According to the National Institute for Rehabilitation (INR) this year there are 22 more accessible beaches in Portugal compared to the previous year.
The list of 223 accessible beaches in 2021, which can be seen in full on the INR website (https://www.inr.pt/programa-praia-acessivel), includes 49 river or lake bathing areas (lakes) and 175 sea areas, with 18 in the Azores, eight in Madeira and the rest on the mainland.
The Accessible Beach – Beach for All! Programme was first introduced in 2005 with the “main objective” of complying with national legislation on accessibility and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Portugal in 2009, according to information available on the INR website.
“It aims to ensure that more and more Portuguese beaches ensure accessibility conditions and services that enable their use and enjoyment, with equity, dignity, safety, comfort, independence and the greatest possible autonomy, by all those who wish to visit them, regardless of their age and possible mobility difficulties or other disabilities that, temporarily or permanently, affect their mobility”.
In the first year, the award was given to 49 bathing areas, a number that has been growing ever since.
“It is noteworthy that, during the current bathing season of 2021, despite the economic constraints and some health and safety rules that once again apply in bathing areas due to the pandemic caused by the covid-19 disease, there has been a surprising and commendable adhesion of municipalities and concessionaires to this inclusive initiative”, highlighted the INR statement.