disability cruising, Handicap, Traveling with disabilities

Disabled Cruisers Guide to Malaga, Spain

Malaga, Spain

The disabled cruiser visiting Malaga will enjoy that much of the pedestrian area (most of the town center) has a smooth marble surface (depending on your shoes it could feel like an ice rink when wet).  Malaga is a very wheelchair friendly city, with dropped curbs at every crossing , and mostly flat around the old town area. It should be easy enough to get to the marina area but some attractions such as the castle are uphill. The local accessibility ordinance is very strict and nowadays most urban features, and all new buildings along with plenty of older ones are accessible.

The disabled cruiser using the buses have allocated wheelchair places (in the middle ), seat belts and so on, also elderly/disabled seat marked with the blue badge, you will always get a seat free as well.

Plaza de la Constitución: The open pedestrianized space is flat and smooth, and easy to navigate for wheelchair users. Along with Plaza de la Merced: The plaza is flat and easy to navigate. Mild cobblestones in a few areas but they do not pose any major obstacle to wheelchair users.

At the Roman Amphitheater, accessible paths have been put in to create a smooth walking/rolling path through the ruin site. Some parts of the Roman Theater are not accessible. The Cathedral and Picasso Museum, both have wheelchair access, are also don’t miss spots. The Picasso Museum has a separate entrance that can be accessed with a wheelchair with the staff. It goes through an underground archaeological site which is fascinating in itself.

Malaga, Spain

Malaga is on the southern coast of Spain, in the region of Andalucia.

Places of interest include the Alcazaba fortification with it’s lovely gardens, above here visit the ruins of an ancient Moorish fortress and military museum. The path is steep but Malaga’s hop on/hop off bus tours stops here.

The Historical Quarter enables you to combine shopping with a visit to this historical area, with its many pedestrian thoroughfares.

The Museum of Glass and Crystal is the only one of its kind in Andalusia, visits are guided and the museum displays about 700 objects of glass and crystal, dating from Egyptian and Roman times to the present (closed Mondays).

Other museums include Museo Automovilistico De Malaga and Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga.

Alcazabais is a palatial fortification built in the 11th century. Adjacent to the entrance of the Alcazaba are ruins of a Roman theater dating to the 1st century BC, which are undergoing restoration.

La Concepcion – Jardin Botanico-Historico de Malaga has miles of walkable trails and are also home to some ancient Roman statues, dating back to the first century.

The nearest sandy beach is about 200m walk away from the dock, heading towards the lighthouse.

Marbella and Granada are nearby and reached by both train and bus.

Tapas to suit all tastes can be found in the many cafes and restaurants.

Where You’re Docked

The Cruise Terminal is at the Eastern Dock, about a 25 minute walk from the City Center. Shuttle buses are available at a charge.

The terminal at Quay 1 is home to numerous restaurants, bars and about 70 shops, boutiques and market stalls. This is where to find the Michelin-starred restaurant Jose Carlos Garcia. The quay also has a marina for luxury yachts. Quay 2 has a beautiful waterfront promenade called “The Palm Garden of Surprises” lined with trees and tropical plants, great for families with children. There are gardens, playgrounds, water features, mini-golf and other activities. You’ll also find shops a cultural museum and a cycle rental stand.


With all the independent shops in Malaga, you’ll easily find a special present to take home. Edible treats include turron, a classic confection made with almonds and honey. Sweet Malaga wine, first made in 600 B.C. by Greeks, makes another nice gift. You also can seek out hand-made soaps made from olive oil or high-quality locally made glassware.

The Malaguenos love their food, and you’ll find an enormous choice of bars and restaurants at which to enjoy dinner or lunch al fresco. Most are child friendly. Tipping is appreciated, though there is no expected amount.

Points of Interest

  • Generalife – The Moorish country palace for rest and contemplation, this ancient retreat was the summer home of emirs and emperors. Poems and novels have been written of this Eden. The main entrance is up a quite steep hill for the Disabled Cruiser. These lovely terraced gardens have mainly flat good paths stretching along the side of the hill. There is ramped access through the open air theater area to the main gardens.

