Top 4 Grand European Accessible Vacations
We have many clients who, for one reason or another, are interested in taking a single trip to see as much of Europe as possible. While visiting multiple cities with a disability can seem daunting, I can assure you that with the right preparation it’s entirely possible.
The most popular accessible Grand European vacation itinerary is described below. It uses a combination of travel by train, plane, and accessible van to visit 5 cities: London, Paris, Rome, Florence, and Venice. I recommend spending 23 days to comfortably explore all the wonders that these cities have to offer. You can also view 3 more accessible Grand European vacation itineraries.
- London – I recommend starting in London where you’ll have fewer language barriers while you practice some of our accessible travel tips and tricks. Five nights in London will allow you to see most of the London highlights like the London Eye on the Thames (shown in the photo below) plus take a day-trip to a site outside of London such as Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Cambridge, Oxford, Hampton Court, or Greenwich.
- Paris – After an accessible train ride to Paris, five nights in the City of Light will give you a good bit of time to visit the museums, churches, monuments, and unique Parisian neighborhoods. You’ll be able to visit world-renowned attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Orsay Museum. Additionally, you’ll be able to experience some lesser-known attractions off the beaten path like the Marmottan Monet Museum, the Sacre Coeur church, the Tuileries Gardens, and an accessible boat cruise on the Seine River. Many of our clients choose an accessible dinner cruise in Paris, and give us rave reviews about it!
- Rome – To get from Paris to Rome, you can choose to either fly (cheaper and quicker) or take a first-class, accessible train car (easier and more scenic). Once you arrive in Rome, you’ll have 6 days to sightsee,experience Italian cuisine, and learn all about the Eternal City. I recommend taking 3 guided tours while you’re here: 1) Ancient Rome including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and emperor’s palaces on Palatine Hill, 2) the Vatican including the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms, and St. Peter’s Basilica, and 3) Renaissance Rome including the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers.
For the remaining 3 days in Rome, you can hire a guide or explore on your own. Museums like the Capitoline Museums, the Borghese Gallery, the Vatican Museum, and the National Museum of Rome contain art and artifacts from throughout the centuries. Renaissance artists designed numerous works of art for Rome churches, and you can still see them in places like the Church of Santa Maria of the Angels and Martyrs, the Santa Maria Maggiore church, the St. Peter in Chains church, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva church, and more.
Florence – Florence is one of my favorite cities in Europe because the walking tour is an incredible journey through the Renaissance. You’ll walk/roll along the footsteps of Michelangelo, and learn how Lorenzo de Medici and Pope Julius II championed his artistic projects.
You can view Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia (shown in the photo below), and one of the best collections in the world for Renaissance art in the Uffizi Gallery. The Ponte Vecchio bridge, the Pitti Palace, the Santa Croce church, and the first dome created during the Renaissance at Florence’s Duomo Cathedral.
During your 4 day stay in Florence, you will also have time to take a day trip to experience Tuscany in neighboring small towns. Siena’s famous Piazza del Campo town square, the fourteen towers of San Gimignano, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and an accessible Chianti winery visit are just a few of the day-trip options that you’ll have.
- Venice – After a comfortable and scenic first-class train ride to Venice, you’ll be greeted by an accessible water taxi to bring you to your accessible hotel. Believe it or not, with the right strategy, wheelchair users can avoid many of the 409 bridges in Venice. With 3 nights in Venice, you’ll be able to see the main sights like theDoge’s Palace, the Rialto Bridge, and St. Mark’s Basilica, as well as get away from the tourist crowds to visit the more charming parts of Venice.
These 4 Grand European vacations are fairly complex, but you don’t have to plan your trip on your own. We’ve researched accessibility first-hand in all of these cities and we’ve planned numerous accessible trips to these destinations. We’ll make sure that your vacation to Europe is easy, accessible, and memorable!
John Sage, Founder and President of Sage Traveling