Travellers with Disabilities

While Nice presents evident challenges for visiteurs à mobilité réduite (disabled visitors) – most notably the narrow streets of Vieux Nice, which can be a nightmare to navigate in a wheelchair, plus a lack of kerb ramps, older public facilities and many budget hotels without lifts – don't let that stop you from visiting. Efforts are being made to improve the situation and with a little careful planning, a hassle-free accessible stay is possible. Public transport in particular has made great strides towards accessibility. Nice's tram lines are equipped with wide doors and easy-access platforms for wheelchairs, and Mobil'azur (www.mobilazur.org) offers on-demand bus service for disabled visitors. Two of Nice's public beaches (Plage du Centenaire and Plage de Carras) are equipped for wheelchair use, with ramps down to the water, amphibious wheelchairs and dedicated parking and restroom facilities for disabled visitors.

Plage de Carras also offers facilities for the visually impaired: swimmers equipped with a special wrist strap can monitor their location using a system of four orientation beacons spaced 15m apart. Other services for the visually impaired include tactile strips at bus and tram stops to guide passengers to the boarding zone.

ARDDS (www.ardds.org), a leading national organisation for the hearing impaired, has an office in Nice at 12 place Garibaldi and is actively campaigning to encourage local cinemas to show films with French subtitles. For a list of currently subtitled films all over France, see www.cinest.fr. France also has a nationwide hearing assisted emergency telephone number (114).

For further info see Nice Tourisme's handy Nice Accessible: Guide Pratique (www.nicetourisme.com/nice-accessible), visit the French national website www.accessible.net, or download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guide from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.