Lake and Schierbeck Park.

Alt Empordà is the land of the tramontana. It has large sandy beaches and small rocky coves, and protected natural landscapes such as the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà and Cap de Creus. The artistic legacy of Salvador Dalí also stands out. The capital, Figueres, offers a wide variety of guided tours, some with sign language interpretation services. The region is soaked with history. Empúries is the most important Greco-Roman archaeological site in Catalonia and is working to guarantee access for everyone, with adapted itineraries, as well as sign-guides and audio-guides with magnetic loop.

Active tourism and heritage

Another site, in this case a Neolithic one, is in the Pla de l’Estany region. The La Draga Neolithic Park awaits you with visits adapted to the abilities, ages and educational levels of the public concerned. If there is one place that stands out in the county, it is the lake of Banyoles, a natural space with accessible bathing areas. If you prefer to stroll around the lake, it is accessible for people with reduced mobility. And you can also go kayaking in the calm waters of the lake. Caiac i Natura adapts the activity to the abilities of those who want to do it. Very close to the lake, you will find the restaurant of the Autism Foundation Mas Casadevall, where you can enjoy a local cuisine with social value. The Pla de l’Estany shows a great sensitivity for people with cognitive disabilities or mental health problems. Other entities working in the territory are Junts i Endavant, Fundació Estany o Granés Fundació.

Underwater, a girl is practising the activity of emotional diving. She is accompanied by her instructor, who with a hand gesture indicates that everything is going well. Image by Diego Espada.
Underwater, a girl is practising the activity of emotional diving. She is accompanied by her instructor, who with a hand gesture indicates that everything is going well. Image by Diego Espada.

In Lloret de Mar, in La Selva, you can practise adapted diving with ACBEA, the Catalan Association of Emotional and Adapted Diving. In Blanes, a jewel on the sea with more than 4,000 plant species awaits you: the Marimurtra botanical garden, whose route is adapted for people with reduced mobility. And as for industrial heritage, in Anglès, the Burés preserves the only steam engine from the end of the 19th century in Europe. The industrial building is practically the same as the original, only some modifications have been made to facilitate access for wheelchair users.

Volcanic fury and spiritual refuge

More than forty volcanic cones await you in La Garrotxa. They form the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park. There are different options for visiting this natural space. The park provides the guides working in the area with a joëlette chair to facilitate access for people with reduced mobility. Natura y magia offers a range of inclusive activities to discover the park. And if you prefer cycling, the Bicycle Logistics Centre in Les Preses offers you various options, from handbikes to tandems, to discover the landscapes along the accessible greenway. In the capital, Olot, you can visit the recently opened Espai Cràter, with adapted access and spaces.

In the sky, a  Vol de Coloms balloon, which has adapted baskets, flies over the volcanic landscape of La Garrotxa. Image by Laurence Norah.
In the sky, a  Vol de Coloms balloon, which has adapted baskets, flies over the volcanic landscape of La Garrotxa. Image by Laurence Norah.

Ripollès invites you to discover a place of pilgrimage, calm and tradition at an altitude of almost 2,000 metres: the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Núria. The sanctuary has an elevator that facilitates access for wheelchair users. The rack railway, the only access to Vall de Núria, is also accessible. The station has a free audio guide. The county capital, Ripoll, is the cradle of Catalonia. To learn about its history, don’t miss a visit to the Ethnographic Museum, which has a new audio guide and a new sign guide.

Traditional and innovative cuisine, the DO Empordà wine route, health and wellness, culture, leisure… all within everyone’s reach. On the Costa Brava and in the Girona Pyrenees you’ll find everything, you’ll experience twice as much.