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 frolic 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 it’s 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. The beach wheelchair 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.
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 taking me in/out of the water and assisting 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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