Travellers With Disabilities
- The term deficientes (Portuguese for 'disabled') gives some indication of the limited awareness of disabled needs. Although public offices and agencies are required to provide access and facilities for people with disabilities, private businesses are not.
- Lisbon airport is wheelchair accessible, while Porto and Faro airports have accessible toilets.
- Parking spaces are allotted in many places, but are frequently occupied. The EU parking card entitles visitors to the same street-parking concessions given to disabled residents. If you’re in the UK, contact the Department for Transport.
- Newer and larger hotels tend to have some adapted rooms, though the facilities may not be up to scratch; ask at the local turismo. Most campgrounds have accessible toilets and some hostels have facilities for people with disabilities.
- Lisbon, with its cobbled streets and hills, may be difficult for some travellers with disabilities, but not impossible. The Baixa’s flat grid and Belém are fine, and all the sights at Parque das Nações are accessible.
Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guide from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel, or for more information, contact:
Accessible Portugal This Lisbon-based tour agency offers a wide range of itineraries and can arrange accommodation, transfers, overnight trips and outdoor activities such as tandem skydiving and hot-air balloon trips.
Cooperativa Nacional de Apoio Deficientes This is a private organisation that can help with travel needs.
Secretaria do Nacional de Reabilitação The national governmental organisation representing people with disabilities supplies information, provides links to useful operations and publishes guides (in Portuguese) that advise on barrier-free accommodation, transport, shops, restaurants and sights.