Life is a Beach. Enjoying a day at the beach begins with getting to the beach. Great bus lines (Aonda) www.aonda.pt in Lagos include routes that will drop you right on the beach. If you use a wheelchair the buses have ramps that let you board and exit. Unfortunately even small mobility scooters are prohibited on the buses, even though they could easily fit on the larger buses. The Aonda drivers range from very helpful to downright rude and unprofessional. It is best to have a companion along to help solve any problems.
Praia da Luz has a wonderful set up on the beach and a ramp for people with reduced mobility (PWRD) to access a tent with three or four different water chairs set up underneath.
FromFrom the tent a long boardwalk and a mat extends close to the ocean. There is a choice of water chairs, one to suit almost anyone, it is good to have a companion to pull the chair into the ocean, then after a swim to pull you out, if not the folks at the boat rental concessions or the lifeguards are happy to help.
Please see the tent in our short video:
We could spend time lounging in the sun between swims. Two other beachgoers with reduced mobility were also using the equipment while we were there, one young women in a wheelchair was thrilled to get into a kayak. The freedom to enjoy the ocean is glorious when it has been denied by lack of accessible equipment.
After our visit Praia da Luz we wrote to the Freguisia (town parish) with praise for the accessbilty and some questions on minor details that could be improved. They repsonded with positive anwers included the instruction on use of the acessible bathroom. You can ask the folks at the boat concession for the key to the bathroom. Unfortunately the tent and chairs are not available outside of the bathing season which begins in June ends in October. So on warm beach days outside of the season PWRD cannot access the ocean like everyone else.
All in all Praia da Luz is defintely working in the right direction to make the beach accessible to all. Definitely worth a tip of my beach hat.