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8 Amazing Reasons To Visit Nova Icària Beach Barcelona In A Wheelchair

First and foremost, Nova Icària Beach Barcelona is the most accessible beach I’ve ever been to. I’ve always loved the look of beaches and wished I could take a dip in the sea, relax on the golden sand and spend time with friends and family. As a wheelchair user, I’ve never been able to do any of that. The closest I’ve gotten is admiring and spectating from a distance. That was until I visited Barcelona and its wonderful Nova Icària Beach. I loved our day at the beach so much that I wanted to share my 8 amazing reasons to visit Nova Icària Beach Barcelona in a wheelchair.

1. Beach wheelchair & hoist

I can’t talk about the beach without mentioning one of its best features, the amazing beach wheelchair. This was my first time using a beach wheelchair and it was without a doubt one of the things I was most looking forward to trying in Barcelona. It didn’t disappoint.

The beach wheelchair was surprisingly very comfortable and enabled me to go in the ocean for the first time in 20 plus years. It was a magical feeling to be able to bob about in the water with my family whilst the sun warmed the top half of my body and the gentle flow of water kept my legs cool.

It also allowed me to sunbathe on the sand while my nephew built sandcastles next to me. It will remain one of the most memorable moments of my time in Barcelona. As well as the beach wheelchair there is also a hoist, life vests, parasols and floating aids available.

Emma sitting in an accessible beach wheelchair on nova icaria beach in Barcelona. Emma is looking across the sea admiring the view.
Emma sitting in accessible beach wheelchair in the ocean with the volunteer service lifeguards and her sister on nova icaria beach in Barcelona.

2. Volunteer assistance

I wouldn’t have been able to experience the beach wheelchair without the help of the amazing volunteer lifeguards. They were there to help me in/out of the beach wheelchair as well as take me in/out of the water and assist whilst in the water.

However, if you prefer to be left alone or spend time with family or friends instead that is absolutely fine. It is up to you what you prefer and what assistance you require. I opted to have them stay with me while in the water.

Emma sitting in accessible beach wheelchair being wheeled along an accessible wooden path across the sand and into the sea by volunteer service lifeguards on nova icaria beach in Barcelona. Emma entering the water in accessible beach wheelchair by volunteer service lifeguards on nova icaria beach in Barcelona. accessible-beach-wheelchairs-nova-icaria-beach-barcelona-volunteer serviceSign on Nova Icaria Beach in Barcelona showing what accessible and medical services are available to wheelchair users and disabled people visiting the beach.

Times available:

July, August and the first fortnight in September: daily, from 11am to 2pm and 4pm to 7pm.
Second fortnight in September: weekends and public holidays, from 11am to 2pm and 4pm to 7pm.

3. Quality time with friends and family

I love how inclusive Nova Icaria beach is. There was nowhere I couldn’t go whether that was in my powered wheelchair or the beach wheelchair. This meant I wasn’t segregated from my family and was able to fully enjoy every minute with them which I took full advantage of. Nova Icària Beach is a lovely family-friendly beach due to how peaceful it is.

Emma sitting in a beach wheelchair on nova icaria beach in barcelona with her nephew.
Allan and my nephew sitting on the sand looking across the ocean. My nephew is wearing a t-shirt with the word 'jawesome' on the back.
Emma sitting in accessible beach wheelchair on the sand with her sister on nova icaria beach in Barcelona.

4. Accessible paths and promenade

After a dip in the ocean and then warming up on the sand in the beach wheelchair, it’s time to explore more of this accessible beach. I recommend a stroll along the lovely and flat promenade which is perfect for wheelchairs.

If you fancy stopping for a break along the way there are plenty of accessible wooden paths providing access onto the beach again. You will have unlimited opportunities to access the beach along the entire promenade.

I loved being able to drive my wheelchair back onto the beach at any time especially when my nephew wanted to play in the sand or we fancied a break.

Emma sitting in her wheelchair beside a wheelchair accessible wooden path on the promenade on Nova Icaria beach in Barcelona. Wheelchair accessible paths on the promenade on Nova Icaria beach in Barcelona. Wheelchair accessible ramp and paths on the promenade on Nova Icaria beach in Barcelona.wheelchair-accessible-wooden-paths-on-nova-icaria-beach-in-barcelona-access-across-beachWheelchair accessible ramp and paths on the promenade on Nova Icaria beach in Barcelona. wheelchair-accessible-wooden-paths-on-nova-icaria-beach-in-barcelona-access-across-beachEmma in her wheelchair riding along the beach promenade in Barcelona with her nephew sitting on her lap and her sister walking along beside her.

5. Accessible toilets on the beach

You will want to spend as long as possible at Nova Icària Beach due to how beautiful and accessible it is. There are lots of cafes and restaurants along the beach so you will want to stay hydrated whilst in the sun.