  • Alhambra – Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, . It was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889 and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-11th century by the Moorish king Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Kingdom of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. The main entrance is up a quite steep hill for the Disabled Cruiser. Taking the left fork from the main entrance takes you over a bridge (nasty cobbles but not for too long) and in to the main Alahambra complex. Compared with the Generalife the gardens are disappointingly not wheelchair accessible, even though it would only need a short ramp to make them so). You can view them from the side though. The museum in the Carlos V palace is accessible and well worth a visit. 
  • Malaga Cathedral – Malaga’s cathedral boasts a Baroque exterior, a Renaissance altar and superb choir stalls. Wheelchair accessibility is good for the Disabled Cruiser with a huge ramp for easy access but a raised lip at front doors, if you go backwards with the wheelchair, it will be fine.
  • Ronda – One of Spain’s oldest cities, Ronda sits atop dramatic cliffs and is divided by a gorge. Its historic and picturesque views make for a prime tourist destination.
  • Museo Picasso – Over 155 works of the famed painter, donated by Picasso’s family, are proudly displayed in this museum dedicated to its celebrated resident. Disabled access is available for the Disabled Cruiser. The streets around the museum are narrow, but easily accessible, however, they are a little bumpy as it has large cobbles. The main entrance is up a short but steep flight of stairs. However, there is a separate entrance that can be accessed with a wheelchair where the staff will take you. It goes through an underground archaeological site which is fascinating in itself. One then takes a large elevator up to the main floor, and everything else is accessible from there. The entry price is free to those with a disability, reduced also for students and those who are senior citizens. 
  • Alcazaba – The Alcazaba is a fortress in Málaga, Spain, perched above the city. Alcazaba offeris panoramic views of Malaga. The Disabled Cruiser should use the entrance with the elevator next to the University of Malaga. While it is possible to see some areas in a wheelchair, it is a little challenging for people in wheelchairs or those with difficulty walking steep ramps, stairs and uneven surfaces.
  • Marbella – The most famous resort on the Costa del Sol, Marbella retains its original charm, with cobbled streets and whitewashed houses and Gothic-style architecture. Trendy boutiques and open-air cafés add a bit of the contemporary to this tourist favorite. The Disabled Cruiser visiting Marbella will discover lots of lovely restaurants, shops to walk around, lovely atmosphere. Even though there are some cobbled paths you can still get around in wheelchair, there were steps to some of shops.
  • El Castillo de Gibralfaro – El Castillo de Gibralfaro is a Muslim fortress built on a hill in the middle of the city. As the highest point in the center, you can view all of Malaga, including the harbor in the south and the fisherman’s neighborhood. Its a long and sometimes steep walk up to the Gibralfaro from the city with lots of steps in places and very slippery slopes in others. For the Disabled Cruiser, or those not wanting to walk up, there is a regular bus service that brings you right up to the entrance at the top. Inside its lots more steps and looking over steep sided battlements to the city below.

Malaga Accessible Excursions

Located on Spain’s scenic Costa del Sol, the port city of Malaga is a treat for all visitors, including disabled cruisers and their families. The old age of the city contributes to countless unique and interesting highlights including Roman ruins, charming plazas, well-preserved Spanish architecture and fascinating history.

Essential Accessible Malaga Guided Walking Tour

This 3-hour accessible Malaga walking/rolling tour begins with your friendly local tour guide meeting you at the cruise dock. From there, your Essential Accessible Malaga Guided Walking Tour will head out on a leisurely stroll along the charming streets of the Spanish Costa del Sol city to give you a perfect overview of the charming Spanish city without having to worry about accessibility barriers..

Your first stop of the day will be Plaza de la Constitución, the main square of the city. The Plaza is home to beautiful, well-preserved Spanish architecture, the beautiful Fuente de Genova fountain, charming cafes and small shops and a large pedestrianized area dedicated to the history of the city.

