I injured my knee a while back. Walking was painful, and it made me aware of how difficult a simple stroll can become. Suddenly more aware of my surroundings, I wondered about how friendly Tenerife’s thoroughfares are for wheelchairs, prams, or those with reduced mobility for any reason. Not intended as a commentary on hotels or complexes, but on the towns which host them, these were my observations.
Although I sing the praises of its food and beaches, El Médano came bottom of my list, even though it does have boardwalk beach access. The newly vamped main square has ramps, but elsewhere, far too few pedestrian crossings are bevelled to make crossing easier for wheelchairs or prams. I watched one lady’s progress down the main street, as she veered between pavement to road in her electric wheelchair. Most pavements are uneven, and badly in need of repair.
I popped over to Golf del Sur next. ‘The Golf,’ as its expat residents call it, is a series of complexes most of which lie around a ring road, leaving little to comment on other than its shopping/dining hub, the San Blas Center. There I found ramps so steep I chose to ignore doctor’s orders, and used the steps instead. Also, I found pedestrian crossings which lead to a wall – go figure.
I expected Los Cristianos to come out top of my list. Some claim its long history of welcoming those with a disability was the beginning of tourism in south Tenerife. The town hall of Arona, responsible for Los Cristianos, has recently created new bye laws concerning the use of wheeled vehicles along the popular Arona section of Geranium Walk. However, the laws are vague, and cyclists still abound. Close to the beach there are ramps, and pedestrianized streets, but if you venture inland, it’s not so easy. Maintenance of the pavements has been neglected during the recession, and some are in a bad state even for those with perfect mobility.
Playa de las Americas is also part of Arona. Its haphazard lack of planning, has been, and is being, rectified, with the main thoroughfare being partly pedestrianized, making moving around much easier. The phase affecting the prestigious Avendia de las Americas is under way at the time of writing.
Perhaps it was inevitable that Costa Adeje would be the best area I looked at. Much of it has been developed, or improved, over the last twenty years, as awareness of providing access for those with reduced mobility has been more of a priority. Perhaps it is the nature of the place too, never having been a fishing village with narrow streets like Los Cristianos, the area is basically a network of streets linking various hotels and complexes. I talked with people about their experiences, and the only real criticism was of the area around the Sallytien complex, where decorative paving is uncomfortable for wheelchair users.
Hopefully with the recession loosing its grip, El Médano and Los Cristianos will be able to fix their pavements. Both towns have the advantage of being reasonably flat on a mountainous island, so attending to that should make getting around them easier. One thing was pleasant to note, all have an abundance of pedestrian crossings, even though some need to be easier to use.
Category : about tenerife
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