MSIF’s revised Quality of Life Principles remind us that leisure activities, such as holidays and day trips, are important in order to maintain a good quality of life. This applies not only to people with MS, but also to their family members, partners, and caregivers.
However, it can be challenging to find accessible facilities and destinations. Our members have shared with us some examples of accessible holiday resorts and services that may give you some inspiration.
Resorts run by our members
Casa Vacanze I Girasoli, Italy (Italian MS Society)
The Italian MS Association (AISM) has plenty of experience in facilitating accessible holidays, and the Casa Vacanze I Girasoli is just one of its accessible properties open to all. Based in the heart of the idyllic Tuscan countryside in Valdichiana, the accessible hotel has welcomed people with MS from around the world for almost two decades.
The scenic surroundings include a large park and a medieval village 5km away (Lucignano), and the hotel itself offers 48 open-plan rooms, two swimming pools with a lifeguard and elevator, a gym, tennis court, and a physiotherapist upon request – all accessible to people with mobility issues and other disabilities. The Casa Vacanze I Girasoli can also organise short trips with adapted vehicles.
As a board member of the European Network for Accessible Tourism and the owner of a tour operator, AISM is also able to facilitate tourism proposals in many other countries.
Find out more about Casa Vacanze I Girasoli.
The Queen’s Holiday Village, Denmark (Danish MS Society)
Built in 1990, the village lies 100 metres from one of Denmark’s most popular beaches – Grenaa Beach – and within easy reach of a beautiful forest and well-equipped town. Guests can enjoy easy wheelchair access to the beach.
The open-plan, accessible homes create a comfortable, relaxing environment, with a wide range of additional assistive devices, such as ceiling-mounted lifts, mobility scooters, and wheelchairs, available to order.
Find out more about The Queen’s Holiday Village.
Other accessible resorts and services our members have shared
Empathy Foundation cruises, Poland
The Polish MS Society have suggested something a little different for those with an appetite for adventure, courtesy of The Empathy Foundation (Fundacja Empatia).
This year, the Empathy Foundation, which enables people with disabilities to enjoy sailing, invited a group of Polish people with MS to join an accessible five-day cruise. Five people with MS, together with the yacht captain, set sail for Denmark and worked as a team to reach the Danish port Christiansø before finishing the voyage in Bornholm.
Completing the cruise was a huge achievement for the participants, allowing them to find their strengths and overcome great challenges.
Enable Travel, India
Enable Travel was set up by people with disabilities to provide people with wheelchair-friendly, accessible ways to travel the country.
Offering trips to such destinations as Goa, New Delhi, and Jaipur, the organisation provides wheelchair accessible vans, specialised equipment, and experienced caregivers to assist people with physical, visual, speech and hearing impairments.
Its founder, Mr Fischer, created the hotel after noticing how much his wife, who lives with MS, benefitted from the warm climate of Tenerife. The Mar Y Sol was the first hotel in Europe designed to be wheelchair-accessible throughout.
All accommodation is wheelchair-accessible and the hotel offers two large swimming pools with a hoist, an accessible sports hall, accessible golf, 24 hour emergency service, and a modern therapy centre with holistic treatments.
The centre has a therapeutic pool and landscaped gardens, along with round-the-clock medical care available from trained nurses.
The UK MS Society provides an MS Short Breaks Service to assist people affected by MS in planning trips and holidays, both in the UK and abroad. The organisation also has a partnership with Accessible Travel and can offer discounts on holidays.
MEE vakantiewijzer, a support service for people with disabilities, has compiled a guide on organisations that organise accessible holidays for adults and children living with physical and sensory impairments and/or chronic conditions.
MSIF does not endorse any of the providers or resorts listed in this article.