Next, you will stroll through the pedestrianized, main shopping street in Malaga, Calle Marques de Larios, to the glorious Malaga Cathedral. This impressive Renaissance and Baroque-style Cathedral was built between 1528 and 1782, and due to lack of funds, only one of the planned two towers were completed. While here, you will have an opportunity to enter the Cathedral to admire the beautiful interior work including the exquisite choir stalls with extravagant carvings and the two rare and beautiful organs with more than 4,000 pipes.

From the Cathedral, you will continue along Calle San Agustin to the ancient Roman amphitheater. The Theater was built in the age of Augustus and stands as an impressive ruin site and a modern visitor center displaying stories and artifacts from everyday Roman life. Escorted by your tour guide, you will see the parts of the ruin site that are accessible and learn about the fascinating history of the place.

The final part of your accessible walking tour will be spent admiring some of the most popular sights of the city, including Gibralfaro Castle and Plaza de Merced. The Plaza is one of the most beautiful squares in the city, and it is dominated by its large Torrijos monument, a large obelisk, in the very center. This Square was also the place where the famous Picasso was born.

The Essential Accessible Malaga Guided Walking Tour utilizes a step-free and flat route. Several areas are completely pedestrianized with smooth surfaces. The complete route from start to finish is approximately 1.7 miles long. You will encounter some mild cobblestones by Calle San Agustin and some parts of the Roman Theater are not accessible.

Wheelchair Friendly Day Trip to Alhambra Palaces and Granada

This 8 hour Private Accessible Day Trip to Alhambra Palace and Granada begins with your private driver and accessible van meeting you at the Malaga cruise dock to take you on a journey you won’t soon forget. You’ll head out on a scenic drive from the coast to the scenic Andalusian inland and the incredible Alhambra. This massive fortress complex is located in Granada, and was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications. It was completely renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century and converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. Escorted by your private tour guide, you’ll explore this amazing site using accessible routes.

On this tour, you’ll enter into the complex of Palaces to explore the breathtaking interior. You’ll see the Patio de los Leones, which is one of the most famous places of the Alhambra. This stunning open space is the main courtyard of the Nasrid dynasty Palace of the Lions. You’ll also unveil the beauty and mystery of the Renaissance inspired Palacio de Carlos V and the picturesque Generalife Gardens, which used to serve as a leisure place for the Kings of Granada. You’ll have approximately 3 hours to explore this fascinating site before boarding the accessible van for a short drive to the heart of Granada.

Upon arrival in Granada city center, you’ll enjoy some free time at Plaza Nueva, the oldest square in Granada. Admire the beautiful Santa Ana church, sit down and enjoy a lunch on your own at one of the outdoor restaurants and get some souvenir shopping done. You’ll have 1.5-hour to admire the beautiful setting with stunning traditional architecture, fountains and beautiful greenery before your driver will escort you safely back to Malaga.

The Wheelchair Friendly Day Trip to Alhambra Palaces and Granada tour uses a step-free and flat route. Several areas are completely pedestrianized with smooth surfaces. The complete walking/rolling route from start to finish is approximately 2 miles long. The Alhambra fortress complex has several inaccessible parts. The Alhambra Palaces are located in a complex peppered with walls, towers, houses and other structures. To limit the amount of walking/rolling as you visit here, your tour guide will lead you on a carefully planned, fully accessible route. Some places are not accessible, either due to stairs, steep slopes and uneven terrain. These will be avoided.

The Patio de los Leones is flat and has smooth paths that are easy to navigate for wheelchair users. Some areas have a thin layer of gravel but these can be avoided. The area outside the Palacio de Carlos V is flat and smooth and there are no stairs at the main entrance. Plaza Nueva in Granada is a perfect place for some free time. The area is flat and smooth and easy to navigate. It has several restaurants, benches, shops and highlights to admire including Santa Ana Church and the Royal Chancellery.

An accessible van equipped with a wheelchair ramp will be used for your transfers to and from Alhambra and Granada. Please note the approximate time is 1 hours and 30 minutes each way, as well as a 15 minute drive from Alhambra to Granada. On the drive, you’ll get to sit back and enjoy the scenic inland of Andalusia.

For Malaga Accessible Excursions please click here.



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