This month I have decided to take a look at Cyprus in a Wheelchair!
The majority of the article has been kindly submitted by Katy Holmes, a UK resident who is a frequent visitor to Cyprus. Katy relies on her wheelchair, so accessibility is a key feature to any recreational activities that she can enjoy. She’s know’s everything about travelling around Cyprus in a wheelchair.
During her last visit to Cyprus, Katy ventured around much of Cyprus, assisted by her good friend and care companion Yvonne. To provide a balanced article, Katy has considered a variety of activities based on her various trips around the island.
Trakkos Donkey Farm
Trakkos Donkey Farm is situated in the picturesque village of Kathikas, near Polis in the Paphos region. Initially it was bit awkward trying to get around, but the owner saw us and came out to help me into the wheelchair and then he and his friend guided me around the donkey farm.
Fortunately, the ground was fairly level and paved in most areas, so moving around was fairly easy.
The donkey farm offers stunning views. On a clear day you can see for miles. We sat in the little cafe and the owner then gave us complimentary drinks, grapes and donkey milk.
Latchi is lovely and still relatively unspoilt. However, the main street is very awkward. Very few drop kerbs and the ones that do exist often have cars parked on the pavement, meaning I had to go on the road. Clearly this is dangerous and the same would apply for parents with babies in pushchairs.
The Latchi harbour area is lovely and very flat, with accessible to most restaurants especially Nicandros where we have eaten several times. The staff there are very helpful and friendly. They have a designated disabled toilet, which is excellent for a wheelchair user. The food is excellent, as are the cocktails.
I have also been on the Koulla boat trip several times. Paraveska and the captain pick me up and put me on the boat, then when everyone is off they pick me back up and into my wheelchair. Paraveska even pushed me up the ramp and all the way to the car. Such a gentleman.
Mazotos Camel Park
The camel park, situated in the Larnaca district made my day. It had always been on my bucket list to have a ride on a camel. The staff were very friendly, and they got me onto a camel. I had a bit of a struggle getting into the area where you get on the camel, as it was all sandy. Fortunately, the guys where very helpful. My experience on a camel for the first time was wonderful.
My trip to the camel park was amazing, unlike an earlier trip to Paphos zoo. I wanted to see the parrot show, which is indoors, but here is no access for wheelchair users. We spoke with a manager who promised to look at the problem with a view to improving access.
Cyprus in a Wheelchair: Ayia Napa, things there any good?
We stayed in Rio Gardens Apartment. Parking was terrible and on a very steep hill. Yvonne had to drop me off outside then go and park right round the back where the car got damaged. However, the apartment was wheelchair friendly, but I had to use one of the chairs from the balcony in the shower. Aiya Napa is no good for wheelchairs around the harbour area due mainly to poor access.
I did however go on the Fantasy party boat which was an experience. Again, the crew of 3 got me onto the boat and up to the top deck. I transferred onto a seat and they folded my wheelchair up and looked after it for me. They were very good and regularly asked if everything was ok. It was a real pleasure, I could not fault them.
We ate at The Kota restaurant twice, but there was a big step to get in, so Christos the owner helped Yvonne get me in.
To get to the Kota was a struggle as it was all up a steep hill. A very kind gentleman came to our aide and pushed my wheelchair. The following night Christos paid for a taxi for us to return to his restaurant. He was waiting outside for us to arrive. The food is amazing, they just need to get a ramp installed.
Pambos Napa Rocks Hotel was ok for access and offered decent sized rooms, but still up a hill and nowhere to park, only on narrow road. There are no disabled spaces and was dangerous getting in and out car. They had a gym, steam room and swimming pools. Unfortunately, none of these were accessible to anyone in a wheelchair. Sadly, I had to just watch as Yvonne my carer enjoyed the pool.
In summary, I think Cyprus needs to rethink its pavements and issue fines to deter people from blocking pavements. Cyprus is a beautiful island that just needs educating a little to the needs of disabled people, especially wheelchair users. Overall, a very enjoyable experience and facilities and access are slowly improving.
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