I spent a week in protaras in Cyprus, as a wheelchair user here is my access guide.
We had to be at the East Midlands airport at 5am on a Sunday morning, night before we was at a 30th birthday party, I was the only person who was drinking as you cant get on a plane when you are drunk but how do they know I am drunk? They will think I’m a dopey lad in a wheelchair. Oh bless him.. We waited while the party ended about 1am then we left to go to the East midlands airport, I slept all the way there. Nice kip. By this time I was sober, so we checked in and did all the security checks. The security man used one of those hand held metal detectors to search me but I think these are for show and these don’t really work as my wheelchair is all medal so I did a test to see if these detectors really work. I inserted a medal alan key in my trousers pocket. Guess what? Yes it didn’t pick it up. I suppose you don’t get many terrorists in a wheelchair. Maybe a new career for me but you don’t get many jobs as a suicide bomber.
Transferring to the airplane I had to get into a van, inside the van it looks like a minibus with seats, without any windows, the staff strapped down the wheelchair. Then we went on a 2mins ride to the airplane, and then the van lifted up to the airplane doors. Finally the van door opens. I needed to transfer into a narrow wheelchair so I can enter the plane and finally transfer again on to a plane seat. As I’m an awkward bugger I requested to sit in the window seat, a bit harder to get to but they managed it. Actually window seats are much safer for me and the passengers as I do have uncontrollable swinging arms so I don’t really want to knock out the passengers or the pilots.
The hotel was called Lantiana Gardens; we clearly requested a wheelchair accessible room with a shower. When we arrived, we had a bath, so we complained and the next day they upgraded the room with a shower. However the first day after hours of travailing I couldn’t get a shower, the hotel did say why can’t you lift me in and out of the bath! A bit dangerous lifting a person out of the bath especially who has cerebral palsy as I’m like a wet slimy riddly worm. The other members in the group had to go into another hotel for one night as the hotel was full. The group got compensation by getting a free meal the following night. The hotel didn’t give me a free meal, so we thought this was unfair as I had problems too. So the following day we went to see the manager of the hotel, but he wasn’t backing down, and we weren’t too. We found an email saying I would get a room with a shower. So we showed the manager the evidence and after some more umms and errrrs he decided to give everyone a free meal. It was very nice meal too!
The hotel was good for access, with ramps and lifts but no disabled toilet in the hotel. Two options, to use the normal toilets or go back to the room.
The pool was very nice but no hoist to lift me in and out. The first day I spent 5 hours in the pool as it was so bloody hot. I got out and lay on the sun bed for 1 hour and burnt my body, I didn’t take off my T’shirt anymore.. The hottest day was 47c very very hot.
The location of the hotel was about 15 mins wheelchair ride away from the main attractions, so for wheelchair users I would pick a hotel near the main road as you have bars, shops, restaurants etc along this road. About 70% of buildings have wheelchair ramps however be careful as some are very steep.
A lot of restaurants and pubs have disabled toilets but don’t assume if you see a restaurants or pubs with ramps they will have disabled toilets! Ask before ordering is my tip.
The protaras beach is very good wheelchair access as they have wooden paths alone the beach and to get on the sand or in to the sea you can borrow a 3 wheeler beach chair for free. You also have disabled toilets here too. It should be noted that wheelchair ramps are generally removed during the winter months so as to protect them from storm and sea damage.
So one day we went swimming in the sea in the 3 wheeler beach wheelchair so they drove me into the sea. I got a mouth full of sea water, it was awful taste. Never been swimming in the sea and never will again.
We went on a boat trip one day; it took 4 men to lift me on the boat as the stairs was too narrow so they had to lift the chair over the stairway on to the deck....... At one point I thought I was going to fall into the sea.
The Larnaca airport is very wheelchair friendly, with ramps going to the planes, good transferable wheelchairs to get on/off the planes. Good disabled toilets, charging stations for electric wheelchairs at departure gates, ramps to allow a person on a wheelchair to enter or exit the buses and other assistive services.
Everyone said Cyprus is going to be expensive but it was very cheap, £2 for a pint, £3.50 for English breakfast, A steak meal £15
I'm having problems trying to find a hotel with wet rooms or separate shower rooms at the moment!! My husband is pulling (what hair he has left) his hair out. It's getting to the point where he is actually emailing hotels directly to ask them how many adapted rooms they have with separate shower/wet rooms and are there any left for the dates we want to go away so he can prove to the travel companies before they say we can't get written confirmation. We are thinking of doing a independent holiday where we build it ourselves!!