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Gibraltar has “some of the most accessible beaches in Europe” | Beach Season 2020

Chris Gomez

Eastern Beach, Catalan Bay, Camp Bay and Western Beach are the most accessible beaches in Gibraltar for those with disabilities, with facilities and attendants standing by. Here is what is available, and where, during the 2020 beach season.

Eastern Beach with ‘mobi-matt’ to allow for amphibious chairs to reach the shore.

Since 2015, Gibraltar has been providing free “accessible beach facilities” for those with permanent and temporary disabilities to be able to enjoy most of Gibraltar’s charming and unique beaches.

These facilities include beach attendants on standby to offer assistance and specialised equipment to make access easier for those with disabilities, such as “amphibious chairs” and mobile hoists which make it easy to transfer a person from a standard wheelchair to the beach equipment.

Gibraltar Accessibility Disabilities Western Beach
A beach attendant with an amphibious chair to allow those with disabilities to easily access the beach and shore – Western Beach, Gibraltar

Of course, as with everything during the COVID19 pandemic and safety requirements, Gibraltar’s beach attendants will be wearing masks and will regularly sanitize their hands as well as the beach equipment before interacting with users to safeguard themselves and the public.

Accessibility features at the beaches include ramp access from the road to pergola units which provide direct access to the shore via synthetic walkways designed for the amphibious chairs called “mobi-mats”.

These accessibility features can be found at Eastern Beach, Catalan Bay and Western Beach.

At Camp Bay, also known as “El Quarry”, an accessible ramp leads to the shore and the swimming pool is also easily accessed via a ramp and wide steps.

Gibraltar Accessibility Catalan Bay pergola
Pergola at Catalan Bay, Gibraltar

Each unit has a pergola that provides a certain element of privacy to carry out transfers, as well as providing a shaded area for users to enjoy. Further to this, the Accessible Service Unit at Eastern Beach provides users with two beach tents that can be loaned out for weekly periods.

For more information or to make a booking with the Accessible Service Unit, you can email them on ur&[email protected] or call them at 200 71648.

Accessible toilets are available at Catalan Bay, Eastern Beach and Western Beach, with accessible changing rooms available at Eastern Beach and soon at Camp Bay, where provisional toilet facilities currently exist while the works are completed.

Camp Bay Quarry Beach Accessibility
A beach attendant stands with an amphibious chair at the pool at Camp Bay, also know as “El Quarry”

Minister for Equality, Samantha Sacramento said: “I am proud that Gibraltar has some of the most accessible beaches in Europe. Social distancing due to COVID-19 has made this annual ritual slightly more challenging, but we want to ensure that people with disabilities are included in our beaches this year as much as they are every year.”

Gibraltar Western Beach Pergola
Pergola available at Western Beach, Gibraltar

“It is important that, despite the social restrictions that affect us all, people with disabilities are also catered for. Fortunately, the varied choice of locations available to people with disabilities that wish to go to the beach will help them and their families to maintain social distancing whilst enjoying this summer at the same time.”

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