France is slowly improving access for travellers with disabilities (visiteurs handicapés), but inevitably there are problems – narrow streets, cobbles, a lack of kerb ramps and a lack of elevators in old hotels, to name a few. For guidance, download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guides from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.
- Check carefully whether your hotel or B&B has an elevator and is fully accessible – steps and small bathrooms are common pitfalls.
- Most parking areas have dedicated sections for drivers with disabilities (bring your parking placard).
- Some beaches are wheelchair accessible – flagged handiplages on city maps – in Cannes, Marseille, Nice, Hyères, Ste-Maxime and Monaco.
- Michelin’s Guide Rouge and Gîtes de France (www.gites-de-france-paca.com) flag wheelchair access in their listings.
- Most SNCF trains are wheelchair accessible; major train stations will have staff who can assist you as you get on board.
- Detailed information is available on the SNCF Accessibilité website (www.accessibilite.sncf.com).