Thankfully there are a number of accessible toilets so limiting your fluid intake shouldn’t be a problem unless you require a changing places toilet with a hoist. I didn’t see any changing places, so I can’t be 100% sure if there is one or not.

wheelchair-accessible-public-toilets-on-nova-icaria-beach-in-barcelona wheelchair-accessible-public-toilets-on-nova-icaria-beach-in-barcelona

6. Accessible showers

After a dip in the ocean or sunbathing you will probably want to cool off and that is completely possible thanks to the accessible showers dotted along the beach. You will find the accessible showers on the accessible wooden paths as well as at the red cross station where the beach wheelchair is. Perfect for cooling off in the warm sunshine.

wheelchair accessible beach showers on nova icaria beach in Barcelona

7. Stunning views

Another favourite of mine from being at the beach was admiring the stunning views. No matter what direction you look in you will be met by beautiful scenes. It was incredibly peaceful to sit back and take it all in, especially when relaxing in the beach wheelchair. I made sure to take it all in and appreciate every single moment.


8 Food and Drink

As I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of places to stop along the beach for something to eat or drink. We enjoyed dinner at Bacoa where we got an amazing vegan burger and fries. Bacoa isn’t just a vegan restaurant, it has a variety of burgers to choose from, but I recommend the Gran Vegano. Delicious!

As you can see from the photo of me at the restaurant, I came prepared (unintentionally) with my burgers and fries T-shirt! Honest, I didn’t plan it! Haha! The waiter loved my T-shirt and complimented me on it.

Emma sitting at a table in the Bacoa Barceloneta restaurant on the beach promenade.
The Gran Vegano burger at Bacoa Barceloneta on the beach promenade.
Bacoa burger restaurant on Nova Icària Beach Barcelona

Barcelona is doing a fantastic job of making sure inclusiveness is a priority and that wheelchair users can enjoy the beach like everyone else. I hope you have enjoyed my 8 amazing reasons to visit Nova Icària Beach in a wheelchair. Have you been to Nova Icaria beach in Barcelona? If so, what did you enjoy the most? What is your favourite accessible beach?

More on this topic…

MICs Sant Jordi: The Most Accessible and Stylish Apartment in Barcelona

An Accessible City Guide To Barcelona

Top 6 Best Vegan Restaurants In Barcelona With Wheelchair Access

My 9 Favourite Accessible Things To Do In Barcelona

4 Days in Barcelona Itinerary: The Ultimate Guide to Wheelchair Accessible Barcelona

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Meet Emma

Hello I’m Emma. My mission is to show you the possibilities of accessible travel through my travel guides, tips and reviews. I also share personal stories, live event reviews and more.

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5 Responses

  1. Dear Emma, what a fabulous blog. Wish you had been around when our daughter was alive. We did our best to make sure she could experience everything, but sometimes it was really hard. She did manage to go abseiling and waterskiing, as well as visiting America several times.

    I am sharing your blog with my sister, who has a disability and I am sure it will help her choose her next holiday well. Keep up the good work, love Pat

    1. Hi Pat

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I really appreciate it and its so nice to hear from you. Sounds like you ensured your daughter had a full and exciting life with lots of amazing experiences, which is fantastic.

      I appreciate you sharing my blog with your sister – it really means a lot! Please let me know if there is anything I can help with 🙂

      Thanks again and take care!

  2. What a fantastic blog Emma and it’s great to read and hear about how inclusive the beach is as some of things we take for granted when not a wheelchair user!

    Your writing is fabulous and made me read the whole article and some great takeaways that I will definitely share with other friends as this sounds like a wonderful place to visit as it has all the amenities required for full inclusiveness to occur so people can enjoy their time with loved ones…

    Really great read and I’m glad you had an amazing time in the sea, on the beach, and needless to say you loved the burger and fries 😂

    Keep writing and sharing really inspirational and informative posts as you show what you can do as a wheelchair user rather than focusing on what you can’t! The energy you feel through your words is amazing so keep the articles flowing!

    All the best Emma ✨🌟🙏

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment Ian. I appreciate your incredibly kind words.

      I’m so pleased that you have enjoyed this post and found it informative. That really is amazing to know.

      Thank you again and best wishes to you Ian. 😃

  3. Hi Emma great blog , not sure how long ago this was but inclusion was at the hart of Barcelona following the 92 Paralympic Games and looking at your photo you were not that far from where the Olympic/ Paralympic village was . Access lives on in Barcelona it’s just a shame that we can’t see this happen in the UK more. If we have to think about being inclusive as an afterthought then we are not being inclusive in the first place. Let’s hope over the next few years we see inclusion as not a bolt on but just part of what we do .

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